updated 08:10 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Nintendo faces pressure to port to iOS
Nintendo has been facing calls Thursday to drop its policy of developing only for its own systems and support the iPhone. Following a steep 3DS price cut to make up for slow early sales, Stats Investment Management fund manager Masamitsu Ohki argued that Nintendo should either "buy its way" into the iPhone's platform or else make something of its own. He along with others is believed to have seen the Pokemon wing's plans for an iPhone game, and Nintendo's refusal to follow suit, as a sign of a disconnect with the mobile strategy.
"Smartphones are the new battlefield for the gaming industry," Ohki told Bloomberg, while MF Global FXA Securities had made a call to sell the stock claiming the company had given up creative thinking and was "behind the times."
Commons Asset Management president Tetsuro Ii was meanwhile complaining that Nintendo was making poor use of a $10 billion-plus cash reserve for strategic moves.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has so far steadfastly clung to Nintendo's policy of making games only for its own systems. Ironically, the company often takes an Apple-like approach and usually believes only its unique combination of hardware and software works best. Apple has cut deeply into Nintendo's profits, however, with many who would have once bought a DSi or 3DS getting an iPod touch or iPhone that consolidates their gaming with many other tasks.
Nintendo was getting some uptake for the 3DS in the wake of the price drop. In Japan, Tokyo's famed Yodobashi Camera had a significant line of people queued up to buy a 3DS after the price cut. It's not expected to produce the same effect in the US, though, and may simply see the 3DS take over from the DSi as Nintendo's mainstream handheld.
The company's long-term fate may depend on the Wii U. Original Wii sales were key to record performance and console dominance from 2006 up until mid-2010, but the company is hoping to replicate some of the advantages of tablets and fend off the iPad in the home while sticking to its fundamentals as a console maker.