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Nintendo hints at smartphone controller plans

Comments made by Shinya Takahashi at a shareholders meeting suggest it's at least looking at building a peripheral.

Nintendo executives have dropped an unsubtle hint that it is working on a peripheral to enable people to play its action games on smartphones. At the firm's annual shareholders meeting, Shinya Takahashi said that his team have looked at third-party controllers on the market and "may develop something new by ourselves." Takahashi was responding to the question that playing Nintendo's more famous titles (i.e. Mario) is difficult using the virtual controls that are available with touchscreen devices. After all, it's clear that more than a few people would be happy to lay down money to play a classic Mario title on their smartphone.

The advent of a Nintendo-branded peripheral, unlike other devices like Hyperkin's Smart Boy, is likely to be a big seller. Unfortunately, this was just a single off-hand comment at a shareholder meeting, so we can't take anything as read. But this is Nintendo, and whenever one of its executives mentions anything, even in passing, people's ears begin to prick up. Takahashi also said that his division would make "applications and not just action games," a subtle hint that we'll see more innovative titles like Miitomo as well as, or instead of, a new iteration of Super Mario. After all, the company is hoping that mobile games will help turn around its flagging business after a few years of slow hardware sales.