Nintendo Is So Annoying About Smartphones

Nintendo Is So Annoying About Smartphones

You know what would be cool? If Nintendo released its old games on smartphones. Instead, Nintendo has another plan: Releasing more smartphone games on the 3DS. Oh.

In a recent interview with the Nikkei, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that Nintendo will be remaking more smartphone games on the Nintendo 3DS. Iwata added that the company will also be remaking old Nintendo games for the handheld. The games will be low-priced, going for a few hundred yen (a couple of bucks).

That's right, instead of remaking old Nintendo games for smartphones, which anyone with a smartphone and a brain would love, Nintendo is releasing revamped and remade titles on the 3DS.

Last year, Nintendo revealed it would start releasing content on smartphones, but so far, that has not turned out to be Nintendo smartphone games. Rather, it seems more geared for promotional content.

Earlier this year, however, Nintendo announced it would be bringing smartphone game Puzzle & Dragons to the 3DS with Mario. Expect more of that, I guess.

I would pay good money for legit Nintendo games on my smartphone — if anything, simply to encourage Nintendo to enter the 21st century.


I get that Nintendo makes games for Nintendo hardware. I get it! I also get that some of these smartphone tie-ups could be big money-makers. But there are old games that people are already playing with emulators on smartphones anyway. So why not give these games a proper (and official) release?

Because, Nintendo. That's why.


    People that could even suggest such things do not understand Nintendo at all.

      Not to mention it would control horribly. Why put out your classics and have them be unplayable?

    Kotaku continuing the course of not understanding Nintendo.

      It's the other way round, and it's Nintendo not understanding their audience in the 21st century.

        Nintendo only release their games on their own platforms. This has been so for many years. Almost every case where there has been an exception is one that they regretted later.

        If they changed this policy, they would probably go the way of Sega and become a software-only company, since the primary motivation for buying Nintendo consoles is the first-party games.

        This is less so for mobile, but given that mobile games sales are now the main competitor for the 3DS I can't see them changing that any time soon.

        "Give the customers what they want" is not always the best strategy, when doing so loses your company a key advantage. If Nintendo ever leave the hardware business, then we may see their games on mobile and other third-party platforms.

        I'm not really much of a Nintendo fan, but I can see why they take this approach. It's the same basic reason as why Microsoft stick to Windows for almost all of their application development.

    I'm certainly not going to buy another handheld device purely to play Nintendo games. But as an old school Nintendo kid who owns an iPhone, I could be worth a LOT of money to Nintendo. I guess my dollars will stay holstered for now.

    Why stop at "smartphones"? Nintendo should release their games for Facebook. Also, they should bring in more paid DLC content because that's where the money is right?


      That is where the money is, and Nintendo is a business. The purpose of a business is to make money. The whole reason they make games is to SELL games. And Nintendo haven't been shy of making us buy extra stuff to play their games before (N64 Rumble Pak, N64 Expansion Pak, Game Boy Link Cables/adapters, Wii Fit Balance Board, Wii Zapper, etc), so what's the difference between a physical add-on to a game and a digital add-on?

        In all seriousness, the physical stuff seems more valuable. I have a friend who hates all DLC, yet snaps up the Disney Infinity figures like there is no tomorrow. And the Power Discs, and than tells me I'm playing into Marketing buying DLC.

        We used to call DLC expansion packs (on PC), at the end of the day if I feel the Expansion Pack or DLC is worth my time and money I pay for it, if not I don't,

      Facebook games = Profit. Minimal effort, microtransactions, profit. Sure there's some that fail but there's many that succeed. Farmville? Candycrush?
      DLC = Profit, after all, MK8 track packs have sold a LOT and Smash Brothers Mewtwo dlc is expected to follow the same course.
      A Super Mario Bros. Mobile game? That would easily become the highest selling Mobile platform game. Easily. Everyone loves Mario after all.

      So please explain why that'd be a bad move... after all, it was surely a bad move to enter the 'physical collectable figure' arena right? Those Amiibos suuuure failed huh? O_o

        Because "physical collectable figure" is a market they've been part of for decades and doesn't at all conflict with their main market of games?

          Not in the way they've just entered it hasn't been.

        The reason releasing Super Mario Bros on mobile is a bad idea for two reasons.

