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(Pocket-lint) - Not the owner of a Nintendo Wii U or 3DS? Well it could still be 1-Up for you, as Nintendo announces a partnership with Japanese publisher DeNA to bring its famous characters to mobile platforms. That could mean Mario for Android, Zelda for iPhone, or Metroid for Windows Phone.

Or, as the official press release puts it, "Nintendo and DeNA today entered into a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide."


After a rocky start to the Wii U console launch in 2012 - although it's having something of a resurgence of late - the company issued its first ever annual loss the same financial year and has been clawing its way back to profit and sustainable business ever since. It seems mobile games are its solution to that.

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But this doesn't mean ports of existing Nintendo titles. Instead we'll see Nintendo's characters utilised in new game apps for smart devices, marking the next step in Nintendo's history, while Wii U and 3DS games will continue to be developed as exclusives for Nintendo's platforms.

The partnership will also form an online membership service accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo Wii U and 3DS systems, due autumn 2015, to finally put Nintendo on the online map. No details of plans, functionality or pricing just yet.

In the not so distant future you might be playing as Diddy Kong on your iPad or Yoshi on a Google Nexus. It's big gaming news, but as if to waylay any idea that this announcement is the death knell of Nintendo hardware, the company also teased a the new Nintendo NX.

Writing by Mike Lowe.