Nintendo’s First Operating Loss Means They Should Reconsider iOS Titles


Nintendo has posted their first ever operating loss of almost $460 million US and a 36.2% decline in net sales from 2010-2011. Competition from smartphones and tablets such as the iPhone and iPad from Apple are to blame, as more and more people are gaming away from the living room.

Nintendo’s loss once again brings the question of whether they should port their titles to non-Nintendo hardware, and have it readily available on iOS or Android platforms. I can already see Super Mario Bros. blasting to the number one spot in the App Store.

This won’t happen anytime soon, as Nintendo’s president noted last September when pressured by investors the company should develop titles for iOS and Facebook:

“This is absolutely not under consideration,” Iwata definitively replied when asked about Nintendo possibly making smartphone games.

Nanako Imazu, an analyst for CLSA in Tokyo believes Nintendo needs to make the transition to other platforms:

“Nintendo has to deal with the change and let Mario games be played on non-Nintendo devices,” said Imazu. “I think it will take at least couple of years to see that.”

David Gibson, an analyst for Macquarie in Tokyo agrees:

Any drastic strategy shift that would dispatch the Mario brothers into the realm of Android and Apple’s iOS operating system would likely require a change at the top of Nintendo, said Macquarie’s Gibson. And that likely won’t happen for a couple of years until the Wii U is shown to be a clear failure, he added.

Apple revealed during their 2012 Q2 earnings call they have sold over 365 million total iOS devices to date. If 10 percent of those devices purchased Super Mario Bros. for the iPhone at $0.99, that would be $36.5 million in immediate sales (that doesn’t include Apple’s 30 percent cut). Now imagine other classic titles such as Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Kart in the App Store. Nintendo would have quite the boom on their hands.

What do you think? How long before we see Nintendo titles in the App Store? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for real soon.

[via Engadget via Reuters]


  • Jihn

    Did Nintendo buy the RIM manual on how to drive your company to the ground?

  • Sounds like it. They are sticking to the chapter titled “Ignore what people say and stick to your game plan; we’re doing fine”

  • Jihn

    this seems like the biggest no-brainer especially with airplay. the only thing I can think of is that maybe nintendo is working on their own mobile phone. on second thought

  • Nick

    The other thing Nintendo needs to do is release a new gaming console.   The Wii simply doesn’t cut it these days.   After playing XBOX for a while on my HDTV, going back to the non-HD Wii just looks like crap and is unplayable.

  • Brandon

    “How long before we see Nintendo titles in the App Store?”

    Hopefully, never. Serious games can’t be played well without button controllers. Even apple is pondering that notion, as a recent patent filing for a game pad in which your iPhone would be placed has show.

  • Jihn

    They are later this year

  • draz

    Some Nintendo games will sell pretty well on iTunes, like games for NES, SNES, Game Boy (from Original -> Advanced). But stuff for like the N64 and newer consoles will be a bit harder to control on an iPhone or iPad.

    How well are other companies doing with their old skool game ports over to iOS?

  • RIP Nintendo

    Nintendo, meet Palm and RIM. Different story, same ending. Why will they never learn?

  • Marie Powning

    Oh heck yea, I would pay, $10 or even $20 for Mario Bros and do would both my kids who were Mario addicts, my niece, all 4 grandchildren, oh yes!! Nintendo better hurry you are losing this profit daily!! I predict if you got this for iPhone it would be the TOP SELLING app for a loooong time!