Nintendo the app developer



If you were to tell me a few years ago that Nintendo would be making Apps for smart phones, I would have very quickly informed you that you must be mistaken, you see Nintendo only makes software for their own hardware. It’s what they do.

However I was wrong.

Nintendo currently has two Apps out on the App Store, both published by the Pokémon Company. I don’t think it’s any conscience either why the first two Apps too appear are from the Pokémon Company. They have been much more willing to embrace internet connectivity, social media and adding value to their existing brand by offering experiences outside of Nintendo’s proprietary game boxes. An example of this effort is the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. If you are unaware it is a game you can play on your browser and can now download to your PC, which lets you buy, trade and play the Pokémon TCG online, with custom avatars and text chat, all without friend codes.

An online effort we have arguably not seen from Nintendo outside of the Pokémon Company.

However Nintendo has announced a Miiverse App and the ability to browse the eShop from your phone, which could be a browser or App.

The Miiverse App will likely let you login with your Nintendo Network ID and view your activity stream as well as see what’s new on the various game and franchise communities. It would also be possible to let users post to via text entry on the keyboard or draw a doodle with the smart phones touch screen. Hopefully Nintendo will go the full hog and enable these editing tools as I see this as a potential area to skimp out on, so only the true experience can only be found on their console.

The eShop App or mobile website is in really a much more interesting idea than I think most have assumed. You see in order to login in and buy a game from your phone for you Wii U or 3DS, surely you would need to link these purchases to this ID and not the physical hardware itself? Now it is possible to create a system that locks the purchase to pre-registered hardward so even if you swap your console you could not download games bought for the previous one. However that seems even more effort and thus will finally push Nintendo to do the right thing, even if for the wrong reasons.

Now I said before that the Pokémon Company seem to be the trend setters and are willing to takes risks I think that in the future they could take the Pokémon Online Trading Card game from website and PC downloadable game to the App Store. From a technical point of view that’s not much of a change but from market perception it’s huge, and as we have seen with the Pokédex app they have no issues with in-app purchase, so I think we will see the ability to buy digital packs of Pokémon cards with real money, a feature that is not currently available on the PC version but would generation a gigantic amount of cash. I would also expect to see this release on the Wii U eShop with a special NFC card packed into each physical pack to unlock that booster for free when swipe over the GamePad, however that is a discussion for another night.

Do you think Nintendo should focus more efforts in make mobile Apps? If so, what would you like to see and if not, why?

Lewis Pugh is a game developer at Leuvsion ( for mobile platforms, born and bred on Nintendo gaming. Being a developer gives Lewis a unique perspective on Nintendo news, especially relating to the eShop and Nintendo Network. Today he plays Wii U and 3DS enjoying their distinctive gameplay offerings. Looking into what the future holds for Nintendo is always tricky, even with its established heritage, but that’s exactly what makes it so fun. NNID: Leuvsion


  1. I think it should only go so far. Nintendo should focus on what we all know Nintendo does best.

  2. Has the smartphone app been given a launch date yet? I have a dumb phone (putting it nicely) so I wouldn’t care, but it’d be nice to know they’re actually following up on that. The 3DS one would be nice too…only if they do a full update that makes it a side app like the internet and friends list so you can actually use it while you play. Unlike Swapnote… >_>

  3. Nintendo will be using smartphones to their advantage. Very smart of them. eShop app to allow purchases to your consoles while you are out and about. A Miiverse app will help when sales really kick off and there are many posts about your favourite game being made, no longer will you have to be home to see them. Nintendo have already stated that many many people watch Nintendo Direct from their smart phones.

    Every man and their dog is perpetually saying that Nintendo is doomed because of smartphones and tablets, and that they are the worst enemy of traditional consoles. Nintendos solution? Make them work for them. They aren’t fighting it. They are using it. Gotta love Nintendo for their outside the box thinking. Here’s hoping that it pays off for them.

  4. Can you imagine how much cash Nintendo would make if they ever released Super Mario Bros. for the iPhone? I think sales on that title alone would make them number 1 in the AppStore for years.

  5. You have a excellent Blog right here Mate. Adore your content articles extremely informative, Please retain up the very good work.

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