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Nintendo signs deal with DeNA to bring Mario, Zelda and co to smartphones

Long have many folks argued that Nintendo should embrace the mobile gaming world rather than relying on its consoles, and now the Japanese gaming giant has finally taken that step towards smartphone gaming.

Nintendo has signed a deal with a mobile gaming firm, DeNA, with the intention of bringing its “iconic game characters” to phones and tablets via game apps.

Nintendo was being pressured to make this move since as far back as 2011 (quite possibly further), but has always held fast that it wanted to stick to its guns and not go across to the mobile side. That all appears to have changed now.

The plan isn’t simply to port existing titles over from the Wii U or 3DS, either – the alliance between the two firms aims to use Nintendo’s IP to produce original games optimised for phones. Of course, that’s likely to be a good thing in terms of the quality of these offerings, rather than having stuff shovelled across and tried to make fit the smartphone format.

Although there are of course classics that many would like to see make the jump across platforms, so to speak – but that could well happen in the future.

Furthermore, the idea is to also fire up an online service as part of the alliance, which will be available to PC and Nintendo console owners, as well as smartphones.

In a statement, the companies said: “Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA's extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.”

This can, of course, only be a good thing for mobile gaming, and the cries of “about time” can be heard echoing around the internet already.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.