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When I say my 4-year-old son is a Nintendo nut, I’m not joking. Sometimes he looks for his 3DS before he grabs his cereal bowl after he first wakes up. And when I get home from work and ask how his day was, he’ll tell me what level he’s on in “New Super Mario Bros.” Did I mention he also has a Mario sweatshirt? Actually, I’ve noticed lots of kids really, really love Nintendo, from the handheld consoles up to the aging but still amusing Wii. Parents, too, me included.

But the writing is on the wall. Nintendo had to slash prices on the 3DS to prop up sales as more and more consumers turn to smartphones, tablets and the Web to get their gaming fix. And analysts are seriously questioning whether the upcoming Wii U will be enough to win back those who have moved on to the Kinect and mobile devices. Which is exactly why Google should swoop in and make Mario its own. Here are five reasons why Google should buy Nintendo right now.

1. Android surpasses iOS overnight in gaming.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has categorically denied that his company would make games for smartphones, saying that it “is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo.” It’s time for the company to change its thinking. There won’t be a Nintendo left in a few years if the company doesn’t figure out a way to get on smartphones and tablets. The Sony Xperia Play proves that consumers don’t want an awkward phone/console hybrid. They just want great games.

I guarantee you that a lot of people would buy Android phones or tablets instead of iOS devices merely based on the fact that Mario and Zelda were exclusive to the platform. And while Nintendo wouldn’t be able to get away with the $40 it charges for 3DS titles, it would make up the revenue in pure volume. There are more than 300 million Android devices out there, and 850,000 are being activated each day. Plus, Google would give Nintendo its own section of the Google Play store, similar to the treatment Xbox Live games get on Windows Phones. 

2. People would actually use Google+.

Google says it has more than 90 million Google+ users, but according to a recent report people are actually staying on MySpace longer each day than Google’s fledgling social network. Some blame the somewhat complex layout, and others say it’s just a case of too-many-services fatigue. But imagine if Google+ let you play Nintendo games online with your friends and if you got pinged with invites while conducting Google searches. It could be game over for the likes of Zynga, which has made a killing on Facebook. I could also see people using Nintendo characters as their avatars in Google Hangout video chats. (I would pick Bowser.)

3. Google TV gets a serious kick in the pants.

Yes, Sony would probably back out as a Google TV partner if it knew that Nintendo games might come pre-loaded on a Google TV or set-top box, but just imagine the payoff. I fully anticipate that Apple’s first TV will incorporate iOS games in some way, so a deal with Nintendo would be a shrewd defensive maneuver. Nintendo could still keep the latest and greatest titles for its consoles while making only classics available for Google TV — at least at the beginning.

4. Nintendo makes the Google brand more friendly, approachable.

Google didn’t change the name of the Android Market to Google Play on a whim. It’s a strategic shift meant to signal that its store is supposed to be a place to get fun stuff, from movies and music to books and games. What better way to soften Google’s robotic, algorithmic image than with characters like Donkey Kong, Luigi and Princess Peach? Plus, Nintendo is so popular with families that kids would ask for an Android phone to be their first smartphone, which would be a very powerful advantage against Apple.

5. Think of the next Virtual Boy!

I remember wondering after my first marathon session with Mario 64 back in the day how fun it would be to wall-jump in real life. (Yes, I’m a nerd.) Well, imagine if Google and Nintendo put their heads together for the upcoming Google glasses, which apparently will have a heads-up display built in. Nintendo could help erase the bad memories of its ill-fated wearable Virtual Boy system with an augmented reality experience that would have people across the country jumping on virtual Koopas.

Why Nintendo won’t budge, but should

Nintendo probably won’t heed my advice, and a lot of it has to do with the company’s culture. “I think Nintendo wants to be independent and I think a lot of it is pride,” said Michael Patcher, an analyst with Wedbush-Morgan. “They look down their noses at what companies like Google are doing on the game side. They don’t consider those real games.”

