Nintendo will release an iPhone app, just not the one you’re hoping for


Nintendo -- stamping on your hopes for an iOS port of Mario since 2007. Photo: Nintendo
Nintendo -- stamping on your hopes for an iOS port of Mario since 2007. Photo: Nintendo

For a brand that made all our dreams come true as kids, Nintendo sure seems content to play the Bowser-style troll these days.

First of all, the company announced that it is finally embracing YouTube videos featuring game footage; only to turn around and reveal that content-makers will have to give much of the ad revenue to Nintendo. Now, Nintendo has said that after years of taking down third-party emulators, it’s giving us an official iOS app at long last.

“Will it allow us to play the company’s classic games?” you may breathlessly ask.

You must be joking!

Instead of letting us get our hands on the Mario and Pokémon games fans so desperately want, the new app will be based around Mii character game avatars, which users can then share as icons on social media. Yay!

On the gaming front, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata says that he is still opposed to porting titles over to tablets and smartphones, since this would negatively impact on Nintendo’s hardware business: a business which has recently resulted in very disappointing financial returns.

As an Apple fan familiar with the company’s late-1990s bellyflop, which prompted everyone to (stupidly) suggest it got out of the hardware game, I realize that calling Nintendo out for sticking to its guns carries a certain irony.

With that said, would there really be any harm in releasing some of the company’s classic SNES-era titles on iOS? If Sega’s example with the Sonic series is anything to go by, there are legions of fans out there who would even help port the titles over.

I can’t believe that Donkey Kong Country 2 is paying too many executive salaries, so why not give loyal fans what they’ve been begging for for years? Sadly, it seems that this won’t be happening in the near future.

For now, you’ll have to make do with the odd emulator — and Cult of Mac’s list of the Nintendo classics we’d sell our non-joystick arm to get an iPhone port of.

Source: Nikkei

Via: IGN

  • I’m a bit weary of reading journalists coming down on Nintendo for not porting their games to iOS or Android devices. I have an iPhone 6+, and besides the odd title out, these glass tactile devices are not good for playing games. Reading, browsing the net? Yes, but without buttons it will never be comfortable enough to play complex 3D games that Nintendo is known to offer. I am a Nintendo fan that wants to play Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, so I bought a Wii U and it meets my gaming needs. And when Nintendo comes out with a successor to the 3DS, I’ll buy the new console too. If you want to play Nintendo games, you should do the same. If you want to take your emails, type in a text, or consult your tweets, then I’d suggest an iPhone. After all, I don’t see any Nintendo fan coming down on Apple for not delivering iMovie for the Wii U or Pages for the 3DS…

  • Benjamin Morgan

    Honestly, I would hate playing Nintendo branded games on my iOS device. The games are designed for physical controls, not touchscreens. I’m all about Nintendo creating brand new gaming experiences with iOS, similar to games that use the touch screen on the Nintendo 3DS, but to port SNES or NES games? Nah! One smart move would actually be to release a Nintendo branded stand and controller to work with classic games released for phones and tablets. I’d actually buy into that.

  • Taylor

    Nintendo is very Apple-like in their narrow-mindedness. It’s part of what makes their games great. The old Steve Jobs adage of “people who are serious about software should make their own hardware”– that’s Nintendo. Nintendo knows that their games work best with a tactile controller. I’ve played Nintendo games emulated on Android touch screens. It’s an abomination. Even simple games, like Mario Bros. which technically work due to their simple controls, don’t work very well. More complex games, like the 3D Zeldas or Smash Bros, are physically impossible on a touch screen (unless you grew three or four more thumbs, but it still would be clumsy).

    If Nintendo and Apple worked out a partnership where Nintendo manufactured a controller attachment *that was required for their games* (can’t emphasize this enough, as we’ve all seen how the Apple iOS controller program has crashed and burned), I would be all for that. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

    In the meantime, the 3DS is (relatively) cheap and has a fantastic library of games. Since getting a 3DS, I’ve all but stopped gaming on my iPhone. I have a couple of nice puzzle and strategy games (where touch screens excel), but there’s nothing on iOS that holds a candle to playing Ocarina of Time, Smash Bros., and Mario Kart on the go.

  • Shane Bryson

    For the love of all things holy, please proofread your articles before posting.

  • Rob

    Would never want to play Nintendo games on iOS. They’re all about fantastic controls, something the touchscreen would compromise.

  • Robert

    Yeah, that’s what Nintendo fans want, a sub-par version of their games on iOS.

    Fans of gaming who actually care about game controls do not want this at all.

  • Tony Dedrick

    “Instead of letting us get our hands on the Mario and Pokémon games fans so desperately want”

    If you desperately want to play Mario or Pokémon, then buy a Nintendo console to do so. The tone of this line comes off as a really bad case of entitlement.

  • LTodd820

    I loved using GBA4iOS on my phone and never felt like I was missing anything. I fully understand Nintendo not releasing their current games from the 3DS or whatever platform is current. However, for the older systems and games no longer being made, I think there would be plenty of people (myself included) who would be more than happy to shell out money for those games on iOS.