A little over a year ago, one of the endless April Fool's jokes that cropped up around tech sites struck a chord with gamers. The "SmartBoy" from Hyperkin, sellers of new replacement parts for classic consoles, was a concept that slid an iPhone into a plastic case that perfectly reproduced the buttons and grip of the original Game Boy from 1989. It also included a real game cartridge slot, so authentic Game Boy games could theoretically be played using a modern smartphone screen. It was a little ridiculous - today's phones can already emulate Game Boy titles with ease, and even simulate the buttons with a Bluetooth controller - but the idea seemed to resonate with Nintendo fans. Read More
Last month Nintendo started a closed beta program for Pokémon GO, the augmented reality catch-em-all game that the company has been working on with Niantic. It looks like we're very close to a public release, at least according to Nintendo's presentation at the massive E3 gaming convention. As reported by Polygon, Nintendo announced that the game will be released on smartphones sometime in July. Read More
In case you missed the news, Nintendo makes mobile apps now. We saw the company's first Android app, Miitomo, come stateside at the end of March. A month later, that game had attracted over 10 million users around the world. Miitomo is more of a social network than a playable experience, but it does contain mini-games. The app has made Nintendo more money than expected.
Two "pure-game apps" are coming next, based on Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. And as the chief executive of DeNA (Nintendo's mobile development partner) told The Wall Street Journal, “Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing are both free-to-start apps.” Read More
During its earning call last night, Nintendo announced that Miitomo has had 10 million users since its release in March, with 20 million 'Miifotos' created and 300 million conversations started. To celebrate reaching the 10 million mark, the company has announced a 10-day promotional period, lasting from April 29 till May 8. There's no word on what this will involve, but I wouldn't be surprised if users can win exclusive, limited-edition clothes for their Mii, or something of that ilk.
The Japanese game company also announced two new mobile games to build on the success of Miitomo. One game is based on the Fire Emblem series, while the other is based on Animal Crossing. Nintendo has not provided names for these games just yet, but says they are planned for release this fall. According to Nintendo's PR release, the Fire Emblem game will be 'more accessible' than the franchise's games for dedicated gaming consoles, while the Animal Crossing game will link in to games on Nintendo's game consoles, such as the Wii or the 3DS. Read More
Nintendo's first mobile game won't really be a game - Miitomo is an extension of the Mii system that the company has been building ever since the launch of the original Wii. In anticipation of launching the app next month, Nintendo has already opened up a Miitomo website that allows users to pre-register for the app. In addition to drumming up a little press (guilty), this gives users the opportunity to reserve their preferred username.
It's all part of the new "Nintendo Account" system, which unifies the somewhat haphazard collection of logins that Nintendo had before. You can create a new Nintendo account (even if you don't own any new Nintendo hardware) on its own or link it with Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Read More
Emulating games is hard, y'all. There are a ton of classic game emulators for Android, and most of them work really well... replicating relatively ancient, low-power hardware for two dimensions. Even something like the 20-year-old PlayStation is difficult (but not impossible) to emulate on the latest mobile hardware, which is objectively about a hundred times more powerful. That's what you get when console makers create more or less customized hardware and software that doesn't have to play nice with any other platforms.
We've written about Dolphin before: it's an extremely popular emulator for the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii that runs well on modern gaming PCs. Read More
File this in the weird, unlikely, but well, stranger things have happened, category of rumors. Japanese website Nikkei, which appears to have a good track record when it comes to Nintendo rumors, has dropped a little piece of insider information regarding the company's next console: the NX (that's the console's codename) might be based on Android.
According to Nikkei's insider source, an OS based on Android would make it easier to get developers on board. Read More
At long last, Nintendo is loosening the reins on its intellectual property and developing games for devices that don't bear the company brand. Yesterday in the yearly financial results briefing, the video game giant outlined plans for bringing five games to mobile platforms by March of 2017, with the first title available by the end of this year.
This is great news for fans of Nintendo's many storied game franchises, and the news gets even better. Rather than making a hasty port of existing titles that may not be well adapted to touchscreen controls, the company plans on building the new games from the ground up to ensure that every title is a hit. Read More