Nintendo is ready to join the smartphone era.
Today’s Nintendo news comes from Japanese games industry analyst Serkan Toto, who asks us to “take all of this with the appropriately sized grain of salt” in a series of tweets detailing an anticipated Nintendo announcement this week.
According to Toto, Nintendo is expect to reveal the first product of its partnership with mobile giant DeNA later today.
The analyst said the first app will draw on an existing Nintendo IP, but it won’t be Mario or any of the other big guns.
More famous IP will feature in apps announced next year, Toto added, and Nintendo and DeNA aren’t married to the idea of free-to-play, so some may be premium offerings.
For those who came in late, Nintendo is making these apps in-house but is not planning on throwing its weight into full game releases for mobile devices. Instead, its apps will offer different experiences, designed to encourage players to engage with the broader world of Nintendo.
On that note, Toto’s sources also had an update on Nintendo’s planned new membership system, which will untie consoles, portables and smartphones as one platform. Apparently launch was expected earlier this year, but Nintendo ran into technical challenges.
In somewhat related news, Pokemon developer Game Freak has acquired a mobile developer, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki. What with that and the Ingress-inspired Pokemon Go it really looks like some of the last bastions of traditional Japanese development are bowing to the nation-wide mobile obsession.