Nintendo's first of many mobile games is coming this year

Nintendo has revealed some new details about its plan to develop mobile games. Most notably, its first smartphone title will come out later this year, and it's hoping to release four more before March 2017. That might sound fairly conservative -- five apps in just under two years isn't a particularly aggressive strategy. But Nintendo believes it's paramount that it takes a considered approach. "When we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all," Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata said.

In an earnings briefing, he said the company's chances of success were "quite low" unless the games maintain Nintendo's normal level of quality. Although the console maker pioneered touch-based gameplay with the Nintendo DS, it understands that simply porting those experiences won't be enough. To succeed, Iwata said the company will be "carefully" selecting franchises and characters to develop into smartphone games. He also emphasized that mobile will become a core "pillar" of Nintendo's business. "If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all."