The long-awaited move has finally been made — Nintendo will be bringing its games to mobile devices, and other "smart" devices, perhaps as early as September.
In a very telling slide in its press conference, Nintendo teased its upcoming console, the NintendoNX. Without knowing anything else about it, EB Games started accepting pre-orders for the system, but enough about that — in the same slide, it showed that Nintendo games would also be played on mobiles and PC.
It also mentions a "membership service", which suggests the possibility of paying some kind of subscription for access to games across multiple platforms. Or, that could simply be referring to members of its developer network.
Image via Engadget
That PC point is interesting, and we'll look for further developments on that. But Nintendo was very clear about its new partnership with mobile gaming publisher DeNA, which will be handling the move of our favourite Nintendo characters and worlds to our glorified walkie talkies.
Nintendo said all its IP will be in consideration for games on new platforms, but instead of doing out-and-out ports, it'll make new games from the ground up. To which I couldn't help my internal skeptic from rolling its eyes and shouting "Yeah, right!" But hey, I'm not complaining. Pikmin getting a direct port to mobile? You had me at Pikmin.
Though, if I have one serious hope for this move, it's that Nintendo doesn't allow traditional mobile gaming tropes to pollute its IP. Partnering with DeNA is in part an admission that it doesn't 'get' this whole mobile thing, and would rather someone else handle it. Does that mean DeNA is free to monetise Mario with microtransactions? Will I lose my fire flower if I don't log in for a day? Will I be forced to craft my power stars, with such a rare drop rate on one ingredient I have to buy it? Pay 100 coins to fight Bowser?
@ibogost 20 x Mushrooms = $0.99 100 x Mushrooms = $19 500 x Mushrooms =$99 (Best Value!)
— Emanuel Maiberg (@emanuelmaiberg) March 17, 2015
I'm not sure I'm ready for a world in which Nintendo games prioritise progression systems over progress.
Time will tell, I guess. Monetisers gunna monetise.