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Are Nintendo about to develop titles for the iPhone and iPad?

Date Added 15/08/2011

Cleaning out the attic the other day, I came across an old friend that consumed countless hours of my childhood, who never let me down and never left my side. I am of course referring to a device known as the Nintendo Game Boy.

As I started sifting through some of the games on this 8-bit engineering masterpiece, I asked myself a question that has been asked by pretty much everyone who has owned arguably the most iconic handheld video game device of all time:

“How cool would it be if all these classic games were available on my iPhone?”

Just imagine using Apple’s shiny devices to rescue the princess from the evil clutches of Bowzer with our favourite Italian-American plumber or going on an epic quest to catch 100’s of wild creatures armed with nothing more than a pokédex, a set of poké balls and a yellow mouse capable of firing 10,000 volts of electricity from it’s tale.

Well that dream may be closer than you think.

Although Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata has said they’ll only develop titles for their own products whilst he is in charge, consumers are shunning Nintendo’s consoles to play games on iPhones and iPads (as well as other consoles).

With the company slashing the price of their latest console (the 3DS) by 40% due to poor initial sales and slumping sales of the DS and Wii, he faces growing pressure from investors to develop titles for the iPhone and iPad (as well as other platforms).

We only need to look at the stock market to see the effects of Nintendo games being available on Apple devices. Nintendo’s stock rose when the Pokémon Company (who are closely affiliated with Nintendo) revealed plans for a Pokémon themed game for the iPhone. After Nintendo denied they were involved, that stock dropped and is now near a 6 year low.

This is not the first time a major player in the games industry has come under pressure to develop titles for other platforms;

After failing to compete with Sony’s Playstation 2 and facing huge debt, The Sega Corporation shifted away from manufacturing games consoles to become a third party software developer for the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Apple and of course bitter rivals Nintendo. Since then, Sega have seen their profits rise thanks to the success of popular games such as Super Monkey Ball, Streets of Rage and the never ending list of games featuring a certain blue hedgehog all of which are available on the iPhone and iPad.

Needless to say, with the games industry valued at $65 billion as of June 2011 and Apple’s new status as the most valuable company in the world, surely it’s only a matter of time before we are using our Apple devices to save the day with Nintendo’s iconic characters.

By Andrew Clark
(M.C.S. Junior Tech)

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