Today, Nintendo released the financial results briefing for the end of the last fiscal year. It’s largely filled with graphs and boring business talk, but one point stood out as particularly noteworthy. We already knew that Nintendo is working with DeNA to release smartphone games, but it’s actually going a step further, and giving us a rough timeline for the releases.
On the third page of today’s investor relations release, Nintendo announced that it only plans on shipping approximately five mobile titles between now and March 31st of 2017. A line-up like that sounds incredibly sparse, and that leads credence to the idea that Nintendo isn’t totally on board with this whole “app store” thing.
After paying lip service to the phone games, the report immediately follows up with, “Nintendo continues to have strong passion and believes in the promising prospects for the future of our dedicated video game system business.” If you weren’t already sure, Nintendo‘s bread and butter is its hardware, so don’t expect that to change in the least. If anything, the promise of smartphone games seems to be a ploy to calm the nerves of antsy stock holders.
Interestingly, Nintendo opted to get out in front of the issue right away. In anticipation of criticism, Nintendo preemptively responds “you may think it is a small number, [but we] aim to make each title a hit…” It goes on to poo-poo idea of simply porting existing games onto phones, and emphasizes that Nintendo is only interested in making mobile games that make sense on the hardware. And considering Nintendo’s track record of using quirky (or gimmicky) hardware functionality in its titles, that’s not much of a surprise.
I have no doubt that Nintendo wants to leverage the massive smartphone install base to its advantage, but I’m skeptical about how dedicated it is to actually shipping meaningful games. Frankly, I think the partnership with DeNA is telling. If Nintendo enthusiastically wanted to make games for phones, there’s no way it’d be having a third-party do so much of the heavy lifting.
Also, it seems that Nintendo can’t bring itself to mention the phone games without bringing up the NX — the next-gen console currently being worked on in Kyoto. Nintendo clearly has no interest in leaving the hardware market, and all of this talk about smartphone games seems to be done through gritted teeth.
It’s not all bad news, though. On the upside, the Amiibos seem to be selling like hotcakes. Unfortunately, the supply chain is having issues. Rarity is good to a certain point, but there is a limit. Just like we learned with the Wii, long-term supply problems leaves money on the table, and allows competitors to swoop in. Activision, Disney, and Lego are already players in the toys-to-life market, and it’s only a matter of time before it gets even more crowded. Nintendo needs to get its act together before the novelty wears off.iPhone Android Application Design and Development in Kuwait