Nintendo Viewing Apple As The New Gaming "Enemy," Kicks Dirt At Sony - HotHardware
Nintendo Viewing Apple As The New Gaming "Enemy," Kicks Dirt At Sony

Nintendo Viewing Apple As The New Gaming "Enemy," Kicks Dirt At Sony

Apple's iPod touch and iPad haven't really been out long enough to determine their long-term place in handheld gaming. Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS lineup are still the go-to handhelds when you think of gaming on-the-go, but there's no doubt that Apple is having at least a small impact on things. The App Store is filled with games, most of which are cheaper than the same titles on Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS family.

Regardless of your own opinions, it's clear that Apple has the attention of the other "major" game makers. Sony has in the past admitted that the iPad wasn't a threat to the gaming realm (possibly something to make themselves feel better), and now Nintendo is opening up with some thoughts of their own about the iMaker. In a piece over at Times Online, Nintendo's Satoru Iwata (president and CEO) had a few choice words following a quarterly earnings report in which the company's net profits feel for the first time in six years.



Over the past few years, Nintendo has rebounded significantly from the woeful days of the Game Cube and Nintendo 64. Both of those consoles were great, but they lagged in sales behind Sony and Microsoft rivals. Now, Nintendo seems to be the giant to beat, as the Wii caught on despite doubts that an SD console would thrive alongside the much more powerful Xbox 360 and PS3. In fact, Nintendo is feeling pretty confident about their current position in the market, with the report noting that Iwata feels as if the "battle with Sony" is a "victory already won," and that Apple is the one that should now be treated as the "enemy of the future."

Nintendo is also trying to revive its image of surprise, and to think outside of the box and remain one step ahead of everyone else. It's clear that the idea of motion gaming has taken the world by storm, and Nintendo would love to kickstart the next gaming revolution as well. But viewing the battle with Sony as one that's "in the past" sure is an interesting take, and giving Apple so much credit is also something to think about. Could Apple's iDevices really infringe on the gaming arena? That sure would be something, considering that Apple never actively entered any of these devices into that category. Maybe it's just a sign of further convergence, signaling that people want fewer devices that simply handle more tasks. The iPad acting as an ereader and the smartphone acting as a portable computer are both evidence of that, so why would portable gaming be any different.



Apple and gaming, together. Saying that five years ago when only 10% or so of all gaming titles were released for Mac would've caused uproarious laughter, and today it's a valid argument. Talk about times changing.
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Nintendo (Japan) having destroyed one enemy, Sony (Indochina), is now setting its sights on Apple (America) even though no war has been declared? That's never happened before.

The App Store market is indeed full of games, many of which are as bad as your typical Flash game. But there are some standouts, and the marketing model-- rather than the software-- is what Nintendo should fear. Most of the commercial games have a free version to try out, and hopefully get you hooked enough to spring for the full version. But if not, no harm, no foul. It's the first time the shareware system has actually worked. Contrast that to the traditional pay-first model, where bad games cost as much as good ones-- but you don't find out whether you like them until you've flexed the credit card.

In addition, some games now have a working micropayment system. I've been looking into the text-based duelling games, which are strongly reminiscent of what we played on the single-user BBSes of the 80s. While they allow free play, to really succeed you need to buy points in packages of $1.00, $5.00, and up. Paying a dollar at a time is trivial.

And the very nature of the App Store system lets developers release small but amusing games which would be uneconomical for the big guys. Thanks to the videogame wars and the shakeouts, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are tied to producing big titles that can be sold in large quantities for big bucks. (Remember, those sales are making up for the consoles' loss-leader price.) If casual games are released at all, they have to be in packages that will tempt a $30 buyer. And, as the gamers here know, two or three of the minigames would be OK and the rest would seem like last-minute additions thrown in to justify the pricetag... because that's exactly what they would be.

Add ti that the lack (on the DS and PSP) and presence (on the iDevices) of an ereader, organizer, and phone, and we can see that Mario is going to have to do some serious restructuring to even get into the game. Again, I give as example my nephew, who went for an iPod Touch instead of a PSP for many of the above reasons. As did I.

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It's an interesting thought. Personally think everyone would be better served with an ailiance then a war. I mean if Nintendo stayed with their specialization, consol and games, and apple focused on Iwhatever then both would produce some really good things. Nintendo would be successful if they designed and produced games that could be sold on the App store, at least then most of the games there probally would not suck.

As for Mac gaming I think apple has some hurtles to over come before that can really be taken seriousely.

1) System modability. Sure they're are plenty of gamers out there who just want to plunk down a bunch of cash and get a sweet gaming rig. Others, like myself, want to just by the parts I need as I need them. I want to be able to get and install a graffics card with out buying an entirely new system. I also enjoy the fact that I can build my own totally customizable to what I want it to do. I can't do that with a Mac. I buy the computer as it is, and if I want something else I choose the Mac with that soemthing else.

2) Cost. A Mac typically is 30% more for roughly the same hardware. I see no reason for this. Do you? And thats 30% I could be buying games with.

3) Cross compatibility. You ever try and mac a system running lepard or snow lepard get a long with one running windows 7, or Vista? It aint fun. (I think I'd have better luck in marriage counselling.) Right now it isn't an issue, becuase all the computers you expect someone to bring to a LAN party are going to be windows boxes, or the odd Linux box with windows in a window if someone is trying to be cute. But point is when setting up a LAN you don't have to worry about that. But if everyone you LANed had to be either Mac or PC then you'd run it to issues. Not to mention the question of would Mac C.O.D be compatible with Windows C.O.D on the same network inthe same server/game?

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How is an alliance beneficial to the consumers or to Nintendo? I could see Apple as being the abusive husband in that relationship. Anyone can agree that more competition is better, for the primary reason of competitive pricing and innovation. Additionally, I doubt Apple will take a forefront attack on the gaming industry anytime soon, they have their own specific niche with a very specific (and slowly broadening) market.

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OK, first off the threory of "competitive pricing" is a myth. BUt thats a discussion for another time.

An alliance would ensure that consumers get a better product. An Ipad, all in one suolution for mobile computing and mobile gaming. (Although I'm still not sold on the Ipad, but thats off topic too.) And they would have decent games for it. Which is better then the All in one device hacving inferoir games, and the gaming product being overly specialized. Wouldn't having one device that does mobile computing, and gaming good, be betther then having a good mobile computer, and good mobile gaming platform?

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