Is Mickey the new Mario? Is Donald Duck the new Donkey Kong? We may never get to that point, but Disney (NYSE:DIS) is fully embracing Nintendo's (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) gaming platforms. Yesterday, the family-entertainment giant announced that it will form a new studio to develop titles for the popular Nintendo DS handheld system and the upcoming Wii.

It makes perfect sense. Nintendo typically appeals to a younger audience than the PlayStation and Xbox crowd. The new Nintendo Wii is getting high critical marks for its motion-sensitive controller, which fits right into Disney's plans for healthier lifestyles associated with the Disney brand.

Even though Disney has sometimes turned to third-party publishers to put out some of its more successful games -- like Square-Enix with Kingdom Hearts and THQ (NASDAQ:THQI) for its Pixar-based titles -- Disney is gradually taking more creative control in-house as it looks to exploit its growing portfolio of marketable characters.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have little to worry about here. Even though the DS is the world's most popular handheld platform, Nintendo has been running a distant third stateside when it comes to full-sized video game consoles. It would be surprising to see a hit on the Wii not eventually ported over to the other systems.

However, the timing of the announcement is certainly welcome in the Nintendo camp. Getting Disney's public support just days before the launch of the Wii may encourage young families to snap up a Wii over the holidays -- if they can nab one -- because they know that Disney titles are coming.

So, yes, even the timing of a video game studio's announcement is a game in and of itself.

Disney is a Stock Advisor newsletter service recommendation, while Microsoft is an Inside Value selection. Click the links to try either newsletter free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a fan of video games dating back to Pong. He owns shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.