There is an app for just about anything these days, except from one company, Nintendo. There’s no Mario or Luigi. No Yoshi or Zelda. No Mario Kart Racing. Yes, Nintendo has refused to develop games for the Apple App Store and I’m here to say, they are making a terrible mistake.

For the first time in Nintendo’s history, the company is losing money. Over the past two years they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars and the bleeding isn’t projected to stop soon. While the 3DS (portable gaming device) is finally picking up steam, it still isn’t enough to provide profit. Wii sales have slowed although this is due to the coming of the Wii U in 2012 but critiques and developers are on the fence about the new gaming console. So with lackluster sales, why not take advantage of the mobile platform ecosystem?

Nintendo president Satoru was quoted in September as saying the reason they refuse to enter the mobile platform is because they have a strong hardware team and believes that is what separates Nintendo from other companies. Not only do they make awesome games but they also make great consoles. And historically speaking, Satoru is right. Nintendo has always been a major player in the gaming console industry, even up to the current Wii. But the Wii was released in 2006 and in 2007 the iPhone was released and we all know how quickly the mobile platform took off from then on. The iPhone was a cellphone game changer but it also was a video game changer. People can now buy a $200 phone and have it do just about anything, include playing games. Sure, the graphics aren’t as good as a true gaming console nor is the game play as rich or in-depth but sales numbers show that people don’t care about that. Many popular game titles like The Sims, Need for Speed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and etc. have made their way into the App store and people would rather pay $5 for $10 for those instead of paying $50-$60 for it on the Wii or Xbox360. Yes, there are your true hardcore video gamers (such as myself) who are going to buy the expensive consoles and $60 games. But fact is, we’re a dying breed and with the gaming industry in decline due to the recession, smartphone (and tablet) games are the future for the majority.

Nintendo doesn’t have to stop making consoles. They don’t have to compromise who they are as a company. But fact is technology is changing and they need to adapt. They could put Super Mario on the App store and I guarantee it would stay at the top of the charts forever (it is after all the #1 game franchise). And now with AirPlay and Apple TV, you aren’t stuck playing on your iPhone or iPad. You can mirror it to your big screen TV. Nintendo is losing billions by refusing to enter the mobile platform. Yes, developing games for the App store wouldn’t be as rich of an experience as it would be on the Wii. But most people don’t need or even care for the best gaming experience for video games. Most are casual gamers and iPhone games suit their needs.

RIM failed to adapt to the change in the cell phone industry and they are now in real jeopardy as a company. The iPhone recently took over as the most common cell phone in the workplace, not the Blackberry. I would hate to see Nintendo go the same route as RIM. Because when it comes down to it, consoles are always going to change and eventually be outdated. But Mario will never be outdated. Yoshi is everyone’s favorite dinosaur. People associate these characters with Nintendo first, not which gaming console Nintendo’s produced over the years. They need to change their way of thinking and even though they might not like it, smartphone games are here to stay and have nowhere to go but up.