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.