        1) If you want to play it on the go, you can, you buy a 3DS and play it the way it was meant to be played.
        2) The controls. Super Mario Bros is about a quality gaming experience. It is a finely balanced masterpiece that is dependent on the seamless meshing of the hardware and the software. The jump mechanic is such a big part of the game, and it is really lost with smartphone virtual controls. I've tried it on the emulators, and it just isn't the same game,

        Nintendo know there is a crapload of money to be made if they simply whored out their back catalogue to mobile, but to do so would be to produce games that simply aren't as good. It would also be a temporary (potentially huge, but temporary) cash injection. People might flock to them for a bit out of nostalgia, but the lack of physical controls would diminish the games, and make many who aren't nostalgia-filled be less than impressed with the offerings. Nintendo would be just another of the thousands of companies trying to make a living off iOSa and Android gaming, and it would llikely destroy the market for the 3DS and its successors.

        Nintendo games are generally about a very polished experience, that is deeply tied into the hardware. I'm glad they are not on mobile, I will gladly carry a 3DS as well as a phone to get a higher quaity gaming experience. It's hardly an inconvenience. I also will walk past a Macdonalds/Hungry Jacks/KFC to get to a food outlet that makes food that is delicious quality food. I'd rather they focus on a quality hand-held experience rather than take a quick cash-grab.

        Also, I'm looking forward to the games being released for a couple of bucks for the 3DS!

          Nintendo games are generally about a very polished experience, that is deeply tied into the hardware.

          I'll remember that next time I pass the shovelware bins at the local EB for the DS/3DS/Wii and the Wii U...

            Most of those game aren't Nintendo games. They were made by other people.

              Now, while it's MOST DEFINITELY true that during the NES, SNES and even N64 era, the Nintendo Seal of Quality was almost assuredly a stamp of quality, it's not so much these days. These days, it's handed out like candy.

              Even then, not *ALL* Nintendo games that got the Seal of Quality were amazing.


              Besides, the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality was discontinued in 2003. Now it's just the Official Nintendo Seal. Quality is no longer assured, now you just know it technically works in the system it was designed for and is licensed/manufactured by Nintendo. Quality, no longer assured. Shovelware welcome to adorn it unfortunately.

                Yeah iphones and ipads don't have shovelware at all. Love the Apple seal of quality.

                  Ah well given Nintendo doesnt have one any more either thats a redundant point now isnt it? Plus a buck vs 50+ per game means for a vastly different expectation of experience.

                The seal of quality was never meant to be a "hey this is a good game" thing, it was more of a "this game is compatible with our system" deal, since one of the big deals about the games crash was that people would buy these games for their machine but then it just flat out wouldn't work. Or something along those lines.

                  Oh Im aware of what it was meant to be on paper, what Nintendo actually PUSHED it as in their marketing however is definitely an entirely different thing.

            There has been nothing like shovelware coming from Nintendo for the Wii-U, there are tons of crap games for all consoles, but shovelwear from Nintendo themselves on their latest consoles?
            The article is about Nintendo not releasing their games for phones, not about 3rd party developers.

          Games like Pokemon that don't require precision controls could work well on mobile devices. I mean we can already emulate them on our smartphones/pads, why not let Ninty make a bit of cash (read $5 - $20/game) out of porting the games to Droid and iOS?

        So please explain why that'd be a bad move...

        Because Nintendo have a lot tied up in the idea of being successful long term. They plan on being in the industry 20 years from now and one of the cornerstones of that plan is maintaining their reputation for making top notch games. Jumping on low substance ideas like (stereotypical, quick cash grab) Facebook games would make them easy money short term but it hurts that reputation.
        It's easy to point out faults in their plans or how they're running the business, but at the end of the day they've remained strong through some pretty bad storms. A huge part of that is that it's so hard to question the quality of what they sell. I mean look at the GameCube, the console that was obliterated by the PS2. Yet the console is still held in high regard as the home of some of the best games ever made.
        Notice how Nintendo are on the remake train without hammering it (hell, I'd argue they built the remake train, they've been doing it for decades with enough of a gentle touch that it was never seen as a bad thing). They've done a lot recently but when you look at just how many timeless classics Nintendo have access to they really are showing strategic restraint. This is because even though they could have just ported Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time to the 3DS on day one for some quick money they recognise that it's important not to flood the platform.
        I'm not saying they're perfect, the Wii got out of control, but they're a good argument against the idea that a good company does whatever is immediately profitable all the time. At the risk of sounding like a fanboy I don't think Nintendo gets anywhere near enough credit for resisting the low hanging fruit.

          Or as Jim from Jimquisition put it, because Nintendo fanboys are the *worst* when it comes to giving free passes to Nintendo for doing anything they like and claiming it as a 'good move'. Even their new Youtube venture *shudder*.

