Handheld games consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PlayStation Vita have long been suffering at the hands of smartphones and tablets. But the latest data from IDC and App Annie should give handheld game developers — including Nintendo — something to really think about.
While consumer spending on Android and iOS continued to rise during the first quarter of 2013, it fell considerably on handhelds.
Will this be the first of many Nintendo titles to reach iOS?
Nintendo, unlike many software developers, has chosen to ignore the goldmine that is Apple’s App Store by refusing to develop its titles for iOS. It’s almost guaranteed that the Japanese company would make an absolute killing if it just brought fan favorites like Super Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon to our iPhones and iPads. But president Satoru Iwata is adamant it will only develop titles for its own hardware.
There are signs, however, that Nintendo is cracking. It just released its first paid iOS app, a mobile version of the Nintendo 3DS’s Pokédex, to customers in Japan.
With Nintendo adamant it’ll never bring its games to iOS, the only way to enjoy your favorite titles on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad is to jailbreak your device and download an emulator. But that’s no longer the case. You can now enjoy more than 100 NES and Game Boy games in your iPhone’s web browser.
After making its debut on consoles, The Walking Dead series is now available on iOS, and it’s kicking off this week’s must-have games roundup. We also have two classic titles in the form of Fur Fighters and Spy vs Spy, a retro-style 2D platformer, and the official game of the new Total Recall movie.
The App Store has had its fair share of apps and games that attempt to replicate a hit title that isn’t available on iOS — like the numerous Super Mario clones we’ve seen over the years. But MineKart 64 is a little different. It takes not just one, but two hit titles — Minecraft and Mario Kart — and fuses them together.
It’s literally Minecraft kart racing — what could be more enjoyable than that?
Only it’s not that at all. It’s actually a complete scam that you should avoid at all costs.
No one wants to buy a Nintendo 3DS when they have hundreds of thousands of games in their pocket already. Mario knows that.
Apple’s iOS devices have been stealing market share from portable consoles since the day the App Store opened its doors. Four years later, they have led Nintendo to report its first ever annual operating loss of $454.4 million.
We’re all fans of Mario Kart and many of Nintendo’s classic titles. But as much as we’d love to see them arrive on iOS, we don’t care much for shameless clones. We’ve seen countless Super Mario clones in the App Store, but Mole Kart is a Mario Kart ripoff that shares more than just a few similarities.
I fell in love with Super Mario Bros. when my parents bought me a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) for Christmas as a young boy, and I’ve been obsessed with Super Mario games ever since. There’s nothing that would please me more than having the chunky plumber in my pocket on my iPhone. But since Nintendo refuses to bring its titles to iOS, we’re forced to play the alternatives.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The absence of Super Mario has spawned a number of terrific platforming alternatives that are just as enjoyable. I’ve been enjoying a number of them over the years, and thought it was about time I shared the best of the bunch.
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.
A shameless clone of the popular Canabalt running game for iOS has passed Apple’s approval process and is now available in the App Store. Free Running uses the Canabalt source code and makes no effort to be different or hide its imitation.
Canabalt’s source code was released by its developer last year so that other developers code use its game engine to create their own games. It was released under an MIT open source license, and its developer makes it clear that other developers cannot “distribute or redistribute [the] game code, art or sounds.”
PLD Soft have done exactly that with Free Running; taking the code, repackaging it with little to no changes, and submitting it to the App Store under a new name. Unfortunately for the great Canabalt, Apple approved it, leading to questions about its App Store approval process.