Nintendo modding Wii U to run smartphone apps?

Mario maker reportedly looking to smartphone games to help platform return to profitability by offering "professional-use conversion software" to developers.

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In an effort to return the Wii U to profitability, Nintendo is attempting to modify the hardware so it can run smartphone applications, inside sources have told Japan Times (via GameSpot sister site ZDNET).

Nintendo has reportedly offered "professional-use conversion software" to application developers as a means to bring their games to Wii U. These sources said Nintendo hopes smartphone software will lead to a jolt in system sales.

A Nintendo representative was not immediately available to comment.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata last month laid out a three-pronged plan to return the Wii U to profitability and smartphone app support was not part of it. In addition, Nintendo has for a long time steered clear of smartphone games and apps.

During a recent analyst presentation, however, Iwata highlighted a new Nintendo strategy that may introduce additional digital offerings, potentially apps.

"We will not simply change our existing packaged software distribution channel. Rather, we might have many other types of business models in addition to packaged software," he said at the time. "For example, we might see more games that are similar to free-to-play games, games that cost much less or games that require a monthly subscription fee."

"Digitalization allows for greater flexibility, whereby having more ways to make payments, both software developers and consumers have more options," he added. "And Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have flexible systems to handle such trends, so it is now a question of putting these ideas into action. I can definitely say that Nintendo will make new offers that go well beyond simply replacing packaged software with digital software."

It is no secret that Wii U sales have struggled. Nintendo has sold 400,000 units worldwide this year and 3.45 million systems since launch, missing sales targets.

Discussion

344 comments
suprsolider
suprsolider

LOL, Wii U is doing so bad that Nintendo needs smartphone apps to make it profitable.


LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL.



Coolyfett
Coolyfett

Nintendo needs to make rc toys that operate off the wii u controller

ewjiml
ewjiml

I think its great that Nintendo wants to broaden their games library but seriously?  I don't want to play sum cheap $5 game like Angry Birds or Farmville on my Wii U.  I want real video games. 

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

Sadly they're stuck supporting this p.o.s. for atleast 3 years... After those 3 years pass, they learn to make a system with balls and tinker with toys and gadgety controllers from there...or leave the home console marfket and design games/controllers for other consoles....

Hate to be the "I-Told-You-So-fail-cuz-xbox360-power-equivalent-guy" here again, but yeh...it is what it is... That was the dumbest thing said by any company in gaming history..."our new console is as powerful as our competitors current console priocessing wise..and they have a new system coming in a year aswell."  You're nintendo ffs! why you do this to youself?! (Jackie Chan meme face)

Who the hell really wants to play mobile games on their home console? you guys make all of those DS's...I know! I bought 2 each of the past 7 reincarnations of them!  (not to mention the few gameboy sp spinoffs. Have two kids that like mobile games and their 3ds's..)

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

It's time to Nintendo think seriously in developing Mario games for cell market.The Wii U is just an illusion for profits and the only left to do is how to counter losses now.Smart phones apps for the Wii U is futile[holding to say stupid] but they can timidly at first begin to think in future projects for the other devices marketing like the cell phones.

newedge1000
newedge1000

Excellent News lots of Games coming yo WII U ,ready to buy that second console for the bedroom.

Toborrobot
Toborrobot

Well, it's not like people have been saying Nintendo should do this from the start. Oh wait. We were? They specifically said they wouldn't do it previously, so at least they realized that they missed their goldmine...

JumpyLuweegee
JumpyLuweegee

Soon Nintendo will be a 3rd party video game publisher.

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

Just crash and burn, gentlemen.  Just crash and burn. Instead of spending money on what will not profit, why not build a whole new video game console? I'll lay it out in a metaphorical picture. Why bother to fix a boat with too many leaks when it could sink and take you with it?  Instead, go and build a NEW boat because it's alot easier and better to build something to correctly from the ground up rather than attempting to fix something broken through and through.

Nepti
Nepti

Raise your hand if you are interested in buying a premium videogame system so you can play angry birds? Anyone? Anyone? What the heck has gotten into Nintendo? Just one stupid move after the next. It's exhausting to watch it.

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

where's the 3DS to WiiU converter? smartphone apps...Pssh!

