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Some Chicken Little’s out there have been saying that iOS gaming is replacing the home and handheld console market. While we find that highly unlikely, it was quite shocking yesterday to see an official free iOS and Android Pokemon app announced, especially considering several Nintendo execs dismissing the importance of the glut of cheap apps. A day later, Nintendo clarified its stance, making the Poke-app sound like a one-time exception to the rule.
In a Bloomberg article Yasuhiro Minagawa of Nintendo said the company’s commitment to making games exclusively for its own systems “hasn’t changed and won’t change.” If that’s the case, why is arguably Nintendo’s biggest franchise, Pokemon, coming to iOS and Droid?
The article clarifies that The Pokemon Company (the corporation that controls all of Pokemon) is only partially owned by Nintendo; 32 percent belongs to the N to be exact. That means that even if Nintendo would like Pokemon to never to appear on a non-Nintendo system, it’s possible for it to happen if there’s enough internal support, which apparently there was in the case of this iOS game.
So don’t throw away your 3DS and Wii just yet, Nintendo hasn’t pulled a Sega and left the console business. This Pokemon game may end up just being a strange piece of trivia, instead of the first sign that Nintendo was rethinking its handheld strategy.
Jul 6, 2011