Really? Is this a real thing?
As mobile devices become a greater part of our daily lives, it’s not difficult to envision a future where standalone hardware, that only performs one of a mobile’s many functions, no longer exists. Such is the case with dedicated portables, but while Sony is testing the waters with a mobile delivery platform of its own, Nintendo stands firm in its position to avoid the mobile space.
For one ambitious Nintendo fan, this just won’t do. He — I’m assuming it’s a “he” for simplicity’s sake — has launched the “Nintendo Go Mobile!” campaign, which encourages visitors to “like” the site’s Facebook page to voice their support of Nintendo titles on mobile devices. To illustrate the potential of such a possibility, he proposes a suite of software such “Super Mario Dash,” “Pikmin Journey,” and a “Classics” line akin to the current Virtual Console. While the “Classics” are self-explanatory, the others are original game concepts meant to adapt Nintendo IP to the mobile environment.
I can understand the appeal of Nintendo games on mobile devices, but I neither think it’s realistic nor the best idea in the long run. At least, not until the market announces that it is absolutely, positively, 100% done with dedicated handhelds. Even then, I’m certain Nintendo would rather stop making games outright than publish on hardware not under its control.
It’s an extension of the “Why won’t Nintendo go third party?” debate. Nintendo has expressed on numerous occasions that its hardware and software is uniquely linked, in that the hardware is usually built around the realization of particular game mechanics. On top of that, having command of its own delivery platform gives it a freedom that it wouldn’t necessarily have anywhere else. It’s a very precise, very meticulous company, and being a borderline OCD freak myself, I understand how Nintendo would be wary of giving any other hardware manufacturer even the slightest bit of control over its content.
Sega is often tossed about as a company that made the switch from making hardware to purely making software, as though Sega is a role model to be emulated. Sega has never been quite the same since it killed the console side of its business, and it would be foolish to think such a path would be healthy for anyone else.
But the other side of the argument is that mobile devices are so ubiquitous that you look like a dinosaur if you don’t jump on board. But then we have PCs which have existed for decades and have been in more homes than any console, yet they haven’t killed the console industry. Yeah, there are other variables in effect that make both scenarios widely different, but I think the core takeaway is the same: As long as there is a desire to play on dedicated hardware, there will always be gaming consoles.
But this is a massive argument that can’t be properly addressed in so short a space. Maybe you guys would like to offer your piece. Maybe we can get some editors to chime in with full-length features. In the meantime, feel free to express confusion or praise for this campaign.