For decades, Nintendo has been heralded as a massive influence on the world of video games. From the NES to the N64 to the 3DS, Nintendo has rolled out games and game devices that have entertained many generations of kids and young adults. With Nintendo’s reputation built primarily on console gaming, it was a bit of a shock when Nintendo announced earlier this week that they’d be entering the world of mobile gaming with the help of internet company DeNA.
A little surprising to hear, but it seems like a move that makes a lot of sense for Nintendo. The Wii U has struggled relative to it’s competitors over at Sony and Microsoft and the mobile gaming industry has exploded in recent years, with games like Angry Birds and Temple Run.
In combination with Nintendo’s intellectual property and game development, as well as DeNA’s world-class expertise in mobile gaming, this alliance will help the development and operation of game apps, based on Nintendo’s assets, for mobile devices. The alliance will allow Nintendo to expand their reach past console gaming, while DeNA will be able to bolster their gaming business by leveraging Nintendo’s assets. To ensure the high-quality of the game experiences that consumers expect from this alliance, only new, original games optimized for smart phone functionality will be created, rather than trying to transfer games created for the Wii U console or the Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo and DeNA also announced that they’ll be developing an online membership service as a replacement for Club Nintendo. The service will be accessible from smart phones, PCs and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA’s extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.
Nintendo also announced that they’re in the process of developing a new game console, codenamed “NX”. This is a slightly less shocking announcement, as new hardware takes years to build, so designers, developers, engineers and the like, are working on the next new console while we enjoy the current ones. Not a lot of details were released other than it’ll involve new hardware and gameplay concepts. The NX hardware will also tie into the new membership service that Nintendo is developing with DeNA.