Mar 5th, 2014


Ever since the rise of the iPhone in 2007 ushered in a new era of mobile gaming, pundits and critics alike have been calling for Nintendo to abandon home consoles and their own mobile devices to bring their bevy of recognizable characters to the mobile sector. It’s something Nintendo has been staunchly against since the first utterance of the word mobile gaming and it’s not hard to understand why; Nintendo specializes in platform games that require precise controls to be enjoyable, which is something mobile just doesn’t provide without peripherals.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, producer Kensuke Tanabe has confirmed that Nintendo’s main resistance to embracing any sort of mobile platform with a touch screen for controls is that translating traditional platformer controls to these devices is exceedingly hard.

“With games like Mario and Donkey Kong, the control input is such an important part of that; I think if you’re trying to replicate that feeling of control that you have traditional to those games, translating those to a smart device, that’s a just a really, really difficult task.”

But what about platformer games that succeed on mobile? Tanabe acknowledges their existence and that the market is “flooded with similar games”, but states that Nintendo creates games for its own hardware, which is something the company has done since it got into the consumer electronics market. So long as the Nintendo 3DS remains a success and Nintendo follows that up with a handheld with the same success, you’ll likely never be playing a Mario or Donkey Kong game mobile any time soon.

local_offer    mobile  Nintendo  wii u  
  • Mr Ninty

    Nintendo should not be tainded by the words mobile games

  • CEObrainz

    I agree on the fact that controls are essentials to a good platformer and that you can’t beat a console when it comes to this aspect. However Nintendo needs to produce some sort of app that shows the reason why Console and Handhelds are best while at the same time giving a reputable experience.

    • Paul Morphy

      if given that choice would be a deliberately bad programmed game, is up to the programmers to make the controls fit on scree, we have chrono trigger and final fantasy on ios all functional, besides you can create a peripheral controller

  • Kriffix

    Nintendo does well to not cave in to all of those who demand they should go mobile. It’ll lead to great short-term sales but ultimately it will devalue Nintendo’s properties.

    The reasons so many people complain is simply because they want to play “on-the-cheap” and are not looking at the situation objectively. Nintendo’s stubbornness on the issue is rooted in very good logic and insight.

  • Ony

    OH NO!
    -Nobody in the universe (except stockholders)

  • Niknique

    Good. I honestly like my 3DS and enjoy playing it wherever I go. The only games where touch screen controls are good are games like Fruit Ninja and turn based games like Final Fantasy.

    • An Tran

      You should try Ridiculous Fishing and Assassin’s Creed Pirates. Both are paid games, but are pretty good.

  • jjbredesen

    Why dfaq do people want mobile Nintendo games?? Nintendo games are great quality games, that do not need freaking mobile devices, touchscreen controls such for just about any game, reason so many people want it is because then they don’t need to buy a console, bs they should just buy the dam thing.

    I think Nintendo could make an Android device like ouya or something in that direction, but i am not a fan of them going mobile.’

    • That guy who hates Spike

      I still want to use my phone or tablet as a Wii U Gamepad, similar to the Moga Pro.

  • D.M.T

    People should stop begging for Nintendo to go mobile. Seriously cut it out!!!

    • Sam

      Yeah if you want to play Mario go buy a Wii U or a 3DS.

      • tronic307

        I agree, no Mario on mobile, but what about stuff like Nintendogs or Brain Age? Plus, it could be free with ads to promote Nintendo systems and games, complete with links to online retailers.

        • Mason742

          I could understand demos filled with ads and a real miiverse app in which you dont own a 3ds or wii u, allows you to be a “guest” and be served with ads

      • Andrew Clear

        Let’s just say that Microsoft has to place Halo on mobile devices…. Oh wait, Halo isn’t as good as Mario 🙂

        • Mason742

          Ha, halo 3, odst, 4, isn’t even on pc. Where it originated.

    • Christopher McNair

      People should stop begging for games to appear on the Wii U, then, since you want to get “serious”.

