Many have chided Nintendo for its snail-paced expansion into the mobile gaming market. Although it now has officially one game, Miitomo, (or two if you count Pokemon GO), that is still just one game in an sea of thousands. It seems, however, that the gaming giant is indeed giving it deep thought, going as far as considering the hardware to go with mobile games. No, Nintendo isn’t looking into making a gaming smartphone, but it might be considering making a physical controller to put mobile gaming on par with consoles and handhelds in terms of controls.
Of course, Nintendo isn’t committing to it already, only that it is looking into the possibility. The response, given at the company’s annual general shareholders meeting, was in the context of a question about action games. Despite the popularity of mobile gaming, certain genres have traditionally been considered ill-suited for the touchscreen only controls of smartphones. While Nintendo does say that there are already existing controllers for mobile devices, it might consider making its own.
That said, General Manager of Entertainment Planning and Development Division Shinya Takahashi says that the Nintendo way isn’t simply to just produce controllers to make action games more playable. The Nintendo way is to actually reflect on whether action games are actually possible to play without a controller and how to make that possible. Which is to say, if they can avoid making a hardware product, which is riskier business-wise compared to developing a game, they’d probably take that route.
Takahashi uses that to segue into the topic of Nintendo’s mobile presence. Most will naturally expect it to put out games but, while it will certainly do that in the months to come, Nintendo is also looking into another area, what it dubs “Nintendo-like” applications. Technically, Miitomo is such an application rather than a game, and the company is looking beyond games as well.
Mario creator and Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto admits that Nintendo has to look into other areas for growth to increase its profits. That may go beyond its current gaming harware and games portfolio, but that doesn’t yet include movies it was rumored to also be producing.