Troubled by less than stellar Wii U sales, Nintendo is looking for a way to enable mobile app developers to write titles that will run on the console, according to The Japan Times. No doubt the idea is to offer a way to boost the number of games available, without the need to sell developers on creating games for the console exclusively.
Certainly, one of the problems facing the Wii U is a lack of strong games, although it could be argued that porting a bunch of smartphone games to the platform isn't going to do much to persuade the hardcore gamers. But it might position the console as a strong causal gaming platform, an area that Nintendo is arguably losing, even though it was an innovator with games that could be played by people of all abilities.
The original story is light on the details, but we assume the principal is similar to BlackBerry's idea to make Android apps run on its phones. That's an unfortunate lead for Nintendo to take, as it doesn't seemed to have achieved anything noticeable for BlackBerry. Nintendo would make a tool to help devs get their app working on the Wii U, and provide them with a way to sell those apps, without the usual developer rigmarole.
The big problem we see here though, is that if you have a smartphone, then wouldn't you just play smartphone games on that? After all, with wireless mirroring coming to most handsets, you can connect to your TV for an amazing big-screen gaming experience right now. Perhaps Nintendo should be looking to release mobile titles instead. Who wouldn't pay to play Mario Galaxy on their tablet or phone, after all?
Nintendo isn't in big financial trouble yet, but it needs to start selling more consoles soon, and it won't do that unless it has some compelling games. With the PS4 and new Xbox just around the corner, it's got to do something quickly, or it will get lost in the noise of those two enormous products at the end of the year. After all, it appears the Wii U was rushed out to pre-empt those consoles, but without the killer 3D Mario and Zelda titles you'd usually expect quickly after launch.