The latest Wii U news indicates Nintendo is looking to shake things up a bit and perhaps redeem itself by thinking outside the gaming box and extending into the world of smartphone apps. That's right, Nintendo has just begun offering conversion software to developers in hopes of porting more smartphone-only games to the struggling Wii U console and simulate growth in a market where the Nintendo gaming machine is falling tragically behind the curve.
According to a report by Japan Times, several anonymous sources have indicated that Nintendo hopes to modify and enhance its hardware by incorporating smartphone app accessibility to its users.
It's been no secret that Wii U has struggled to hold a foot in the ever-changing gaming and mobile device market and a lack of popular games for the Wii U Nintendo console is one of the main reasons sales have slumped causing the company to absorb a major 36.4 billion dollar group loss in 2012. This isn't the first time that Nintendo has seen major drops in revenue as the year prior the company also saw massive losses.
Though some new game releases are expected for the 2013 year such as the Pocket 3-D series, still, games such as GTA V which fans using a variety of platforms are foaming at the mouth for are unlikely to make their way to the Nintendo platform or if they do, much later than consoles like the PS3 or X Box 360.
Keep in mind too that soon we'll be seeing Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox 720 release, at which time the Wii U will be hard-pressed to stand up to the competition and could soon fade into oblivion. Sony pulls no punches and has been in an all out war against the Xbox for "King Of The Hill" when it comes to gaming consoles. This leaves little room for Nintendo's offerings.
The one advantage Nintendo Wii has had is its range of original titles however with those also come some complications--the complications of not only creating new and updated hardware but also constant renewals and updates to software. This frankly takes time--time Nintendo Wii U may not have if it want sto remain competitive with big players like Microsoft and Sony. As Forbes' Paul Tassi recently wrote,
"Honestly, Nintendo's biggest foe right now is not Sony or Microsoft, it's Nintendo...Super Smash Bros. seems more like a dream than anything close to a reality at this point, and they've already announced the next Zelda game will take so long they're releasing Wind Waker HD in the interim. And that's ignoring a roster of Kirby/Donkey Kong/Yoshi/Metroid/Starfox or god forbid Pokemon console titles they could be creating as well. Of course this is the problem with being 100% reliant on first party titles to sell your system. You simply don't have the resources to do more than one or two at a time."
And indeed this pretty adeptly sums up the situation with Wii U. However, with this recent reach out to developers to create a way for porting new smartphone games to the struggling console it's possible Wii U may be salvaged and rescued from the rut it's placed itself in.
Of course not everyone is convinced this will be enough as already commentary on twitter has surfaced concerning Wii U modding for smartphone apps.
— Matt Lee (@URFloorMatt) May 6, 2013
Nintendo is trying to get smartphone developers to port their games to the Wii U. At least they're trying something. geekosystem.com/wii-u-game-por... — Geekosystem (@Geekosystem) May 6, 2013
We'll believe this when wii see it: rumours suggest Nintendo is opening the Wii U up to smartphone app developers - pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/Ninte...
— PocketGamer (@PocketGamer) May 6, 2013
Sony's solution to poor Vita sales: Get unique indies onboard. Nintendo's solution to poor Wii U sales: SHOVELWAAARE zd.net/ZKQgLa — Mike Rose (@RaveofRavendale) May 6, 2013
Wii U running smartphone apps is an act of desperation for a console quickly becoming irrelevant
— Ryan Bloom (@BloomsTweets) May 6, 2013
theverge.com/2013/5/6/43047... The comments are hilarious. Apps to WiiU bad, just give up and go to iOS already Nintendo, take my 99c!
— Justin (@ryodi) May 6, 2013
At this point only time really can tell but I for one am interested to see just how the modding of Wii U goes down and if it can redeem Nintendo's prized gaming console.