Nintendo’s Mobile Efforts: Salvation or Ignorance?
With the current generation of gaming platforms on the market, Sony and Microsoft seem to have so much attention on them that it’s easy to forget about Nintendo. It’s not for any supposed lack of quality, either; the titles that Nintendo creates are still viewed by many as top of the line. With the competition coming up with new ideas and keeping up with trends, though, Nintendo remained traditional for better or worse. With the mobile market in Nintendo’s sights, is the company’s luck about to change?
It’s been reported that Nintendo is looking into the smartphone market, though in a way that not everyone would have expected. While the company is not looking to port “The Legend of Zelda” for the NES over to Apple’s App Store, for example, this doesn’t mean that content wouldn’t be created. Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo of America, said that smaller experiences would be seen. The goal of this, according to Fils-Aime, would be to, “…drive you back to your Nintendo hardware.” After the initial reports, I was left hopeful and concerned for the company’s endeavor.
In one respect, Nintendo getting into the smartphone market, at least to some degree, is a sign that the company wants to keep up. Ever since the arrival of the Wii, it seemed, Nintendo was looked down upon for dragging its feet in terms of gaming in general. Whether it’s been the lack of powerful hardware or region-locked systems, a company shouldn’t stay rooted in its ways. In order for Nintendo to keep up with the rapidly changing market, the well-known company cannot simply stay the course.
That being said, is a shift in smartphone focus the best choice to make? Keep in mind that Nintendo’s current home console, the Wii U, hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire as of late. In fact, a few weeks ago Nintendo cut the global sales forecast for the system from 9 million to 2.8 million. While the proposed smartphone apps would serve as bite-sized experiences of sorts to drive people to purchase Nintendo hardware, how effective will this be? Can a small experience drive a casual gamer to spend close to $300 on a console – in addition to $60 for each new game – that’s been looked at unfavorably by the media?
Nintendo’s foray into the smartphone market is one that I hold a moderate amount of hope for. To me, there should be more focus placed on the Wii U situation itself as opposed to looking into an entirely different market. Why isn’t Nintendo putting more of an emphasis on creating extra games for that particular system and advertising it in a way that a social media agency would approve of? Even so, Nintendo has fought out of dire predicaments in the past and now it’s a matter of seeing if they can do it again.