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For the last couple of years, maybe even a few years now, mobile gaming has taken a bigger slice of the overall conversation regarding the mobile industry. We've already seen how big of a presence Apple is, and how much of a force they are in the mobile gaming industry. But it's not just the Cupertino-based company that cares about gaming. Indeed, rumors have it that Google is ramping up their focus on gaming as well, and even BlackBerry has made sure that some of the more popular gaming titles out there on other platforms, are already available on its own mobile OS.

Finding a game to play on your phone has never been easier. What's better is that they aren't all super simple titles anymore, either. Some of the games we play on our smartphones and tablets are quite deep, whether it's in story thanks to a Role Playing Game, or just through sheer content. Some take your attention for a long time, while others are meant to just give you a quick escape for only a handful of minutes.

Whatever you're looking for, by now you've realized you can find it through a digital retail outlet, like Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store. And I'd be surprised if you didn't have at least one game on your mobile device, or devices.

It's this (relatively) safe bet that Nintendo is reportedly banking on. According to a story in the Japan Times, Nintendo is gearing up to put together development tools for developers and designers to bring smartphone games to their home console, the Wii U.

If you haven't seen a Wii U yet, it's built around a touchscreen game pad that allows you to interact with Wii U games in a whole new way (compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) for home consoles. You can even play full games, like Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II right from the game pad, without having to take over a living room television. It's a great idea, yes, but the Wii U hasn't taken off quite like Nintendo probably expected it to.

There are plenty of reasons for this, but one of the primary ones is a lack of game selection. While I'm sure that Nintendo is working on this issue in other avenues, it sounds like they are trying to tackle it by thinking a little out of the box as well. It actually does make some sense to allow for smartphone games, like Shadowgun or Infinity Blade II to be run on the Wii U's game pad, and I can see where Nintendo is coming from.

However, I think anyone who wants to play Shadowgun or Infinity Blade II and already has it on their phone or tablet, will probably just play it on their phone or tablet. It's not like the Wii U's game pad has a great battery (it doesn't), so the benefit would seem to be a slightly larger screen -- if you only play games on your smartphone.

Basically, Nintendo is doing it backwards. Two years ago I asked you if you think Nintendo should just throw in the towel on mobile gaming in general, but I don't think that's something they'd have to do. In fact, Nintendo seems downright determined to make their mobile devices, like the 3DS, stand out against the competition, especially with a true sequel to Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past coming down the pipe. So Nintendo isn't giving up on mobile. Now they just need to put a bigger focus on it.

Instead of allowing for developers to port "smartphone games" to the Wii U, make it possible for developers to bring Wii U titles to smartphones. Nintendo, start licensing software to get it on devices running iOS and Android, or BlackBerry. Don't want it to work on a Windows Phone, just because it's a Microsoft platform? Fine. But start embracing mobile in a realistic way, and you'll probably see a big turnaround.

Depending on the games.

I'm not saying that Nintendo should give up the hardware business. I can't see the future and I don't know how the Wii U will be faring in a couple of months. However, I do think that Nintendo could make a killing off bringing their first party characters, like Mario, to mobile platforms other than its own offerings.

What do you think Nintendo should do? Would you love to see a real Mario title released for your phone or tablet? Or do you think Nintendo's current plan is the best one for mobile gaming? Would you play a mobile game on your console? Let me know!


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26 Reactions to this post

"Isn't it about time that we had a full Mario (or Zelda!) game on our smartphone and/or tablet?"


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Camar Green
Camar Green Got my vita for soul sacrifice and might get a ds for monster hunter
Willie Lucero
Willie Lucero Emulators are fine but they can only do so much, really all you can use is GBA if you want smooth running roms to work good, do you have any idea how slow and difficult it is trying to play pokemon platinum on a emulator on your phone?
Martin Smeaton
Martin Smeaton Yes, I still own my physical copies of Ocarina and FFVII. I play them both regularly with emulators and they run great on my note 2. Nothing illegal about it.
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon This is the truth. Sorry folks, keep dreaming.
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon Nintendo would NEVER do that, therefore, wishing it is extremely naive! Nintendo is the Apple of Asia (arrogant and selfish, but also innovative). It is more likely that they will release a NintendoPhone than to release it's precious games on an sub-par Android tablet!
Rich Field
Rich Field Unless I can get chrono trigger or Mario Kart then I don't care.
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores I've had the ocarina of time for a long time already on my S3
Eskias McDaniels
Eskias McDaniels Have it for over 2 years...
Chris Hyson
Chris Hyson Updates? if they bring an game like Mario kart 64 over what updates would be needed? The game is over 17 years old. Its done...
Chris Hyson
Chris Hyson Anthony said, its illegal. Plus they have ads and apps to your phone with out your knowledge. an official app where all you do is tap on the icon and the game loads is what we need.
Chris Hyson
Chris Hyson they need to bring the classics to mobile more then anything. New titles are fine, but I think if nintendo brought the classics to android and iOS and charge around $5-$10 per game, they could make a good chunk of change. Maybe close to even more then they would on the wii/wii U system. think about it. Many young to middle aged adults who have a smartphone likely played a nintendo game when they were a kid or teen. They no longer have the actual system and even if they bought one from goodwill or off Ebay. it wont support their TV. At least with out some adapter. Plus they would be tired down to the living room. This way they can play the classics on the device they already carry around. Nintendo would need to have titles from the original NES to the 64 era. Game cube, eh.... maybe. I still say have titles from the first three generations of systems. Keep the original graphics too. Give me Mario Kart 64, Super Mario. Donkey kong 64 and maybe a few others I've forgotten that I played during the 64 days and I'll be happy. Yeah I know about the roms, but so far the ones I've found add special apps to the phone with out consent and fillered with ads. an "official" app would be best. Kind if fell bad for kids today. All their gaming memories will be how many levels of angry birds or Fruit ninja they did while in math class.
Huey Liggins
Huey Liggins The emulators aren't always the best. Some games require more than a touch screen. And if this did happen, they'd program the games to work just for phones instead of emulators. Now that I think of it, would we have to go through nintendo bringing the games to iphone first then wait for Android? And then any updates? Oh lordy lord lol
Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas Zelda sucks. PokéMon or Mario
Anthony Domanico
Anthony Domanico you technically can't. it's illegal unless you own the physical game as well. That's why Google tends to pull emulators from the market.
Tyler Brewer
Tyler Brewer That's what's cool about android. You can get these games for free with an emulator and you don't need to root.
Mark E
Mark E I do have an emulator so I'm not tripping that hard over this ( although if you don't have a jailbroken iPhone or android device I can see why this is a want)
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley Bring Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to my Asus Nexus 7 and then BAM I'll love nintendo forever.
Nicholas StylishDemeanor Scafe
Nicholas StylishDemeanor Scafe Fire emblem!
Jp Garmay
Jp Garmay Pokemon in HD :'(
George Millhouse
George Millhouse Will never happen as long as Nintendo makes their own hardware
Robert Salender
Robert Salender Didn't Iwata punch someone in the face because of it?
Kris Reno Harris
Kris Reno Harris I've got Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time (among others) on my Galaxy S3 using N64oid. Done.
Kenneth Li
Kenneth Li can i have Legend of Zelda (the 1st game) on android? this game is a classic!
Rich Hernandez
Rich Hernandez eff pokemon. ZELDA FTW!
Devin Martinez
Devin Martinez Zelda please
K.j. Littlejohn
K.j. Littlejohn I wouldn't mind a poke mon game.. Js




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