Remember that Nikkei report that said Nintendo was eyeballing mobile devices? The one that Nintendo immediately denied? It might be true after all — sort of. The Pokémon Company has confirmed that the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online will be available as an iPad app later this year. The app, a digital update of the 1996 trading card game of the same name, was spotted by Twitter user Josh Wittenkeller at a Play! Pokémon event. Nikkei’s original report suggested that Nintendo was planning to use mini-games on smart devices to lure gamers to its console products, and this definitely seems like a step in that direction.
That said, try not to get too excited: The Pokémon Company may be a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo, but its operations pertain exclusively to its namesake product line. Moreover, the iPad app is merely a port of a game already available for free on the Pokémon website — Nintendo is definitely dipping its toe in water, but this doesn’t mean we’re going to see Mario on mobile any time soon. Still, investors have been nagging Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to experiment with mobile apps for some time; if The Pokémon Company’s foray into the space is a success, he could be swayed.
[Image Credit: Josh Wittenkeller]