            But you're the one giving them a free pass to make quick, short sighted money. Personally I hold Nintendo more accountable than anyone else in the industry. When they screw up I make a point of calling them out on it. I've spent a long time questioning their decisions. However I do recognise when they do good work and they do a lot of great work that goes unacknowledged. For instance they cop flak for Mario rescuing a Princess, but nobody ever gives them credit for refusing to pander to the 10-14 year old boy tins n' gore market and continuing to produce some of the most widely accessible games on the planet even though that decision cost them the number one spot in the industry.
            In the YouTube case it's classic Nintendo sinking the ship rather than give up one tiny bit of control. I've been saying for almost two decades that one of Nintendo's biggest problems is that they would rather burn the company to the ground rather than hand over one tiny little bit of control. Even during the GameCube's big third party push they were alienating non-1st and 2nd party developers left and right.

    There are two core elements to Nintendo's thinking, control and quality. Putting games on smartphones means they don't control the specs of the hardware and therefore can't guarantee the quality of the games.
    Additionally paying 30% to apple for putting in their market probably seems nonsensical when instead they could build custom hardware and make a profit on each unit sold. Outdated thinking? Maybe, but it's worked for a long time and you don't abandon a ship at the first leak you confirm it's sinking first.

      Controlling hardware specs has nothing to do with game quality; that would suggest that third-party developers cannot make good games.

        Perhaps i should have said performance. People with older phones or phones laden with many background apps will not run games as well as newer phones which creates a fragmented user base leading to inconsistent gameplay experiences.

          You could apply that argument to PC gaming.

            Except that PC gamers are a very different breed to Smartphone gamers, and you can't just chuck a newer graphics card in your phone to boost performance.

              Only to a degree. I cant use the 700+ series with my motherboard now, theyre not compatible any more. Have to upgrade everything now *sigh*

              No, you usually can't upgrade the hardware of a phone. You can, however, upgrade to a brand new one for almost nothing upfront every two years.

            Indeed. Nintendo does not make PC games, either.

        It has everything to do with quality. Nintendo can't release a game on a platform and be confident it will run how it should.
        Your argument that would also mean 3rd party developers cannot make good games is flawed. 3rd party Nintendo developers do have 'control over the hardware' in as much as they know if it runs perfectly on their unit, it will run the same way on all the units out there in the market. It is a fixed target and they can exploit that the same way Nintendo can.

          Yes, if it runs on one Wiiu, it'll run on all of them. That's a major benefit of consoles. However, Apple products are very similar to consoles; locked hardware, closed ecosystems. Compatibility isn't much of an issue; if a game runs on an iPhone 4, you know it'll run on a 4S, 5, 5S and 6.

      I would've believed that quality thing pre-Wii. The amount of shovelware on that thing was ludicrous.

        True, but we are talking handhelds, and most of the shovelware was 3rd party. Nintendo have been leading the way this generation for quality software releases.
        Each title they have brought out has been polished and didn't require multi-gigabyte day1 downloads just to run, or constant patching. They haven't been pushing crap out the door, it has been a steady release of crackingly good titles. I think they learned from the Wii shovelware problem, and don't wish to return to that.

      Who said anything about abandoning ship? They could still produce handhelds, as there is already a proven market, but there is two massive untapped markets with devices easily powerful enough to run emulators and roms of old gameboy to ds games without too much hassle. Already in customers hands.

    I had an NES emulater on my first android phone years ago - the controls were shit! Now if Nintebdo wanted to bring a browser based (therefore DRM controlled) virtual console to PCs with a Netflix like subscription I would jump!

      Yeah this - I put a GBA emu on my note 4 - great for final fantasy, not so good for Mario or anything requiring some sort of precision.

      With a controller attachment it would be fine...

    Don't forget about their paid smartphone pokedex app that only gives you the 1st 151 and then makes you pay 15 dollars for each region.

    Why do people only demand Nintendo to sell their games on other platforms?

    Where are the people Demanding Halo for Playstation? Where are the XBox users screaming for Sony titles?

    At the end of the day people well versed in Business make these decisions and a bunch of gamers with no real world experience in the field aren't going to convince them.

    Seriously your going to spend what $20 on NES games for your Smartphone? Nintendo would prefer to sell you a 3DS and the games for the same price you'd buy with your smartphone.

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

    I don't know about you guys but I use my phone to call people and I use my nintendo 3DS to play nintendo games.
    Nintendo is a hardware company along with software. They want you to purchase their hardware to play their software, they don't want you to buy apple hardware to play their software.
    DKnight got it right.

    I wonder if they have the intention some time in the future to put LTE functionality into the 3DS (or nextgen of same)?

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