Nintendo Versus Smartphone Gaming

Iwata 3DS

Nintendo’s been in a bit of a pickle lately. If it’s not the drastically falling sales of the Wii, it’s the unfortunately handled launch of the Nintendo 3DS. In addition to cutting the launch price by almost half, Nintendo has also been forced to announce a peripheral that appears to complete the hardware functionality of the handheld. As can be expected, their investors haven’t taken too kindly to this, and stocks are falling.

There could be any number of reasons cited for the 3DS woes. One might easily point to the system’s price and the marginal upgrade of the DS hardware, the lackluster lineup of launch games or an interest in 3D gaming. However, as we’ve talked about before, some are citing the competition from smartphone gaming as one of the direct causes. While I don’t think that tells the entire story, it does raise a good point: people expect more from handhelds these days and Nintendo could stand to change their formula on either the hardware or software side.

But what does Nintendo think about the idea of developing for smartphones? Here’s what president Iwata says:

This is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It’s the duty of management to make use of those strengths. It’s probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we’d make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short term profits, but to Nintendo’s mid and long term competitive strength.

While I agree that this would be a fundamental change for Nintendo, it seems like Iwata might be a bit too resistant to change. It’s odd that after the company touted the Wii as a change in the way we play games, they’re so hesitant to embrace the idea of smartphone applications. Wouldn’t a Pokemon or Zelda app perform really well?

What do you guys think about their stance? Would it ruin them or would it serve them? Go!

Source – IndustryGamers

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

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