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(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo has announced a partnership with DeNA that will see the companies using existing Nintendo characters in new games on smartphones and tablets.

Nintendo hasn't made any statements about specifics, so there's been no confirmation of what we will see when, but we have learnt something about Nintendo's plans.


Firstly, we know that these won't be ports. Nintendo isn't going to just rip Mario vs Donkey Kong off the 3DS and throw it into the iPad. "We have no intention at all to port existing game titles for dedicated game platforms to smart devices," said Satoru Iwata, director and president of Nintendo at the announcement.

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Secondly, controls are being seriously considered. "There are significant differences in the controls, strengths and weaknesses between the controllers for dedicated game systems and the touchscreens of smart devices," said Iwata.

That's great news, because it means you're going to get games designed specifically for touch devices, rather than shoehorned in. It sounds like Nintendo is going to make sure that this is done right.

Who is DeNA?

The job of getting Nintendo's new games onto your iPad or SGS6 will come down to DeNA (say D-N-A). DeNA is a Japanese games publisher that will be responsible for not only developing games with Nintendo, but also a Nintendo platform that will bridge devices, which we'll see later in 2015.

At the end of 2014, Mobage was renamed as DeNA after the parent company that founded it. Mobage is a social mobile game platform that's big in Japan and hosts titles such as Godus, Transformers Legends, and Marvel War of Heroes. There are DeNA Disney and Hasbro titles, so one thing is clear - DeNA has a lot of experience working with other people's "IP".

If there's one thing that jumps out, it's that currently, there's no huge stand-out mobile game that we can relate to, but DeNA probably expects that to change with Nintendo on the books. So what games can we expect to see?

Mario Kart

This is one of the most iconic Nintendo games and relatively easy to move to a different platform because of the simplicity of gameplay.

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The best part of Mario Kart is multiplayer, something that consoles have been very good at. Not only is local play a possibility via direct device links, but you could easily play friends online too, all day and all night. We can see this making an easy transition to all sizes of touchscreen devices.

Super Mario

Mario is sure to get a look in. As the most iconic gaming character of all time, the return of Mario as a platform game is almost a certainty. Mario has been deployed in a huge array of different games, but we want it as a simple platformer, with some of Mario's friends, of course.

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Mario is easy to control and there's no shortage of games that offer a similar sort of gameplay. They've all lacked the certain je ne sais quoi that Mario brings to things and we're sure that Super Mario could easily be made for all devices.


Metroid has been one of Nintendo's most successful titles, spanning a number of consoles. The sci-fi title characteristically offers non-linear exploration and has openly been influenced by the Alien movies.

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Metroid would offer a great shooter-adventurer mash-up on tablets and smartphones, but is perhaps more difficult to get right, because the gameplay isn't as casual as some of Nintendo's single-stage games and the controls might just be too fiddly.

However, there's nothing to stop the use of the characters, in different gameplay scenarios, to bring Metroid to life elsewhere. Metroid on Android? Yes please.

Super Smash Brothers

Nintendo's mega match-up would give Ninty the chance to roll loads of characters into your iPhone or other mobile device for some brawling action.

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Although Super Smash Brothers is simpler in gameplay than a lot of fighting games, it's still something of a challenge to get the controls right on a mobile device. Still, we'd love to see some multiplayer Nintendo fighting: we can see this being a big hit.

Whether we'd see Sonic (Sega) and Solid Snake (Konami) make an appearance - as in Super Smash Brothers Brawl - is anyone's guess. But with so many characters, a freemium game offering in-app character purchases isn't too hard to imagine.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is video game royalty, often relegated to a bit part in other games. He deserves a big return on your mobile device, just as he had a showing across a number of platforms in the past following the success of the arcade title.

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We'd love to see Donkey Kong's frenetic platforming action come back to the small screen and it should be easy enough to do. Just like Mario, Donkey Kong could easily be deployed in a new adventure, or a more retro gaming style.


Pokémon is huge, centred around collecting the hundreds of diverse characters, and has appeared on TV, as innumerate cuddly toys, and in almost every other guise since it first appeared on the Game Boy in 1996.

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Pokémon is already one of the most successful game franchises of all time and it lends itself to the sort of online play that mobile devices are good that. There's already an iPad Pokémon trading card game, but it's the Nintendo style of gaming that we're really after. A connected multiplayer RTS would be easy enough to achieve.

In a previous interview with The Telegraph, Pokémon producer Junichi Masuda said of an iPhone version: "If it were to reach a stage where I would be happy to hand my iPhone to a 5-year-old and know that, actually, that device and everything about it is safe and secure and I can trust the device in the hands of a 5-year-old, then it would become in the realms of possibility."


There's no shortage of digital pet games out there, but you'd have to be barking mad not to release Nintendogs on smartphones and tablets.

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Nintendogs uses the 3DS touchscreen as well as the mic, so it should be simple enough to bring to life on other devices. It also lends itself perfectly to the sort of casual ongoing gaming that mobile devices are known for.

What's more, there's a perfect opportunity for endless in-game purchases...

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is probably the title that people are most excited about potentially appearing on new platforms. The action-adventure game is hugely addictive with it's mixture of puzzle solving and hack-and-slash action. 

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There have been 17 Zelda titles already and the challenge would be to create a new title that captured the spirit of Zelda without feeling like a sell-out.

Where simple platformers might be pretty easy to dip in and out of, The Legend of Zelda would probably need a lot more commitment than some casual mobile games.

Be sure to let us know what titles you'd like to see on your smartphone or tablet in the comments below.

Writing by Chris Hall.