by Jim Lynch

Sony will bring classic Playstation games to iOS, so why won’t Nintendo?

Mar 31, 2016
Consumer Electronics Gaming Platforms iOS

Sony has announced that it will bring some of its classic games to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. But Nintendo is still dragging its feet by refusing to release Mario, Zelda and other popular games on iOS.

Sony recently announced that they have formed a special games division designed to bring some of its classic Playstation games to the iOS platform. This is fantastic news and should please all iOS gamers. Sony’s classic games should prove to be huge hits on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Michael Grothaus reports on Sony’s decision for Know Your Mobile:

I’m old enough to remember the first Sony Playstation, and truthfully, I freak out a bit when people tell me their first console was the PS2 or PS3. Those people actually consider the PS1 “retro”, which means I’m just old. But those people also missed out on some truly incredible Sony games (for that day and age, anyway). Those games included the PS1 versions Gran Turismo 2, Tekken 3, Metal Gear Solid, and more.

Of course those gamers who can list the PS2 and PS3 and their first console are quickly aging too. After all, it’s entirely likely that most people in today’s generation will have their first video game experience on a smartphone. Perhaps that’s why it’s so cool to hear the news that Sony has created a gaming division specifically designed to bring its Playstation titles to iOS and Android. Generation Smartphone will soon be able to experience the “retro” games many of us reading this grew up with. Here’s everything you need to know.

…ForwardWorks is a games studio in Sony that is being tasked with bringing iterations of games and characters from its back catalog to Android and iOS.

Given that ForwardWorks has just formed, it’s likely the first games won’t come out until the holiday 2016 period or early 2017. That means it would be well into 2017 before we here in the West see the games.

More at Know Your Mobile

Sony’s wise decision to monetize its back catalog of great games stands in stark contrast to Nintendo, which has so far shown an absolute unwillingness to seriously consider releasing versions of its own huge library of games on the iOS platform.

Times have changed and Nintendo has fallen behind

So why isn’t Nintendo following in Sony’s footsteps? I think the main reason is that the company is still stuck in a mindset that predates the mobile revolution. It doesn’t understand yet that it needs to offers some of its best gaming franchises on other platforms.

Oh sure, Nintendo has announced one game for iOS already called Miitomo. But the game is an oddity that is not what most iOS gamers are looking for from Nintendo. Instead of offering games with Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, Nintendo has opted to offer a strange kind of game that nobody really cares much about.

It’s this sort of decision that illustrates the behind-the-times mindset of Nintendo. They seem to think that they can fiddle around with iOS instead of producing top-notch, first rate franchise games that people actually want to buy and play.

Nintendo classic games on iOS would not be a threat to the company’s consoles

Another reason why Nintendo is holding back its most popular franchises is that it fears watering down the value of its intellectual property by releasing games with its popular characters for other platforms. Nintendo wants folks that want to play any kind of Mario, Zelda, etc. game to buy a Nintendo console.

But this attitude makes very little sense if you think about all of the classic games Nintendo could release for iOS. Games that ran on the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and other earlier consoles could be spruced up with new graphics and still be huge sellers in the iOS App Store.

And releasing classic games would not be a threat to sales of Nintendo’s newer consoles. The folks that want to play the latest and greatest Nintendo games would still have to buy a console from the company.

Classic Nintendo games on iOS would help reach younger gamers

Another reason why Nintendo needs to offer its classic games on iOS is that its customer base has aged to a certain extent. By locking up all of its popular characters on its own consoles, Nintendo has failed to reach many younger people who didn’t grow up playing on the company’s gaming consoles.

Many younger people have grown up playing games on their smartphones. And it’s that critical demographic that Nintendo has failed to reach in recent years. These younger gamers don’t have the fond memories of earlier Nintendo games that older gamers have, thus they lack the connection to Nintendo itself.

Releasing classic games would introduce the whole Nintendo range of characters to newer, younger gamers and thus help to bring them into the Nintendo family. If Nintendo fails to connect with these younger, smartphone oriented gamers it will really hurt the company as time goes by and their older customers fade away.

Maybe Sony’s decision will wake up Nintendo someday

Kudos to Sony for its forward thinking about releasing its classic games on iOS devices. The company is probably going to make tons of money, and will bring its popular classic franchises to a whole new generation of mobile gamers.

And if Sony does well then perhaps Nintendo will finally wake up and do something similar. I’m not holding my breath, given Nintendo’s reputation for sheer stubbornness but you never know.

After a few of Sony’s games are released and top the iOS charts, Nintendo might have second thoughts about keeping its treasure trove of classic games locked up on its consoles.

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