When Apple released the App Store in 2008, the Cupertino company quickly put a stranglehold on Nintendo’s handheld business, which has seen its handheld console sales decrease over the last few years. Nintendo has used different techniques to combat Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. The Japanese manufacturer aggressively reduced its handheld prices and has also launched the Nintendo 3DS in an effort to keep kids and their families fully engaged.
Now, Kotaku Japan has reported that an official Pokemon game is on its way to the App Store this summer. This will be the first time Nintendo makes a game available for another hardware platform other than its own.
Is this a desperation move? Who knows. However, according to Kotaku’s article, The Pokemon Company is the one behind this upcoming title, which also means that Nintendo still behind this. In case you didn’t know, Pokémon and Pokémon character names are trademarks of Nintendo.
The new game will be called Pokémon Say Tap? BW, and when it becomes available it will be free of charge initially. This is somewhat surprising given that Nintendo’s U.S. President, earlier this year, strongly criticized the App Store and Android for facilitating the creation of inexpensive and disposable games.
In an interview with GameTrailers, Reggie Fils-Aime said:
“Cheap, disposable smartphone games are one of the biggest problems facing the games industry today,”. “I actually think that one of the biggest risks today in our industry are these inexpensive games that are candidly disposable from a consumer standpoint,” he insisted.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, the Pokémon Say Tap? BW game will use on-screen Pokémon cards in a timing game. Instead of the usual RPG (Role Playing Game) titles, this will be a timing game that will also entertain you with music. As far as we know, Nintendo has teamed up with Game Freak to create the game. The upcoming game will be released for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones.
Will this mark a new trend by Nintendo? It remains to be seen. The Japanese company has always been very focused on developing games for its own platforms, and has enjoyed a niche for high priced console games. Using the App Store as an additional distribution channel for its games still a bit suspicious for a company like Nintendo.