Nintendo Mario iPhone 5

Industry watchers have been making the case for Nintendo to bring some of its storied games over to mobile for years now. The Wii U isn’t selling very well, and many think that focusing on software—particularly for smartphones and tablets—is the answer to its struggles.

And up until now, the company has responded to the idea with a resounding ‘no, never going to happen.’ But it would seem that the tide has begun to turn. In a recent interview, the Nintendo America President said they’re experimenting with smartphone and tablet content…

King5 News recently spoke with Nintendo of America president/chief operating officer Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aime and asked him: “Why won’t Nintendo make gaming apps for other mobile devices? Why no Mario Kart Racing on iPhones and iPads?” Here’s his response:

“It’s a topic that comes up all the time. It’s a debate that’s constantly had,” said Nintendo of America president/chief operating officer Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aime during a wide-ranging interview with KING 5 News. “We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content. […]

“We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware,” Fils-Aime said. “It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.”

While these comments will likely disappoint those hoping to play full Nintendo games on their iPad, I’m glad to hear that they’re no longer acting like these devices don’t exist. To my knowledge, Nintendo is the only console-maker that doesn’t have any apps in the App Store.

That being said, it’ll be interesting to see what the company comes up with in terms of “little experiences” for smartphones and tablets. I understand you need to protect your interests and all, but I don’t think a dancing Mario app is going to cut it this late in the game.