Nintendo might make its own controller for phones, tablets

After years of focusing solely on its own gaming consoles, the company hopes to make a bigger dent in the mobile market.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
2 min read

Nintendo might cook up its own controller for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.


Nintendo is considering creating its own controller for phones and tablets as part of its sharpened focus on mobile apps.

At Nintendo's shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Shinya Takahashi, the general manager of the Entertainment Planning and Development division, revealed that the company is looking into creating a physical controller that could play a role in action games. Other companies already make controllers for smartphones and tablets, but this would be a first for Nintendo.

Mobile users have increasingly turned to smartphones and tablets to play games. Nintendo initially fought the trend, instead focusing on games for its Wii console and handheld devices. But as the company has lagged behind Sony and Microsoft in the gaming market, it has increased its focus on the mobile world and needs to continue to do so to lure in more users.

The trick is to decide if dedicated controllers are needed to provide the right type of experience for gamers.

"Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves," Takahashi said. "I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game."

Nintendo dived into the mobile market this past March with the release of Miitomo, an app for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices that lets you ask questions and interact with other people via an onscreen avatar. The company will follow that up this year with Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, both free to play and both designed for iOS and Android devices. Two more mobile games are next in the queue for 2017, though Nintendo hasn't yet revealed their names.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.