Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nintendo on mobile? They should, but not as you may be thinking.

There has been a lot of comments going on about the Nintendo executives and investors throwing tantrums over if the company should enter the mobile market or not. First of all let me get this out of the way. No, Nintendo should never let their franchises to go mobile because that would be the equivalent of creating a black hole in the middle of the company and it will consume it from the inside bringing a slow and painful death. As they are right now Nintendo is one of the few companies that is still (almost) pristine in their ways and unsullied from any business dirt that comes from selling out... Well, maybe except for the Mercedes-Benz thing in Mario Kart 8, but that's just one separate incident as Nintendo runs most of their business by themselves most of the time and this uniqueness is what keeps them afloat, even on tough times.

Nintendo Mobile Mock Picture
A mock picture of how a Nintendo "master app" could look like.
The thing is that Nintendo could make cool stuff for mobile without selling out their souls to mobile platforms just for a couple of extra bucks. Something like this should be no problem for the big N because mobile app development doesn't require big development teams or high budgets as it would only take a handful of resources and a relatively small development cycle. The best thing about this is that with content creators are brilliant as the ones they have, a great deal of interesting mobile applications can be created and unleashed to the public, giving Nintendo products some extra value without losing themselves in the process.

Mario Kart 8 unofficial app
So a fan had to come and do what Nintendon't.
There are many possibilities about the mobile software they could make in order to support their consoles instead of attempting to replace them. For example, they could develop a support app for Mario Kart 8, sort of like the one someone actually made and was featured in Kotaku a couple days ago. They could also make official apps that give help in some games with mini guides and/or tips or even some sort of Nintendo World App (or something like that) that syncs with the Wii U and lets the user do all sorts of things like buying games, enter the Miiverse, add friends and that kind of stuff while on the go.

Star Fox App Mock Picture
Imagine yourself using a smart phone to help a friend in the upcoming Star Fox game for the Wii U.
Other way of seen this is to go a little farther than plain game support apps. Good imaginative things like apps that lets you help or attack somebody within a game (sort of like the Watchdogs app) could make up for really fun situations if they do it with the right games. They could also make an app that features augmented reality games for the Amiibos that can generate coins or some kind of reward to be used on games or even the e-shop itself. The possibilities are endless if they take mobile approach from the sidelines and come up with interesting and fun materials that add up to the overall experience.

Pay to Win is bad
If they are planning to go "pay to win", they better reconsider before they spoil the whole thing.
Even though all this mobile approach looks interesting, there are many ways it can backfire if they do the wrong things. For example if they get too greedy with their services it will not work. If they turn their mobile environment into a "pay to win" they also run the risk of botching the whole operation. They would have to be quite sensible about the users because this is something they had never tried before so it can go bad if they give the wrong impression. This is especially true on this day and age, where the simplest of complaints spreads like wildfire through the net and can have devastating consequences for a product (ask Microsoft).

Mario Bros Mario
Relax Mario, you don't have to jump to mobile devices to be good.
Wrapping it up

Nintendo can definitely go mobile, but they have to do it in a way that adds up to what they already have without having to replace anything. What they have been doing in these past months have been great and there should be no reason to make any drastic decisions, so all they need to do is to keep on building up until they reach a point where they can convince the non-believers and become an industry powerhouse once again. If that is what their higher ups are thinking then the mobile environment is a great untapped place for them to continue their efforts.

No comments:

Post a Comment