Nintendo: Smartphones won't kill consoles

"The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles," president Satoru Iwata says.

Mobile phones and tablets may be growing in ubiquity, but their rise in popularity does not mean traditional consoles will die as a result, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said.

"The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It's not that simple,” Iwata said during a news conference, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Iwata explained that Nintendo must find a way to use smartphones and tablets to nudge players toward the console versions of its games as a means to preserve its long-held business strategy.

“It doesn't mean that we should put Mario on smartphones,” he said.

Defending this decades-only strategy, Iwata said whatever short-term benefit Nintendo might get from releasing its franchises for mobile devices isn't worth the risk of harming its longstanding policy of offering its franchises exclusively on Nintendo devices.

He reiterated this stance during the news conference, saying good games will sell hardware. However, he did admit that customers need more convincing today because they have more entertainment options than they used to.

Iwata surprised some fans last week when he said Nintendo was considering a "new business structure" focused around smart devices as a result of dismal Wii U sales and downtrodden financial projections.

Finally, The Wall Street Journal points out that Nintendo has recently beefed up its research and development budget with the aim of surprising players will new offerings in the future.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

205 comments
Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I think Nintendo should make their own kind of Android smartphone. And make it so that their Nintendo games require the proprietary graphics chip inside the phone to run the games. It'd work the same as the NVIDIA Tegrazone games. Those games won't work unless they detect the Tegra chip inside the phone.

pszone
pszone

Well Nintendo  management need to quick and mobile gaming wont work so only way get back up is to put games on other consoles    He Need Resign Now  .  

pszone
pszone

Nintendo It wont work and there know true signs you wont have future. The only way you have future is resale games on other consoles and so.

Face it people they got worst management for Nintendo   need to resign .Now

SacredVega
SacredVega

I think what Nintendo needs to do is to think "what we want on a console" and not " what they want us to have on a console", that's why 3rd parties refuse to work on Wii U because it does not have what they want it to have, PS4 and Xbone have what they want as well as us consumers. I grew up with Nintendo and I believe that that's the direction they need to take.....I think  

Angrypcgamenerd
Angrypcgamenerd

So this means that Mario will be on both smart-phones and tablets as well as the Ipad, Ipod, Iphone and Android as well as the Windows store.

hadlee73
hadlee73

They will if you ram one into the media drive of the console.

deadpen
deadpen

I'll be in nintendo's corner till the last day but fuck this phone idea. I know they have money to burn (why else make crap like the virual boy, the wii u, and the 2ds) but come on. Drop the naming of your system (gamecube, wii, wii u) and get back to being Nintendo (nes, snes, n64). The Nintendo 187 is a good name (police reference).

bigtimemad
bigtimemad

They should release their own smartphone that also works with the wii u instead of using the tablet controller and somehow make it work maybe with the ds lol No but really they should make their own phone

Shango4
Shango4

To all the Nintendo fanboys out there, can any of you tell me when the last time Nintendo had a successful third party game on their consoles? I think the last ones, that I personally remember were Goldeneye and Starfox 64 on the Nintendo 64.

Since then, starting roughly with the GameCube, their attitude towards third party developers has soured. SquareEnix refuses to release games on Nintendo home consoles, along with a few other third parties.
Nintendo needs to change it's ways, and it needs to do so soon. Either they change, or they start focusing on software like Sega has done.


Shango4
Shango4

Nintendo needs to give up on the experimental approach of the Wii and Wii U and actually make a decision to compete toe to toe with Microsoft and Sony. They need compelling hardware that will let developers push the boundaries of what they can do, not be constrained by the limitations of last gen hardware. Why would any third party developer make a game for Nintendo that can only do A, when they can make a game for Microsoft or Sony that can do A, B, AND C?

Also that none of their key franchises were ready at launch is inexcusable.

Shango4
Shango4

Nintendo is struggling. Nintendo is going to fail soon, the stock pile of cash they have is going to disappear. The current CEO needs to be replaced ( it clearly shows he doesn't know what he is doing). Nintendos investors want profit, higher stock value, Nintendo is managing to go down.

Shango4
Shango4

As much as Ninty fans deny it, not having games like GTA5, BF4, etc on the WiiU is a huge deal. If I can only buy 1 console for the foreseeable future why on Earth would I get the one I can't play AAA 3rd party games on? And with no Zelda in sight there is no killer game for WiiU (Mario games don't count)

Nepti
Nepti

Nintendo seems to spend a lot of time analyzing everything to death except their poor game library for the Wii U. Little hint: it's about the games stupid. And I say this as someone who wants Nintendo to be great again, as games for their machines are a nice break from FPS/Action-everything on Xbox and PS.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Right, and Nintendo thought that we'd all be buying WiiUs too, right?

zimbambo
zimbambo

The Wii U is dead.Nintendo should ditch the Wii U.Super Mario 3D World failed to save it and be the huge system seller Nintendo had hoped it would be.

The 3DS is doing great and what has stopped them from becoming Sega.

