As Nintendo 3DS sales flop, Nintendo still not keen on embracing Apple’s iOS platform

Tue, Aug 16, 2011


Ever since the success of the iTunes App Store transformed Apple into a purveyor of mobile gaming, Nintendo has systematically dismissed, criticized, and downright lambasted the iOS gaming experience. All the while, Nintendo’s own mobile efforts were suffering. In 2010, Nintendo posted its first quarterly loss in two years, a fact attributable to the rise of smartphone gaming and a corresponding decrease in interest in dedicated mobile platforms like the DS.

But Nintendo, at least publicly, wasn’t too concerned. Rather, Nintendo executives ignored reality and clung to the belief that iOS games were all low-rent experiences that lacked the quality of depth found in Nintendo games.

Nintendo’s last ditch effort to stave off the threat posed by both iOS and Android gaming was the Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS is essentially the Nintendo DS with built in 3D technology that allows games to be visualized in 3D without the need for special glasses. It’s cool technology, sure, but even after having played it for awhile, I’ll still with the iTunes App Store when push comes to shove. The quality of games there is seemingly infinite and are markedly cheaper.

Highlighting Nintendo’s struggles, the company recently decided to drop the price of the 3DS by an astounding 40% in Japan and 32% in the United States. It doesn’t take an economic genius to figure out that you don’t institute a massive price cut on a product that’s selling well.

As a result, some Nintendo investors are urging the company to stop viewing Apple’s iOS lineup as the enemy and instead embrace the world’s most popular gaming platform and release homegrown titles to the iTunes App Store. Super Mario Brothers on the iPhone? Yes, please.

But Nintendo President Satoru Iwata isn’t convinced, and instead blamed the lack of hit titles at launch for the tepid sales of the 3DS. Driving the point home, Iwata has previously stated that Nintendo will never make titles for other platforms as long as he’s in charge.

In many ways, it seems that Nintendo views Apple with such angst that it’s acting penny wise and pound foolish. About a year ago, Iwata described the iPhone and iPad as “enemies of the future”

via Bloomberg

Related: Number of iOS gaming titles dwarf all other consoles combined going back 25 years



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