Will a Move to Mobile Signal the Future of the Company or a Disastrous Step Back?
According to ExtremeTech, Nintendo has announced a partnership with mobile game developer DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) of Rage of Bahamut fame to begin developing some of its trademark franchises for mobile. The company has also announced that as part of a multipronged-strategy highlighting growth across its console platforms it is developing a new, more powerful system currently codenamed “NX”. It is unclear whether NX will be a console system or a more powerful portable system, such as the 3DS.
Analysts wonder how these two device platforms will interact: Nintendo has zealously guarded its console properties for decades, and the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether or not the new, mobile free-to-play games will be worthy successors to the console properties which have built Nintendo into what it is today. Many companies have entered into the F2P space only to tear apart their existing fanbase, and the question is whether or not DeNA is up to the task of ensuring a transition to mobile will be seamless, if not an enhancement over the console franchises as they are.
One possibility left untouched is the fact that DeNA has a mobile payments infrastructure in place. If the top-secret NX system is designed to be more powerful than the latest in mobile gaming technology, is there the distinct possibility that Nintendo will design a gaming smartphone? Bizarre as it sounds, setting up a portable system which can be used as a mobile device could not only give gamers the ability to focus on a high-end device that does what they want, it could also move Nintendo into an altogether new competitive space. While the folks at ExtremeTech haven’t mentioned that possibility, Nintendo is willing to jump into the mobile gaming realm while having developed some of the most innovative tech over the past three decades– such a move is not out of the question.
Verdict: Nintendo’s latest move could be revolutionary or disastrous, but in either case is worth watching.