No, Nintendo Will Not Start Releasing Mario On Smartphones

By Ishaan . January 20, 2014 . 10:00am

Despite their ongoing financial woes, Nintendo will not start developing their games for smartphones, according to a Wall Street Journal report.


“The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It’s not that simple,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said at a news conference last Friday.


“The key is to figure out a way to use smartphones to make people aware of Nintendo’s games, and encourage them to try out the console version of the games. It doesn’t mean we should put Mario on smartphones.”


Nintendo recently provided early investor data ahead of its third quarter financial results briefing, which will take place later this month. In light of lesser-than-expected sales of their Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles, the company lowered its earnings forecast by a considerable amount for the remainder of the financial year.


That said, while Nintendo’s Wii U console is in dire straits, the Nintendo 3DS has been doing well for itself. While Nintendo 3DS sales were lower than expected outside of Nintendo’s home market in Japan, the 3DS has already amassed an excellent library of games, and holds the potential to achieve far greater heights, provided the company plays its cards right with regard to acquiring the right kind of software support.


Nintendo will discuss its short and mid-term strategy on January 30th. We’ll have more details on what to expect from the game maker then.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • MrRobbyM

    Exactly! Should they make Mario/Nintendo games available on smart phones/tablets? No! Should they make use of a smart phones features in a way that will expand gameplay without being too gimmicky? Yes!

    • PreyMantis

      They did say before that they’ll use smartphones for advertisement purposes.

    • idrawrobots

      I do think it was a great idea to put the Pokedex on iOS, so if we can get more stuff like that I would be happy.

      • ronin4life

        Even so, I believe the Pokémon Company decided to do that themselves. Nintendo had no say.

        • Nintendo owns 53% of the Pokemon Company. I have no doubt the decision ran past ’em.

    • Kaetsu

      Yeah there are lots of companion apps Nintendo could make for smartphones that would just enhance your gaming experience like a QR code browser for Animal Crossing or an eShop app.

  • Tarkovsky

    The day Nintendo releases games on Smartphones is the day gaming dies.

    • MaximDualBlade

      Not at all.

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      The day Iwata graced Smartphones with Nintendo games may be the most important day of your life. But for Iwata, it was Tuesday ;)

      Doesn’t seem like they will release only on smartphones anytime soon. I think we’re good for now.

  • Klarktastic

    *comment removed because opps*

    • Guest

      Region-lock must go for customers’ sake. Sometimes a game due a fair financial situation stays in one region, but it’d be great give the option for those who still want buy it. Europe got great things like Another Code: R, Last Window and Disaster: Day of Crisis but I’ve heard they never got amazing stuff like Trauma Team and they’re still waiting for some Atlus titles. And let’s not talk about Japanese exclusives :P

      I know retailers may do not like that change, but I don’t understand full well why…

      • KnifeAndFork

        Obviously it’s not that big a deal if its not an issue for Sony or Microsoft or any of Nintendos past handhelds

        • Guest

          Since the N handhelds’ region-locking started at DSi, I reckon it has to do with the eShop and maybe the agreements they have with retailers, their pricing scheme and/or localization managements within all the regions they manage; I cannot grasp the true form of this ‘reasoning’ but probably it is an issue for their criteria as business unlike Sony and MS.

  • idrawrobots


  • Warren

    Man they’re really whoring out Mario…and its not even the good whore, just the last resort when you’re super desperate whore!

    • Kaetsu

      If Nintendo is going to “whore out” more Mario games like 3D World then I don’t mind.

  • Happy Gamer

    I hear alot of people saying “Nintendo make games for all platforms,” and while this isn’t a bad idea an good for us who would like to own one console and play N’s games, I’m afraid of the quality consistence.

    Many Nintendo games were made with their consoles in mind, and were able to execute full exercise, the way they want to create their 1st party games. If they become a 3rd party for example, they need to go through other steps and for example, Sony before releasing their games. In the worst case scenario, Sony may not necessarily like what they are doing etc.

