Nintendo is arguably the reigning champ in handled gaming. From the original Gameboy that released alongside the classic puzzle game Tetris in 1989 to the Nintendo Switch that is currently dominating the handheld market, the gaming giant has cemented it’s legacy with each release. With Nintendo’s current handheld surpassing 32 million units sold since it’s 2017 release, there’s only so many console re-releases and Mario remakes a Nintendo fanboy can take. Why not dominate the mobile phone market as well? Last week The Digitimes reported electronic companies Vivo, Xiamoi, Nubia and Nintendo could be entering the mobile market. Details are scarce but if the rumors are true, the Nintendo gaming phone could integrate with Nintendo’s Switch, expanding users gaming possibilities and captivating the diehard fans that are willing to support anything that can run Zelda and Super Smash Bros.
While the latest Android and Apple devices hold an impressive amount of power to play the most graphically demanding titles, a Nintendo phone with exclusive games sounds like an easy cash grab for the company and a way to keep gaming competitors like Sony and Microsoft on their toes. If Nintendo decided to blend their software with a mobile phone, they wouldn’t be the first company to try to finesse the two major markets. The 90s and early 2000s babies might vaguely remember Nokia and Sony’s attempts at gaming phones. During the hype of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, Nokia released the N-Gage in 2003 but couldn’t topple the handheld juggernaut due to a clunky keyboard that was more suited for texting than it was for mobile gaming. Eight years later Sony released the Xperia Play, a handheld device that ran on the Android operating system and could play Playstation titles like God of War and LittleBigPlanet.
Since those ambitious efforts there hasn’t been a similar device released in the states. Today consumers use their smartphones for everything. From work, to play and basically existing, Nintendo’s attempt to be the third major mobile phone/video game hybrid might be the charm. With the growth of the mobile gaming market, Nintendo has released some of it’s biggest franchises to mobile devices with great success. Titles including Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can be found on iOS and Android devices, showcasing how a Nintendo game can run on a mobile device. Switch is still going strong and Nintendo definitely won’t be abandoning it’s star console anytime soon but let’s see if the gaming giant has a few surprises in store for the next era of Nintendo gaming.
Article By: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah