Since the dawn of the App Store, and by extension, gaming on smartphones and tablets, one iconic brand has remained absent from the revolution: Nintendo. Perhaps the most beloved and historically innovative game maker in the world will have nothing to do with the idea of Super Mario Bros. for iOS.
The daring decision to not ride the success of the App Store is starting to come at a cost. Nintendo is bleeding money as sales of living room consoles like the Wii U plummet. And now the Japanese company is wanting mobile game developers to port their titles to the Wii U. Nintendo understands that mobile-centric games could help sell its traditional consoles, and yet we still aren’t getting any of Nintendo’s own games in the App Store. It’s a frustrating conundrum.
Even though Tim Cook and Apple say that the Apple TV is really just a hobby right now, people are scared of it. Intel’s launching a competing product later this year. Samsung’s rushing to get more content on their SmartTVs, and Microsoft and Sony are probably going to announce new consoles this year that will appeal to casual users.
Apple TV really doesn’t do a lot right now other than streaming movies and music to your TV, but it has the potential to become a killer product. Xbox’s founder, Nat Brown recognizes the power of Apple TV and says that if Apple wanted to, it could easily destroy the Xbox, Playstation, and Wii U.
Your kid probably wants something from Apple for Christmas this year. It’s a fact. No I’m not being an ultimate fanboy who’s saying that just to make Apple look cool or spread Apple’s evangelical message of peace, love and minimalism.
Kids this year want an iPad more than anything. More than an Xbox, Wii U, computer, or even a smartphone.
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.
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.
Following a report that claims Nintendo is set to open up its own app store for its upcoming Wii U console, there are now suggestions that the Japanese gaming giant is “actively courting” iOS developers in a bit to lure them over to Wii U game development. One developer reports that the company even offered “assistance” with porting their title from iOS to be played on the console’s new controller, which features a 6.2-inch touchscreen.