Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nintendo's Huge Announcements

Well this is unexpected, there was no Nintendo direct yet we have huge news and signals a change in Nintendo's policey on mobile gaming. Today saw three rather large announcements.

Number One: Nintendo on your phone

Today Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA to develop entirely new (No ports or VC) Nintendo IP games for mobile devices. DeNA are probably Japan's largest mobile gaming publisher and this partnership looks fairly long term as Nintendo will be getting 10% of DeNA's outstanding shares and DeNA will be getting cash value equivalent to 1% of Nintendo's outstanding shares.

Nintendo's hope here is to create games that will help lure people over from their phones to the 3DS and Wii U. Which leads us to Number 2

Yes we'll get to THAT in a Moment

Number 2: New "Membership" program

Nintendo and DeNA are co-developing and operating a new membership that will cover PC, Smart phones/tablets and dedicated Nintendo machines. This service will be replacing the currently closing Club Nintendo but judging from their comments this appears to be an account based system (similar to Xbox live),

Number 3: An all new system!!!!

This was both the smallest and biggest surprise. Described as "brand new concept" the NX sits along side the 3DS and Wii U in the promo materials, which is reminiscent of the "third pillar" that Nintendo originally pitched the DS as. However we wont be hearing about the new device until 2016  which knowing Nintendo will launch the following year. This would put the Wii U at 4/5 years old  and the 3DS at 5/6 (and N3DS at 1/2). Which is about right time for the Wii U retirement as Nintendo operates on a roughly 5 year rotation.

Abe's Take
This is all huge news, Nintendo has been pestered for years by its share holders to get involved in mobile gaming and this method seems to prevent cannibalising their hardware sales, it's unknown just how much freedom the mobile developers will have. Will they be able to make "full handheld" like titles or be limited to be more "lighter" games suited to the platform.

In Terms of the new membership platform Nintendo needs this to be account based system similar to Xbox live, Allowing users to take the games from console to console and allow for easy recovery of lost content. This would also aid them in bringing mobile users over to the "proper" systems, Having all those mobile games waiting for you on your new 3DS would certainly be a big selling point

Finally the DX, whilst the time table is typical Nintendo the early announcement is problematic and cant really have anything but negative impact on Wii U sales. However we don't actually know this is a new home system, It could be a the new hand held, or a third pillar VR esc device. Of cause its been long rumoured that Nintendo's next system would either be a hybrid home/Handheld system or two systems that seamlessly integrate.

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