Nintendo explains why Mario won't come to smartphones

Senior director at company says porting Nintendo games to iOS and Android would compromise integrity of experiences.

Nintendo owns some of the biggest franchises in gaming, including Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, but none of them are available in an official capacity on smartphones.

Explaining this decision with GameSpot, Nintendo senior communications director Charlie Scibetta said the company believes the most effective way to leverage its brands is to release franchises on its own hardware.

"We think that the best way to make the software come to life is to make custom hardware that is tuned so that when you play a game like Super Mario 3D World, you experience Mario jumping, and you experience the dynamic because it's tuned precisely for that hardware," Scibetta said.

If Nintendo's games were to be ported to iOS or Android, Scibetta pointed out, they would lose the elements that make them unique. Nintendo is unwilling to do this, he said.

"If you ported that same software to another device, you wouldn't have that same responsiveness. You wouldn't have the same controls that Mr. Miyamoto and his teams designed it for," Scibetta said. "So, market position has been consistent that our software comes to life the best when it's on hardware that's been specifically designed to bring it to life. So that's what our philosophy is and we're consistent with that approach."

Asked if this philosophy could change in response to the evolution of the industry, Scibetta referred back to the policy he stated earlier.

"I can just tell you what our current stance is, and anything beyond that would just be speculation," he said.

Numerous other major publishers have launched their games on smartphones and other mobile devices. Sega currently offers a suite of Sonic the Hedgehog games on iOS and Android, while Activision has released Call of Duty games for mobile, and Ubisoft recently released a new Rayman game for smartphones.

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Discussion

233 comments
da_illest101
da_illest101

I would prefer them to go third party and make games for Sony and Microsoft. I think that hardware wise Nintendo has nothing to offer. 

Richman80
Richman80

Sigh... How many times do we have to say for people who says "Big N you suck! Release your games in [insert console here' from now on" ? People who says that are people who don't know the meaning of  Nintendo exclusive first-party game. Would you call Mario a first-party game if it's released in smartphones? No!

@simomate: Think the devs way, then complain. So if you are Nintendo, then you don't want to get the biggest income?

@SolidSnakeTPF : And that supports piracy which many of us hate, Nuff said.

 @JimmeyBurrows : What he meant is the experience, it's really awkward playing God of War in Wii U right? The same holds true like playing Pokemon in PS Vita.

@Mraou : Lol, well said. There's no articles with "Bring [insert Sony or Microsoft exclusive here] to this console!" tags

Bardock47
Bardock47

Did anyone actually think N would put their games on something besides their consoles? It doens't even need expalined, I'm surprised he just dint say 'Buy a 3DS for portable Mario'.

simomate
simomate

Bullcrap nintendo, you jsut want people to buy your consoles :P

JasonBroady
JasonBroady

i think they are doing good it will cost them a little but as everyone is jumping to mobile just because to make some big bucks and most user are addicted to mobile nowadays. i think they have planned a strategy for that and it will take time.

________________________________________________

PC Games | Far Cry 3 | Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

madmork
madmork

Nintendo sold 50,000 Wii U's back in April officially.  1.7M Android devices are activated every single day globally....might be time to think about a different strategy

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

"If you ported that same software to another device, you wouldn't have that same responsiveness. You wouldn't have the same controls that Mr. Miyamoto and his teams designed it for,"

I can confirm that it runs nicely on the PSP... But since it's actually already on all of these devices anyway, there's really no need to port it now, is there...

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Most Nintendo games just aren't suited to touch screen based controls and I really wouldn't want to see them there.

pershado
pershado

too bad if we want to use our gamecube controllers we would need an adapter. or we could use the classic controller or whatever it's called


ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Who wants to play Mario or Zelda on a phone when you will be able to play them in HD on a 55 inch HDTV?

Mraou
Mraou

Does that mean Sony and MS should bring their console exclusives to other platforms, too? Where is the article about that, hm?

whitetiger3521
whitetiger3521

Instead of the 'gamepad' Nintendo should just come out with a tablet that can hook up to the tv and has bluetooth for wireless controllers/devices. With the cloud technology that keeps expanding I have a feeling that tablets may just be the future of gaming.

registeredpunk
registeredpunk

If I had Mario, Zelda, Doneky kong, Pokemon, and the winner console of the last generation. I would wipe my ass with an smart phone. People are just jelous they have to buy a nintendo hardware to play quality games. It was nintendo who saved the industry by setting the quality standarts. It's happening again, too many cheap, trash games on dozens appstores, that gaming is going to be considered again a meaningless, time killing concept.

Holy-Rapture
Holy-Rapture

Nintendo always keeps to themselves, they would never buy into the mobile market. Especially since they own the handheld market. They kinda suck now thought, especially with always rehashing the same stuff like every year. I want Miyamoto to give us something completely new!

tightwad34
tightwad34

Mario on a phone is pure blasphemy if you ask me.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

way to stick to your morals nintendo. Don't sell out like everyone else and don't let greed rule you like MS. Your actions will be rewarded when you release your first party games, and you the Wii U will be profitable for years to come.

farcorners
farcorners

wow! Mario Jumping Simulator coming soon!

