Nintendo will finally use its game characters on mobile devices as the maker of Mario and Zelda teams with DeNA Co. to develop new games for smartphones and tablet computers. In addition, during today's press conference, the company teased a new system codenamed "NX," saying that it'll involve fresh hardware and gameplay concepts.
"As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename 'NX,'" said Chief executive Satoru Iwata.
The Japanese company also entered into a business and capital alliance with DeNA Co., Ltd. to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide.
Leveraging the strength of Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA’s expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015.
As part of the relationship and commitment by each company, Nintendo and DeNA have also agreed to form a capital alliance. Under the capital alliance, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. The payment is due April 2, 2015.
Investors have long called on Nintendo to shift its focus to mobile devices after losing customers to both smartphone gaming app makers and console rivals.