Tell that to the millions of people who are turning to their iPhones, iPads and Android devices to play both casual titles like “Draw Something” and immersive, console-quality fare like “Infinity Blade.” Heck, even Dave & Busters has installed a big-screen version of the smartphone hit “Fruit Ninja.” What does that tell you?

Nintendo believes that its franchises can be exploited only on dedicated Nintendo consoles, but it’s exactly that line of thinking that has caused the company’s stock to plummet more than 45 percent in the past year. “They’re losing the casual gamer, Patcher warned. “They’re always going to keep the Nintendo faithful. But their addressable market is going to be significantly smaller.” That won’t happen if Nintendo wises up and takes a call from Larry Page.

Editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer directs LAPTOP’s online and print editorial content and has been covering mobile and wireless technology for over a decade. Each week Mark’s SpoonFed column provides his insights and analysis of the biggest mobile trends and news. You can also follow him on Twitter.



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*Sigh*


I doubt it is pride and more that Nintendo knows if another company takes ownership of them they won't be Nintendo any more. The Nintendo people love will dissapear, maybe not overnight but slowly and surely until they become a mere brand name and nothing more. Nintendo is unique and the games industry will be a lot worse without them.

At the end of the day Nintendo has realistically had one bad financial year, it's not the end of the world. Regardless of smartphones/tablets Nintendo will survive. Over the next few years Nintendo wiIl get stronger again fueled by the Wii U & 3DS. The share price will recover. Maybe not reaching it's peak but then it was probably over-valued anyway. Although it probably will be a good idea if they maybe re-released old titles on smartphones, e.g super mario bros, or maybe developed some small games, pokemon would work quite well I think. Nintendo hardware/software is symbiotic, take one away the other will wither, if you cannot see that you are blind. Nintendo will be able to keep making hardware as long as they make software because nobody can match their software and that fuels the hardware. I still believe, and always have done, that the 3DS will break the 100 million barrier. If that's not success I don't what is.

Also, why shouldn't they look down at smartphone/tablet games. In the traditional sense they are not proper games. That doesn't mean they are not fun or engaging or lack depth per se but you cannot have an experience like Super Mario Galaxy or Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time or Super Smash Bros Brawl or Super Mario 3D Land on a smartphone.

Why do people insist on this continuous rubbish of Nintendo being doomed, handhelds dying or Ninty financially going down faster than Titanic.

RolStoppable has some competition I see.

While I agree that google could be a fantastic partner, I dont really see any company buying nintendo. Why? The game market is too risky for companies to invest on buying a company like nintendo ($39B worth *). If we look at nintendo, they have sold more than 500 million consoles (ds, wii, gb, gba, gc,64,nes, snes) and yet there is a new doom article every morning. Buying zinga or any other of those mobile devs is not the same as buying nintendo. I can see a partnership happening, that would be really smart but a purchase... Very very unlikely.

*http://www.forbes.com/global2000/#p_1_s_arank_ConsumerElectronics_All_All

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IIIIITHE1IIIII said:

*Sigh*


i love your optimism!



Not sure what to make of this O_o.

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Just the kind of amusement i expect after i get home from a long day of shopping.

New Smash, New Mains

"Also breakfast is an important part of a nutritious breakfast"

Has anyone ever even offered to buy Nintendo? I could have made this thread and said 5 reasons why walmart should by Nintendo. Or even why microsoft should buy Nintendo. Walmart could sell Nintendo products for a fraction of the price in their stores, we could finally get walmart employee kart, sam walton could take over Reggies job, Human rights organizations would have a reason to take notice of Nintendo once Walmart bought itB and it would give Nintendo fans yet another reason to go to walmart once they decide to only sell Nintendo products at their consumer mazes they call stores.

Reason Microsoft should buy them? So they can say that they finally brought Rare back together with Nintendo, they could take over the Nintendo corporate building right next to them and save on future moving costs, marioan get his own first person shooter, and.... blehhhh

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That article sucks ass! I'm on my phone right, so I can't elaborate too much - but I will when I get home! Google buying Nintendo would only be good for Google. That's how I see it!

I'm on Twitter @DanneSandin!

Furthermore, I think VGChartz should add a "Like"-button.