    • Guest
  • An Tran

    I don’t want Ninty going mobile, but I still gotta say something. I’m enjoying Gunman Clive in my Xperia Play with physical controls. I also have several bluetooth gamepads including the MOGA Pocket, MOGA Hero, iPega PG-9017, GS Red Samurai V2, and soon will have the new PhoneJoy controller. Controls aren’t much of a problem anymore, it’s just the support for them.

  • Ducked

    I still think Nintendo should release 1-2 games on the appstore. In return, Apple allows iTunes to be used on the Wii U

    • Peter Lythaby

      Now there’s a thought

    • jjbredesen

      Why would you want iTunes on Wii U, its the greates pice of shit ever created, i am sorry but Nintendo would never say yes to it, i will not pay Apple to listen to music, and use a buggy non functional media player, that eats up resources almost as much as a dam game.

      For apps, i would say yes, but i would rather have the google play store for that kind of stuff.

      • Paul Morphy

        So says, whom, you?! greatest piece of shit? iTunes alone is worth more than Nintendo you stone head, and that’s not precisely for being buggy you i.diot, the reality check for you is that Nintendo will BY FORCE and ultimately release all his all time games in iOS (not android due piracy and viruses), that’s not a choice they will be forced to do so. If iTunes eats many resources it just means you have a truly trashy comp ROFL.

        • Yousif Alromaithi

          Apple sucks.

        • jjbredesen

          My PC has 2 GTX 780TI (3GB) 16GB of RAM and I7 3.9 GHz it does not lagg for me lol, but it eats loads more memory than better players such as VLC, and Nintendo has no interest in doing anything with IOS, if they do i can asure you that it will suck, i don’t want fucking Angry Birds on Wii U, i want AAA games.

          You say they will only release there games on IOS, il be honest i that is the stupidest thing i have heard all day. Android is 81% of all smartphones!! Do you honestly think Nintendo would leave the biggest and best platform in the dust?? They will not released paid games, they will release advertisment apps, Miiverse and other Nintendo Network apps for free.

          Piracy is a problem on Android, but not for free apps, and how the hell will Nintendo get a virus in there own app?

          • FlashFan207

            But of those 81% (if that is an accurate number) only 10% of them are not cheap wannabe smartphones that are just barely able to operate one of the old Android OS and wouldn’t be able to run a high quality Nintendo game, anyway. Not to mention that developing for iOS statistically is more profitable. So, probably going with an airtight iOS game which is made to run on any of Apple’s phones currently being sold is a better idea. Why not make games for both? It’s a pipe dream, though. Nintendo will be sticking with their systems for the foreseeable future. And I’ll play their games on whatever platform they make them.

      • FlashFan207

        iTunes is the single largest retailer of legally-purchased music in the entire world. A quick internet search will tell you that. I’m not saying I legally purchase all the time (wink), but iTunes reaches millions of users frequently and would be huge exposure for Nintendo. Not a bad suggestion.

        • Mason742

          Yet if you have a 3ds you wouldn’t have bought it for itunes.

          • FlashFan207

            Yeah, the 3DS is awesome and I will support Nintendo’s games on whatever platform they make them for. I enjoy playing their games more than any other developer’s. I was just defending the poster’s iTunes idea. I’m not against Nintendo doing something like that. But like the article said: “So long as the Nintendo 3DS remains a success and Nintendo follows that up with a handheld with the same success, you’ll likely never be playing a Mario or Donkey Kong game mobile any time soon.” And that is the truth.

  • Josie the Sketcher

    I dislike using touch based controls to move around as they don’t respond we’ll.
    It wouldn’t hurt if they release a Pokemon-based Tetris or candy crush. But yeah, Nintendo should stay with consoles. Playing Nintendo games on a iphone on android device just won’t feel right.

  • Will the3rd

    A turn based game on the phone is really enjoyable, as a Pokemon or FireEmblem…

  • HungryMetroid

    I’d rather have physical controls than have my thumbs sliding all over the place.

  • I want the Nintendo games on whatever system Nintendo makes them for. If they say that the controls aren’t right, I will take their word for it. They make the games afterall… I just play them.

  • Sam

    Preach it!

