Nintendo, at long last, is serious about apps. And it's not stopping with Miitomo, Fire Emblem, and Animal Crossing. In this year's general shareholders meeting, Nintendo opened up the door wide for an action game worthy controller peripheral for smartphones (or "smart devices" as Nintendo likes to call them, which I guess includes the iPod touch and tablets? Basically, iOS and Android devices. But not Apple TV, I bet. Man, why can’t we just say "smartphones"?).
Here's the question:
I think many people would like to play Nintendo's action games as smart device applications. But smart devices use touch panels, which may not be suited to action games. Does Nintendo have any plans to launch a physical controller and invest in new titles of quality action games?
And the answer, from Shinya Takahashi of Nintendo's Entertainment Planning and Development Division:
Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves. On the other hand, I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game. I think we will make applications, and not just action games, in consideration of what best embodies "Nintendo-like" applications, including applications for everyone from children to seniors.
Key takeaway, with a little bit of rephrasing: Nintendo may develop a new physical controller for smart device games.
Of course, "may develop" isn't exactly a promise. Also, Takahashi makes it clear that Nintendo thinks some action games can work without a controller. Nintendo is also obviously working on non-action games like Animal Crossing, and straight non-games like Miitomo.
So, where does that leave us?
You'll be playing Mario 64 on your iPhone with a Nintendo-built joystick in late 2016. Guaranteed. Or probably not, but wouldn’t that be great?