    I thnik why Sonic games fell off after the Dreamcast (mmeh not necessarily lol I def do believe there are OTHER causes but anyhoo), is precisely because of these kind of factors.

    If somehow Nintendo can pull off everything they are doing now with freedom, game making environment etc. I am all for having Mario games all across the board, but I don’t see this happening.

    I’d rather see quality games on a designated platform.

    Then again I am pretty partial to things like this haha.

    I’d rather see an amazing dish sold at a small, mom and pops restaurant than a pretty watered down version at franchises.

    • Kaetsu

      I’m sure will start seeing games that will utilise the gamepad in creative ways at some point. Possibly Miyamoto’s new IP.

      • Happy Gamer

        I personally see tons of uses for the gamepad. Even really simple stuff like inventory on your pad to me is wonderful. No need to press start of menu button to go back and forth etc. is amazing already to me.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Imagine a The Last Story game with the gamepad.
          Imagine the Multiplayer mode too, Stealth games/ tatics vs games benefit from the gamepad massively

          Zelda U should also show it off quite well.

          • Happy Gamer

            Yeah can’t imagine how the New zelda would use this feat. Last Story woulda been great with the tablet!

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Puzzles galore :>

        • Guest

          When I first heard about Wii U, I was unimpressed but then I read an interview about the possibilities of asymmetrical gaming and it clicked, the designer in me saw all the possibilities; I think I did my own brainstorming of game ideas, I felt like Peter Molydeux :P

          And while I’ve seen good uses of the Gamepad in existing games, hopefully in the future more fresh approaches come to materialize; maybe from the indies titles!

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            You should try coaster crazy deluxe on the Eshop


            Personally I think Nintendo should make a ARTS for their console, like Dota. Along with more horror, strategy and RPG’s on the WiiU. Namely since they have a lot of devs that excel in that format,they benefit well from the gamepad as well and they have 15 franchises in those genres.

            Its why Im looking forward to X a lot.

            X and TLS would be perfect for gamepad usage

          • Kaetsu

            Closest thing to an RTS would be Pikmin but imagine if Nintendo jumped on the MOBA bandwagon. All the Heroes would be Nintendo characters. Super Smash Defence? I’m really surprised no one has had the idea to do a touch based strategy game on Wii U. Using a touch screen gives you the same precision as mouse so it would work very well. I could also see stealth being implemented into cool ways with the gamepad like using it as a way to read enemy movement or something.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Nintendo’s also making like 3 NFC games

  • Happy Gamer

    I still want to play Wonderful 101, Mario, Bayonetta 2, X, and handful of last gen port games on the Wii U (Arkam, Darksdiers 2), so I hope the system does well. I have ONE console I can get from bday from wife…ps4 or Wii U..>_< and this is hurting me BAD lololol. I want both!

    • Herok♞

      Personally I would say Wiiu since the library is the best for next gen right now, unless you really want Infamous now otherwise I would wait the year to get the PS4 and have the benefit of having both consoles a year after launch.

      • Kaetsu

        Herok is right. The Wii U has better games at the moment and by the end of the year it probably still will. PS4 might be better at some point once it has games like Uncharted 4 but for now the Wii U is the way to go. Plus from what you said it seems there are already way more Wii U games you want to play then PS4.

        • KnifeAndFork

          It’s barely been 2 months jeez

          • Kaetsu

            And? The console being out for 2 months doesn’t affect anything. We still know that this year the system will get Infamous and The Order but that’s still not as good as the Wii U’s library. The PS4 may have a better library eventually but it won’t this year, so for that reason at this point a Wii U is the better purchase.

          • Herok♞

            And he wants a console now, which is what I am going off of.

        • Happy Gamer

          Yeah eventually I ill probably get both. I am not really a fan of one console. Up till last gen, I had all consoles released in that period. But I went back to school fulltime, so gaming itself is harder, and am on a budget because of it as well. So I will most likely pick up one console, and play it during breaks etc. when I am not doing research, taking courses etc.

