Nintendo has hinted at plans for bringing their signature brand of gaming to the world of mobile, but now we officially have concrete details on what the company's plans for smartphones are. Here's a hint: it doesn't mean making Mario for the iPhone.
He again reinforced earlier statements that Nintendo would not be making video games for the mobile space. Nintendo will instead "develop products that will allow customers to identify with Nintendo products and make people pay attention to Nintendo games."
That product is a Mii app, Iwata says.
"For example, some Nintendo game consoles incorporate Mii, which creates a digital avatar to represent players," Iwata says in the interview. "It would be fun for players to use their Mii characters as icons on social media. We are currently developing an application that will allow users to do that. The app will be announced around the time our full-year results are released."
Mii characters are custom-made avatars that represent the play in various games for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. They were originally created for the first Wii and made famous for their use in Wii Sports. They've since been featured in a number of Nintendo titles, most recently as playable characters alongside Mario and friends in Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros.
A Mii-oriented app isn't what most fans would expect from a Nintendo smartphone app, but given the creativity of Nintendo's fans, a free-to-download Mii creator could prove successful. Part of the fun of Nintendo's Mii system is that it gives players the freedom to create avatars for themselves, celebrities or any other person (or thing) they can think of. It still remains to be seen how exactly this would help spread the word about Nintendo's other game properties. Expect more details on the app later this year.