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Do you think Nintendo COULD successfully transition its properties to a phone? [roundtable]
I was just reading another goddamn financial analyst article about how Nintendo still refuses to put their franchises on smartphones and tablets (except for that Pokemon rhythm thing), and it got me thinking. How many of Nintendo's franchises WOULD smoothly transition over to a tilt/touch-based format? Would Mario lose his magic if all of the levels were auto-scrolling? Would F-Zero still be F-Zero with tilt control and automatic acceleration (that's rhetorical, since automatic acceleration should, OF COURSE, be a standard feature on arcade racing games by now)?

Or could Nintendo work their design magic and successfully bring these franchises to mobile platforms? At the Squeenix premium?

Let's ignore the possibility of virtual pads and buttons, since, after trying Zenonia 4, I would like to forget that they exist altogether.

Wario Ware would, of course, be a shoe-in, since one could say that it was the precursor to many mobile game designs. Pokemon would work, as well. Nintendo could probably also somehow leverage their Wii Sports experience. And most of their puzzlers and downloadable titles would work. But I can't really see the Metroid magic being preserved in a Morph Ball Labyrinth game. (That said, Tilt'n'Tumble would obviously be a great fit.)

This discussion is purely speculative.

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Posted: 09/10/12, 20:10:22  - Edited by 
 on: 09/10/12, 20:32:00
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Jargon said:
I could see Nintendo using phone games basically as advertisements for their brands. A lot of kids now have their first experience in gaming with phones and tablets. This is a big part of the Angry Birds phenomenon. It wouldn't hurt to have an addictive Mario or Pokemon game for young kids to grow up with and make sure that they are Nintendo fans for life.

Angry Cuccos.

No need to thank me Nintendo. A 10% share of profits is all I ask.
Posted: 09/11/12, 01:25:00  - Edited by 
 on: 09/11/12, 01:25:25
@Jargon Do you think there could be a bit of a backlash with that? "Well if they can put this Pokedex or digital Nintendo magazine on my iPad, why can't they just put the game on there!!!! Baaaagh I don't want to buy anything!"
Posted: 09/11/12, 02:03:05
I don't think Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or most of Nintendo's main franchises could work on a phone. At least not in the forms they currently have, with the depth they currently have.

I do think Nintendo could make sick mobile games if they wanted to. The Art Style games strike me as Nintendo (well, skip Ltd.) making a short/complex experience while under strict limitations. And smartphones are nothing if not limited.
Posted: 09/11/12, 02:53:48
if I were Nintendo for phones I'd be selling Nintendo animated themes, Nintendo sound effects from your classic favorites, Nintendo themed phone skins, maybe even some exclusive app that gets you a special level or power up in a separate game. Whore out everything, except the actual games!!
Posted: 09/11/12, 03:04:26

I think most people would realize that a game like Mario and certainly a game like Zelda can't be done in their traditional forms on a mobile phone.
Posted: 09/11/12, 03:29:26
Maybe. I wonder if Nintendo could ever use their franchises to use mobile games as a gateway drug to their consoles? Could they be better off embracing this? I mean, Miiverse is going to be available on phones, so maybe it's not TOO out of the question (then again, for all I know, MiiVerse is just going to be a website with a mobile version).
Posted: 09/11/12, 03:34:52

Yea, that's pretty much what I was getting at. Kids who are playing some simple Mario game when they're 2 years old are going to want to keep playing Mario games as they grow up.
Posted: 09/11/12, 03:39:37
Some of their franchises could work, sure... even some of their big franchises like Pokemon and Zelda. The controls in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit tracks were never a problem with me. It was the assy game design. I don't think a Super Mario game, for example, would ever be good without proper buttons though.
Posted: 09/11/12, 04:28:59  - Edited by 
 on: 09/11/12, 04:32:08
achhibbar said:
I know that when I travel in standard locations like airports and shopping malls with my 3DS, I'm lucky to get a single street pass. Has anyone else had a different experience?

Yeah dude, I get several Street Passes when I'm out. Some of the best places to get Street Passes are at the airport. And around the holidays? It's not unusual for me to come home and have 10 or more Street Passes on my 3DS.

Mobile gaming hasn't done a thing to Nintendo's handheld market. Analysts WANT you to think otherwise, but it's simply not true. Again, a simple look at sales data is proof of that.
Posted: 09/11/12, 04:50:44
The problem with Vita is the same problem the 3DS had when it first launched: $250. It's too much for a dedicated gaming machine.
Posted: 09/11/12, 06:44:48

Nintendogs + Cats hasn't sold anywhere close to the original. It's not the only factor, but I think this is in large part due to the availability of these types of casual games on mobile devices and facebook. Similarly, I'll be very surprised if Brain Training comes close to its previous levels.
Posted: 09/11/12, 07:00:19

Plus, Nintendogs and Cats = been there, done that...6 years ago. Games like that do not have the same selling power like Mario. Sure those games sold great all those years ago. Just cause they were in 3D this time with graphics that are better was not enough to make people want those games all over again.

Seriously, what did the NIntendogs on the 3DS do that Nintendogs on the DS didn't? I'm being serious here, cause I never played those games. I remember my kids had the NIntendogs software and I was bored, like really quick. Did Nintendo improve the AI GREATLY for the 3DS versions? If it was basically the same ole games, but just in 3D, no wonder they are not selling as good.

People need to remember, Nintendo really appealed to the casuals 6 years ago, with the DS and the Wii. Sure Nintendo got people to buy consoles and videogames, who previously never bought those items before.

Now, we are kindof back to square one. One thing, I actually believe the Wii U is going to sell better than what most of the analysts and editors of all these different gaming sites think. Now, its not going to be the Wii all over again, but lets say its close, I will not be surprised. I'm actually thinking this controller with the screen may make people crazy just like the Wii and it's motion controls. I will admit that I feel the way most of you do, along with the analysts and editors. You just never know what will make people really want something. This is something different, so who knows. Nintendo just needs to come up with different ways to entice people. The hardcore and the casuals. I don't think Wii Fit U will be the answer though. Hopefully, Nintendo has something up their sleeves, as far as 2013 and beyond is concerned.
Posted: 09/11/12, 08:33:57
Guillaume said:
The idea that Nintendo is leaving money on the table by not making iPhone games is as nonsensical as saying that they're leaving money on the table by not making games for PS3 and 360, and it is nonsensical for the exact same reasons. I'm just flabbergasted at the stupidity of these analysts sometimes.

I don't think it could be said any better. The entire premise is ridiculous. But to answer the specific question, yes, they COULD, because they are Nintendo. They are brilliant. But then the question would be, if they did this, are they still Nintendo?
Posted: 09/11/12, 08:40:15

Yea been there, done that is definitely another big factor, but that can't fully explain a drop off of like 20 million copies in terms of sales, in my opinion.
Posted: 09/11/12, 16:24:56
The DS launched at $150, the DS lite launched at $130, Nintendogs lauched at $30, and some people were confused about not needing every version to get every dog.

Just some of the things that help explain further the drop off.
Posted: 09/11/12, 16:36:39
Nintendo has a yearly revenue of $10-$12 billion.

The entire app store's yearly revenue is just a few billion, split between thousands of developers and games, most of which lose money, 30% of which goes to Apple/Google etc.

Sure, Nintendo is great at simplicity and could use it's properties successfully to make phone quality games... but there's no financial imperative and they'd devalue their IP and the attractiveness of their hardware by doing it.
Posted: 09/11/12, 18:04:49
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