While the picture above is merely a concept image, could Nintendo eventually seep into the smartphone business? With smartphones becoming more and more popular avenues for gaming, Nintendo is finding itself trapped in a battle with their gaming handhelds. But how can handhelds such as the 3DS truly compete with the capabilities of a smartphone?
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has recently showed interest in harnessing smart devices instead of competing with them. He stated, “I believe that the era has ended when people play all kinds of games only on dedicated gaming systems. For example, I think it is natural that many people feel that it is more convenient to use smart devices, as opposed to dedicated gaming systems, to play games to kill a bit of time.
“That is to say, there are some areas in which dedicated gaming systems were once used that now have greater potential on smart devices. Given their growth, I feel that we should make an effort to take advantage of their existence. For instance, we already made it possible to browse Wii U’s networking service called Miiverse on smart devices.
“Starting with this attempt, we are discussing among us how we can expand the use of smart devices to help drive the business of dedicated gaming systems. Smart devices have already played a central role in creating buzz among consumers above a certain age with respect to, for example, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Monster Hunter 4 or Pokemon X/Pokemon Y.”
While my expectations (and possibly desperate hopes) are exceeding may never come true in the future, it would be interesting to see how a Nintendo Smart Device could perform against competitors such as iPhone and Android devices. However, it seems that Iwata is thinking more along the lines of using smart devices to create more awareness of Nintendo’s games.
“Twitter timelines filled with tweets about Monster Hunter and Pokemon can certainly help create awareness for the products, and we also know that many watch Nintendo Direct on their smart devices. Rather than simply viewing smart devices as competitors, we should consider ways in which we can use them for our business.”
President Reggie Fils-Aime also reiterated this idea. “We’re constantly thinking about how to leverage mobile as a marketing vehicle. How do I give little tastes of content, little experiences that then drive the consumer back to my hardware environment?”
While a Nintendo smart device seems out of the picture right now, it seems like an interesting route that Nintendo could take in the future. Would you buy a Nintendo-powered smartphone? I’d consider ditching my iPhone for one!