Nintendo finds itself in a very different situation than it was in five years ago, when the DS and Wii dominated the world. Its new Wii U console has performed poorly in the six months since its launch, and the company posted its second ever annual operating loss this year. The first was in 2012.
"Smartphones and tablets are nibbling away at the edges of the market for games," said veteran games industry analyst Michael Pachter when Nintendo lowered its sales forecasts in January. "If they can't beat it, they should consider making money off it. Why can't Mario be on the smartphone?"