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Nintendo partners with DeNA to bring gaming to your smartphone

Tue 17 Mar 2015

Nintendo announced today at a Tokyo press conference that it would be teaming up with Japanese mobile giant DeNA to develop smartphone games, in an effort to keep hold of its users increasingly drawn away from console gaming.

It was revealed that the two firms would buy 22bn yen (approx. £123mn) worth of shares in each other in both a capital and product tie-up, which equates to Nintendo acquiring a 10% stake in DeNA and DeNA holding a 1.2% stake in Nintendo.

Nintendo added in a statement following the announcement of the deal that “to ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimised for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”

The partnership will also look to create a cross-platform membership service replacing Club Nintendo, and supporting smart mobile devices, PCs, Wii U, 3DS as well as the highly-anticipated NX. This will allow users to access and play games on any of the supported platforms.

“Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, adding that “this membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform.”

Industry experts have long pushed Nintendo to consider shifting its focus to mobile devices as it saw its customers increasingly won over by smartphone gaming app makers, as well as console rivals such as Xbox maker Microsoft, and Playstation maker Sony.

The Japanese company has long been adamant that the success of games such as Mario Kart 8 would resist these pressures. However, earlier this year Nintendo reported that it had halved its operating profit target to 20bn yen, due to weak sales of its 3DS handheld console over the Christmas season.

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