TOKYO (AP) -- After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo Co. is doing an about face and entering an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co. to develop games for mobile devices.

A scene from the video game "Mario Party 10." (AP Photo/Nintendo)

The announcement Tuesday means that Nintendo's trademark game characters such as Super Mario and Pokemon could finally feature on smartphones and tablets.

Such characters have been fiercely protected by Nintendo, appearing only on Nintendo platforms such as the Wii home console and 3DS mobile machines.

Both sides said they will build a membership service for global consumers for various devices.

They said the mobile games won't be mere adaptations of the games already out for the Nintendo machines but developed especially for the smartphone experience.

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