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  • Nintendo’s Biggest Threat is Apple, Not Microsoft


    Who’s a bigger threat to Nintendo, Microsoft or Apple? According to Nintendo the answer is clearly Apple. Nintendo has seen declining sales in recent years and Apple is clearly to blame. The mighty Nintendo once had the lion’s share of the portable gaming market, but that is no longer the case.

    When Apple blasted onto the scene with the App Store, Nintendo was unprepared for its immediate success. Nintendo has dealt with competitors in the past, remember the Atari Jaguar and the Sega Nomad. But with Apple’s “Think Different” approach to selling software, Nintendo now faces a genuine threat to their position as market leader. Apple now claims a 50 percent market share of the handheld video game segment. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently stated:

    “Do I think that in the near term [Apple] can hurt us more than Microsoft? Absolutely.”

    At the annual September music event, Apple had much to say about the role they now play in the portable gaming market. Apple now claims to be the number one mobile gaming device worldwide and that they outsell the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP combined. The App Store is key to this success and Apple knows it. The App store offers customers such convenience and value that Nintendo’s reliance on cartridges becomes a hard sell, especially in this economy. People can now buy quality games for as little as 99 cents. Nintendo needs a new game plan if they ever hope to compete with this new way of selling games.

    Of course, it isn’t “game over” for Nintendo quite yet. The ace up their sleeve will always be master game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Mario. Apple does not yet have a video game mascot to help sell their brand and likely never will. Of course Apple is one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, but I don’t think you’ll ever see the Apple logo featured in a platform game, at least not officially.

    When the iPod Touch was first released it was a though of as a stripped down iPhone without the telephone. Apple soon made the distinction clear, the iPod Touch was branded a gaming machine and not inferior to the iPhone in any way. This approach has been extremely successful. Another advantage Apple has is the compatibility of games across multiple devices.

    Nintendo can hardly compete with Apples well establish app store. The App store literally has tens of thousand of games available, a large percentage of which are free . An iOS device is capable of much more than just game-play and because of this non-gamers have the opportunity to play games on a device they already own. Apple can sell to a segment of society that would never consider buying a dedicated gaming machine.

    I own a Nintendo DS, a Sony PSP and an iPhone 4. I am rarely without my iPhone and because of this, I now mainly buy Apps. Over the years I’ve played a few dozen games on the DS and PSP. Since I’ve had an iPhone, I’ve played hundreds of games and currently have about fifty games on my device. Can you imagine carrying fifty game cartridges with you at all times. The iOS as a gaming platform is a tough act to follow, given the ease of use and low-cost of games.

    Nintendo is gambling that their new 3DS model will offer gamers something so unique that people will be compelled to buy one. Unfortunately, it is not schedules to be released until next year, well after the lucrative holiday season. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Nintendo and I hope they can adapt to this new way of doing business. Of course, I would love to see Super Mario World 64 make an appearance on the iPhone. That will be a cold, cold day in hell I’m afraid.

    Source: All Things Digital
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Nintendo’s Biggest Threat is Apple, Not Microsoft started by Wiley John Wright View original post
    Comments 68 Comments
    1. athleticswimmer's Avatar
      athleticswimmer -
      Quote Originally Posted by zman2100 View Post
      This article was a pain to read with all the mistakes. Would have been a good article except for the fact that now it loses a lot of credibility because of how bad the grammar is.
      plze....stup ur whininhg......
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Christ would you all get off your high horses.
    1. smuj29's Avatar
      smuj29 -
      Just a spit ball, but if Mario (i.e mario3/mario Allstars) came to the app store it would out sell every game by miles, Sonic,sega Games, angry birds, all racing games........simple and classic.... Mite be old but everyone still loves it...right to top of appStore..FACT......just imagine....
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      I think Nintendo was talking about competitors as a whole, not just one segment.

      Microsoft may not be in the hand-held market (yet,) but they are in the console/gaming market. While Apple is taking away from them in a market which Nintendo has dominated for over 15 years.

      Losing market shares in the hand-held segment hurts Nintendo's bottom line, which places Apple as major competitor alongside Sony and Microsoft.

