Nintendo smartphone game delayed to March, won’t have Mario

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nintendo smartphone game delayed to March, won’t have Mario.

Tokyo – Japan’s Nintendo on Thursday pushed back the much-awaited launch of its videogame service for smartphones by a few months to March 2016, disappointing gaming fans as well as investors who drove its shares down by more than 10 percent. Nintendo will roll out its first smartphone game in March rather than this year as originally planned, delaying the company’s plans to cash in on the growing market for games on smartphones.Nintendo Account is what the company is calling its evolution of Nintendo Network, which it is building in partnership with Japanese mobile gaming publisher DeNA, according to executive remarks during an investor meeting. This should finally bring full online features to Nintendo hardware, and it will help keep people connected across devices as well — something the Japanese publisher has struggled with.

Chief Executive Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who succeeded Satoru Iwata, said the delay would help Nintendo concentrate on selling its existing consoles and game software during the year-end holiday season. “The year-end is traditionally our peak season for sales,” told a packed news conference, when asked about the delay. “This way, we’d be able to introduce our new applications after the holiday season is over.” He avoided commenting on whether Mario would come to smartphones, instead introducing a new social networking service-style application called “Miitomo” which would be available in March. Kimishima on Thursday also said the company was setting up a membership service, called “My Nintendo,” which would connect users through a cloud across a variety of devices including consoles and smartphones. “My Nintendo will work as a bridge between dedicated game systems and smart devices,” Kimishima said. That’s hardly an electric opening launch — Nintendo’s share price dipped 7.5 percent right after the reveal — and it isn’t likely to appeal to mainstream mobile games worldwide like, say, a Mario game, but there will be more to come.

This is likely a crucial feature for Nintendo as it attempts to keep its traditional console-gaming business afloat as it builds mobile games for the first time ever. On Wednesday, Nintendo reported a weaker-than-expected operating profit for the July-September quarter on tepid sales of game software. “This (move into mobile gaming) is a sea change for them and there may be some growing pains like this along the way,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Hong Kong-based brokerage Parry International Trade. It’s likely also crucial for the new Nintendo NX hardware, which is a followup to the Wii U and 3DS, because oft-repeated rumors suggest that system will have both home and portable units. Former CEO Iwata, credited with broadening the appeal of videogames, died of cancer in July just months after deciding to enter mobile gaming despite years of resisting investor calls for such a move.

In the six-months ended Sept. 30, Nintendo posted revenue of 204 billion yen (US$1.7 billion), up 19 percent from the same period last year but net profit dropped 20 percent to 11.4 billion yen. Like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam, you can play a game on one device, and Nintendo will push that data out to all of your synced hardware through the cloud.

Nintendo aims to make profits from the smart devices business, maximize access to its intellectual property among a variety users, while building synergies with its console business, he added, indicating a continuation of Iwata’s game plan.

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