  • audi lover

    Good mobile gaming for people who cant play real game and like trash like angry birds one finger flick shit

    • SolarGalaxa

      LOL. Apparently your world doesn’t include me, as I play those games and still play “real” games. Think before you insult a group of people.

      • audi lover

        Na don’t think so the fact you took the time to even answer that comment means it was aimed squarely at people like you bet you want Mario on your mobile

        • TaintedXGamer

          Actually I’m with solargalaxa on his world. So that makes 2 of us vs you. And anyone else that likes solar or my comment

          • audi lover

            have fun flicking and hoping for Mario on your isheep then

          • SolarGalaxa

            Did you not even read? I said I also play Nintendo games. (I own a Wii U, Pikmin, Mario 3D World and Nintendoland.)

            Oh and insulting someone just for the phone they use is so childish, not to mention trollish.

          • audi lover

            so no 3rd party support there i see

  • FlashFan207

    Indeed the Wii U and 3DS are phenomenal and we are very lucky to have a lot of fantastic Nintendo games exclusive to these systems. But honestly, if their only excuse is that mobile devices cannot support Mario or Donkey Kong-level control (which, btw, the Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze controls are awful and make Sonic Lost World feel tight), all they have to do is make their platformers less brutal and more forgiving to compensate for what they feel would be a lack of control.

    • Koczk

      ‘make their platformers less brutal and more forgiving to compensate…’

      So now we’re not even talking about ports, but about having nintendo make watered-down versions of its games so that they can run on phones? What a stupid suggestion.

      • FlashFan207

        Not watered down, just with less cheap deaths like in Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. Also, aren’t a lot of mobile games “watered down” versions, if there are also console versions available? A better option would be a fun, light-hearted ORIGINAL game with simple button input requirements so control is not an issue. A cool, new game inspired by Nintendo’s typical charm on your mobile platform. How about that? Is that a stupid idea?

        • Koczk

          Honestly, it’s not a bad idea if you put it that way, and sorry for being such a jerk about my original comment.

          If it was built from the ground up for mobile, I could see a game working. But Nintendo has said they don’t want to do this because if they release new games on mobile it’s just one less reason for people to buy a Nintendo system.

          But companion apps – I could see being much more workable for Nintendo. So something like an app on your phone that pairs with Nintendo games – for example, a Miiverse app that allows you to share your screenshots and replays with friends, or customize your kart on the go when MK8 comes out. Maybe this already exists and I didn’t realize?

          Either way, if Nintendo did companion apps, they could have a presence in app stores and promotes their brand while encouraging people to simply buy a Nintendo system.

          • FlashFan207

            You’re right, Miiverse should be better integrated into Nintendo’s games. Posting with the stamps you collected in Mario 3D World was pretty cool. More of that would be great. I don’t think you can do something like that with DK Tropical Freeze, but I have my hopes high for Mario Kart and Smash Bros.

  • Joey

    I don’t really care to play on mobile or tablet’s to play Mario, i got a 3DS XL and a Wii U that’s all i want.

  • Lee

    New IP Idea! .. How about Nintendo release a shooter involving all the Nintendo characters ( like they did with SSB in the fighting genre ) .. doesn’t necessarily have to be all bloody and violent, it old be something totally different with a FPS layout that everyone would love because of the Nintendo characters you could be. why not base it on a modern version of golden eye. or create something completely new ? ..i would love to go shooting down bowser etc with a gun wielding yoshi!

    • TaintedXGamer

      You FPS obsessed guy……

      • 00EpicGamer00

        Actually, I think Miyamoto himself was interested in making an FPS or something (I think that’s what his new IP is going to be). So, Lee’s idea actually isn’t totally rediculous.

  • Phaz0n

    Great article! I’ll be frequenting this site often now that you have a mobile app.

  • Ryan F

    Let’s not kid ourselves. A Temple Run-style Mario game could be fun. While not as robust and varied in gameplay as a real Mario game, it could become the best of it’s kind. Put Wii U and 3DS ads in the app and push notifications and profit. Nintendo going mobile doesn’t have to mutually exclude them providing dedicated consoles.