      I think that Nintendo's biggest enemy is itself. They clearly do not market to teens, young adults, or any age of serious gamers. I have a DSlite, and I never use it, because the obsession with the stylus control screen hurts a lot of games. Switching between buttons and stylus mid-stream is not intuitive at all.

      The Wii is a lot of fun, but when I want to play a serious game... I turn to my 360, or my PS3. When I'm on the go (which is more often than not) I use my iPhone 4 for games. Why carry two devices?
    1. SepticTank's Avatar
      SepticTank -
      No sympathy from me, Nintendo and Sony. Overcharging us for a game? Just like the compact disc industry for music. They did the same thing and no they are extinct for the most part.

      Lower the prices of the games and maybe I'd buy them again.

      My opinion.
    1. AmadeusKaelPyralis's Avatar
      AmadeusKaelPyralis -
      I tend to agree that Nintendo, while behind the curve in graphics... hardware... and playable games, is still superior to an iDevice. To be perfectly honest, I do not feel the iPhone is a "gaming" device, nor the iPod Touch. They are social networking devices more than anything. Apps that are games are short, very limited in both control and depth. Look at MOST reviews for App games-- they are always hounding about lags, control issues, but the games themselves have potential. And I think that is always how App Games will be. You cannot have six buttons and a ten hour long story on an App game. At most you'll get a touch d-pad and one or two action buttons. Anything else clutters up the play-area.

      Nintendo and its competitors (Sony, Microsoft) still have a good edge over an iDevice gaming market. Whether they keep the edge or not will be the deciding factor. If they do come out with a viable "controller" hardware peice for the iDevice then it will only be a matter of time before the problems with iDevice Games become too much for Nintendo and company to handle. It is true, I carry my iPhone everywhere. Using it as a portable gaming device would make it that much more valuable. But the DS and PSP still hold superior playability over the iDevice... which is why I lug one of them around as well.

      Granted, Nintendo's hardware has seen some flops. The DS and WII were awful (I own them both though) as far as more bang for your buck. They are not without their charm though. Nintendo needs to take a year and completely remodel their plans and make a Wii-Playstation hybrid and sell it for 299$. It would undercut all competitors, and offer people a platform that truly fits the needs of gamers. Alas... we live not in a perfect world.

      Being a gamer is a love/hate relationship.
    1. vruls's Avatar
      vruls -
      Im just waiting for addon with fisical buttons for the ipod/iphone, for under 50 bucks
    1. DarkDragonAn's Avatar
      DarkDragonAn -
      EVERY BODY IN THERE MOTHER HAS A NINTENDO Wii. NINTENDO WAS MAKING A BIG DENT ON THE PS3 SALES AND NOW SONY IS NOW MAKING SOME MONEY WITH THERE PS3SYSTEM, AND ABOUT THE HAND HELD DEVICES THE iPHONE IS THE iPHONE IF I REALLY WANT TO PLAY SOME REAL GAME I PICK UP MY PSP-GO AND MY WIFE HAS HER DS. I DON'T SEE WHY THIS IS A BIG DEAL. WHAT NINDENDO NEED TO DO IS MAKE A NEW WITH BUILD IN HDD SOMETHING LIKE A 16GB DS THAT ALSO USE THE OLD GAMES THAT IS HOT AND MAKE ALL THERE GAME downloadable ALSO GIVE PEOPLE A CHOICE IF THEY WANT TO HAVE DIGITAL FILES GAMES OR CARTRIDGES NOW THAT IS GIVING PEOPLE A CHOICE THIS IS WHERE PSP-GO IS FAILING ONLY DIGITAL GAME BUT NOT ALL GAMES ARE DIGITAL AND I HAD A LOT OF REGULAR PSP GAME ON UMD AND I HAD TO SALE THEN ALL. IF NINTENDO GET THIS RIGHT THEY BE ON TOP.
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SepticTank View Post
      No sympathy from me, Nintendo and Sony. Overcharging us for a game? Just like the compact disc industry for music. They did the same thing and no they are extinct for the most part.

      Lower the prices of the games and maybe I'd buy them again.