          I am excited to see what this generation has to offer. I think if people really gave it a try, the Wii U could def come up with some interesting games.

          I think a multiplayer Zelda game (4 swords sequel?) would fit very well with the system.

          Also the ps4 and xbox imo is only a matter of time until it has great games on them with all the support they get.

          • idrawrobots

            Hopefully Hyrule Warriors has co-op.

          • Kaetsu

            A sequel to 4 swords would be great. On the original it was on the Gamecube and people with a Gameboy Advance could link up. Now they can do the same thing with the 3DS linking up to the Wii U.

    • If you plan on getting both, Wii U is probably the best bet for now because it’s cheaper and has a better library. I predict the PS4 is going to have a price drop, even if it’s just a small one, by the end of this year. I could be wrong about that, but with the PS4’s “current” library, it isn’t worth getting right at this moment.

      • I like my PS4, but I agree, it’s library is severely lacking at the moment, and the biggest things coming out for it in the next few months is Second Son and MGSV, depending on your tastes. And those are still gonna be some time away.

        Really hoping Sony ups the release schedule for 2014.

        • Herok♞

          The problem with MGS V is they have it cross gen, so you can get it even if you don’t upgrade

          • idrawrobots

            That fact also really makes me wonder why Wii U isn’t getting MGS V.

  • At least Nintendo gets the point of what companies /should/ be doing with the smartphone market, i.e. making smaller things that are meant to garner interest in the larger console/handheld game.

    • KnifeAndFork

      Pretty sure Sony already has that with the PSN app

      • They do, but I’m speaking more of companies like SE, who seem to have missed that point by a wide margin, except for the case of their Bravely Default app in Japan.

        • Ric Vazquez

          So true

      • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

        but isn’t helping much speaking specifically Vita in the west.

  • Kumiko Akimoto


  • Altumn

    Haha I could have told you that they wouldn’t! I can’t imagine them putting any main title out on someone else’s stuff.

  • Daverost

    Mobile Virtual Console. Nintendo is just sitting on money. There are a ton of people out there just playing ROMs on their mobile devices anyway. They may as well get some cash out of it.

    • Kaetsu

      Not a bad idea. If they were to do it I doubt they would make many games available but maybe just a few NES games.

    • ronin4life

      Except that rom market is already there, and ANY Nintendo game on a non Nintendo system would set a bad precedence that they would never recover from.

      • Daverost

        A bad precedence of what? Making their games available and their customers happy? Yeah, terrible.

  • PreyMantis

    I think these doom-gloom people think that Nintendo is strictly just a gaming company and don’t really gain a lot of money with games, when in fact is one of gaming industry’s money maker. The Wii U may not be doing great, but look at Nintendo’s game sales! They think that the hardware is the only thing they make money of, when it’s actually the reverse. I think these idiots treats Nintendo like a small company because they think they mostly just make games unlike Sony or Microsoft. I mean, come on, they own a baseball team and they venture on other mediums, so that should be indications that you’re doing a doom-and-gloom on the wrong company. Ugh… This is just stupid now…

    • Guest

      An interesting fact to note is that although Nintendo “only” business is gaming, its market cap ($19.90 B) is bigger than Sony’s ($17.73B) despite the latter being in almost every electronic business: computers, TVs, mobile, music, medical devices, etc., even others like financial services and entertainment (Yeah, they own Spider-man film rights).

      Nintendo does really well for a gaming-only business. They have to establish a better strategy, but that’s it.

      • I think a lot of people miss that fact, for some reason. People really like to imagine that we live in a world that has Nintendo making only spare change compared to Sony/Microsoft, when in truth, it’s one of the more successful companies out there.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          And that is why the have 11.6 billion dollars in the bank.

          Nintendo’s “financial woes” are only due to them spending more money than they make since they dropped the Wii. But here’s the thing.

