When we think of traditional gaming powerhouses, we think of Nintendo, Sega and Sony. Sega left the market some time ago with the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast, and Microsoft have become a dominant force with their Xbox line of games consoles. All of these big names have one thing in common, aside from Sega; they can’t do mobile. Sega have released many of their top-tier franchises, such as Sonic, to mobile platforms like Android an iOS and while Sony tried with PlayStation Mobile ultimately that adventure led to a dead end. For Nintendo, a company that is dominating what’s left of the handheld gaming market with the 3DS, mobile gaming has been something the Japanese company has been afraid to even contemplate, until now.
Rumors of Nintendo embracing Android in some manner or other have been swirling for some time now, and a mobile game from Nintendo is coming but it’s just been delayed until 2016. As Reuters is reporting, Nintendo’s new Chief Executive, Tatsumi Kimishima, who replaces the late great Satoru Iwata, has confirmed that any mobile app or game from Nintendo will be delayed until March 2016. The company’s reasoning behind the delay was that “the year-end is traditionally our peak season for sales” and that Nintendo will be focusing on traditional products such as the 3DS and their successful Amiibo line of interactive toys.
This makes a lot of sense, but it didn’t stop the market from reacting negatively. Stocks in Nintendo themselves fell by around 10%, while their gaming partner, DeNA, tasked with creating the company’s mobile offerings fell by as much as 19%. The mobile gaming market is one that has exploded in the last five years, but one that also lacks direction. As originality becomes increasingly rare in a market driven by in-app purchases and ad revenue, it would appear that a big, respected player such as Nintendo would be a welcome introduction. The new ‘game’, dubbed Miitomo, a Mii-inspired social platform will be launching next March, and no, there’s no word on Mario headed to your smartphone (legally) any time soon.