With the upcoming slate of big Nintendo franchises heading to smartphones, the company looks set to remain making Android and iOS games for the foreseeable future. At the moment, most of the headlines are focusing on The Legend of Zelda announcement.
According to Takashi Mochizuki of The Wall Street Journal, “Nintendo Co. plans to bring its video game franchise ‘The Legend of Zelda’ to smartphones, people familiar with the matter said.”
Others speculate the new series entry will tie into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Given the successful sales for the game on the Switch, Nintendo is likely to follow up on this rumor.
Before it comes out though, Nintendo will release an Animal Crossing smartphone title later this year. This series would seem to fit touchscreen controls best because of its simplistic nature.
But the release date for Animal Crossing appears uncertain. Rebekah Valentine on App Trigger wrote, “Animal Crossing is still planned for the second half of 2017 after having been delayed from last fiscal year.”
The above statement means The Legend of Zelda will not arrive on traditional mobile devices until closer to Christmas.
In addition, Nintendo is gracing smartphones with a Pokémon trading card game through its partner The Pokémon Company. Nintendo surprisingly only owns 32-percent of this company.
Derek Strickland on Tweak Town explained, “The app will likely have strong monetization via purchasable card packs that give players random collectible cards to battle other players online, and feature a variety of different game modes.”
As with the next mobile The Legend of Zelda, this title will also release after the new Animal Crossing comes out.
So, Nintendo is giving standard mobile devices a lot of attention. It feels strange to write that The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing and Pokémon are coming to phones and not the 2DS/3DS line.
With analysts speculating the 3DS will end its run in 2018, perhaps Nintendo’s distant future is placing its main games on the Switch while relying on Android/iOS as a secondary platform. Given the user base of smartphones, it only makes sense for Nintendo to target them. Maybe some phone gamers will then become hooked and buy a Switch.
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