Nintendo building 'small, select team' for smartphone development, games not ruled out

By Steve Watts, Jan 30, 2014 6:45am PST

Nintendo has been hesitant to enter the mobile device market, but its recent financial drubbing has made it a bit more receptive to the idea. We've heard some back and forth this week on just what those plans might entail, and earlier today Nintendo lifted the veil in its financial call.

In the company's financial presentation president Satoru Iwata said they will be dedicating a "small, select team of developers" to mobile and intend to release some application on smart devices this year. Their focus will be to highlight "the value of our entertainment offerings, thus encouraging more people to participate in Nintendo platforms." This sounds like advertising for Nintendo games, as earlier reports indicated.

Iwata still seemed skeptical about releasing its games on smartphones, especially with their signature characters, but signaled a more receptive attitude than we've heard from the company before.

"As I said before, we feel that simply releasing our games just as they are on smart devices would not provide the best entertainment for smart devices, so we are not going to take any approach of this nature," he said. "Having said that, however, in the current environment surrounding smart devices, we feel that we will not be able to gain the support of many consumers unless we are able to provide something truly valuable that is unique to Nintendo.

"Accordingly, I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters. However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement."

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