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Nintendo takes small step towards mobile

Nintendo takes small step towards mobile
Blink and you'll miss it, but Nintendo just made an historic first step towards accepting the reality of a world awash with smart phones and iPads – a world that has already overturned its decades-old dominance of the handheld gaming market.

In a 30-minute presentation released on Nintendo's official website on Sunday afternoon, the company's CEO Satoru Iwata showed off Nintendo Miiverse, a social network that will debut with its upcoming Wii U games console.

The primary purpose of Miiverse will be to enable Wii U gamers to chat and send comments and pictures to one another.

But 24 minutes and 23 seconds into his presentation, Mr Iwata revealed that Miiverse will eventually be accessible through a smartphone. There was even a video mock-up to prove he was serious.

Nintendo-esn't do mobile

Smartphone access to the Miiverse will surely be aimed first at Nintendo console owners who find themselves away from their Wiis and 3Dses. There's no suggestion at all that it will be used to hook up players of Nintendo games on non-Nintendo hardware.

And critics have already pointed out that Miiverse merely sees Nintendo playing catchup with social networking services from Sony and Microsoft, albeit in a typically accessible Nintendo fashion.

Nevertheless, the nod to mobile proves Nintendo is not blind to the big shifts occurring in the wider games market – even if 'Mario Mobile' remains just a fantasy for its fans, and a nightmare scenario for its would-be rivals.

Here's the Miiverse presentation in full:


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