Nintendo’s Mobile Opening Act: Pokemon Go
Nintendo announced a few months ago that it would be bringing games and apps to mobile devices, like Androids and iPhones, so they could leverage that huge market in addition to maintaining their first party hardware. They made it very clear that this new initiative would not get in the way of their support for their game systems and producing new and awesome content for them, concluding by teasing their upcoming system, the NX.
The announcement about Pokemon Go
is, at least as far as I’m concerned, just about as close to what everyone was hoping for as possible when Nintendo announced that they would be putting out games for smartphones. As you’ve probably already read, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that is played on your phone and is being developed by the studio that made Ingress
, another AR game that’s relatively unknown but has a cult following. The idea of it is that you go about your normal life, going to work and around town and occasionally come upon a pokemon in the real world. The game will harness your phones GPS and place pokemon throughout the world that you can catch, train, trade and battle. The potential of this thing is huge.
One focus of the announcement trailer that really appeals to me is their intended audience. It’s basically exactly me. They realize that most people playing the current games on 3DS are young kids, kids that rely on their parents for transportation and can’t really go out in the real world to hunt pokemon when they want. Everyone in the trailer was pretty much a twenty-something, the kind of people who played the original red and blue pokemon games when they themselves were kids. I still play video games regularly, bu I haven’t picked up a pokemon game since yellow version. I have no idea what tremendous number of pokemon they’re up to now.
That brings up my second point of appeal, all the pokemon in the announcement trailer are from the original set of 150. It really seems like they’re aiming to capitalize on nostalgia from an age group that they’ve probably lost quite a bit of connection with. There definitely are still a huge amount of Nintendo faithful, but it seems that they’ve lost touch with, and especially sales from, my age range pretty dramatically. I consider myself a huge Nintendo fan, but I don’t have a Wii U or a 3DS, I don’t have the time to play them enough to justify the expense. I still have a Wii, but that was bought at launch almost a decade ago
. I haven’t exactly been pulling my weight in supporting Nintendo, but that’s both of our faults.
Putting games on my smartphone may be the best way for them to get back on the minds of people just like me, it’s a smart plan and this is a great opening at.