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Shigeru Miyamoto Hopes 'Super Mario Run' Will Draw Users to Nintendo's Hardware for More In-Depth Experiences

One of the first major surprises out of Apple's September 7 event was the appearance of game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and the announcement of an all-new Mario game for iOS called Super Mario Run. In the game, players will help Mario navigate various worlds by tapping on the screen to help the plumber jump, dodge, and slide past obstacles and enemies until they reach the flag pole at the end of the stage. During Apple's event, Miyamoto and senior product marketing manager for Nintendo, Bill Trinen, explained the mechanics of the game and its intent for quick burst, one-handed smartphone gaming. Now, in a recent interview with The Verge, Miyamoto divulged more information on the iPhone game, potentially hinting at what the company's outlook on mobile gaming could mean for the other two upcoming DeNA iOS games, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. Image via The Verge In its time with Super Mario Run, The Verge commented that the game underscores the company's strategy of introducing addicting, but modest experiences on mobile in order to win more players over with full-fledged console games. Super Mario Run ultimately started as an idea that "was too simple for a home console device," Miyamoto said, and that the company's "main focus" is still convincing players to migrate over to its first-party hardware. Still, Miyamoto said he hopes people are "going to want to play a much more in-depth and a more challenging Mario experience … it’s going to increase the population of people interested in coming to our platforms, which is of course is our main focus." It looks to

Homebrew Enthusiasts Emulate Macintosh Plus on Nintendo 3DS

While the Macintosh Plus was discontinued over 25 years ago, two developers have brought the old school machine back to life in the form of a Nintendo 2DS and 3DS. The first developer, who uses the pseudonym TarableCode, managed to port the Mini vMac emulator to Nintendo 2DS and has since shared pictures and technical details of her homebrew accomplishment on video game community GBAtemp. The code for Mini vMac for Nintendo 2DS/3DS is available on GitHub. The photo shows the Nintendo 2DS is running Macintosh System 7.5.3, retroactively called Mac OS 7, released in 1996. The 2DS's directional pad functions as arrow keys, while the L and R shoulder buttons are the mouse buttons, the Y button toggles the on-screen keyboard, and both the circle pad and touchscreen move the mouse. A fellow homebrew enthusiast who uses the pseudonym LarBob Doomer has since uploaded a YouTube video that shows the emulated Macintosh Plus experience in action on Nintendo 3DS. In the video, he scrolls through a functional version of System 6, and opens apps, inputs text from the keyboard, and eventually powers off the device. The practical applications of 20-year-old Mac software running on Nintendo 3DS are obviously limited, but the homebrew emulator is a unique proof of concept. In the past, developer Nick Lee similarly managed to get both Macintosh System 7.5.5 and Windows 95 to run on an Apple Watch. (Thanks, Mitch!)

'Pokemon Go' Driving Foot Traffic to Local Businesses

The success of Pokemon Go has had many real-world ramifications recently, including cautionary tales of car accidents, thieves using the game to stage robberies, and Nintendo's shares jumping 25%, or $7.5 billion, in days. The new augmented reality game is also driving business to local restaurants and bars, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Food and drink sales spiked by about 30 percent compared to a typical weekend, according to [L'Inizio's Pizzar Bar] manager Sean Benedetti. It was part luck—the game chooses which public locations to imbue with special significance in its virtual world—but there was also savvy strategy. Benedetti, 29, spent about $10 on "Lure Modules," an in-game purchase that attracts Pokémon to a specified location. Players soon picked up on the fact that L’inizio’s was well worth visiting. “People are coming out of the woodwork because of this game,” he said.Pacific Standard co-owner Ryan Kahl told Bloomberg that while the game has increased foot traffic in his Brooklyn-based bar, he hasn't yet seen the traffic translate into business. "We had one guy run to the back because he had a rare Pokemon," he said. "It's been a little weird." However, Kahl said he had not tried to see if using "Lure Modules" would make a difference, noting that he's hoping it gets hot enough that adventuring players need to refuel. Pokemon Go. Got. Real. (Thanks, @Clatham78) pic.twitter.com/fjrtOw97CD— James Bartholomeou (@Iyagovos) July 8, 2016 Some businesses have taken to hanging up signs alerting players how it does or does not support the game. Pacific

