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Nintendo explains why Mario is not on smartphones

Reggie Fils-Aime says keeping its popular franchises off smartphones "preserves our overall financial model."

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Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has explained why its iconic franchises like Mario and Zelda are not coming to smartphones anytime soon.

Speaking with GameSpot sister site CNET, Fils-Aime explained that the only way to play a Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong game right now is to purchase a Nintendo platform. Offering content for third-party systems would hurt the company's overall business model, he argued.

"That's why we're so focused on having content exclusive to our platform," he said. "When the consumer wants to play Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, they have to purchase our hardware to do so. And that preserves our overall financial model."

Major game companies like Microsoft, Sega, Capcom, Activision, and Electronic Arts have brought some of their franchises to mobile. In the case of EA, its popular mobile game The Simpsons: Tapped Out recently crossed $100 million in lifetime revenue.

Though Nintendo remains steadfast in its decision to keep Mario off smartphones, the company is considering ways to tap into the mobile market, albeit from a marketing perspective.

"We're constantly thinking about how to leverage mobile as a marketing vehicle," Fils-Aime said. "How do I give little tastes of content, little experiences that then drive the consumer back to my hardware environment?"

Fils-Aime didn't offer much in the way of detail concerning how the company will leverage mobile to market its games, but pointed out that Miiverse can be accessed through iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.

Nintendo reported earnings for its latest financial period today, revealing that worldwide Wii U sales have risen to 3.91 million units after the company sold 300,000 systems during the quarter ended September 30.

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