          They still make profits. They’ve only been in the red once. And that was the year the 3DS came out.

          • John Diamond

            it sells to make doom and gloom.
            remember how on certain sites, they kept saying stuff like ‘knack trumps mario’ and mario 3d world is selling poorly in japan?

            yeah. what’s still in the top ten

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            3D World :p.

            That game has a hella impressive attache rate.

            WiiU owners have a thirst

          • Except… Mario 3D World did sell poorly in Japan. it did nothing for Wii U sales, beyond a couple of weeks during the holidays. This is a fact with numbers to prove it.

          • Isn’t that more from the fact that Japan seems to have this strange burning dislike for the 3D Mario series, and instead things like New Super Mario Brothers have a higher sales rate?

          • No, not at all. Super Mario 3D Land on 3DS did great. Given that World is a game builds upon what Land did, it should have done well, too, but it didn’t. I think it’s the result of there simply being too much Mario in the last two years.

            Edit: I mean, yes, 2D Mario will always be more popular, but NSMB U didn’t do much for Wii U sales either.

          • John Diamond

            oh damn, again dont get me wrong, it didn’t sell like hot cakes, you are entirely right about that. I am not denying it.
            It just sold steadily.

          • Yeah. While looking at 2012 to 2013, there’s a definite downturn, that would require ignoring the billions in profits they’ve amassed during the previous years since they existed. And compared to Sony and Microsoft…

            Of course, even numbers can tend to go over some people’s heads. I wonder what Sony and Microsoft’s 2013 amounts are gonna end up being on that list, due to the One and PS4 having come out?

    • Tiredman

      Aye, they also don’t understand that since Nintendo is only gaming, they aren’t being stupid like Xbox for instance spending half a billion dollars to get a pro football license so they can show games on the system. Nintendo isn’t losing money hand over fist like Microsoft does, and they aren’t dying, they just aren’t as successful as they wish they could be.

    • Spirit Macardi

      That’s the thing I like most about Nintendo: they make games and they aren’t ashamed to admit it. They don’t try to shove tons of extra media functions into their consoles in an attempt to “justify” them, and they don’t try to market them as rivals to Blu-Ray Players, Smart Phones, or any other non-gaming devices that most people already have in some form.

  • At least they’re doing something right.

  • NeoPancho

    I could somewhat understand some silly game (“Mario Jump!”) or apps like the pokedex showing up in iOS or Android, but seriously, the day Nintendo stop producing their own systems is the day i stop playing video games… then again, they might fall here and there but i don’t think anyone here will live long enough to see that day ;)

  • epy

    The day Nintendo properties appear on smartphones I would probably think “It’s over…the last bastion has fallen”. It’s all downhill from there.

    • SetzerGabbiani

      I have similar thoughts. They are one of the only companies in the business keeping quality and innovation alive and pushing other companies to do so. I feel like the industry will collapse on itself like in the days of ET on Atari without Nintendo.

  • I can now confirm Nintendo won’t ever dissapoint me, at least not intensely.

    • KnifeAndFork

      They had me at region lock

    • It’s all good EXCEPT for region-locking. That needs to die, burn off, get buried, stomped upon, and ashes scattered on the face of Iwata.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Region locking is for, pricing structure, their online store and guarentee assurance in some cases, some people cant get paid without some things being in order first.

        Region locking is pretty annoying, but there are reasons why its kept. And why devs implement it themselves at times.

        So if you travel alot its best to have multiple 3DS’s like I do( I’d buy more than one anyway, I had 3 DS lites. (pokemon))

      • Well I don’t do imports so….

        But yeah, should be neat for that to be deactivated.

  • I hope none of the companies make smartphone games. I’m probably one of the few people in the world that doesn’t own a cellphone or even wants one. I doubt most people who buy a cellphone are buying it primarily for gaming. That’s what consoles and gaming PCs are for. Cellphone gaming is likely an alternative activity for a lot of people who are bored waiting for the bus or something.