StonerDemon
StonerDemon

Nintendo modding the WiiU to run smartphone apps... Nintendo selling second-hand 3DS... wait a minute... Nintendo what are you thinking???? You're Nintendo, the GAME maker!!! If you wanna get out of the crisis, go make games fast and release them faster, god dammit!!!

It's really sad to see Nintendo in this position. I'm a Sony loyal now, but I grew up playing on Nintendo platforms, and they have made the greatest games in history.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

They will need to be very strict on how this works or the system will be opened up to many workarounds and system cracks.

superbuuman
superbuuman

heh, not into smartphone games, I didn't buy a console to play smartphone games either..hope they don't waste too much resources on it.

rushiosan
rushiosan

This is why I support piracy. The guys deliver us features that Nintendo't. Now they're desperate, and I'll laugh at them.

q-w-e-r-t-y
q-w-e-r-t-y

So the Wii U is basically becoming an iPhone......

The_Last_Ride
The_Last_Ride

@snova9308 there are many core gamers, but those won't look at this though

servb0ts
servb0ts

How about upgrading the 32 GB into lets s ay 500 GB. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

There are many smartphone type games that would greatly benefit from physical controls and Indie developers are showing this right now by putting their projects on the Wii U alongside Android and iOS so this could turn out to be a great thing for the eShop.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

Why not just make the mobile market bit for the DS, make an extra chunk of million dollar change there, and shovelware the Wii U to death like you have it's predecessor?

colin__23
colin__23

@JumpyLuweegee  Let's do a math lesson... Wii for 3 years 250 $ from first one profitable, cost go down but not the price for 3 years.
(99 millions X 150$ (average) )+
(Wii sports resort and Mario Kart over 60 millions (combine) X 40$) +
(Wii play 28
millions X 60$ + New super mario 26 millions X 50$) +
(Wii fit and fit Plus over 40 millions X 30 (average) +
(mario galaxy 1 and smash bros over 20
millions (combine) X 40$+
150 millions DS X 150$ (average) + 3DS consoles + many other DS and 3DS and Wii games = Nintendo needs to FAIL TWO generations and still not be a publisher only...(this generation didn't fail yet it's just the beggining and a slow start)

ploomp89
ploomp89

@badwedgie00 Everyone seems to forget the Xbox 360's common red ring of death?! YET it was still a popular console and survived, Seriously lay off Nintendo, and anyone that has Ceo status and states that they are going to remake a console after 6 months release isnt the best of ideas no offense. 

Diddyaa
Diddyaa

 @Nepti Are you trying to make thos a bad thing?

Kos1c
Kos1c

It's a welcomed option. It's like the kick starter console, but this having the ability to play AAA titles. The more the mobile market is pushed into sharing the console market, the more this gets better.

There isn't a thing wrong having this option, it is a tablet after all.

I'm unsure why people are saying "I wont buy a console for mobile apps."

The Wii u, does have the ability to play AAA discs. This is an additional option, just like indie games on the ps3/Xbox market.

superbuuman
superbuuman

@Nepti could be Iwata in panic/desperation mode..next they will make Wii U able to play DVD movies or start selling movies via Nintendo disc. :p

Kos1c
Kos1c

@StonerDemon Nintendo are a game and console manufacture. They are just improving their console into a market that has yet to be taken advantage off.
I'm not a Nintendo Loyal, nor Sony or Microsoft loyal, I am a gamer, therefor any game in front of me should, and will be played.

Now, that Nintendo have the only touch pad console on the market, they can take advantage of that market, and sell iOS/Mobile games through their shop, or combine a shop with Apple/Android and get a lot more interest and business through their servers.
Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 can not touch this market seeing as they do not hold the tablet connection to be able to play these games.

Ps4 has yet to show a tablet accessory for it's console, and the neXtbox hasn't shown it's controllers, or accessories. So till then Nintendo will have a unique feature in it's console over the two next gens.


So it's not a sad, or a useless idea, it's actually quite genius if you ask me.
A home console with a bunch of top grade retail games, and a library of say 500-1000 mini games that would run for less than a few bucks. Would easily please a lot of people.

