Nin­tendo goes mo­bile

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

NIN­TENDO rolled out its first smart­phone game af­ter years of re­fus­ing to stray from a con­soles- only pol­icy as it tries to bet­ter com­pete with ri­vals.

The Ja­panese com­pany has strug­gled as Sony and Mi­crosoft out­paced it in con­sole sales, while the three com­pa­nies are also fight­ing off a trend to­ward cheap – even free – down­load­able games for smart­phones and other mo­bile devices.

Ky­oto- based Nin­tendo had been crit­i­cised for its long­stand­ing re­fusal to li­cense some of its iconic brands for use on mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions.

Now, free- to- play Mi­it­omo al­lows play­ers to cre­ate their own Mii avatars, cus­tomise their out­fit through in- app pur­chases and in­ter­act with char­ac­ters cre­ated by other peo­ple or friends.

Mii avatars also ask ques­tions to play­ers such as “What did you do on the week­end?” and “What is your favourite food?” with the an­swers shared with other char­ac­ters.

The re­lease of the smart­phone game “is an­other step for­ward” for Nin­tendo to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple who play games, a spokesman said.

The game was only re­leased In Ja­pan ini­tially but will be rolled out in 15 other coun­tries in­clud­ing the United States and France in eight lan­guages this month, he said.

The move comes af­ter the maker of the Su­per Mario and Poke­mon fran­chises last year an­nounced a tie- up with Tokyo- based mo­bile gam­ing com­pany DeNA to de­velop games for smart­phones.

Nin­tendo also bought a stake in DeNA as part of a deal to de­velop smart­phone games based on its host of pop­u­lar char­ac­ters, pos­si­bly in­clud­ing Su­per Mario and Don­key Kong.

Then Nin­tendo Pres­i­dent Satoru Iwata, a lead­ing fig­ure in the videogame in­dus­try who died from can­cer in July at the age of 55, had said the Nin­ten­doDeNA tie- up would help tap a new cus­tomer base. — AFP

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