The prodigal rumor resurfaces.
Mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing segments of the entertainment industry. The popularity of iPhone and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Android app games has forced leaders in the gaming business to stand up and take notice. While Nintendo publicly pretends to see no threat from these titles, they would be delusional beyond reason if they were actually ignoring the threat posed by devices like the iPhone.
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Now PocketGamer has received word from an insider that Nintendo actually met with Nokia over the possibility of a branded gaming phone/smartphone back in the early 2000s. The project terminated in a detailed development concept, which was rejected by Nokia's board in favor of the N-Gage. We all know how well that multi-million dollar boondoggle worked out for them.
While there's been no word of a resurrected project, the fact that Nintendo was willing to consider such a thing is telling. They won't admit to anything, but they've definitely been concerned about the threat posed by the mobile gaming industry for quite a while now.