They should just focus on the handhelds for now and go away and really think about their next home console and if they want to release one.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

this is a rickety rope bridge nintendo are trying to cross, if the phones and tablets are not as good as the ones already out nobody will buy them, but if they make the phones/tablets too good people may buy them and just mod the systems to be there new 3ds, pirating games and such destroying the 3ds sales. there plenty of other examples of how this is a really dodgy decision. 

jhcho2
jhcho2

Yes, mobile gaming won't kill the console market, but it may steal away the kid and casual demographic. Isn't that your demographic Nintendo?

zimbambo
zimbambo

After the epic fail first 6 months of the 3DS Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut.............now after the epic fail first 14 months of the Wii U he has wiped 1.2 Billion from Nintendo value the guy is still CEO?LOL

Sorry but Nintendo investors are as clueless as Iwata.

Poor Wii U will not see another Xmas!


zimbambo
zimbambo

Nintendo are a joke how the hell can a company with 30 years experience in the video game industry FAIL to realize that the casual gamer had moved on to Iphones and Ipad by 2010?

So what do they do?release the Wii U which catered for casuals, offer terrible value for money and then realize

why no one was buying the console.

The market moved along.....Nintendo did not!!

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

No, it won't kill consoles.  It *will* kill consoles that depended on casuals being their primary audience.  Oh wait, that was YOUR console, wasn't it, Nintendo.

Shango4
Shango4

Wouldn't Nintendo make a lot of money if they go third party.

mr_enlightened
mr_enlightened

Smartphones wont kill consoles, but it will certainly kill the WIi U

geezerdaman
geezerdaman

What a fucking joke Nintendo is becoming these days. The only reason they are talking about Smart devices as part of anything they want to do is cause they are in their third straight year of posting millions in operating losses and might have finally realized that these things are not going away.


I love how they always want to go back to "good games will sell hardware". Well guess what ass hat, you have no good games outside of the latest installments of Mario and the like and the quality of those games are up for debate. I loved Nintendo growing up even though i owned a Sega Genesis first. I loved Mario, Zelda, Metriod and later things like Smash Bros were great. These days however the quality of these games has gone down. I was really disappointed with Skyward Sword and there hasn't been a good Metroid since Prime 3.


Nintendo has gone too long trying to do their own thing and not getting with the times, as reference to their "decades old business strategy". Now they have fallen too far behind to be merely propped up by their handful of tent pole franchises, franchises which they can't even get out in decent order anymore.


Their is another company that got complacent thinking they'd always be on top cause there was little to no competition and are now on the brink. They are called RIM and they make the Blackberry. If Nintendo doesn't figure their shit out within the next year or so they will become the Blackberry of the game console world.

zimbambo
zimbambo

Icontrol pad open source controller for ANY mobile.


zimbambo
zimbambo

For people moaning old classic Nintendo games will not work as there is no dpad..............suggest you go and Google Icontrolpad!!!!!!Dpad and 4 buttons!!!!!!!!


canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Touch screen controls are awful. I could see it working with really old Nintendo games, where the controllers only have a few buttons, but modern games converted to tablets touch controls are pretty terrible.

inspectercoley
inspectercoley

Nintendo should just include a mobile in their next gameboy.

AMG
AMG

One look at PS4 sales will tell you that smartphones and tablets have no effect on game consoles.


For Nintendo, opening up their back catalog of NES and SNES classics to smartphones and tablets would be easy money in the bank. But Iwata is too stubborn to see this.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

@bigtimemad Nintendo should totally do that. They would be keeping well within their current trend of crazy FY sales estimates and antiquated business development strategies.

deadpen
deadpen

@Shango4 Well starfox was made by nintendo so the only one you would remember would be goldeneye sort of since rare really only made games for nintendo until they tested the water in 2003 with xbox. Now the sorry turn coats are nothing more than a joke with their kinect games.

ivanfred
ivanfred

I agree. In addition, Nintendo should continue to make consoles that primarily run games to keep the cost down.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@zimbambo agree the 3ds is a winner and there more then enough stuff they can bring out to keep it going well. nintendo should use the time for market research so the next console will make the company lots of money.

MaTTerCuBe
MaTTerCuBe

@neowarrior121I don't think they will be making their own phones/tablets.  They will be utilizing existing ones to nudge people toward their console/handheld.  By making Apps or mini-games of sorts.  Advertising/sustaining brand name.  Make Nintendo a platform of entertainment that people will seriously consider (not simply remember from childhood).

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@geezerdamanThe real problem for Nintendo ain't console or the controller nor its business practice, its the fact Nintendo wanted to innovate "far too much" Nintendo heads probable looked at Wii U as a full new for of gaming, but in the current age were third part publishers have grow in power a lot they need to make more releases, that's why we have almost all games released for PS3 also released on Xbox 360, the third part developers that are the main sellers of system will have to change their game gameplay in order to fit Wii U needs, this will cost them much more than they already pay to develop, and this is what is killing Wii U.

zimbambo
zimbambo

@geezerdaman The main issue for Nintendo with home consoles is that they FAILED to realize that the Wii was a total fluke!!!The NES sold 80 Million, SNES, 40 Million,N64 32 Million and Gamecube 21 Million.

