There’s no denying that the iPhone OS (comprised of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) is a legitimate gaming force. Ever since the iTunes App Store first opened for business, gaming on the iPhone has slowly but surely eaten away at competing handhelds like the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS.
Still, when asked about the gaming potential of the iPad, Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime scoffed at the idea that Nintendo had anything to fear from Apple’s newest device, or any of its products at all.
[Apple] is not having an impact on Nintendo when you look at our business, our volume, our hardware, our software. I’ve seen data that suggestions that while consumers are constantly downloading Apps, they play with them for a few times and then they are moving on to the next thing.
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.
While its true that many users play with an app for a few times before moving on to something new, the fact remains that that “something new” is more often than not another iPhone game.
Fils Aime also believes that the quality of Nintendo DS titles when compared to the iPhone will, in the end, ensure that Apple’s lineup of mobile products will do nothing to eat threaten Nintendo’s profitability.
“If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game,” Fils-Aime said, “(Apple’s) aren’t even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get.”
If you’re Nintendo, you have two options to choose from. You can either a) address the legitimate threat iPhone gaming poses or b) you can ignore the problem with clever analogies about snack foods and eating.
But even if we play along with Fils-Aime analogy for a second, the fact remains that most mobile gamers prefer tiny snacks from a variety of suppliers as opposed to a full course meal. You can argue about the difference in quality till the cows come home, but at the end of the day, the people have already spoken.