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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Apps & updates: Gmail, Tumblr, Minecraft, Plants vs. Zombies, more

Gmail version 1.3.1: The Gmail iOS app was updated today with the ability to open web links within the Chrome iOS app instead of Safari. A handful of bug fixes were also included.

 

Tumblr version 3.1.0: Tumblr’s iPhone app gets a nice update that brings improvements to notifications, the ability to discover new blogs to follow via Facebook or your contacts and an option for your friends to sign up within the app itself. Other improvements included in the update: you can now track specific tags, a fast re-blog option by tapping and holding the re-blog icon and the ability to send fan mail. There are also some new sharing options when holding the “Like” button.

 

Minecraft – Pocket Edition version 0.4.0: A major release for the Pocket Edition of Minecraft includes a ton of new features, items, tweaks and bug fixes. A full list of what is new is below:

- Chests for storing items!
– Beds for skipping to dawn (day and nights are now longer), and set your spawn point to the bed’s position.
– Creepers and TNT (use flint and steel to ignite)!
– Added food. Eat it to restore health.
– Farming; wheat, seeds and hoe.
– Peaceful mode setting: healing and no monsters.
– Trapdoor, new dyes and a few new recipes.
+ More: close to 20 bug fixes and tweaks, e.g. monsters spawned when bright, client fall damage.

Plants vs. Zombies version 1.9.5: Along with full HD support for the new Retina iPad, PopCap updated all the Plants vs. Zombies iOS apps today with five new levels, three new achievements and new weapons and game modes:
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