Nintendo Shares Jump by 25% on 'Pokémon Go' Mobile Success

Nintendo shares jumped by nearly a quarter today following the runaway success of its long-awaited Pokémon Go mobile game released last week (via Reuters). Stock spiked as much as 25% ($7.5 billion), a record since it began trading in Tokyo in 1983. According to Bloomberg, shares of the Kyoto-based company have climbed 34% in the past two days of trading after the game was released for iPhone and Android devices. For those unfamiliar with Pokémon Go, the game uses augmented reality and real-world maps so users can venture into the real world to look for Pokémon to capture. Once collected, Pokémon can be leveled up and used for battle, with in-app purchases forming part of the game's progress mechanic. The game debuted at the top of the App Store's Free Apps Chart in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand last week and is set to be released in Japan and other major markets soon. The game itself was created by Niantic, spun off from Google last year, and The Pokémon Company. Nintendo owns a third of Pokémon Company and both have undisclosed stakes in Niantic. Many iPhone users in India, Singapore, Germany and the U.K. appear to be unwittingly downloading fake app Go Catch Em All, which is also hovering around the top spot in regional Free Apps charts. Pocket Go Poke Evolution and Poke Poke Go are two other clones feeding off Nintendo's success story. Speaking to TechInsider, Pokémon developers Niantic promised that Go players will soon be able to trade characters, encouraging more interaction in the AR world. Other new features will include more ways to

'Pokemon GO' Begins Rolling Out in the App Store

Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Niantic's augmented reality game Pokemon GO is rolling out in the App Store now. The game is available in New Zealand, Australia and is propagating through the App Store around the world and in the U.S. The game uses augmented reality and real-world maps to allow users to venture into the real world to look for Pokemon to capture. Once collected, Pokemon can be leveled up, traded and used for battle. They can also be assigned to defend Gyms from other players. Gyms, like Pokemon, can be found by wandering out into the real world. When a player is wandering through their neighborhood and a Pokemon is nearby, the game will send the player a notification. Certain Pokemon and items are only available in select locations. For instance, water Pokemon are available near bodies of water while certain PokeBalls are located near museums and other points of interest. Players can also purchase an optional accessory called Pokemon GO Plus, a wrist-worn device that syncs with the game and alerts users to events happening in the game within their physical vicinity, like the appearance of a new Pokemon. Our sister site TouchArcade shared some thoughts on the app compared to its beefier, handheld cousins on Nintendo DS. While the feedback from the beta hasn't been entirely positive, and it's questionable whether the game will live up to the hidden complexity of the Nintendo handheld titles, Pokemon GO will certainly fill a void for anyone looking for critter catching action on their smartphone. Pokemon GO is Nintendo's second game for iOS

Nintendo Considering Creating Physical Controllers for Smartphones and Tablets

As a part of its push into mobile gaming, Nintendo is considering creating physical controllers and other kinds of hardware for different types of mobile games and experiences, reports Polygon. Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo's general manager of entertainment planning and development, discussed the possibility at the company's annual shareholders meeting. "Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves," Takahashi said. "I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game."In the console and handheld gaming spaces, Nintendo has taken to crafting unique controllers that the company can take advantage of with its first-party games. Nintendo's unique controllers include a reverse trident design, motion control remotes and dual-screen handhelds. Apple added support for iOS game controllers with iOS 7, expanding its Made for iPhone program to include game controller accessories. More recently, the company dropped its requirement for tvOS games to support the Siri Remote, allowing game developers to create more complex games for the fourth-generation Apple TV. Nintendo also reiterated its commitment to create mobile app experiences that aren't games, like its social lifestyle game / app Miitomo. The company still has plans to release five smartphone games by March 2017, with Miitomo already released and P

Pokémon GO Likely Coming to iOS Devices in July

During a live streaming event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Nintendo today hinted at an official launch timeframe for Pokémon GO, a highly anticipated augmented reality game that will allow users to catch Pokémon in the world around them. In a call between Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Niantic Labs, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto showed off the Pokémon GO Plus device, which is a Bluetooth wearable accessory that will allow players to get alerts for nearby Pokémon without the need to keep a close eye on their iPhones. During the presentation, Miyamoto mentioned that the GO Plus device will ship by the end of July, and because the accessory is dependent on the game, Pokémon GO will also need to launch during that same timeframe. As TechCrunch points out, this isn't concrete launch information, but it does narrow down the potential launch window. The Pokémon GO Plus, which Nintendo will sell for $35, will flash green when a Pokémon is nearby, and it's also able to throw Poké Balls to catch Pokémon that can be transferred to an iPhone. Pokémon GO is currently being tested in several countries around the world, and many details have leaked out about the game. When walking around, users will come across Pokémon hidden in the wild and will receive a notification whenever a Pokémon is discovered. Using an iPhone, players will aim a Poké Ball at a Pokémon to capture it. Poké Balls, Pokémon Eggs, and other accessories will be obtainable at "PokéStops," which are located in places like public art installations, historical markers, and

