When Nintendo launched the cheaper 2DS in August alongside lukewarm reactions, it prompted Daring Fireball’s John Gruber to say, “Just give in and start making iOS games. They’re not going to win this battle.”
As it turns out, Nintendo is keeping a close eye on the rapidly growing smartphone and tablet market and mobile gaming. Still, the company has decided not to release gaming apps for mobile devices — yet.
“It’s a topic that comes up all the time. It’s a debate that’s constantly had,” said Nintendo of America president/chief operating officer Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aime during a wide-ranging interview with KING 5 News. “We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.”
This doesn’t mean, though, that Nintendo has excluded mobile games from its future plans. As Fils-Aime revealed to King 5 News, the company is focusing on smartphone and tablet experimenting, which aims to drive users back to the Nintendo hardware.
The fact is, the company’s legendary games are designed for consoles, and no other device is able to give the same user experience that the Nintendo consoles do. For example, the tablet-based Wii U, which launched at the end of 2012, couldn’t replicate the success of the original Wii console, which transformed the industry back in 2006.
“We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware,” Fils-Aime said. “It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.”
In the end, it all comes down to the gaming experience. And according to Nintendo, only their hardware is capable of providing the ultimate gaming experience — until they find the magical formula on tablets and smartphones.