While there was a lot of hype surrounding the announcement of the new Wii U console, 2011 has been a rough year for Nintendo. Sales for the Wii declined significantly, and the 3DS launched with a whimper because of a weak first-party game lineup. Nintendo was forced to drop the price of both systems to boost sales, and the company is now hoping that the holiday season and eventual release of the Wii U will turn its financial situation around.
Unfortunately, investors are not nearly so patient, and the price of Nintendo's stock fell sharply after poor sales results from March. To combat poor console sales, investors are demanding that Nintendo release first-party games for mobile devices, namely the Apple iPhone and iPad. This is hardly a new concept in the gaming industry, but Nintendo was basically the last holdout.
Nintendo caving to this pressure would likely mean the end of the handheld console era. Yes, the PS Vita will do well when it comes out, but I'm betting that smartphones will catch and surpass handheld consoles within the next two years, so there's really no reason to create new handhelds after that. What will happen instead is akin to what was done with the Xperia Play. Sony already has their own mobile phone division in Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft already is on the way with Xbox Live on Windows Phones and will partner with HTC and/or Nokia. I'm betting that Nintendo will partner with Samsung, although they may just create their own internal brand of gaming phones.
Despite how much Nintendo dreads the transition of mobile gaming, smartphones sure look like the future to me. I want to see Nintendo games on Apple and Android devices as soon as possible, and that's why I've chosen the top 15 Nintendo DS games that should make the transition.
- Justin Hannah, ChaCha Games and SciTech
Continue on to see all 15 Nintendo DS games that should be ported over to iOS devices.