Every home console dropped in total sales from 1989 to 2007.

The Wii sold 100 Million,but the Wii U has ONLY sold 5 Million in 14 months their slowest ever start for a home console.

They used the success of the Wii and thought they could just add HD,a gimmick controller that went backwards, ridiculous price tag and mediocre rehash and year old port launch games and assumed everyone who bought a Wii would just rush out and buy one!


DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

@zimbambo Looks pretty cool, but I'd rather use the touchscreen than lug that thing around with me.

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

@AMG Why on earth would anybody purchase overpriced NES/SNES games on a smartphone when their entire catalog is available on the internet for free?

zimbambo
zimbambo

@AMG LOL PS4 sold 1 Million in the USA in 24 hours.Ipad Air sold 8 Million in 48 hours!!!

geezerdaman
geezerdaman

@chev7758@geezerdamanYou mad bra? 

The trolls are the losers who post nonsensical bull shit instead of an actual counter point. But, you know, thanks for coming out and all.

geezerdaman
geezerdaman

@Sohereiam@geezerdaman No one is arguing the controller for the WiiU is what is holding back 3rd party developers. What this article is about is Nintendo saying releasing their 1st party titles on mobile is not something they want to do cause of their business strategy of only doing so on their hardware.

They want to say smart devices won't kill consoles out one side of their mouths while refusing to release 1st party titles on them out the other. They are right, Smart devices wont kill consoles in general, just Nintnedo consoles.

hystavito
hystavito

@zimbambo @geezerdaman What I find interesting is that so many people predicted this, gamers commenting around here, press, analysts, over and over and over we heard warnings about the WiiU.

geezerdaman
geezerdaman

@zimbambo@geezerdaman Exactly, they got complacent and figured what is essentially an expansion of the Wii would be bank for them as a "next gen" console and its blowing up in their face. But even with that if they actually had more good games out it would be selling better regardless of price or gimmicks.

user_pt
user_pt

@zimbambo@AMGHe's not comparing the sales of PS4 with smartphones and tablets, but with other consoles from times when smartphones and tablets didn't exist. You completely missed the point.

MaTTerCuBe
MaTTerCuBe

@Shango4@Spartan_418@mr_enlightenedI will politely disagree.  The second screen is awesome for off TV play.  I'm not just talking about sharing the TV, I'm talking about digital games and virtual console;  and awesome, asymmetric multi-player possibilities (although sadly, only Nintendo Land and ZombieU have taken advantage of asymmetric gaming).  Do not call it a gimmick if you've never tried it.

geezerdaman
geezerdaman

@zimbambo@geezerdaman@SohereiamYeah the classics would be the only ones to do it with really. And they would sell. I mean the only reason i have a PsPgo is so that i can play all my old PS1 favs like Resident Evil 1-3 and Final Fantasy 1-9.

zimbambo
zimbambo

@geezerdaman @Sohereiam Nintendo ONLY care about making money.there is ZERO harm in Nintendo releasing NES,SNES,GBA classics to mobiles and Ipads.

They would make Millions and Millions and would always be getting money from the Appstore sales.

The Wii U is losing them serious money,Classic games on mobile will recoup some of the money back.

Sega has done it and to date the classic Megadrive Sonic has sold 7 Million on IOS and Android.

Now just think what Mario Kart,Super Mario World and Fzero would sell like?

zimbambo
zimbambo

@geezerdaman @zimbambo Yeah they released it tho a year too early when nothing was ready.

If they had launched in October 2013 with Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Monster Hunter, Lego Undercover, Zelda Windwaker HD they would have sold Millions and got a good user base.

The fact that Pikmin was supposed to be a launch game and arrived 10 months later just proves how rushed the Wii U really was.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@fester420@SohereiamThose are basic copyright laws, softwares(BIOS and ROM's) last for 10 years, musics for 40 years, books 70 years, movies 30 years, this is based after the death of the author, but in case of a company they can have their rights back if they relaunch the product(Sega on Steam) or create new versions(Square Enix and Final Fantasy re-release, the constans updates of the Windows OS and is multiple versions) and various HD remake on PS3 and Xbox 360, in Nintendo case is neither a relaunch or remake, they still have rights of profit but they can only complain about games that were made by them, games of dead companies no other company can posses their rights, no matter how much time pass(Unless they buy the rights before or soon after the company files for bankrupt).

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@zimbambo@DiverseGamer@AMGActually the patent for them only last ten years, the same remain true for all game systems, games whose system died over 10 years ago are patent free, therefore ain't illegal(it ain't legal either, its grey area).


The soundtrack for those on other hand will last for over 40 years after the system death.

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

@zimbambo Yeah, but nobody cares about that.