    And I don’t know too much about mobile gaming, but how exactly does multiplayer work, or does it even work at all? Recent Mario games have been making great strides to include multiplayer, so how would that work on a mobile device?

    One of the most common things I’ve heard people say is that consumers have moved onto smartphones and tablets. The problem with people who say this is that they assume consumers are there for good and they’ll never try out consoles again. Just because consumers have moved on doesn’t mean it’s impossible to persuade them to come back to console gaming. It’s probably going to be tough for Nintendo and even Sony and Microsoft to persuade the casual gamer to come back to console gaming, but they can’t just give up because some armchair analyst said something on some forum somewhere.

    I’m glad Iwata is in charge and not someone whose attitude is to immediately give up when things are going wrong.

    By the way, has anybody noticed the pattern that all companies have with their consoles? For Nintendo, the underwhelming performance of the Gamecube led to the DS and Wii, which became huge success for them, but then they made mistakes with the 3DS by overpricing it, which caused it to stumble out the door. Same thing for Wii U, only they haven’t fixed the situation yet. For Sony, the overwhelming success of the PS2 led to the PS3, and that big screw up is what led to the PS4.

    This industry moves in cycles. Companies make products that become too successful and they end up getting too arrogant and screwing up with their next products, but then they play their cards more carefully and end up creating more successful products afterwards. The point is that even if the Wii U does become a flop, that doesn’t mean Nintendo is going to make a Wii U 2 or Wii U 3. They’ll just aim to create a better, more successful product next time, at least I hope they do.

    • KnifeAndFork

      That’s crazy it’s like you’re from the 80’s lol. Well I met one construction tycoon who refused to buy a cell phone; said “if you can’t get a hold of me you probably weren’t important anyway” lol

      Meanwhile every 10 yr old and up has a cellphone these days

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        I dont have a smartphone myself.

        I do have a tablet however ( KIndle Fire)

  • d19xx


  • Chaos_Knight

    If Nintendo does something with smartphones, I would like to see a Miiverse app.

    • Kaetsu

      Nintendo actually confirmed that Miiverse would come to smartphones at some point.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Miiverse is on smartphones already

        • idrawrobots

          I just checked just now, and the sight is making me go to last years E3 site. It worked before though.

    • KnifeAndFork

      I could see them doing that at least; but that’s harder for them to monitor and moderate

      • Kaetsu

        How would it be hard? It would be the exact same server and app that the 3DS, Wii U and PC have of Miiverse.

      • British_Otaku

        If you haven’t seen it already, Nintendo have PC Browser access to Miiverse as well, it functions the same minus the lack of touch screen input and using Nintendo Network ID to log in.

        There isn’t really anything difficult to monitor and moderate about allowing the same userbase to access their social network from more devices.

  • MrJechgo

    Good, the mobile gaming system is getting problematic with the overflow of apps and in-app purchases disguised in “free” apps.
    Here’s an alternative: how about “apps” for the eShops, be tools or games? It’s cheap, accessible AND still in Nintendo territories.

  • All I get from this, is that people are so quick to spit on Ninty for being too kiddy and making below-par tech consoles *whine*whine*whine* BUT feel so entitled to have their franchises on smartphones. Goes to show these people are illogical since they’re claiming Ninty games are childish and at the same time crave them, and are pressed and frustrated for not being able to play Ninty gems on their super pricy smartphones. Thing is the 3DS is cheap! If you’re able to afford an 800$ gadget that will be rendered obsolete within a year, you can spare 200$ for a console that will last you 5-6 years. Pseudo analysts/economists should be the ones to take off their baby diapers and man up and not the other way around.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Nintendo has a habit of making tech that’s either ground breaking in design efficiency or “just enough”

  • Auvers

    What did people seriously want them to put on Smartphones anyway? Begging for the millionth runner/jump game only staring Mario I guess.

