Why Nintendo needs its first-ever smartphone game to be a home run

Nintendo launched its first-ever smartphone game in the US on Thursday.

The mobile initiative is a big change in Nintendo’s overall strategy. The Japanese game company long-avoided mobile gaming, focusing on its own console and handheld devices instead.

But it’s also a necessary move, given Nintendo’s plummeting software sales over the years. As this chart by Statista shows, Nintendo’s software sales in both console and handheld devices saw sharp declines since 2009, when it sold almost 200 million units worldwide. This year, it’s expected to sell less than 50 million units in both categories.

Nintendo’s first mobile game is called “MiiTomo.” Since its launch in Japan earlier this month, it has reached the No.1 spot in the App Store and been downloaded 1 million times.

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