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Nintendo pushing DSi devs to compete with iPhone?

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri March 20, 2009

Nintendo vs. Apple

Nintendo may indeed putting pressure on its stable of game developers to compete with the iPhone, the iPod touch and the App Store, according to industry sources. Attendees at this week's Nintendo Developer Conference in London are said to have been told that the company wants a variety of smaller titles for its DS Shop and DSi Ware services, set to accompany Nintendo's DSi handheld when it launches in the US on April 5th. Unusually, Nintendo also wants a number of non-gaming apps available, the sources claim.

While Nintendo already sells downloadable software through its Wii console, the titles there are typically complex, full-length games aimed at Nintendo's traditional audience. The DSi however includes hardware such as a camera and microphone, which will make it possible to compete with the Touch and iPhone. The latter devices are backed by the iTunes App Store, which sells a host of so-called "casual" games alongside a few serious ones, and a number of practical utilities. The popularity of the store may be seen as a threat to Nintendo.

"It seems Nintendo is keen to get across the message that its formats should be the first choice above any others for those looking to pursue new avenues for games design and ways for developers to make money," claims one of the sources. The DS and DS Lite are currently the most popular platforms for dedicated handheld gaming, but could be eclipsed as smartphones gain processing power and better interfaces.

by MacNN Staff



  1. JGowan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Love my DS Lite, but Nintendo is in a tough situation.

    Adults with credit cards and iTunes accounts have the iPhones while children own the DS -- will they even know how to get to the store? Will the parents teach them, knowing that the kids will just bug the folks to pony up more money for "casual games"?

    Sure there are plenty of adult gamers so maybe this will work, but -- the reason apps are more likely to buy from Apple's store is because most people ALWAYS have their cell phones with them. Their DS? No.

    Nintendo would make a FORTUNE if they got with the program and sold older SNES games; I'm sure there are plenty of games that they could reconfigure to work on the phone's touch screen. This could be great especially since Apple's most likely will be opening a premium app store so Nintendo could sell there for $10-15 (slightly more than classic games on the Wii store) -- this would offset the loss for people not buying a DS to play their games. In fact, they could build in value to their DS versions that would work well with the TWO screens that their handheld has... many people would probably buy their favorite games for both systems. The Apple version could be played more casually, but the DS version could be played with slightly more fun due to the 2nd screen.

    "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

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