In a press conference coming out of Japan today, Nintendo and DeNA have formed a business alliance together, with Nintendo owning 10% of DeNA and DeNA owning 1.24% of Nintendo. While this may seem like dull business talk, this alliance comes with the big announcement that Nintendo will be partnering with DeNA to create smartphone games using Nintendo IPs.
Also as part of this partnership, Nintendo and DeNA are creating a wide multi-platform membership service and social network, which will roll out across all current Nintendo devices, smartphones and even PC this coming autumn. No doubt this is the service which will replace Club Nintendo as Nintendo’s premium membership platform for dedicated fans. This platform was called Nintendo NX by Iwata during the press conference, so look out for more details on this service later in the year. The wording of Iwata’s speech made it seem like this platform was a brand new console but on close inspection, it seems to be a greater distribution platform, in line with something like Steam. E3 will probably be the place to find out all the details about Nintendo and DeNA’s plans for the future.
So, Nintendo are finally throwing their hat into the mobile gaming ring after sticking solely to handheld consoles for so many successful years. It will be very interesting to see how Nintendo manages their IPs in the mobile gaming sphere and if they will fall into the traps of F2P or if their franchises will even work well on a non-dedicated gaming device. However, this Nintendo NX platform seems like the biggest thing to come out of this deal, with DeNA’s experience in creating online services possibly that Nintendo’s future online networks and sales platforms won’t be completely terrible.
Expect more news on this important alliance in the coming months, as we get closer to the roll out of Nintendo NX.