Nintendo previously intimated that would release a smartphone ‘companion’ app for its console games in the future. Today, a day after releasing poor annual financial results, the Japanese firm has confirmed that its first app will launch before the end of the year.
The app will work with its Mario Kart 8 title, but it won’t be a game per se. Instead, Nintendo says it will be an app that allows users to watch video and peruse data and statistics from their gaming. There is also a Web-based component to the app, tentatively named Mario Kart TV, which allows the same game footage and stats to be watched online, which is pictured below.
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In addition, the company has plans to launch a Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP) that uses NFC that lets users interact with a physical figure based on their gaming progress, much like the Skylanders franchise. Details of NFP are scant at this point, but Nintendo is promising to provide more information at the E3 gaming event in Los Angeles next month.
Despite its annual financial results sagging due to poor Wii U sales, it appears that Nintendo is still not prepared to enter the mobile gaming space, although its companion app proposal is the closest that it has come to date.
The company announced plans for non-wearable health products back in January, which, combined with today’s news, show it is taking unique paths as it looks to expand its business. Today’s announcements are not the tonic for investors and market watchers that are calling for Nintendo to embrace mobile platforms.