JoSilver
JoSilver

In a nut shell because touch screens alone suck for games.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

I wouldnt jump for joy at the thought of playing Mario on a smart phone.

Oni
Oni

Okay I get it ... but that doesn't mean they couldn't make a Nintendo eShop app. I'd install something like that and use it a lot. :)

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

You can't have the level of control a Mario game needs on a touch device.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I can see Nintendo releasing their own Tablet computer. Aimed at kids, they would make their own brand of tablet just for gaming. Nintendo would never port their games to iOS or android devices. If apple or Microsoft wants Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokmon, Donkey Kong,Pikman,Star Fox. They are going to have to outright conquer Nintendo. Nintendo will never port their games to other companies smartphones/tablets etc.

kbaily
kbaily

Can I just say personally I hate playing the old Sonic games on my Iphone.  The touch buttons feel awkward and my thumbs end up covering half the screen.

Look as long as the 3DS is still selling, you're not going to see Nintendo games on the mobile devices.  Either buy a Nintendo handheld or download them from the Eshop or get over it.

hateyourface
hateyourface

"If you ported that same software to another device, you wouldn't have that same responsiveness. You wouldn't have the same controls that Mr. Miyamoto and his teams designed it for,"

My emulators beg to differ. That being said, it's not surprising that they are taking this stance on the issue. Nintendo is in direct competition with the mobile Android and Apple markets. Why would they port their games to these platforms when they are already using them to sell 3DS consoles? It would just be silly as hell.

darkeyez81
darkeyez81

Nintendo: Because we are not SEGA.

King9999
King9999

Square Enix, take notes!

feihunng
feihunng

the last time Nintendo let people use there IP, we got a bad movie & bad CDi games. I think Nintendo is smart to hold on to there IP. it is want makes Nintendo Nintendo.

da_chub
da_chub

I would never play mario on my iPhone. I applaud Nintendo for sticking to its beliefs. Besides, Mario is not angry birds.

andrescapo_
andrescapo_

Bottom line: We don't need to release our games in other platforms.

PerfectChaos0
PerfectChaos0

@da_illest101 Nintendo's handhelds are amazing though. Heck, forget the success of the DS or the explosion in awesome the 3DS is seeing lately, remember the GBA? Ninty has has an amazing showing in that market from start to finish, they have no reason to stop now. Console wise though, I agree, they've definitely been slipping. 

I think the Wii U is flawed both in branding, because soccer mom's thinks it's a 200 dollar controller their kids don't need and in concept. They tried to transplant the successful control schemes of the DS onto a console. Problem is, the screens are just too far apart. Nintendo is going to have to start rethinking how they do their controls for future games after the lessons learned from Wonderful 101. The concept needs work and was launched prematurely imo. Keep in mind this is coming from a Nintendo fan, but so far, it seems the U is for Wii Underwhelming.


Where the killer apps at Nintendo? A MAN CANNOT SURVIVE ON PIKMIN 3 ALONE!

realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

@da_illest101 I think that Nintendo is good at doing things that nobody else does.  As a PC gamer, I would buy a Wii U before a One or PS4 because the Wii U is the only console that does something my PC doesn't.

But unfortunately, Nintendo always makes their consoles underpowered, which doesn't fare well in the long run.

PerfectChaos0
PerfectChaos0

@amaneuvering You....do realize Nintendo has more touch based games than any other video gaming brand right? DS came out way before this smartphone shit blew up. That said, touch controls on phones are an absolute fucking joke compared to what the DS and/or 3DS can provide in terms of functionality and precision. Anyone who contests about oh it uses older touch screen technology blah blah blah lacks the DS gaming experience to know it doesn't mean a damn thing when iOS/Android touch controls still play like shit compared to their DS counterparts. Lots of Nintendo games are suited to touch screens. It's just that all those games work best on a handheld!

madmork
madmork

@tightwad34 actually the blasphemy is what's happened to Nintendo's share price the past year...whatever they're doing clearly isn't working

tightwad34
tightwad34

@bunchanumbers Look at the 3DS now. The Wii U will prosper in the long run. There's good reason why Nintendo is still extremely relevant after making consoles for 25+ years.

whitetiger3521
whitetiger3521

@JoSilver Works good for some but the majority of hardcore games it does suck. Which is why there should be controller support as more hardcore games become available for tablet and smartphones.

WhiteStormy
WhiteStormy

@Toysoldier34 Sure you can.  All he does is run and jump.  Touch screens can handle that easily, plus there is a such thing as phones with physical buttons.

mesk14
mesk14

@hateyourface Emulators are designed and programmed to mimic the original hardware as closely as possible.Hell,Higan (formerly bsnes) is pretty much a Snes in software form. Also,imagine trying to use those shitty virtual sticks to play a Donkey Kong country or Mario Galaxy game.Nothing but frustration and playing the first level many times

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

Unfortunately, not all of us can play action games very well on touch screens. The controls just aren't natural. (Not that I'm saying the wii-mote is either..)