Opinion: Don’t hold your breath for real Nintendo games on your iPhone or iPad

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My feelings for Nintendo are complicated. I’ve loved its games ever since the original Donkey Kong, owned every Nintendo console (including the Virtual Boy), and recommended the Wii U as the best game console for families and kids. But if I was mildly displeased with Nintendo as a company during its haughtiest years — the time when most of its key third-party developers walked away — I’m downright angry with it today. At a press conference in Japan this morning, Nintendo announced its second collaboration with a mobile game publisher in two months, the headline from which was what millions of people have been waiting years to read:

“Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario.”

Sure, the official Nintendo press release actually says “smart devices” including phones and tablets, but iPhones and iPads are a safe bet. The press release also says “gaming applications” rather than games, but a press release from Nintendo’s new mobile partner DeNA confirms that the companies will indeed produce mobile games together. Just think about it: Super Mario World on the iPad! Donkey Kong Country on the iPhone! That’s just what everyone has wanted! But there’s a catch…

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Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario

The jailbreak community has worked to get Mario onto the iPhone for years.

The jailbreak community has worked to get Mario onto the iPhone for years.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has finally decided that it is time to start making mobile games for platforms like the iPhone. The company has confirmed it will begin developing titles for smartphones and other mobile devices (presumably, ‘tablets’) featuring famous franchises like Mario.

Until now, Nintendo has been resistant to share its first-party intellectual property  (‘IP’) outside of its own consoles. Clearly, it was worried that bringing characters like Mario to the iPhone would cannabilize sales of its own hardware like the Nintendo DS.  However, as part of a new partnership with a mobile gaming company, there has clearly been a change of heart by Nintendo executives.

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App Store responds to freemium haters, features ‘Pay Once & Play’ games with no in-app purchases

App Store  As part of Apple’s weekly App Store refresh, the company is currently highlighting iOS games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that are paid apps with no in-app purchases, MacStories points out. The featured section is notable as in-app purchases have been a source of confusion and frustration for many consumers since their introduction despite being an added revenue source for developers and Apple. Read more

Apple announces new App Store records, says New Year’s Day biggest sales day in history

app store hero flat modernApple shared new numbers for the App Store today announcing that last week set a new record for App Store billings. According to the company, customers have spent almost $500 million dollars through app and in-app purchases over the App Store through the first week in January.. In addition to the company’s App Store record announcement, Apple has presented a new microsite focused on its job creation efforts.

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Review: Mad Catz’ C.T.R.L.i and Micro C.T.R.L.i bring overdue competence, fair pricing to iOS game controllers

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Apple’s iOS game controller design guidelines were clearly inspired by Microsoft’s Xbox controllers, but Mad Catz has taken the concept a step further: its new C.T.R.L.i ($60) and Micro C.T.R.L.i ($50, available for $46) for iOS look so much like Xbox One game controllers that you might struggle to tell them apart in a dark room. While the full-sized C.T.R.L.i is very close to the Xbox One controller in footprint and weight, Micro C.T.R.L.i squeezes all of the same functionality into a smaller but nearly identical shape.

Best of all, since they’re more reasonably priced than earlier iOS controllers, both are good enough to recommend to any iOS gamer… assuming you own or want some iOS games with controller support.

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Nintendo patent hints at official Game Boy emulator for mobile phones

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TechCrunch points to a newly published patent filed by Nintendo that shows the company is interested in bringing Game Boy titles to mobile devices through emulation technology. Many emulators exist online to mimic old consoles and allow gamers to play back catalogs of games converted to ROM files on Macs and PCs, and Nintendo could possibly do the same to officially bring titles to mobile devices without much heavy lifting in terms of rewriting the games: Read more

Activision’s ‘Call of Duty: Heroes’ freemium iOS app goes live, with scary in-app purchases

call-of-duty-heroes

Activision has officially launched Call of Duty: Heroes, its 3D combat strategy game for the iPhone and iPad. Unlike the companion app for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launched earlier this month, this latest offering is a full standalone game like Strike Team.

While the basic game is free to play, you might want to take note of the cost of the optional in-app purchases before you get hooked: these range from $9.99 to a frightening $99.99 …  Read more

Bloomberg reiterates new Apple TV incoming, April introduction and Christmas launch

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Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.

Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.

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iOS/Android app revenue gap narrows, but iOS still miles ahead

revenue

Business Insider created the above chart to show exactly how the revenue gap between iOS and Android apps shows up for developers.

While there’s no doubt the gap between the two platforms is narrowing, it’s also clear that in the metrics that count, iOS is still where you want to be. Ad revenue – read free apps – is where Android is making money for developers …  Read more

iPhone app turns your iPhone 5c (and case) into ‘Connect Four’ board

Ever since the iPhone 5c launched along with a specially-designed case, people have compared the case’s design to a the game Connect Four. Now a new app has arrived on the App Store that takes that observation and turns it into a real game. The app is called Flipcase, and the idea is pretty simple: you put your iPhone 5c case on backwards, so that the holes on the back are on top of the screen, and then take turns tapping the columns to try to connect four colored dots.

The app’s description says it’s compatible with other iPhone models, including the iPhone 5 and 5s, though it’s designed specifically with the 5c in mind. Flipcase is available for free on the App Store.

… And another cool use for the 5c case:

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