Prepare yourself Nintendo fans - Mario, Zelda and Pokemon could all be heading to your iPhone soon! It's been a long time coming, but the Japanese company has finally confirmed their plans to bring its world class line-up of video game franchises to mobile devices, and I've got all the juicy details outlining what this revolutionary announcement means for you!
In what Tokyo-based game consultant Serkan Toto has called “the most drastic, bold shift in strategy Nintendo could have undertaken,” the gaming juggernaut entered into a "business and capital alliance" with Japanese cell-phone platform DeNA. The deal is a landmark moment for Nintendo, who's traditionally ensured that their kick-ass titles could ONLY be played on Nintendo-branded handheld systems.
Now, the two companies will join forces to release "gaming applications for smart devices," meaning iPhones, tablets and other third-party devices are set to join the Nintendo extended family!
So What Games Can I Play?
Well, it's a little early for specifics, but Nintendo has confirmed that their new range of mobile games will make use of their iconic hit franchises, so expect to see some familiar faces like Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikachu and Link as you game on the go!
President and CEO of the company, Satoru Iwata, did say that we can look forward to our first taste of what's on offer before the year is out.
And to ease any worries about the possibility of lazy phone-ports, which have plagued the App Store for a while now, the company has stated that:
only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
While that may be disappointing to some, making the effort to produce a mobile-optimized experience for smart devices - rather than releasing a compromised, hamstrung game designed for consoles - will only lead to good things.
Three Nintendo Games Perfect For Mobiles
With these mobile-specifc games in the pipeline, I thought I'd come up with three potential games we could see hitting the App Store soon...
1. Pokemon Battle
Like Pokemon Stadium, only portable! Think about it - epic online multiplayer fights, mini-game training tasks to strengthen your Pokemon, and, of course, micro-transaction potions.
2. Mario Maker
Okay, so this game is already in development for the Wii U, but how perfect would it be on tablets?! Create your own Super Mario Bros. levels using the touch screen and challenge your friends to complete your devious course.
3. Zelda Rupee Runner
Dodge Deku nuts and pitfalls as you try to reach Princess Zelda before she succumbs to the evil influence of Ganon. It would be the perfect bite-sized gem to tide me over till Link arrives on the Wii U.
A Long Time Coming
Rumors surrounding Nintendo's foray into the mobile market have been circulating the industry for years, and it's long-awaited confirmation has been met with varied reactions on Twitter - some excited, some frustrated with how long it's taken:
In any case, Nintendo seems to have finally realized that all we ever wanted was to see Mario and Pokemon on our phones. I for one couldn't be happier to hear that this dream is finally coming true.