Should Nintendo Bring Super Mario to the iPhone?

Nintendo has seen its fortunes sag across the past four years. Between its fiscal 2009 and 2013, sales dropped an astounding 64%. The company has banked its future on its new Wii U console, but early results haven't been promising. Last quarter the Wii U sold just a depressingly low 160,000 units. 

The following slideshow looks at Nintendo's current predicament and the pros and cons of the company moving some of its classic games and franchises to new sales channels like Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) App Store. With over 50 billion downloads, that's a huge opportunity. However, Nintendo also fears releasing games on the app store could endanger its strength in mobile gaming. With the DS having shipped more than 150 million units, that's a very real concern. 

To see a full run-down of Nintendo's smartphone predicament, check out the slideshow below. Also, if you're looking for more information on investing in mobile, check out our newest report named "Apple Will Destroy its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here, its free!

Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 10:40 PM, midarkmind wrote:

    I will say this. The Wii U could be the greatest console ever, if it just had the right titles. It needs massive RPGs and action games.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 10:48 PM, scythemouse wrote:

    What it needs to do is pay better attention to the online mediums it already has. The 3DS virtual console is still a little lacking.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 10:58 PM, rsg003 wrote:

    I would love to play some of the great Nintendo classics but I am not going to buy a Nintendo Console or DS...make it available for Android and I will buy all of them...I think they would be pretty stupid to not...

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 11:15 PM, normgarry wrote:

    Wii U is a failure because unlike Wii, they can't so easily trick senior citizens, physical therapy patients or other assorted non-gamers this time around into buying it - or more worthless plastic crap tennis rackets and golf clubs for their Wii Motes this time around. WiiU is the technology Wii should have been and now it's too little too late.

    The WiiU's marketing strategy doesn't even make sense. The "GAMEPAD" can't be used with 3 other gamepads. Why would you have one kid on a gamepad and 3 on wiimotes???

    Guess what, the XBOX and PS4 will blow WiiU away and it won't be making any comeback at all. Tablets and smartphones will continue to be chosen by kids over WiiU for certain.


    Recreate the experience from the NES using the WiiU. Bundle it with a 3-Dimensional POWER PAD and a LIGHTGUN. Get people off the couch to "run" "walk in place", or play games where you can run and shoot and the pad can sense what you are doing and it feels realistic like that game "Tokyo Cop" or "Time Crisis".

    Releasing Mario on iPhone is STUPID. What are they gonna do? Take out all the levels where twitch control is necessary cause it's ridiculously hard controlling a twitch game using a touchscreen.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 11:21 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    No. Nintendo should not lend anyone their mascot unless there is an agreement between both companies.

    For instance, a Nintendo branded smartphone.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 11:22 PM, goliath480 wrote:

    @normgarry - Right...those were the only groups who were fooled into buying the Wii. Completely forgetting all the other people who bought the console for the fun games, but meh, gaming isn't about having fun anymore.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2013, at 11:54 PM, Trashboy4p wrote:

    No. Nintendo needs to stay away from the iPhone. Nintendo should just make a Nintendo phone. Now that I would buy. :)

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 12:12 AM, CyanideInsanity wrote:

    There's one massive problem the mobile market has in comparison to consoles. Actually its something video games have already been through in the 80's. There are simply too many devices.

    If you want to bring out the most of a device you will fall short on others. This is were consoles beat everything else. Consoles don't need hardware upgrades to play their latest and greatest, while PCs and phones/tablets do.

    Then there's the issue of touchscreens. They are a terrible excuse for a controller.

    Beside's they don't even need to anyway. Just use emulators to play games you actually own.

    P.S. I also wonder, just how many only say this for nintendo and don't think about M$ or sony doing the same?

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 4:16 AM, nobunagafan wrote:

    No Mario on mobil phone is the worst idea ever. It would deminish all value and ruin the Mario frachise

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 4:39 AM, Tycalibre wrote:

    In short, no. The mobile games market isn't worth bothering with for a company the size of Nintendo.

    Take an example, Angry Birds is probably the most ubiquitous title on mobile and tablet devices. Rovio's income wouldn't put a dent in Nintendo's, and most of it comes from franchising anyway.

    Software sells hardware. The WiiU has just got it's first proper Nintendo game in the shape of Pikmin 3 and the next 12 months have pretty much all their major franchises arriving.

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 4:39 AM, Tycalibre wrote:

    Sorry, merchandising, not franchising.

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 7:01 AM, jax34 wrote:

    @normgarry - I agree with you on that. I grew up with the power pad and the zapper, along with the super scope 6 for the snes.

    If it's more revenue nintendo is looking for to make up for the fail with the Wii U, then go ahead and and bring super mario bros to the iphone, people will buy it.

    On another note, if you have an android type smart phone, you can easily download the emulators and play nes or snes games on it.

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 7:16 AM, matthewluke wrote:

    Pokemon should be on the iPhone/Android. Pokemon is much more suited for a smartphone game than Mario. Maybe not a main game, but there are Pokemon games for non-Nintendo platforms (Windows/Mac). And they do have an official Pokédex app for iOS. So they at least seem amenable to releasing some thing on non-Nintendo platforms.

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 8:53 AM, nobunagafan wrote:

    Nintendo should sue the emulator makers!!! they are using nintendo without paying any licensing fees.

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 7:05 PM, stefanog1 wrote:

    I think it's way to early to get a clear picture of the WiiUs future and anyone with a brain will agree that any triple A games on a phone is the stupid idea that makes the Visual Boy look like a great idea. Nintendo has been in the gaming market for too long to make a stupid move especially when they learn from there mistakes like the N64 DD so the WiiU might bring some great games down the road. From a neutral gamers perspective I think the best move is to get a WiiU and Steam then wait for the Ps4 to get better games besides KH3. Watchdogs, CoD, Splintercell and Assansins Creed are all on these platforms and don't forget Nintendos IPs so don't forget a 3DS. So anyone thinking the WiiU is a goner should just buy a OUYA. It's cheap has no games and is a waste of time. Just like Xbox fanboys.

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