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Nintendo: Apple isn't "viable" gaming platform

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Tue April 6, 2010

Nintendo US exec thinks iPhone games unprofitable

Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime has denied that Apple's handhelds are having an impact on sales for the DSi. The executive in an interview claimed that the iPhone and iPod, as well as the iPad, can't affect Nintendo's device or game sales since buying habits themselves don't encourage game development. Since iPhone gamers don't commit to gameplay before moving on to other apps, they often aren't willing to pay much if anything and make it difficult for software teams to justify large titles.

"Clearly it doesn't look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads," he told Kotaku. "If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, [Apple's] aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get."

The statements are contradicted by analytics, which have shown iPhone games claiming a fifth of handheld game revenue in just one year. Most of that share loss came for the more expensive and relatively unpopular Sony PSP, but Nintendo also saw a multi-point loss of revenue share. Actual download volume may be disproportionately higher as iPhone games usually cost a third or less of their Nintendo counterparts.

Some of the more successful games, such as Assassin's Creed or Civilization Revolution, are actually ports of Nintendo DS games, undermining Fils-Aime's argument that the titles aren't as substantial.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nintendo it's time to enter the Smart Phone game..

    Want to shut everyone up.....when's the DSiPhone coming out :-P

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh yes it is!

    Oh yes it is, and that's why Nintendo made that comment, they're scared, real scared!
    Games cost a quarter of the price on an iPad, iTouch or iPhone too.

  1. Pos7al

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good, now that he feels that way...

    give us an arcade app with all the previous NES and Super Nintendo games.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Saying it isn't competition...

    won't change reality.

    Wow...I'm amazed that someone in his position would say something as ridiculous as this.

    Gameloft has devoted 100+ people to writing Apple apps. I don't think it would do so unless they thought there was significant money to be made.

    To thrive in today market, the DS (and versions that come after it) is going to have to get more price competitive. Adults when they see the options of paying $10 for a great ipod or ipad app that will run on multiple systems verses $35 for a DS game that is tied to 1 DS...well the writing is on the wall for all to see...except for this Nintendo Exec.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    These CEOs never learn...

    Famous last words!
    Either this guy was forced by his board to make such a foolish statement for appearance-sake; or he's just as incompetent as FORMER Palm CEO Ed Colligan who similarly dismissed Apple and the soon-to-be iPhone back in 2006.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Would someone please explain this to me?

    ... iPhone gamers don't commit to gameplay before moving on to other apps ...

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So iPhone players play less...

    Yeah. So only a fraction of iPhone users play large in depth games. Most opt for the quickie games. So? Those getting the quickie games would never have bought a handheld game player to begin with.

    Fact is, the iPhone IS a capable platform that if a developer writes for has a larger target market available. Be scared Nintendo. Apple is going to sneak up on you.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't we all get along?

    People are quick to point out that he's scared, or that the iPhone will take down the DS, but really, both devices are suitable for different types of games.

    There's no way I would play Super Mario Bros on an iPhone - touch controls just aren't suitable for that type of game. There are also games that need higher precision touch capability than a finger. I couldn't imagine trying to play Meteos on an iPhone. I'd end up touching the wrong block every time.

    There is some overlap, but for the most part, there's room for both devices on the market.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh Reggie...

    Reggie Reggie Reggie. Did we forget a year ago when the headline was "Nintendo lowers sales and profit forecasts" for the following year? Y'know, around the same time iPhone games really took off? And you know as well as I do you can't judge a game by price alone: you've had some awful stinkers selling at full price, and we know too because we see those games still trying to get palmed off on us at GameStop. Plus look at the incredible play and resolution you get from Sony and Xbox games compared to yours.

    I like my iPhone games. I like my Nintendo DS and WIi games. There's room for both. You guys need to be more truthful and adapt as the market evolves. (Now gimme Pokemon Stadium on my iPad, please.)

  1. Alfiejr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nintendo Talking Trash

    but you can smell the fear.

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