  • Samsara09

    Simply Bravo!Now I see why my first console was nintendo’s.Those guys are simply amazing.Now,if only Square Enix could read this news….

  • Happy Gamer

    Monster Hunter app where you can do the menial tasks like fishing, farming etc on your phone on a timer. so u can check, get harvests etc. that will transition to ur game as resources via internet etc. Would be neato lol.

    You wouldn’t have to use in game time to gather resources, cook meat, get bullet and arrow phial ingredients <—-me lol

    Sure you could buy most of these things in the shop, but if implemented well I think it would not only save money in game, but also be very fun!

  • Anthony Birken

    Loving this. Don’t intend to turn games towards smartphone market.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    Good! Once Nintendo starts making smartphone games, it’ll be over for them.

  • niko

    90% of gaming analysis seems to be done by people who don’t actually do financial analysis, but rather have branded themselves market analysts. It’s embarrassing. Case in point. NINTENDO STOCK DROPPED 18%. Yes it did. But it rebounded 12% and closed down less than 6%. That’s a big difference than 18%.

    • Kelohmello

      Well, definitely a big difference, but all the same a rather large percent in regards to stocks all the same.

      • niko

        That’s not financial analysis though. Picking out a single fact and reporting it without context, without actual analysis. That’s twitter, not financial analysis. Saying Nintendo’s stock dropped 18% without knowing about the bounceback or even caring is ridiculous.

        • Kelohmello

          I know that. I was just commenting. 6% is still pretty significant.

    • Göran Isacson

      Kinda curious now: why did it rebound after dropping so far? Did Nintendo do damage control, or were the 12 % who dropped Ninty stocks and then buy them back just nervous monkey people who hit the “sell” button because there was a banana on it? Ooor option three, did a lot of new investors just buy stocks after the price plunged from the 18 % drop?

  • hazelnut1112

    Miiverse on smartphones would seem like a good move.

  • katamari damacy

    Mario on smartphones is just silly, but what of Nintendo’s other underutilized properties? Chibi-Robo as a casual game, Pikmin as a candy crush-like limited turn social game, Donkey Konga, Earthbound.
    At least that will translate well into increased attention for when thos egames have a ‘real’ release on a Nintendo console.

  • RoyalR R.M

    Why play games on Smartphone, there’s already Handheld.
    I look at you Square enix.

  • Göran Isacson

    An interesting situation, this. I do not think Nintendo moving to smart phones or other consoles is the best solution to them either: I do believe that smartphones have eaten a LOT of their customers from the Wii-crowd, and yes: I do think they have lost a bunch of people there. Kids these days play with smart phones way more than Nintendo consoles, and I don’t think I’m being controversial if I say that Nintendo’s prime strategy has been to get ’em while they’re young. Less young people playing on a Nintendo device, less chance these young people will grow up to be Nintendo fans who will give their well-done IP’s a chance over the more graphically advanced competitors.

    BUT. Parents are gaming more than ever, and I think plenty of parents out there buy Nintendo-consoles and indoctrinate their kids into the Church of Mario. That will probably help them out. And as other people say, and Iwata himself here say, Iwata using smart phones to advertize or create awareness of Nintendo products is probably the best way to use the tech to spread brand awareness. saying Nintendo are doomed is probably wrong. The WiiU seems to be nothing BUT problems at the moment between lackluster tech and poor support for everyone who’s not a second-party developer, and generally seems to be going the way of the Gamecube. But still: they got more money in the bank than most other gaming companies, so the playing field still seems even. We shall simply have to wait and see how this generation turns out, and hope that Nintendo finds a way to look at the good other companies do and borrow from them without losing their own way. ‘Cause seriously guys. Online accounts. Get them done the way we like it, please.

  • Yan Zhao

    Thank God, Nintendo knows whats up. They just need better console release planning and market research.

  • Anthony Hadow

    Since when doe Nintendo port any of there major franchises?

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