Nintendo has announced that it will be releasing the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which has been available to play inline for a while now, to the iPad.
Many fans of Pokémon have been hoping for Pokémon games to be released to iPad for some time, but for now Nintendo is content with releasing a different aspect of the games to the platform -- the trading cards.
The news was announced via Josh Wittenkeller's Twitter account in a tweet that shows a picture of the game being played on the iPad. A representative from Pokémon confirmed the game. The game is also being shown off at the World Pokémon Championship this weekend, and while the game should be released before the end of the year, there's no official word on a release date.
Assuming the game is similar to the one available online, it's likely that it will be free, with players being able to enter codes found on real cards to unlock the game. The game has staying power - it's a digital update of the 1996 trading card game.
There have been a number of Pokémon apps that have been released to the App Store; however, this app is the first playable game.
Some are excited at the thought of a Pokémon app being released to iPad because of the fact that it could lead to Nintendo's Pokémon games eventually being released to the platform. However, despite this, while Nintendo does have a large stake in the Pokémon Company, it is the latter that is releasing this game. Not only that, but the app is really only a port to a game that already exists online.
Nintendo is starting to hint at releasing some games on mobile devices; however, that does not mean that we will see Mario, or Pokémon, released on mobile any time in the near future.
Still, many are arguing that Nintendo should move out of the hardware field and more into software, especially considering the lower-than-expected sales of the Wii U and the 3DS handheld gaming system. In fact, the 3DS has sold only 44 million units, far less than smash hits such as the Game Boy Advance, which sold 81.5 million units, the original Game Boy, which sold 119 million units, and the Nintendo DS, which sold 154 million units.
This news comes with the expectation that a number of other card games will be released to the iPad in the coming year.
Perhaps, if the Pokémon Trading Card Game app is a success, it will be enough to convince bigwigs at Nintendo to attempt to enter the app space.