Ever since the rise of the iPhone in 2007 ushered in a new era of mobile gaming, pundits and critics alike have been calling for Nintendo to abandon home consoles and their own mobile devices to bring their bevy of recognizable characters to the mobile sector. It’s something Nintendo has been staunchly against since the first utterance of the word mobile gaming and it’s not hard to understand why; Nintendo specializes in platform games that require precise controls to be enjoyable, which is something mobile just doesn’t provide without peripherals.
In a recent interview with GameSpot, producer Kensuke Tanabe has confirmed that Nintendo’s main resistance to embracing any sort of mobile platform with a touch screen for controls is that translating traditional platformer controls to these devices is exceedingly hard.
“With games like Mario and Donkey Kong, the control input is such an important part of that; I think if you’re trying to replicate that feeling of control that you have traditional to those games, translating those to a smart device, that’s a just a really, really difficult task.”
But what about platformer games that succeed on mobile? Tanabe acknowledges their existence and that the market is “flooded with similar games”, but states that Nintendo creates games for its own hardware, which is something the company has done since it got into the consumer electronics market. So long as the Nintendo 3DS remains a success and Nintendo follows that up with a handheld with the same success, you’ll likely never be playing a Mario or Donkey Kong game mobile any time soon.