Nintendo Could Make Its Own Controller for Smartphone Games

But the company isn't willing to just accept that it's impossible to make action games for touchscreens.


While Nintendo's first mobile game, Miitomo, was less a game and more a social networking app, that won't necessarily be true of future releases. The company seems unconcerned with the limitations of a touchscreen-only interface, though it hasn't ruled out the prospect of releasing a physical controller of its own.

Asked about that very possibility during an investors meeting, Nintendo executive Shinya Takahashi stated. "Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves."

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While that leaves the door open for Nintendo to create a piece of hardware for use with third-party devices, it's not a guarantee of anything. After all, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has previously said the company wants to create "new compelling experiences that leverage what smart devices do best." That doesn't point to making games that require a controller to play--which is something that would dramatically reduce the size of the addressable market.

The rest of Takahashi's response suggest Nintendo will continue to focus on developing for controller-less devices: "On the other hand, I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game."

The initial question also asked about developing "quality action games," to which Takahashi said, "I think we will make applications, and not just action games, in consideration of what best embodies 'Nintendo-like' applications, including applications for everyone from children to seniors."

Nintendo plans to have about five smartphone games out by the end of March 2017. We still don't have any details about them, but we do know that two of them will be Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing titles.

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