Thoughtful piece by John Gruber on the state of Nintendo:
Here is what I’d like to see Nintendo do.
Make two great games for iOS (iPhone-only if necessary, but universal iPhone/iPad if it works with the concept). Not ports of existing 3DS or Wii games, but two brand new games designed from the ground up with iOS’s touchscreen, accelerometer, (cameras?), and lack of D-pad/action buttons in mind. (“Mario Kart Touch” would be my suggestion; I’d buy that sight unseen.) Put the same amount of effort into these games that Nintendo does for their Wii and 3DS games. When they’re ready, promote the hell out of them. Steal Steve Jobs’s angle and position them not as in any way giving up on their own platforms but as some much-needed ice water for people in hell. Sell them for $14.99 or maybe even $19.99.
If done well, I would buy them the moment they were released. I have been a Nintendo supporter for most of my life. In fact, I only bought the original PlayStation for the continuation of the Final Fantasy series. I grew up on Nintendo, and their mainstay franchises like Zelda, Mario, and Metroid. What set them apart was great storytelling and characters.
I own both a DS and a 3DS, and both feel clunky. They each have a couple of really well done games, but after using a modern GPU, a retina touch screen, and a streamlined OS, it is hard not to constantly see the flaws. The new 2DS is concerning as well, because hardware-wise this really looks like a downward trajectory.
The smart money has always been on diversification. Nintendo has a huge stable of loyal supporters, who are carrying best-of-breed hardware in their pockets everyday. I can only imagine how great it would be to have Nintendo’s storytelling and characters on modern, high-quality hardware.
Another idea: There is the forthcoming game controller API in iOS 7, a perfect opportunity to define an enhanced premium gaming experience, sooner rather than later. Although, embracing modern control interfaces (motion, voice, eye tracking, mind reading, etc.) is where the puck is heading.