By Rob Crossley
Nintendo is expecting to release its first mobile game before the end of 2015, the corporation’s chief executive has claimed.
On Tuesday, Satoru Iwata brought an end to more than two years of speculation and debate by announcing that Nintendo would begin to co-develop games for smartphone devices and tablets. The landmark proposal is Nintendo’s first major venture into third-party publishing, and the result of a partnership with the mobile games specialist DeNA, who will co-develop these titles.
At the press conference where Iwata made the announcement, he was asked by press in attendance when the first Nintendo mobile game would be released.
“Regarding the individual video game titles, when it will be launched, we will be making the announcement when each of those games are ready,” Iwata responded.
“At least, however, we believe that there is no means of collaboration if we can’t launch anything, at least once, or some sort of output within this year.”
Hours after Iwata’s press conference, Nintendo’s shares had jumped by more than 30 percent. For years, many analysts have urged Nintendo to bring its business to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform.
Nintendo was keen to stress that its venture in mobile does not represent an abandonment of its traditional console business. To emphasise this, Nintendo also announced the project name for its next system, the NX. Iwata referred to it as a “dedicated games platform with a brand new concept”.
Meanwhile, Nintendo also confirmed it is developing a membership service that will be “compatible with a variety of devices including PCs, smartphones, and tablets, as well as Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems”.
Iwata explained that the new membership service will “encompass the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems,” as well as the NX.