“We Want Super Mario On The iPhone!” Nintendo Investors Riot [Report]

“We Want Super Mario On The iPhone!” Nintendo Investors Riot [Report]

Even in the dark years when they were caught off guard by the momentum of the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo has kept their characters in-house, exclusive to Nintendo brand hardware. They learned their lesson from the dark days of the CD-i.

Now, though, investors within Nintendo are pressuring the beleaguered gaming giant to bring their most well-known properties like Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and Pokemon to other platforms… specifically, the App Store.

The logic’s easy to understand. Nintendo’s latest portable, the 3DS, just isn’t selling well, and has had its price slashed just a few months after its debut. The Wii is also selling poorly, and its iPad inspired successor, the Wii U, won’t be on sale until 2012 at the earliest. Profits are in the toilet. Something needs to be done.

Bring Mario to the App Store (as well as other consoles) is one way to shore up earnings short-term, but is it the best move for the future? Nintendo’s properties are a powerful incentive towards buying their hardware.

My guess is that we’re about to witness Nintendo making the transition that Sega did a decade ago: from a hardware business to a software business. I just wonder how long Nintendo will drag their feet.

  • GregsTechBlog

    At the very least, release old games on the App Store. People can just jailbreak and install the roms anyway, so why not make a buck off of it?

  • Jordan Clay

    It is hard to get excited about anything on Nintendo anymore.   I feel that most everything they put out is innovative to a point, just not well executed and not very well hyped up.  

  • E.J. Macaranas

    Meh…. Nintendo would drop in quality if they did this.

  • Joe Casabona

    I echo what GregsTechBlog said. Old school games on other platforms won’t hurt- there are tons of emulators for computers and smart phones alike. When Nintendo starts release new games on other consoles, they’ll have a problem. 

  • Adam_Mckenzy1

    guys I paid $23.89 for an i Pad 2 32-GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic

    Lumiix GF 1 Camera that we got for $ 38.43 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.

    I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially

    when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $ 638 which only cost me $

    61.77 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it al from,

    http://EgoWin.com

  • Vorsos

    I know a handful of people who own all three current-gen systems. I doubt there would be as many who would own all four, if Sega was still making consoles.

    If this comes to fruition, consumers will save money, and not just from the obvious price difference between the app store and Nintendo cartridges. Having to buy one less console brand (and its related controllers, accessories, and console exclusive games) means more money for games themselves.

  • Elsic1975a

    Nintendo’s market cap is only $21 billion. Apple could probably spend $15 billion in cash and another $5-$10 billion in a stock swap and just buy Nintendo.

    Of course, that’d start an arms race to secure gaming companies, so someone might try to secure exclusivity rights with EA or Activision. Ouch.

  • Stephen Gibson Agnew

    “My guess is that we’re about to witness Nintendo making the transition
    that Sega did a decade ago: from a hardware business to a software
    business. I just wonder how long Nintendo will drag their feet.”

    That’s an absurd guess. Hardware selling poorly in it’s 5th year has been the way of the industry since the SNES. Following this logic, after a dismal sales record of the GameCube, Nintendo should’ve packed it in 6 years ago. Yet they came out with the Wii and they sold like hotcakes, making TONS of profit. Additionally, the original DS didn’t sell well either until the DS Lite came out many many months later.

    None of SEGA’s hardware sold well so they had no choice but to become only a software developer.

    Nintendo is here to stay. To cure the 3DS woes, they need to come out with a truly next-gen handheld device like what Sony is doing.

  • Michael Vlaming

    As a friend of mine says, if this is the future of gaming then I simply will no longer be a gamer. A future in which Nintendo doesn’t offer a dedicated handheld and develops only for other consoles like (god forbid) iOS and Android is one that I hope never comes to fruition. A completely touch screen oriented platform like iOS simply isn’t viable when it comes to more than just casual gaming, developers attempts at imitating physical controls like analog sticks on a touch screen is just laughable. That would essentially kill off gaming as we know it.

  • lals99
  • ByteOfView

    If Nintendo released their titles for iOS… I’d buy ‘em for sure. Otherwise, I really have no need for any of their hardware, so they don’t get any of my money either (I’m not about to carry another device either). Perhaps Nintendo forgot that as a company, they should like making money? 

  • Alfiejr

    the stand alone portable game player era is over. Nokia and Sony are in denial. multipurpose portables like the iPod touch, smartphones, and now tablets are taking the market away because they can do so much more in addition to providing lots of game fun. kids start texting in the 1st grade now. they want pop music. they want a camera and fun apps like Photobooth. and parents want to pay $5 or less to buy games for them, not $25 and more.

    Sony’s PSP Go flopped two years ago, and its fancy new Vita will flop next year. maybe they will get the message then that Nintendo is getting now – it’s over. bells and whistles like 3D and PS 3 integration don’t matter.

    Game consoles are different. they still have a future as a unique product. but here Nintendo was incredibly stupid not to update the Wii with an HD model before its sales began to run out of steam almost two years ago. so the 2010 Kinect and Move are killing it now – and Nintendo still won’t have a new model out until 2012! talk about throwing away your advantage …

    what’s amazing is that Iwata is still in charge at Nintendo.

  • Barton Lynch

    YES PLEASE!!!! the codes from pokemon and stuff are just collecting dust. I’d pay for them for sure!

  • oakdesk23

    “beleaguered” how so?

    And don’t forget, the iPhone’s price was slashed from $600 to $400 after just 5 weeks.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Apple forever + Nintendo forever!

  • Michael Klopf

    They should start selling old games and keep the new ones for their consoles, but they have to start making better devices.

    I would not buy a Nintendo console anymore. Too expensive, the games and the hardware.

  • LTodd820

    If Super Mario Bros. was available as an app, I’d be all over it.  I have a heyday with Sonic and I’d love to re-discover SMB.

    I’m not one for consoles, so for me the only way to play games is on my iTouch.

  • TechHog

    Hi Patcher. As usual, you’re wrong. And why should Iwata be fired? For saving the company when it was on the brink of collapse with the Gamecube?

  • TechHog

    You’re a fool if you think Nintendo would agree to being sold for any amount of cash.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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