Nintendo pressured to bring Mario to iOS - Analyst

After 3DS price cut, Stats Investment Management's Masamitsu Ohki says investors are pushing Wii maker to bring franchises to Apple's platforms.

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Analysts and investors have been uppity in general of late, and game companies haven't been spared scrutiny. Earlier this week, Ace Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda told Bloomberg that Sony has faced significant pressure to cut the PlayStation Vita's price tag even before its release, due to Nintendo's drastic markdown of the 3DS.

Iwata isn't keen on having Mario fly onto Apple's handhelds.
Iwata isn't keen on having Mario fly onto Apple's handhelds.

Nintendo, too, is weathering guidance from investors who are concerned about the company's flagging financials. Speaking to Bloomberg, Stats Investment Management Co. fund manager Masamitsu Ohki said that investors are increasingly pressing Nintendo to bring its iconic franchises to Apple's iOS devices.

"Smartphones are the new battlefield for the gaming industry," Ohki said. "Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform or develop something totally new." The Tokyo-based fund manager indicated that a change of direction from Nintendo would help assuage investor fears of their company's future performance, given weakness in the 3DS and Wii market.

The move wouldn't be without precedence. In early July, Nintendo subsidiary The Pokemon Company said that it would be bringing its top-selling role-playing franchise to iOS platforms. However, Nintendo promptly discounted speculation that the move signified a greater shift in its position, saying that the company will make products only for its own hardware.

As for Ohki's talk of acquisitions, Nintendo's most recent purchase came in 2007 with the buyout of Xenosaga studio Monolith Soft. However, Bloomberg points out that Nintendo has some ¥1.05 trillion ($13.7 billion) in reserve that it could use on business-building acquisitions.

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