hell froze over, pigs flying, etc.

Nintendo is teaming with a leading mobile development company in Japan to release titles from their franchises for smartphones.

The maker of Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, which has long resisted any suggestions that it put its games on smartphones and tablets, said today that it would team with DeNA, one of Japan’s leading mobile game companies, to create games using its popular franchises for mobile devices.

This is an action many of us thought they would never take. Their looming problem (which I’ve written about before) as a game console manufacturer has been this:

What’s happening here is that Nintendo is falling victim to digital convergence. Go ask the big players in point and shoot cameras, GPS navigation, netbooks, and feature phones what happened to their markets. If they don’t all give you the same answer they’re lying, or potentially oblivious.

Of all the potential paths that Nintendo could take in this scenario, releasing software on other platforms seemed to be the most unlikely. Developing new hardware platforms has always been part of their DNA. They are on the short list of companies that exemplify the old Alan Kay quote: “people who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

This is encouraging news for fans of Nintendo. There is immense value in their gaming franchises, and I’m looking forward to the first game announcements.

My big wish in light of this news is that we one day see official Nintendo controllers for iOS. They were first behind most of the standards in game controllers we have today, and they could make amazing controllers to the spec laid out in iOS 7.

March 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

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