New Data Suggests 'Users Didn't Really Get Miitomo,' Leading to its Decline

After a few weeks of news surrounding Nintendo's continued push into smartphone gaming, the company's first app -- Miitomo -- slowly started to disappear from the conversation as users began to abandon the app. Nintendo celebrated an impressive 10 million user downloads a few weeks after Miitomo's release, but since then little news or talk has been circling from Nintendo itself or the game's original downloaders. A new report by SurveyMonkey attempts to drill down to the reasoning behind Miitomo's rise and fall, which occurred all in the span of about two months. To do so, the site compared Miitomo to King's Candy Crush Saga and Supercell's Clash of Clans, two games which not only debuted big, but kept players engaged frequently on a week-by-week basis. All three games had a similar huge download spike at launch, with Candy Crush Saga topping the charts, followed by a downturn in downloads in the subsequent weeks. The difference between the games is that those belonging to King and Supercell saw continued user engagement by the gamers who originally downloaded them. According to SurveyMonkey's numbers, Clash Royale is played on average 4.2 days per week by its users, while Candy Crush Saga is played 3.3 days each week. Miitomo, on the other hand, sees users returning just 2.3 days per week. The site's leading theory on this low return rate statistic is a fanbase that "didn't really get Miitomo." In Miitomo’s case, this lower-than-peers engagement translates into higher churn. The game’s weekly churn more than 50% means that over half of the users of Miitomo

Nintendo's Next Two Mobile Games to Adopt Free-to-Play Model

Following the announcement that Nintendo's next two mobile gaming apps will center around the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises, DeNA Chief Executive Isao Moriyasu today mentioned to The Wall Street Journal that both games will be "free-to-start apps," which a Nintendo spokeswoman has now confirmed. DeNA is the Tokyo-based mobile gaming studio assisting with the creation of Nintendo's five smartphone titles, still on a planned trajectory for launch before March 2017. When Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem were announced for iPhone and Android last month, neither company confirmed the payment strategy the games would adopt for mobile platforms. Nintendo and DeNA's first game, Miitomo, rolled out with a similar free-to-play model where users could end up spending more money in-game on various outfits for their virtual Mii avatar. Although its popularity in the field died down somewhat after initial launch excitement, Nintendo confirmed Miitomo was downloaded and played by over 10 million users worldwide since its debut. In the original announcement, Nintendo said that Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing were both "pure game applications," especially in comparison to Miitomo's more socially-driven atmosphere. What's still unclear is how Nintendo plans to implement in-app purchases within each game, although it seems that the free-to-play model is a continuation of the company's hope to build up a user base consisting of a wide demographic of players, instead of a purely hardcore one who would be willing to pay outright for each title. In earlier announcements

Nintendo Explains Why It Chose 'Animal Crossing' and 'Fire Emblem' as Next Smartphone Games

Last week, Nintendo announced that the next two games launching on iPhone and Android devices will be Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem related applications, but didn't speak much to its reasoning behind that decision. In a subsequent financial results briefing Q&A, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima gave some explanation as to why the company decided to prioritize these franchises as its next line of smartphone titles (via Engadget). Kimishima began by stating that Nintendo chose Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem as the first two "real" game applications "from the viewpoint of increasing the diverse types of consumers interested in Nintendo, and widening opportunities for game play." Animal Crossing, specifically, will net the company a wider swath of player demographics considering its titles in the past have won over non-gamers with its trademark laid-back gameplay. We chose Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem as titles to follow Miitomo from the viewpoint of increasing the diverse types of consumers interested in Nintendo, and widening opportunities for game play. The Animal Crossing series has been played by a wide range of consumers including children and women. I think there is a good chance that those consumers would enjoy this. Interestingly, Kimishima appeared to somewhat dodge the initial question asked (Is Animal Crossing a title that places emphasis on the synergy with dedicated video game systems?), which is the main concern of some series fans as Animal Crossing transitions to mobile. In the original announcement, Nintendo said the iPhone version of

