The app, PokÃ©mon Say Tap? BW, uses music and on screen PokÃ©mon cards in a timing game. The free app is slated to be out this summer, making it the first PokÃ©mon game to appear on non-Nintendo hardware.
Essentially, this is a free, promotional app for the Pokemon games. Smart move, Nintendo. There are a few reasons this is important.
- Nintendo is tapping into a huge audience. Apple has sold 200 million iOS devices (iPhone apps can be used on iPads, too) and Google Android devices are well into the millions.
- The company is finally accepting the smartphone market. Just a few months ago, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata called smartphone games superficial, cheap, and low in value. What he didn't say was that smartphones have a very low barrier to entry, since now more than half the phones sold in America are smartphones. (Just a year earlier, Iwata had also declared Apple to be Nintendo's number one enemy.) It's both naÃ¯ve and foolish to not accept that Apple is a force to be reckoned with. And, as Nintendo now acknowledges, low cost or free software can be just as effective as more expensive software.
- Nintendo knows it needs as much promotion as it can get. The company's Q1 net profits were down a whopping 66 percent. Worse, even after its hyped 3D portable was released this Spring, both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii had the lowest sales ever in the company's home country of Japan. As TechnoBuffalo notes, the numbers were weak compared to even other video game devices -- falling behind the Sony (SNE) PSP and PlayStation 3, respectively.
Photo courtesy of FHKE