While announcing a landmark partnership with mobile giant DeNA that will bring new games to smartphones/devices (more on that after the break), Nintendo made a quick remark today about a project currently codenamed NX.
The company’s president Satoru Iwata emphasized that Nintendo will continue to work on dedicated gaming systems like the 3DS and Wii U despite these new mobile plans, noting that a “platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename NX” is in the works.
He didn’t clarify whether this will be a handheld or home console, or a convergence of both, or if this will be hardware at all. Iwata instead teased, “It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.” He also added that Nintendo is working with DeNA on a new membership service that will encompass the NX, 3DS, Wii U, smart devices, and PCs, which the gaming company will operate. This multi-device service is meant to “form one of the core elements” of the NX.
Nintendo announces Miitomo, their first smartphone title
At an investor meeting today, Nintendo announced the first of five smartphone titles coming by March 2017: Miitomo, set for a global launch in March 2016.
Miitomo seems to be taking after games like Tomodachi Life, as it is a community and communication-focused social title starring the Miis.
It will be free to play, with in-game purchases.
Nintendo’s goal with this title seems to be to encourage communication by enabling players’ Miis to interact on their own. “Those who are less inclined to send messages can easily participate”, says Nintendo.
Details are still a bit sparse, but we’ll update when we know more.
Nintendo partnering with DeNA Co., Ltd. to develop for smart devices
Earlier today, Satoru Iwata gave a press conference announcing Nintendo’s intention to develop software for smart devices. They will be working with DeNA, a Japanese mobile portal developer and owner of a popular mobile gaming platform, Mobage. To quote Iwata: “Nintendo and DeNA intend to jointly operate new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which they will develop specifically for smart devices.”
Nintendo’s next-generation console is codenamed ’NX’
Nintendo NX is the code name for Nintendo’s next console.
The NX hardware will be built to tie into a new membership service that Nintendo is developing with DeNA. The new service will replace Club Nintendo and will be compatible with Wii U, 3DS and smart-phones and tablets.
One question I had following the massive, earth-shaking announcement of Nintendo’s move into smartphone games: how involved will Nintendo be? Is this a case of Nintendo making games for new hardware, or of Nintendo effectively licensing out its characters to DeNA for use in conventional smartphone stuff?
CEO Satoru Iwata lays it out in this great interview with Time: “Development of smart device games will be mainly done by Nintendo,” he said, “but it is significant that we are forming a joint development structure with DeNA.” DeNA’s experience with the ongoing nature of phone games – the continued delivery of content and support of games – is something new to Nintendo, and Nintendo will rely on DeNA for “service-oriented operations.”
I have resisted the urge to write a thinkpiece so far, because there are very smart analyses out there by Chris Kohler and others, so I’ll just lay out my take real quick: It’s going to be fine. Nintendo will either be a huge smartphone success and move more of its talent into making great games for phones, or it’ll change its mind and try something else, or it will do both.
I’m trying to summon up doomsday scenarios but I just can’t. Nintendo embracing non-Nintendo platforms isn’t really the end of anything; if anything, it’ll be the thing that finally leads to good controllers on phones.
Nintendo and DeNA announcing their first smartphone game tomorrow
Yes, an announcement of an announcement: The first mobile game resulting from Nintendo and DeNA’s partnership will be revealed tomorrow, Thursday October 29th. We have no clue what it might be or what franchise it might use, but that just means we’re excited to find out.
In other Nintendo news, Kimishima confirmed that we will see at least one more Nintendo Direct by the end of 2015. Also, Pokemon developer Game Freak recently acquired the smartphone development studio Koa Games, suggesting the Pokemon may see a greater presence still on mobile devices. However, we should keep in mind that Game Freak is a private company, so their future mobile plans might not necessarily include Pokemon (as we saw with their SEGA collab, Tembo the Badass Elephant).
We’ll be back tomorrow to share the reveal of Nintendo’s first mobile title!
A friend of mine recently got me into Gravity Falls, and has been trying to introduce me to all of the mysteries and conspiracies surrounding the show, both canon and fan-created. While watching the beginning of Carpet Diem, I actually caught my first hidden secret thing.
I haven’t gotten far enough to be introduced to Bill Cipher, but she’s told me about him. This is absolutely not accidental.