Nintendo investors want Mario & Co. on the iPhone

Everyone loves Mario — that’s not an exaggeration either — so it comes as no surprise that Nintendo investors are starting to wonder why the loveable plumber hasn’t made a home on the world’s largest App Store just yet. According to Bloomberg, investors are starting to wonder why Nintendo hasn’t folded their cards and started making games for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) devices.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Nintendo is being pushed up against a wall a little bit, and Apple’s the one doing the pushing. Nintendo faces an interesting fork in their road. Do they place a larger emphasis on game development on different platforms, or do they continue to create games for their own consoles and handhelds? Given the poor Nintendo 3DS sales, it’s no wonder investors are starting to turn up the heat on the company.

If one company could make the iPhone and the tools built into the devices (accelerometer, dual-camera, gyroscope, and touch screens) really sing, it’s Nintendo. Can you imagine the types of games they could produce for iOS devices?

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has gone on the record telling everyone who will listen that Nintendo will only develop games for their own devices as long as he’s still the one calling the shots. If the stock continues to fall, it may not be that much longer until he’s replaced. After a peak in 2007, and a short climb during the summer of 2008, Nintendo stock has steadily decreased from $76.87 per share to $18.60 today.

I’ll say this much. I’d immediately buy a lot of Nintendo games on the App Store, should it ever come to that. Especially if they bring new Mario, Zelda, or Metroid offerings to the device. Something tells me I wouldn’t be alone either.

Update: The original Bloomberg article connects the iPhone and Nintendo, not their source, and certainly not Masamitsu Ohki, fund manager at Stats Investment Management Co. Huge thanks goes out to Peter Cohen for pointing that one out to us.

Source: Bloomberg
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