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Nintendo promises to release about five phone games by March 2017, any IP possible

Nintendo plans to release "approximately" five phone games by March 2017 and none of the company's vast original properties are off limits, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced during a presentation early this morning.

The first, he reiterated, will hit by the end of this year.

While any property is available for the smart phone, Iwata was clear the company was going to be very careful about its selection of titles or characters.

"Since the game business on smart devices is already severely competitive, even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game," he said. "Also, if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result. If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all.

"Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment."

Nintendo announced on March 17 a business alliance with mobile game maker DeNA to create these titles. Iwata said during today's presentation that the company has already "executed several organizational and personnel changes in order to properly operate the smart device business, and we will make further changes before the first release."

According to a report by Sankei (by way of Silconera), one of those moves was putting the producer of Mario Kart in charge of the smartphone games.

While Nintendo's decision to release just five games over the course of nearly two years sound like an incredibly small amount of games, Iwata said they company plans to "thoroughly operate" every game for a significant amount of time after their release.

"We will strive to expand this business into global markets at a steady pace so that eventually we will entertain hundreds of millions of people all around the world," he said. "We are aiming to make this one of the pillars of Nintendo's revenue structure."

He also reiterated that while he thinks smartphone games could become a big part of Nintendo's revenue, he still sees it as a way to push people to the company's consoles.

"Nintendo continues to have strong passion and believes in the promising prospects for the future of our dedicated video game system business," he said. "We will deploy our game business on smart devices not because we think that the dedicated game system business will wane, but because doing so will encourage a greater number of people to associate with Nintendo IP, to become familiar with the charms of video games and, eventually, to explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems. To realize this, we need to create a bridge between the two platforms."