Nintendo has announced they are partnering with DeNa to create games for mobile devices. While it seems this is a move the company did not want to make based on Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata previous comments, it may be a move they have to.
The 3DS has continually been the the top selling console in Japan and with the release of the New 3DS XL in North America, it once again became the best selling console in February. Although this is positive news, the 3DS has sold just a fraction of it's predecessor the Nintendo DS. The Wii U is a totally different story. As of January 2015, it has yet to break the 10 million units sold mark while the Wii has sold over 100 million units. More than likely, the Wii U will be Nintendo's worst selling console ever.
The positive thing we can take from this is that Nintendo has continued to make fantastic games. Their catalog of games on 3DS is considered one of the best on any console and while they haven't released many games on Wii U, they often are well reviewed by press and users. They have a hardware and not a software problem.
So where does Nintendo go from here? Entering into the mobile device space is the most obvious and at this point, necessary move for them to continue making portable and home consoles. You cannot underestimate how many people have iOS and Android devices. Putting their IP in front these people on a daily basis can only improve their brand.
While you won't be playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on your iPhone 6 because lets be honest, on screen buttons are terrible, you will be getting games from what many consider to be the best game developer in the industry. Most hardcore gamers consider mobile to be a secondary experience but with games like Monument Valley and Alto's Adventure, we're seeing good games shine through in a cesspool terrible gameplay and excessive micro transactions.
On the latest episode of Accidental Tech Podcast, John Siracusa spoke about the exit of SEGA from the home console market and how the Sonic The Hedgehog IP has ultimately been ruined by bad games. SEGA could have continued to be a top tier game developer with their existing IP but when they left the home console market, they also made terrible Sonic games. This is the reason SEGA's brand has taken a nose dive in recent memory not because their games are appearing on mobile devices. Nintendo has the chance to take the reign as king of mobile gaming and still keep their precious IP at a high standard.
This is certainly not the end of Nintendo as we know it. It's a necessity for Nintendo to continue making the games we love. I'm extremely excited to see what they'll come up with and how they'll be able to make mobile and their consoles come together.