It was only recently that a number of key details about Nintendo's mysterious NX console hit the web, with an in-depth report from Eurogamer revealing that the machine will likely use game cartridges and will be a handheld device that can be docked at home for use with a TV.
That was earlier this week. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting another key part of the NX's strategy: mobile gaming. According to the WSJ, the NX will be compatible with Nintendo's smartphone games.
"A person familiar with the matter said NX would be a handheld-console hybrid that would be compatible with its own smartphone games," writes the WSJ (the quote cited here is locked behind the site's paywall).
It would certainly make sense. Mobile gaming is increasingly becoming a key part of Nintendo's strategy, and it's said that the NX itself is a handheld console that can be played anywhere. Why wouldn't Nintendo support its new device with its new mobile games? The company's first mobile game, Miitomo, failed to have the kind of staying power Nintendo needed when it released earlier this year. Two additional mobile games, based on Nintendo's popular Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises, are also in the works.
The real question when it comes to the NX's mobile support is whether or not the wildly-popular Pokémon GO will work on the console. Nintendo wasn't actually involved in the creation of the title, though it does have a stake in the Pokémon Company, which oversaw the game's creation alongside U.S.-based developer Niantic. Nintendo's stock skyrocketed after the release of Pokémon GO in the U.S., only for it to plunge a week later when Nintendo clarified that it wasn't involved in the title and didn't expect to see much money from the game's success.
Considering Pokémon GO has been downloaded more than 75 million times and has broken numerous mobile game records, it would seem to be a no-brainer for Nintendo to support the game with its new home console. After all, the idea of mobile supporting Nintendo's console business, not replacing it, has long been the plan. By releasing free-to-play versions of Nintendo franchises that anybody can download on their phone, the company hopes to attract customers to its console and premium console games.
It will be interesting to see if that strategy works for Nintendo, come the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon in November. Will Pokémon GO create even more Pokémon fans willing to pay for a Nintendo 3DS and a $40 game? Or will mobile players be content playing Pokémon GO on their phones?
Those are the questions Nintendo and investors will be eagerly awaiting the answers to. Expect more details about the NX and Nintendo's mobile plans soon, as the company is expected to fully reveal its new console in September.