Nintendo Inks Deal With DeNA To Bring Mario And Luigi To Smartphones And Tablets

With the help of DeNA, Nintendo is going to start developing apps for smartphones and other smart devices, the companies announced today. The two firms are pooling their resources -- both talent and capital -- to get the new venture going, which in addition to developing apps will also include a new multi-device membership service.

Both companies will build game apps based on Nintendo's intellectual portfolio, including iconic characters. The partnership doesn't mean Nintendo is moving away from the home console business, a point company president and CEO Satoru Iwata made when confirming that work has begun on a new console codenamed NX.

Nintendo Characters

Instead, the alliance is intended to complement Nintendo's dedicated game systems business and extend Nintendo's reach into the booming smartphone sector.

"To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system," the companies said.

This is a big win for both companies. For Nintendo, it gets to explore a robust market that's gone largely ignored by the company. And for DeNA, it gets access to Nintendo's full IP -- Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and so forth.

As for the online membership service, will be accessible from smartphones, Nintendo's lineup of handheld and living room consoles (3DS, Wii U, and the forthcoming NX), and PCs. It's expected to launch this fall.