Nintendo Launching 'Animal Crossing' and 'Fire Emblem' on Smartphones This Fall

Nintendo of America has announced that it will release two more smartphone games, based on its popular, long-running franchises Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, later this year, as part of the Japanese company's commitment to release five smartphone games by March 2017. Nintendo fans are cautiously optimistic about the upcoming titles, which will not be direct ports of the console-based games but rather mobile-optimized spinoffs that could involve a series of in-app purchases. Nintendo declined to say whether the games will be free to download on the App Store. Animal Crossing, based on a simulated world of animals, and Fire Emblem, a tactical RPG, are expected to be "more accessible" and "connected" versions of the traditional console-based games. The titles can currently be played on Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and multiple other Nintendo platforms.As for the former app, while making it more accessible in comparison to the Fire Emblem games for Nintendo’s dedicated gaming systems, Nintendo aims to offer the great value of a role-playing strategy game. Nintendo will design the latter game so that it will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems. By playing both Animal Crossing games, users will find increased enjoyment.Nintendo's first iOS app Miitomo debuted on the App Store last month in partnership with Japanese developer DeNA. The social-based game allows players to create and customize avatars called "Miis," chat with other players, play mini games to earn coins and tickets that can be used towards purchasing new outfits, and more.

Nintendo's First iOS Game 'Miitomo' Now Available in the United States

After a soft launch in Japan earlier this month, Nintendo's first app designed for iOS devices, Miitomo, is available for download in the United States and other countries. Miitomo is a free-to-play social-based app that allows players to create and customize avatars known in the Nintendo world as Miis. Using their Mii, players can chat with one another through the Miitomo app and play mini games. The goal is to earn coins and tickets to work towards purchasing new outfits for one's Mii while also answering questions and creating Mii photos, with that information being shared with friends. Players are also able to use the app to earn My Nintendo rewards that can be exchanged for discounts on Nintendo's line of 3DS and Wii U games and console themes, which will be the main incentive to pick up Miitomo. My Nintendo is Nintendo's new rewards program, replacing the rewards program that it eliminated last year. Our sister site TouchArcade tried the Japanese version of Miitomo and shared some early thoughts on the app.So how is it? Well, it's more or less as it was described to us before. You start off by creating or importing a Mii. You then assign a voice and personality to it before moving on. From there, you'll be directed to answer your first question, which in my case was concerning my favorite food. After that, you can tinker around and do what you like. So far, that doesn't involve much more than buying clothes, dressing up my Mii, or answering more questions. I've earned some Game Tickets, which I can use to play a simple pachinko-style mini-game to try

The Pokémon Company Releases New Details and Screenshots for 'Pokémon GO'

The Pokémon Company today released more information about its upcoming augmented reality mobile game Pokémon GO, which blends the series' trademarked collectible gameplay with location-based discovery thanks to the technology of modern smartphones. As in its original September announcement, the company reiterated that the app itself will be free at launch, with in-app purchases available to round out the experience. Pokémon GO works by notifying players when they're near a catchable Pokémon, and now the company is explaining how the catching process works: gamers will use their smartphone to "take aim" at where the Pokémon is waiting and use one of their collected Poké Balls to capture it. As is normal in games of the series, there's a chance for the capture to fail or for the Pokémon to run away before it can be caught. There will also be a new feature called PokéStops, "located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments," that act as a sort of rest stop for users to restock on Poké Balls and Pokémon Eggs -- which use the pedometer of a smartphone to hatch after a certain number of steps. The more the game is played, the faster players can level up their Trainer and discover higher-level Pokémon in the wild while gaining access to more powerful items. Similar to PokéStops, Pokémon GO will use the well-known feature of the Gym to provide community hubs in certain locations around the globe. But these areas won't be as peaceful-minded as PokéStops, with players able to challenge the ownership of a Gym and

First Official Nintendo iOS Game 'Miitomo' Hits Japanese App Store

Nintendo's first official iOS game, Miitomo, made its long-awaited debut in the Japanese App Store yesterday. As promised, the company's first foray into smartphone apps is a free-to-play social title in which players can create and customise their own avatars, known as Miis, which can communicate with other Miis on the social network. Apart from the social angle, the main incentive to play is to earn points which can be exchanged for discounts on console and handheld games, console themes and other rewards through the company's new loyalty program, My Nintendo, which also launched in Japan alongside the game. MacRumors sister site Touch Arcade has posted its first impressions on Miitomo, which is currently limited to the Japanese App Store but expected to roll out to most countries by the end of the month. If you simply can't wait, Touch Arcade has also posted a helpful guide explaining how to download games from other regions. Nintendo has promised more games for smartphones, some of which are expected to be pay-to-download. Registrations have also gone live for Nintendo's new multiplatform account system, Nintendo Account, which connects PC, Nintendo hardware and smartphone users, and enables the transfer of game data between mobile and console games. Update: Nintendo has announced that Miitomo launches in the U.S. and "several other countries" on March

