Nintendo claims the iPhone killed the handheld game console
We imagine that Android users are wondering why they don’t get some share of the blame – and of course people who purchase games for Android devices probably only add to the problem. But game sales were long ahead on Apple’s mobile platform, where the ease of developing for a single hero device makes it easier on game development (the same dynamic plays out with PC and console games – the newest PCs can support better gaming graphics, but it’s much easier to develop games for a console since everyone uses the same piece of hardware). As a result, Nintendo has long focused on Apple as a competitor.
Regardless of which mobile platform you want to assign the most blame to, Nintendo really does seem to be chronicling the disruption of handheld gaming consoles by the more ubiquitous mobile devices. This type of death-by-convergence has already been impacting sales of digital cameras, and there will surely be many more such disruptions to come – as handheld computing gets ever more powerful it will be that much easier to have a general computing device/smartphone you take with you rather than several specialized devices.
This doesn’t have to mean the end though; when Sega lost in the gaming console market to Sony, they reinvented themselves as a software gaming company. Nintendo has lots of incredibly popular IP, so if they are unable to reinvigorate sales of their portable devices then sooner or later it will make sense to transfer all of that rich game-making experience to the mobile devices market, even if they don't want to admit it right now.
And who doesn’t want to see Super Mario Brothers be available on their phone?
source: Nintendo via The Verge
1. imkyle (Posts: 1038; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
I could see this. iPhone and iPad put the handheld game consoles to shame over the years.
12. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
No other mobile device can put the PSP to shame.
But yeah, the mobile devices are slowly killing the handheld gaming consoles because games for them are more affordable. But still doesn't put it to shame.
18. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Once I got my iPod Touch (my first Apple device), I gave away my PSP 1000, most of my PSP games, all my Gameboy Advance, DS, DSi hardware, and all my Nintendo cartridges. Once you play on retina diaplay, the Nintendo games looked cartoonish. Plus, these games played slow.
I kept my Sony PSP 3000 and three of my favorite games: Hotshot Golf 2, Hotshot Tennis and a Tactics Orge game. I am disappointed by the PSP Vita since the game cartridges are $40 or more. When you can buy Infinity Blade for say $6, it's hard to justify a $40 game.
22. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Exactly, the price of the games is the thrusting knife that maims the gaming consoles heart.
I agree with the retina display being superior but games designed for the PSP are far more advanced than the ones on any Apple device.
Here's my hierarchy regarding the consoles involved:
28. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
I think you should consider any another platform to see not everything is about "retina"
you will discover a new universe in simplicity of using new "gaming" console:)
19. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Nintendo did this to themselves -- they forget that they can't control the speed of innovation. As chips such as processors and memory got cheaper, and as displays got cheaper, Nintendo shoud have adopted Apple's strategy of giving the latest and greatest device each year. Instead, Nintendo was focused on beating the Sony PSP.
When the iPhone and iPod Touch came out, Nintendo had enough time to introduce better hardware but didn't. The 3D DS hardware was a bust.
21. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
Are you speaking in the context of sales or game quality?
I ask because, in a qualitative since Nintendo's DS/3DS games hold much more production value and are much more immersive than most games on iOS. A big reason iOS is so successful in this category not because iOS devices are better device to play games on, people play more iOS games then other handheld devises of convenience. iOS devices serve so many other purposes other than gaming that it is more practical and convent to buy cheap and some what simplistic games that imitate console games then to buy an actual game console. High-end iOS games are usual waterdown versions of hardcore gaming concepts. Most people are satisfied with playing games that are kind of close in quality to the games that they would play on a handheld console without having to by a new device.
Also iPhones appeal to a much larger audience. Many people who buy iPhone's don't have much intrest in gaming per se but, end up buying games on iOS because there cheap, accessible and simple meaning that iOS "gamers" aren't gamers in the traditional since due to their lack of commitment to the act of gaming. Nintendo customers buy there devices for the main purpose of playing games and for that reason Nintendo has a much smaller customer base then iOS due to their focus on that specific demographic of consumers. Therefore these statistic are not that surprising. These numbers do not have much credence when it comes to the argument that iOS games "put the handheld game consoles to shame over the years" in a qualitative sense but, do show that iOS's simplification of console gaming on a device that is not essentially ment for gaming is causing more consumers (many who would otherwise buy handheld consoles or, not play games at all) to buy games on iOS devices as opposed to device that are ment for gaming.
2. Commentator (Posts: 2706; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
The handheld gaming industry is moving at a much faster rate than Nintendo can keep up with at one device every 4-5 years, due entirely to tremendous advances in technology. If they released a new iteration every year with upgraded specs, it might be a different story.
3. Leon101 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
yea i agree APPLE APP STORE has a lot of hardcore and better (MUCH BETTER) graphics than the Nintendo ones!!!
4. theday68 (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Nintendo...the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. the iPhone & Android are not going away. Get over it and make a mobile product that can compete. Or just develop your games to work on iOS, Android, and maybe even Windows Phone. I would happily pay for Super Mario Bros or many other awesome Nintendo games!!!
6. Commentator (Posts: 2706; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
The Nintendo Phone would be pretty interesting.
5. irvinkeith (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)
All I'm asking for is Pokemon for iOS & Android
7. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)
I second that, $.99 for iOS and free(ads) for Android
13. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
YES!!!! Pokemon for Android! I'd love that. :p
35. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
You know you can still get an emulator of the Slide Marketplace and download and Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Game Gear or Atari game that you own and play it on you phone. You can also get FPse for Playstation One games.
10. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
Of course a phone is going to sell more a handle held system. That chart is dumb
11. Jyakotu (Posts: 824; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
As a gamer, I still don't see iOS or Android as a competitor to the 3DS or Vita. Sure, some iOS and Android games are good, but let's get real here. Handheld gaming goes way beyond casual arcade titles. Most iOS games now are just ports of old console games, whereas, handheld gaming can go above and beyond the casual titles. Nintendo just made a lot of bad decisions with the 3DS, especially that $250 price tag that the thing didn't even deserve.
31. jroc74 (Posts: 5253; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
I was thinking the exact same thing.
I have a 3DS and Vita...and I literally laughed out loud reading this article. The fact that you can get casual gaming on handheld systems....I dont see it the same way.
Of course casual gaming is easier to do on your phone which you will more than likely carry with you more, but if I had to choose....it would be handheld gaming systems.
15. shimmyx20 (Posts: 280; Member since: 03 Mar 2009)
Gamers would disagree, but the majority of the people would agree with this. I sold my DS and my PSP after getting my iPhone, and my Android phone has some kick ass games too. Yeah they're not as good as what you can get on a dedicated handheld gaming console, but they're good enough for most people. Also, games on iOS and Android are almost always much cheaper. Plus, I like not having yet another thing to carry around. Now that the weather is nicer, and I'm riding my motorcycle everywhere, carrying space is very limited for me.
16. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)
I cringe when I hear drivel like that. Nintendo lost handheld sales because of their watered down console titles. The #1 selling game in the west is Call of Duty; this proves that people want multiplayer online enabled games as no one buys COD for the single player campaign. The vast majority of games on Nintendo handhelds lack online play. Nintendo just doesn't want to admit failure on their end so they put the blame on the iPhone's profit margins. And besides, what do they expect when they market their handhelds to kids.
17. mercorp (Posts: 989; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)
Nintendo-all talk,no do.
Give me a android ds phone
20. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
This make sense - unfair to compare an iphone to a 3DS as the 3DS does not make calls. Nintendo will adapt and you will see a gain by them over the next 5 years as they adapt.
As for failure of Nintendo....they still easily outsell all handheld devices that do not start with "I"
23. BattleBrat (Posts: 1231; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
I own more games on iOS, than I've owned on pc, gameboy,color,advance, gamegear, COMBINED AND DOUBLED
24. crysiswarmonger (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
Games costing 19.99 or 29.99 or 34.99 for a game system for a Nintendo DS or other game system with low resolution.....
Phones have tremendously high resoultion and everyone has noted ... free with ads or $0.99.... I can buy a whole bunch of games for the price of one DS game.
25. ChafedBanana (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Gameboy was cool in '89 when only the rich had car phones. If i had a mobile phone like the iPhone then, it would have been badass. It was still pretty badass though, having a Gameboy before all my friends, bringing it to 5th grade. Nintendo should sue Apple. That's what Apple would do.
26. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
Dumbest thing is to compare a handheld to a cellphone. People get real, real game are not on iOS or android, not even close. Yes iOS and Android game sell more people they are cheaper. Angry bird VS. Uncharted? Temple run vs.RE?
27. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Well Nintendo let's take a look at your history?
Whats the market for Ninti?
- Casual (iPhone already stole that)
Whats the best game for Ninti?
- Mario, mario, err.. super mario.. Ah zelda!
Whats the spec of Ninti hardware?
- Outdated, always outdated..
Japanese consumers are buying smartphones, and Japanese consumers are known to spend more time with portable gaming rather than consoles. To this effect, many japanese developers are now developing for iOS and Android.
Recently three key developers at Square Enix left the company to found another indie developer studio for Android & iOS Games. So you see where the trend is going.
29. Luuthian (Posts: 222; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
Really? You had to use *SEGA* as an example? I mean, yes, you're right. Sega did turn themselves into a software company following their hardware demise. They also completely screwed it up, barely recovered via being taken over by a pachinko machine company, and have since continued to produce numerous, horrible products that sell on through the undead carcass of a single blue hedgehog alone.
The only critical success Sega has managed in over ten years are the handful of games they simply publish without any development input. Platinum games and Creative Assembly are the only things Sega has got right since leaving the hardware biz.
I have zero doubts Nintendo would do a far superior job should they ever make a similar transition, but yeah... Sega should serve as a warning, not a bright example.
30. frydaexiii (Posts: 1310; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Please, Apple kills everything they touch, all in the name of allowing the rich people & those who can barely afford it to brag.
32. cpew72 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
If nintendo was smart they would release Mario, Zelda and more for iOS and android. They would make some money
34. jroc74 (Posts: 5253; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
For anyone to say that the iPhone killed handheld consoles: try to play a sports game on a touch screen device. Especially defense. Absolutely frustrating. Even for the games that were ported to touch screen devices.
I got Uncharted for the Vita...and I rarely use the touch screen comtrols.
36. Portlandguy (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jun 2013)
I think it would be smart for Nintendo and Apple to work together and make an accessory that the iPhone could be plugged to give it physical controls for games. Then they could market games through the iTunes Store. I could see something that looks like the original game boy advance with the controls on with side of the screen.