It's-a-mobile! Nintendo is finally making smartphone games


We've all dreamed of playing Mario, Zelda or Pokémon games on our smartphones (sans emulator) – it seems like a simple step for Nintendo to port their classic titles across to the devices sat in our pockets all day.

It looks like we're not far off that as Nintendo is finally making the step toward smartphone gaming, although the classic characters and franchises won't necessarily be front and center.

A new partnership with developer DeNA will see Nintendo creating games for mobile devices, but "only new original games optimized for smart device functionality... rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system."

That doesn't specifically say that Mario and co won't be appearing in the titles but "original games" suggests Nintendo will be looking to develop mobile games in keeping with the current market of Candy Crush and its many, many clones.

That may include games with familiar characters, or possibly entirely new franchises.

Do the Pokémon Shuffle

Part of the deal will see Nintendo take a 10% stake in DeNA whilst DeNA will then buy a 1.24% stake of Nintendo. The partnership will mean "all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration".

DeNA and Nintendo will then develop a new online membership service for smartphones, tablets, PCs and Nintendo consoles such as the 3DS and Wii U.

The service doesn't currently have a name but it is expected to launch in fall (AKA autumn) 2015.

Not much was said on the membership service but it will likely be a little like Steam and will also include the new Nintendo game system currently codenamed the NX.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.