In a financial results briefing released on Friday, Nintendo announced that its first smartphone game will launch before the end of the year, with four more mobile titles to follow before the end of March 2017.
Five mobile games in two years might not sound like much, but as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained to investors, “the game business on smart devices is already severely competitive,” and even with Mario, Link and other marquee properties at the company’s disposal, quality will trump quantity.
Rather than porting games with a solid track record directly to smart devices, Nintendo would rather take the time to design new experiences tailor-made for phones and tablets.
Iwata also reiterated that Nintendo does not foresee an impending collapse of the console market. Rather, the company hopes that the push into the mobile arena will “encourage a greater number of people to associate with Nintendo IP, to become familiar with the charms of video games and, eventually, to explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems.”
Regarding the connection between the company’s mobile initiative and its established console business, Iwata noted that an “integrated membership service” is in the works which will encompass multiple devices, including the Nintendo 3DS, the Wii U, the NX (which is currently under development), smart devices and PCs.