Publishers Want To Bring Their Smartphone Games To Nintendo 3DS Says Iwata

By Ishaan . January 29, 2014 . 7:25pm

It’s happening. More and more publishers are considering bringing their smartphone games to Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed at a financial results briefing today in Japan.


This, Iwata says, is largely due to the success of Puzzle & Dragons Z in Japan. Puzzle & Dragons Z is an RPG adaptation of Gung Ho Online Entertainment’s immensely successful Puzzle & Dragons smartphone game, and sold 1 million copies on the Nintendo 3DS in less than a month.


“Now that they have observed the success of Puzzle & Dragons Z, the number of companies who have approached Nintendo with an offer to provide Nintendo 3DS with the titles which they originally designed for and grew on smart devices has been increasing,” Iwata said to shareholders and analysts.


“As this example illustrates, the Nintendo 3DS platform has already reached a scale with enough business potential for not only the titles invented for game devices but also the ones originally made for other platforms. With the overall software lineup, we aim to make this year and the next one a profit-generating phase for Nintendo 3DS.”


The 3DS certainly is at a point where experimenting with different business models has become a viable prospect in Japan. Speaking with Famitsu magazine, Sega producer Toshihiro Nagoshi recently stated, “In Japan, the most widely used handheld device is definitely the smartphone; but following that, it is definitely the Nintendo 3DS.”


As a result, Sega are experimenting with the free-to-play business model on the Nintendo 3DS. Their first free-to-play title on the device will be Initial D: Perfect Shift Online, which is slated for release in Japan this spring. After observing its performance, Sega intend to bring more free-to-play titles to 3DS in the future.

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  • GDI

    It won’t be long until dedicated handhelds would just become smartphones with buttons (something which Nokia tried and failed years ago with the N-Gage). Besides buttons, the only other thing distinguishing them from mobile games would probably be Story Mode and less frequent updates.

    Among all the numerous “What should Nintendo do?” articles clogging the internet nowadays, the suggestion to actually turn the 3DS into a cheap phone (just add a SIM slot; keep the lowres and distinctive hardware) is with exclusive games is actually starting to make sense.

    • Lucky Dan

      Nokia n-gage was wayyyyyy ahead of its time, it was too expensive at that time like 600 bucks for a mobile phone was unheard of in those days and now look at the current state they consider 400 bucks for a phone is consider cheap.

      Sure the games weren’t as good but it paved the way for the future.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Nintendo almost made one in 2004 too

        Ngage having cartrdiges in the battery slot though? Stuuupppiddddd

    • Shippoyasha

      I would argue the phone-route has ALWAYS made sense. But phone gaming is so thoroughly vilified as unfeasible by gamers, not many gave it serious thought.

      • Fen Y

        The reason is more that the *games* are mostly awful, not the medium itself.

        • Haganeren

          No, it’s the medium which is awful in my opinion for various reason :
          – The fact it’s very easy to enter make a whole lot of shovelware. => You need to be visible or you games can’t be sold. So, you need to pay society in order to buy your game for making him at the top 10 which is one of the only way to be visible.

          – Also, the price here is so low, consumers don’t want to pay more for more ambitious game (which is not a AAA, medium-sized games) which leaded to the F2P system (that i hate). Of course, when your name is “Square Enix” and your game “Final Fantasy”, it’s easier.

          – The touch control.

          Mind that there is some good game which comes out from that… But yeah, the fact so many games are awful is the medium fault in my opinion.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        The vita tried this strategy. Didnt quite work

        • Shaun Salisbury

          It worked for Square Enix this year they are back in the black largely due to large profits from mobile phone games.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Yes because they manage things terribly.

            What works for one doesnt work for others

            Hence why not everyone can do what activision does ith call of duty

          • Shaun Salisbury

            Considering Nintendo’s 3 years in a row of losses I think it’s Nintendo that has the management issues.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Nah, If you want to see management issues I say you look into Sony.

            Nintendo’s operating losses are due to issues with their hardware.

            The company likes to profit, and so they shall.

          • Shaun Salisbury

            Naw Iwata like losing money the lost 300 million this time around it will only get bigger with his line of thinking.

          • Shaun Salisbury

            I see you deleted your last response because of how stupid it was.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            The core will delete your erratic suppositions

          • Shaun Salisbury

            Maybe for you which given how you respond to things isn’t that much of a surprise.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Cant help it, twas born to a riddler

    • Tom_Phoenix

      If they become smartphones with buttons, then they will cease to be dedicated handhelds. So that’s not going to happen. People aren’t looking for handhelds to do the job of smartphones and vice-versa.

      Besides, Nintendo lacks the know-how to create a phone in the first place.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        NIntendo almost made on in 2004.

        • Tom_Phoenix

          Even if that’s the case, it was smart of them not to ultimately go down that route and it should stay that way.

          Smartphones aren’t handheld consoles, they are handheld PCs. And as handheld PCs, they fulfill a job that is different from a gaming handheld. The same way PCs didn’t kill home consoles, handheld PCs will not kill handheld consoles.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Quite so.

            You’ve leveled up.

  • I find it almost sorta amusing. People say that Nintendo should put their games on the Smartphone… but instead, the Smartphone devs are coming to Nintendo to put things onto the 3DS.

    Sorta a strange turn-around, huh?

    • Herok♞

      I like the idea since I have no smart phone

    • Shippoyasha

      I think it could work both ways to be honest. But a lot of it depends on there being more smartphone controller add ons or some kind of a bluetooth support for phones and peripherals. But it’s not a bad idea I suppose, though I hope they up the sensitivity of touch pads on Nintendo handhelds as well. There is a lot to work on going into the future for all handheld gaming.

