Nintendo doesn’t have any plans to bring Mario games to mobile, yet during ChinaJoy 2014, Mario was featured prominently at China Mobile’s booth. Let the speculation begin.
Kotaku was there and snapped a picture of the background. It also inquired as to why Mario, Luigi and Mario riding Yoshi were displayed when Nintendo doesn’t ‘do’ mobile.
According to a supervisor on hand, China Mobile was given the go-ahead to use such promotional materials for its 4G app store platform. No further information was provided.
Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata has reiterated repeatedly there will be no Mario or other Nintendo developed games on mobile. Not under his watch at least.
However, the company is not adverse to using mobile to promote its products in order to grow its games business.
Nintendo has released the Pokedex on mobile, and Miiverse users can access social network through a web browser on their mobile devices. That’s pretty much the extent of it.
In China, the Nintendo subsidiary iQue sells 3DS XL systems and other Nintendo products have been sold through the iQue brand since 2006.
The only home console in China from Nintendo is the iQue Player, which is a modified version of Nintendo 64. So it’s entirely plausible China Joy has inked a deal with iQue to enable a 4G connection to the system.
But what sounds more likely, to me at least, is that with the console ban now lifted in China, Nintendo could have inked a deal with China Mobile for 4G storefront access to eShop – should Wii U be released in the region.
It’s also possible the company may try its hand at the growing mobile install base in China, but there is nothing confirmed at this time. It would be a boon to the firm, as China Mobile has 790 million subscribers.
There’s quite a few ifs and possibilities with this – it could be nothing too. We’ll just have to wait and see what Nintendo does next.