      My opinion.
      Well said. Nintendo just needs to rethink their business strategy. They've got geniuses over there. I'm sure they will think of something. Heck, they survived the PS2/Xbox era. This is nothing to them
    1. TheGrandFinale2001's Avatar
      TheGrandFinale2001 -
      For some reason... I am not surprised. Go figure lol
    1. derekthered's Avatar
      derekthered -
      I am also an oldschool gamer, and my iPhone is the only device I have for portable gaming anymore. Yes there are more in-depth games on the dedicated portable gaming systems, but when I'm on the go and I want to play a game, I usually only have a few minutes to spare, which would barely cover an intro cut scene in a more traditional game, and i cant usually devote the amount of attention those games require. So the casual iOS games are perfect for what I'm looking for. Fling some birds around for a couple minutes and then go back to what I was doing.

      Then there's the idea that I don't want to carry around a bunch of devices for everything I want to do. That's part of the reason I got the iPhone to begin with. Plays music, so I don't need a separate mp3 player. Plays games, so I don't need to lug around a ds, games, and possibly a charger.
    1. mi1knc0okies's Avatar
      mi1knc0okies -
      Quote Originally Posted by athleticswimmer View Post
      plze....stup ur whininhg......
      Seriously? Can we give the guy a break? I'm sure the next article he writes he wont have the same mistakes. We are all human and have our lil issues..

      Anyways... As a little kid I always wanted whats popular or whatever my friends have, and no a days I see all sorta little kids running around with touches and iphones. A touch is easily in the same price range as a DS or PSP so its a no brainer to go with the Apple with the cheaper apps/games.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kouper View Post
      Don't get me wrong, I totally dig my iphone, and there are some really fun games on it. However, when Im traveling long distance and want to play a game for more then a few minutes... My iphone always loses to my psp/ds/laptop(depending on the mode of travel of course) The lack of buttons and tactile feel has sort of hurt my appetite for more large scale games... ALthough, playin the SNES on my phone with a wii classic pro.... now that is a riot.
      Definitely, most of the games on the iPhone are short addictive games. Yes there are some that take some time, but nothing beats playing tiger woods or first hand shooter games on the psp. I think the biggest problem is that since people always have there phones on them like John said, they opt to buying games for it and not other devices. Easier to carry one item than two
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      I agree. Microsoft games especially the ones that compete on the console platform are aimed to one type of market since its most successful ones are Halo, Call of Duty, and a few others that really make the platform stand out. Nintendo has its own niche with the unique control interface and games that seems like the iPhone would be more competing against. I personally would never get rid of my Xbox 360 and Call of Duty for a iPhone/Nintendo game but I would rather have the gyroscope games on the iDevices over a Wii.
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Ya the app store has hundreds of games, but most of them suck! I think the 3DS next year will have an AppStore as well, don't underestimate Nintendo!
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      Oh my gosh aka OMG(cause spelling and grammar is that important to some peeplo laugh out loud)
      people for sakes your on a forum over the internet, do you really expect college level grammar and spelling? Or even high school.
      U kno evabody typ3z lyk dis n0w a d4ys.
      So f@$% gammar(: haha
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      If you can't spell and use grammar properly then how can I expect you to get any of the facts correct in your article?
      Sometimes the adverb clause is placed at the beginning of the sentence. When it introduces the sentence, it is always set off with a comma.
      Daily Grammar

      It appears as though you are missing a comma, professor.
    1. dotFIVE's Avatar
      dotFIVE -
      "This Thread's Biggest Threat is Grammar and English Professors"
    1. Aliquippakid's Avatar
      Aliquippakid -
      So many people need to reread this article. Ya the people claiming apple is no more of a threat to nintendo then it is to micrsoft? This article is right on. Nintendo has always had competition in home consoles. Alot of times it outsold competition but lately it has failed hard. But no one has ever posed real challenge in the handheld market. I'm not talkin specs design appeal, I'm talkin sells. Now the ios is poseing a potential threat to the dominated handheld market they have owned since gameboys original release. Don't post another comment comparing apples threat from Microsoft. A ton of people have a wii case it's so gimmiky but most are not hardcore players. I know people with them that only own one game. You can sell all the consoles you want but the games are what keeps it alive. Nintendo knows Sony and Microsoft beat them bad there but now the handheld market for them is in jepordy.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      While Apple may be a threat to Nintendo, iDevices aren't made for gaming machines. And Apple isn't going to convince me to not buy the 3DS.