      • Probably, though I’ll admit, there’s some smartphone games that I do wish were on a proper console or handheld. Honestly, I hope that devs down the line take more and more advantage of the fact that the Vita has the Playstation Mobile tab in their store, which does have a couple cool games on it.

        And of course, like I mentioned below. I would really dig a complete edition of Final Fantasy: Dimensions. I would dig it even more if they switched it over to FFIV PSP-like graphics, but I’ll take what I can get.

    • Lucky Dan

      Shouldn’t be hard to think of the reason why.

      Very few games are really successful on the Smart Phones and seem to be more a testing ground for new games and it was already done in the past like Puzzle Quest, Diner Dash, etc which were all mobile games before being ported over the consoles like Xbox and Playstation etc.

      They are kinda like playing catch-up with the Western Scene where some mobile and even freeware games (super ninja house of dead) are now purchasable on consoles. Though with the success from numerous smartphones -> console system from the West why didn’t they think of this before? Probably that’s what they get for turning a blind eye in the Western Market sometimes.

    • Shaun Salisbury

      No smartphone devs are expanding to other markets unlike Nintendo

  • There’s a few smart phone games I’d like to play such as Final Fantasy: Dimensions. I don’t have a smart phone and I’d rather not have to buy one just to play a few games.

    • I keep really wanting SE to port a complete edition of Dimensions to the Vita or to the 3DS. I’d really just like that.

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Nintendo’s employees call free to play “free to start”

    Lol they dont like that crap.

    Must be why darumeshi sports store is such a damn fine free to play game

    • s07195

      What is Darumeshi sports store like? Fun?

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Basically its a really fun game where you haggle with b baseball store manager.

  • Heisst

    My biggest gripe with nowadays’ mobile games is the fact that they don’t have actual buttons and I don’t want to buy a controller just for that.

    • hng qtr

      I hope Square Enix put some of their remakes on eshop. I bought the first FF for android but I can’t stand to play it on a touchscreen.

  • Eder García

    it is only Japanese mobile games? or western iOS/Android games are coming as well? i heard the 3DS version of Gunman Clive outsold iOS and Android versions combined

    • He mentions Angry Birds as well, but emphasizes the effect P&DZ had, so I would assume he was largely referring to Japanese companies.

  • kthanxyousuck

    This sounds really smart. I download games onto my android phone but eventually I grow bored and delete. Mainly because I hate the controls of the games. I don’t get how anyone can play RPG’s or certain action games with nothing but touch controls. Your finger covers half the screen most of the time. And some of the games drain your battery so damn quick you can only play about 10 minutes before your hands start burning from how hot your phone is getting.

    I had puzzle and dragons on my phone but it’s so tiny and it eats up my battery and overheats my phone, crashes sometimes. I’m patiently waiting for Z to come over for the 3ds.

  • revenent hell

    Mobile gaming isn’t really a fad for where I live but there are some cool games (not released in my locale) that I wish would go to a handheld device… Hopefully Nintendo eases the way for developers to release on their devices.

  • Heldronus

    Using a 3DS is a hell of a lot better than using a smartphone for a lot of things. Touch controls suck ass.

  • new_tradition

    I’ve bought some mobile games that I enjoyed, but I’d enjoy them more if I could use a physical controller, so yes please to handheld game devices!

  • LonelyGuardian

    If only the recent Tales of Phantasia port had released on the 3ds rather than ios… Also, so many titles on Kickstarter only add the 3ds, if at all, after several other stretch goals have been met for other consoles, but if Nintendo possibly reached out to some of these quality projects, such as Mighty No. 9 for instance, it would begin to be a natural first order for the game to appear on at least the 3ds alongside PC, LInux, and Mac.

  • Go2hell66

    well tons of ds games have been ported to smartphones already, dont see why it can’t be the other way around

  • Virevolte


  • Göran Isacson

    An interesting situation, yet I wonder how succesful this strategy would be in the West. Granted, he’s probably not referring to the West here as much as he’s referring to the East since this is mostly for Nintendo’ eastern shareholders, I believe… still. Japanese developers may be interested in working with Nintendo since it’s a familiar platform. Would Western developers be as eager to share a slice of the pie?

    Then again again, I also hear much of what an unsafe market iOS and Android can be. A company that stands out, but may not sell Angry Birds numbers, may want the security involved in a less rabid and dog-eat-dog market. Could be a good deal for them…

  • Linhua

    … I would LOVE to play Brave Frontier on my 3DSXL.

    … problem is I might need two styluses in order to get my spark combos.

    … nah, this wouldn’t work after all.

    … on another note, I wonder how they’re adjusting the whole “Time is Energy” thing…

  • jlahoud

    If Nintendo wont go to smartphones….smartphone will go to Nintendo….this is the way to go. Now with this sucess Nintendo will show the doom and gloom people what it is made of….go Nintendo go….Nintendo Power

  • jlahoud

    Bring City builders to 3ds..such as Megapolis, virtual city playground, etc

  • British_Otaku

    I would love to have Valkyria Duel on the 3DS.
    Any more Valkyria Chronicles would be good really.

    I hope that is SEGA’s next plan.

    Oh and Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story and family are awesome as well.

  • Max

    I hope they bring their games turning them into meatier game experiences like they did with Pazudora rather than just porting f2p apps with barely any gameplay.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Nintendo does not want to make mobile games but mobile games are being ported to 3ds? Not bad.

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