Nintendo Confirms Second Mobile Game Will Be Focused on a 'Familiar' Character

Nintendo today gave new hints regarding its mobile game plans, which will see the gaming giant release five games in total before March 2017 in a partnership with developer DeNA. During a quarterly profit meeting, the gaming company confirmed that its second mobile experience will be built around one of its popular and established characters, but no word was given specifically on which Nintendo franchise that would be (via The Wall Street Journal). “The second game won’t be another communication app, and we plan to adopt one of our characters that fans are very familiar with,” Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said. In October, Nintendo revealed details about the first game to be released from its DeNA partnership, an app called "Miitomo" that will focus on social network-like interactions with the company's customizable Mii avatars. Miitomo will be a free-to-play experience, but the company has said that subsequent games will be pay-to-download games. The partnership with DeNA was announced in March of 2015, with initial expectations suggesting the first official Nintendo-published mobile game to be released before the end of 2015. Nintendo decided to push back Miitomo's launch to better explain what the app is and earn the mobile game a better promotional push. Miitomo is expected to launch sometime in March, and there was no time window given for the company's second

Nintendo Announces First Mobile Game 'Miitomo,' Arrives March 2016

During a strategy meeting with its investors tonight, Nintendo announced its first smartphone game, according to The Wall Street Journal. The game is called Miitomo and will the the first of five games that'll be released by March 2017. The game will be a free-to-play title with "attractive add-ons" that people can pay for. Users will create their own avatars, known as Miis, that can communicate with other users. Miis can communicate with other people's Miis without a users knowledge, and Nintendo says the game will find ways "to encourage people who are hesitant to talk to share things about themselves" with other users. However, Nintendo says that the game has been delayed until March 2016; the game was originally intended to launch this year. The company says that one reason for the delay is the need to fully promote and explain what Miitomo is, but that it wants to currently concentrate its marketing efforts on other titles in its product pipeline. As noted by The WSJ, Nintendo's partner DeNA will focus on the operations of the games, indicating that Nintendo may be designing the games. While Miimoto is a free-to-play game, Nintendo says that other games will be pay-to-download. The company also announced a new membership service called Nintendo Account, which will connect PC, Nintendo hardware and smartphone users. It'll also enable the transfer of game data between mobile and console

Nintendo's First Smartphone Game Due This Year, 5 Planned by March 2017

In Nintendo's financial results briefing posted today, which relays the company's past fiscal year ending in March 2015 and looks ahead to the future, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata provided a few more details regarding the company's future release plans with mobile gaming partner DeNA. Essentially, the first game in the lineup will launch "by the end of this calendar year," with the current long-term plan to release five games in total by the end of the company's next fiscal year ending in March of 2017, just under two years away. Iwata promises that while that estimation for a release schedule seems low, the company hopes to retain its well-known degree of polish and customer satisfaction when transitioning to mobile, and taking a quality over quantity approach is its way of doing that. You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business. During the briefing, Iwata also went further into detail regarding the actual strategy for creating games on a mobile device, such as an iPhone and iPad. While the initial announcement of the deal with DeNA had fans excited, Nintendo was quick to specify that the experiences provided on mobile wouldn't simply be ports of existing franchises and would be more tailored for a smaller, bite-sized experience. Although that dashed most fan hopes for full-fledged Pokemon, The Legend of

Nintendo Bringing Mario and Other Games to Smartphones and Tablets

Nintendo announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Japanese mobile game maker DeNA to jointly develop games for smartphones, tablets and PCs, meaning that new titles based on iconic franchises such as Mario, Pokemon and Zelda could soon be available on devices such as iPhone, iPad and Mac. Nintendo will purchase a 10% stake in DeNA for $182 million as part of a cross-shareholding deal, according to The Wall Street Journal. Nintendo consistently refused to license its intellectual property to other platforms, fearing that doing so may threaten its traditional, console-based business model. Nevertheless, as the mobile gaming industry has grown into an estimated $25 billion market, and competitors such as Sony begin making more games available on other consoles, it appears that Nintendo has caved into the pressure.“The company seems to have totally changed its mind-set, after having resisted against mobile game development, publicly complained about the low quality of content in mobile and played down its role in the game world overall,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based game consultant. “This is about the most drastic, bold shift in strategy Nintendo could have undertaken.”Nintendo and DeNA will team up to develop a “multi-device membership service for the global market," available next fall for PCs, smartphones, tablets and also Nintendo gaming consoles, according to the report. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said at a news conference on Tuesday that he hopes the service will allow the company to reach hundreds of millions of new users, while the company remains