Nintendo’s first mobile app to be for ‘Mario Kart TV’ web service


Nintendo continues to stand against the idea of porting its popular games to iOS or Android, but it’s not writing off mobile completely. Earlier this year, the company confirmed it was working on ‘service apps,’ which would serve as a bridge to bring more customers over to its console platform.

And this week, we get a good idea of what at least one of those apps could look like. During its financial results briefing yesterday, Nintendo announced that it’s planning to release an app for Mario Kart TV—a web service that allows players to access and share videos captured from Mario Kart 8…

Polygon has more from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata

“As I mentioned at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January, our policy is to establish consumer relationships based on accounts named Nintendo Network IDs, which are abbreviated as NNIDs,” Iwata said. “This ‘Mario Kart TV’ (temp.) web service is available even for players without NNIDs, but by logging into the service with an NNID, they will be able to easily find their rankings, videos that their friends have shared, videos of tournaments in which they have participated, and it will be convenient to access this service through smart devices even when they are not at home.” 

It’s unknown when the app is going to reach mobile devices, but Iwata made it sound like it would be sometime this year. The Mario Kart TV web service is slated to launch alongside Nintendo’s highly-anticpated Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U later this month, so it could land sometime shortly after.

The move may appeal to existing users, but it won’t appease those calling for Nintendo to bring some of its legacy titles to smartphones and tablets. Critics believe that with hardware sales sinking, mobile games and other licensing deals might be the company’s best hope for long-term survival.

Nintendo, however, seems intent on staying in the hardware biz, but its latest financial results aren’t helping it make its case. The gaming giant posted its third consecutive annual operating loss last year (of $456 million), and admitted it only sold 2.7 million units of the Wii U during the period.