Nintendo considered making mobile phone

Nintendo has considered, and continues to research, making a gaming phone, its president has admitted.


Microsoft has Xbox Live integration into Windows Phone 7. Sony has PlayStation Suite support for Android, and its own Xperia Play hardware. But what about Nintendo? Does Nintendo ever want to jump into the mobile market?

A translated transcript from Nintendo's 71st annual general meeting of shareholders reveals that Nintendo did at one point consider the possibility. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that "if we had never considered combining a mobile phone and a handheld device, we would be negligent."

But while Nintendo has researched the possibility of making a gaming phone, Iwata harps on the challenges that the company would face if it were to make one. "Mobile phones are subject to monthly fees and we need to consider how well this would fit with game devices or how we should balance these aspects. Adding to this, mobile phone companies are generally divided by countries and when running a business on a worldwide basis, we need to consider in what conditions can we partner up with mobile phone companies around the world," Iwata said. The mobile market is heavily separated, and it's obvious from the reaction to Sony's partnership with AT&T for the PlayStation Vita, that a one-size-fits-all model rarely works for that industry.

"Please understand that we are still researching these areas," Iwata added.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 7, 2011 9:05 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Nintendo considered making mobile phone.

    Nintendo has considered, and continues to research, making a gaming phone, its president has admitted.

    • reply
      July 7, 2011 9:22 AM

      Iwata actually has a good honest answer there. Considering that Nintendo's main audience are younger players, this is probably of even more a concern than for Sony or Microsoft. Still, Nintendo does know a lot more about portable hardware than either of them.

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        July 7, 2011 9:27 AM

        I think it's going to happen some day, I would guess once 5G is ubiquitous and we've gotten over this data cap crap so we can stream larger games. At least as a service, if not the hardware (though they may partner with another phone maker for that, who knows?)

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        July 7, 2011 9:38 AM

        I know a few different kids that love their iPod Touches. Nintendo might be able to make a good amount of money just developing some iOS (and maybe Android) software rather than worrying about the hardware.

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          July 7, 2011 11:04 AM

          I think that's the smartest way for them to branch out, I can't see Nintendo coming up with a must have phone with a great UI anytime soon. Nintendo said that Apple was their biggest threat, it would make sense to launch non-DS-WII U software on iOS and Android so they can turn the competition into another widely available platform without so much effort. Example of Nintendo actually doing this is that Pokemon rhythm game thing, I wonder how Nintendo will differentiate it self from other mobile developers.

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        July 7, 2011 11:41 AM

        There's more to it than hardware. It's not their business, not their expertise, and the competition is huge... This would be difficult for them to properly pull off. Not impossible, but difficult.

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      July 7, 2011 12:38 PM

      spend 200$ on the phone and 400$ in accessories

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      July 7, 2011 9:05 PM

      While people seem to give a lot of shit to Nintendo for not doing a lot of things (Opening up online on their consoles, not moving into mobile), I think it mainly comes down to them still being a reasonably small company, especially when compared to their competitors. Making a new mobile platform would be a HUGE undertaking for them, and could open them up to a huge number of lawsuits and patent issues.

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      July 7, 2011 9:14 PM

      With 3D, it'd have a whopping 45 minutes of battery life.

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