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article imageNintendo now wants to build game controllers for smartphones

By James Walker     Jul 6, 2016 in Technology
Struggling video game company Nintendo has announced another new idea that could turn its business around. Expanding on its recent entry into smartphone gaming, the company sees value in creating physical game controllers for mobile devices.
The vast majority of mobile gamers interact with nothing more than their device's touchscreen and accelerometer. While this is fine for most titles, the interfaces of more intensive or immersive games can be obscured by fast-paced tapping and swiping.
Polygon reports that Nintendo has decided it wants to help change this. At its annual general shareholders meeting this week, Nintendo General Manager of Entertainment Planning and Development Shinya Takahashi revealed it may start building game controllers specifically designed for smartphones.
Although such devices already exist in the market, they haven't become popular with mainstream users. Nintendo would hope to attract a large audience to playing smartphone games with a controller, allowing for more complex mobile experiences than touchscreens have traditionally allowed. For the infrequent gamer, a smartphone could suffice as a console, particularly as modern devices can natively cast their display to a TV.
Takahasi suggested that Nintendo could build its own hardware for controlling mobile games. The company hasn't confirmed anything yet but appears to be considering expanding its presence in mobile gaming beyond releasing simple apps.
"Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves," said Takahashi. "I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game."
Nintendo has launched only one mobile game to date, Miitomo. It became popular in Japan immediately after its launch but has been met with mixed reviews since. Nintendo confirmed it is working on "various projects" for the future. It has previously announced four more mobile games to be launched before March. It will then unveil its next-generation NX games console.
At the conference, Nintendo also addressed reports that it plans to begin creating films. It said it is exploring the potential to enter several different areas but it currently has no firm plans. "Nintendo needs to make a lot more products," said Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo creative fellow and senior managing director.
Making products won't solve Nintendo's problems unless it can recapture its old audiences though. With the Wii U all but gone from the market, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation dominate console gaming. Nintendo could find it difficult to break back into the market. It admitted that it faces a "similar challenge" with the NX as it did when launching the unpopular Wii U, conceding it's reached the bottom of the hill but there's a still long way to climb.
More about Nintendo, Smartphones, Mobile, mobile gaming, Gaming
 
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