Nintendo basically promises either Mario or Link in new smartphone game

first_imgQuick, what was the Wii U game that you played a ton of last winter? It’s okay if you can’t think of one, chances are you didn’t buy a Wii U or any of the new games Nintendo and developers released for the system last year. Nintendo’s profits are down this year and the company is looking for multiple ways to rebound from the slump. They’re expected to announce something about a secret new console, the Nintendo NX, later this year, and the company has teamed with mobile games development firm DeNA to start making smartphone apps.First the bad news: Nintendo only sold 10.5 million games in the last three months, which includes the holiday shopping season. That may seem like a lot of games, but it’s actually less than one new game per existing Wii U system. Sure, some of those systems are sitting in the back rooms of electronics stores, but that’s an anemic market compared to other home video game consoles. Nintendo announced that its third quarter profits were only $241 million, a decline of a whopping 36% from the same period in the previous year.In March of 2015, rumors started to leak that Nintendo was developing a new hardware system after it was obvious the Wii U’s sales were not going to get anywhere close to the Xbox One or PS4. This month, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said the company was “looking into VR” during the company’s earnings call, but it’s unclear if his statement is connected the rumored new system. It could be that the new “Nintendo NX” is a virtual reality headset to compete in the Oculus Rift market or will simply be built with the specs to add one later as an accessory. It’s also possible that this new interest in revisiting VR (“revisiting” is the only acknowledgement of the Virtual Boy worth making) has nothing to do with the NX. Insiders are hoping for official news about the NX from Nintendo at this year’s E3 Expo in June.On the mobile game development front, the first foray into smartphone apps that DeNA and Nintendo announced was actually a game as much as a social networking app combined with the the Nintendo game Tomodachi Life. The app is called Miitomo and is supposed to launch in March. You will be able to create a Mii and asked a series of questions. Based on your answers to those questions, you’ll open up the ability to interact with other people’s Mii through a new service called My Nintendo. My Nintendo is a platform the company says it will use to communicate between consoles and their smartphone apps. Which all sounds interesting in theory, but not much like a social network or a game.Which means that all eyes are on Nintendo to announce an actual mobile game while their console sales are experiencing a lull. The Miitomo announcement came before the dismal third quarter of 2015, so now Nintendo is going to rush some recognizable intellectual property to the table. The original plan with DeNA was to slowly build to the popular Nintendo characters: your Marios, Links, Yoshis, and Samus’. Now it looks like a panic over earnings is going to push one of the core characters into the limelight of their own mobile game.Sadly, Nintendo has only said their first smartphone game will “feature one of the company’s best-known characters,” so it’s too early to know if you should break out your Super Mario Bros t-shirt or your Ocarina of Time. Even money on one of those two characters, though, because Nintendo wants to put its best foot forward into mobile gaming.last_img read more

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