Gaming

Nintendo's first smartphone game will be announced 'soon'

The Japanese company plans to launch five new games on mobile devices by March 2017.

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The first of Nintendo's new smartphone games that it's making in collaboration with mobile developer DeNA will be announced "soon." That's according to DeNA West CEO Shintaro Asako, who teased this week at the GamesBeat 2015 conference that fans don't have to wait much longer, though he didn't share any other details.

"Soon, we should be able to announce the game," Asako said, according to VentureBeat.

Nintendo previously said it expected to launch the first of its smartphone/tablet games before the year is out.

Though Asako didn't give away any details about this game, he confirmed that it remains Nintendo's plan to launch five new smartphone/tablet games between now and March 2017. This plan has not changed following the death of former president Satoru Iwata's this summer. Overall, Asako described DeNA's partnership with Nintendo as a "really long-term initiative."

Japanese industry analyst Serkan Toto offered his own tease about the first Nintendo-DeNA game.

As for why Nintendo is getting into the smartphone gaming business at all, after so many years of refusing to do so, executive Scott Moffitt previously said the company simply could not deny the ubiquity of the market.

"We can't deny the massive install base of smartphones out there, and some fans that aren't old enough yet to afford their own gaming console, perhaps for those consumers they can start to appreciate some of our content and build a relationship with some of our characters and our franchises," he explained in August. "We feel it's going to be an additive to our console business."

Nintendo's new smartphone games are being developed under the direction of veteran Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno. Taking so long to bring its games to mobile was one of the reasons that Nintendo is no longer one of the world's top 100 brands, according to one survey.