Vegamyster
Vegamyster

@StonerDemon What crisis? A console thats less then a year old and sold about 3.5 million units isn't that bad. Wait for June.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

@Toysoldier34 With all the hootin annie about the new consoles, every single thing mentioned I see as a piracy problem, this has just opened a can of worms...

Microsoft is saying it's nextbox will be nearly backwards compatible with a PC...
If everyone thought windows 8 was their big mistake of 2013?....lmao

Diddyaa
Diddyaa

 @rushiosan I could report you right now because of piracy.

ploomp89
ploomp89

@q-w-e-r-t-y No it more or less likely that Nintendo are thinking ahead to try and compete with OUYA? also to everyone else that complains about the Wii U failing wait until 2013 is over till you make a comment, as far as i have read there are a few exclusive on the way which can make all the difference also wait to see the impact of the ps4 and xbox infinity or what ever its called Wii u is like 5 months old or something come on.

ploomp89
ploomp89

@colin__23 @JumpyLuweegee Well said, the digital download is a success and now the App option only adds another market to sell games its smart also if nintendo refines both digital and selling exclusives they could make a fortune. 

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

@ploomp89 @badwedgie00 A red ring of death is not the same as severe lack of third-party support.  A customer can do several things to prevent a red ring of death, 99% of the time caused by overheating. They can use fans, or other devices. There is nothing the average customer can do about lack of third-party support, and a drought of great games. Read about what happened to the Turbografx-16 system.  Strong third-party support is the lifeline of any console.

Nepti
Nepti

@Kos1c It's not that the option for mobile apps is bad, but if what Nintendo wants to do is increase sales of their newest premium videogame console, mobile apps is fixing the wrong thing. If I go to a hamburger joint and see tacos on their menu, I don't think tacos are bad, but I do think it's strange. It's strange that Nintendo wants to boost hardware sales by incorporating mobile apps - a totally different experience from what premium videogames are about. Just my 2 cents.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

@Diddyaa Nintendo and Microsoft should report themselves aswell for piracy...

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

@ploomp89 @servb0ts 
that 32 gb is a Solid state drive, why it's so expensive... 500 gb ssd will run you the cost of 2-3 wii u's alone.

ploomp89
ploomp89

@badwedgie00  Also i would rather a console that would work and know it had a good line of games coming up then a faulty console but i guess thats your choice, also i doubt any person that buys a console as a gift would go for a console that had a high chance of not working then a potentially great console then again we are going of topic.

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

@ploomp89 @badwedgie00 Video gamers are more willing to tolerate hardware failure than a lack of great games or hard-to-understand gimmicks.

ploomp89
ploomp89

@badwedgie00 @ploomp89 You are joking right? a console that doesnt function right (brought brand new)is worse than a new console 5-6 months in with a decent line up of games with opportunity? are you serious? i hope thats not what your implying, there is nothing worse than a console or game that doesn't work as its been advertised to do as the Xbox 360 had, the bottom line is the red ring was a common problem and as someone that had to sell the console made things hard.  yet Microsoft came back and made it popular (the same console!).


Kos1c
Kos1c

@Nepti I can see where you're coming from. But as the article says "Inside  sources have said they are trying to modify the console."
I don't think they had   made the claim "we are doing it in hope we get a better sale." I got  a high feeling that was added by the reporter, to make it seem more of an issue to the reader.

Anyways, my point is, no one outside of Nintendo would know if this was intended as part of a patch update , that they had planned from day one.

Remember all the reports saying "Mobile gaming is the way forward, no one will want the 3DS/Ps Vita etc."

So bringing the mobile gaming to a console is a step over the PS4 and neXtbox. Would having more power graphic be better, over having a catalog of say 1000 gaming apps from the iOS  devices, at the price tags of under 10 bucks.


I welcome the mobile games to come to the console, but Nintendo will need to address the free to play model, and make sure that companies such as Gameloft, do not take the piss in making you pay for timers with in app purchases.



ploomp89
ploomp89

@minty_cbo @ploomp89 @servb0ts  

I dont see the big deal i mean if you are going to be a Wii U gamer that will download their games to save room space (like me ) they have the option to buy, max 2 TB additional which only cost me around $130 AUS but if you are going to just buy discs retail i think 32 gb is sufficient.