    • SolarGalaxa

      THIS is what I want Nintendo to do. Create mobile specific games to push users to their dedicated game devices.

  • Javy G

    If they really want an app for mobiles, they could just invent pedometer type of game that takes advantage of the NFC when linked to the Wii U to show their progress and has mini games to play (like the 3DS’s MiiPlaza). Instead of using games based on tagging other 3DS owners they could come up with ways to use of how many steps you take and use it as energy or as purchases for new move sets etc in a game. Though we hate it, in-app purchases could be made for new DLC games in the future. Iwata talks about this new healthy life style this could be part of it with Nintendo characters.

  • Paul Morphy

    Bye bye Nintendo as a hardware developer, welcome Nintendo as a software developer. Timer for that is set now.

  • blindtiger

    there should be only one nintendo mobile game… a mario party-esque touchscreen minigame collection with a smash bros.-esque character lineup

  • Andrew Clear

    Why aren’t people telling Sony that its IPs need to be on mobile devices? Or, why aren’t they telling Microsoft the same?

    People are idiots.

  • shaun

    Nintendo mobile (3DS) needs three things
    1. atleast 50% increase in graphical power
    2. improved touch screen
    3. Account based system like itunes.

  • Christian Sutter

    My fear is Nintendo pouring all their energy into developing games for phones, could be like the Sega story all over again. I think a big part of why the big N has been able to crank out so many amazing games over the years is the fact they’ve stuck to making their own hardware. Unless they’ve got some brilliant strategy to shake up the whole smartphone gaming scene, they should should stick to what they do best. Which is making some of the best dog-on artentertainment this side of the universe, with those famous Nintendo controls they’ve always been known for. Other wise, it seems like just giving up or selling out. And for the guys who want to play games on the go (but don’t want to shell out more than more than 99 cents on the app store) You can buy a 2ds for only 120 buckeroos! Consider it the price of admission to the wonderful world of Nintendo games. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    Nintendo doesn’t really have to go mobile. Emulators will be available for 3DS and even Wii U in the future as is every other Nintendo platform. That’s the reality of it.

  • andrewjcole

    Yet a lot of these people poured out their wallets for an Xbox One.

  • e_rocket

    Nintendo should do their own phone, DS phone with grate controls for games would be fun.

  • Christian Sutter

    Hey guys! Here’s an idea: If somebody at Nintendo has a few extra minutes, they could throw Yoshi Touch and Go up on the app store for nintey-nine cents, put the money in a piggy bank, and save it. Just in case that ipad accessory for the We doesn’t pan out 😉

  • Guhtere

    They should release the first level of Super Mario Bros. Then at the end put a message that says “That really sucked without buttons didn’t it?”

  • Mj78

    Buying a wii u is not a good investment. Great console, I have one but it rarely gets out these days. Great concept, poorly marketed. Shame. Mario kart will do well but it will not increase sales enough.

  • LJay

    Good,mobile gaming is cheapskate for cheapskates-funny when you see some clown putting up pictures on instagram of their latest “throwback”(haha)hacked/emulated mario game with the see-through button touch controls-cant help but comment”that must playing fucking awful” or “the real copy is is probably less than 5$ on almost any nintendo system and you’re playing it on the iphone!???lmao!”

  • john

    Makes perfect sense, platformers on a mobile phones are abysmal to control. My friend got a snes emulator that used touch screen controls; let’s just say the best punishment for piracy would be to force them to play through the game with touch screen controls.

    Of course, if they could develop a special peripheral to connect to mobile devices then this argument would no longer be valid. But another argument could be that Nintendo’s hardware is specially tailored for making their games, which I would believe. I’ve never seen a game on a mobile phone that was a good as a Nintendo game. Then again, I don’t play many mobile games.

  • oontz

    Not surprising, controls on most mobile software is horrible. That’s why mobile is best suited for simple touch and swipe mechanics. Not platformers.

  • GmailIsDown

    that is a sad excuse. if they don’t think moga is good enough, release a nintendo-branded controller designed for mobile devices and i will buy it.