Nintendo: iPhone May Damage Sales

iPhone SDK: Hardcore Gaming

Warning that its profits may decline, Wii and DS manufacturer Nintendo played the "current economic conditions" card but also laid a new one on the gaming table -- increased competition thanks to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch.

The newly launched Nintendo DSi is seen as a partial response to Apple's new gaming model, according to Electronista, which includes an on-device digital App Store, rather than the cartridge based physical media traditional gaming companies have thus far preferred.

Still, if the next edition of Mario has an Apple or Steve Jobs looking boss level, we'll know Nintendo is taking it seriously...

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Nintendo: iPhone May Damage Sales


i can't see my iphone having an impact my DS usage.
yeah it has the graphical ability for games, but the control interface is too limited.

My son has an iPhone and never touches his DS now, and my daughter uses his old iPod Touch and rarely plays her DSi.
For the casual gamer, the iPhone/iPod Touch is perfect.

I have the new 3GS, and bought a DSi (the new one). The iPhone is OK for games, but sucks when compared to feature games like ZELDA, etc that run on the DSi. The 99c price of games that actually sell on the iPhone, in no way can be compared to the FULL titles that are developed for the DSi.
I'd say it's more likely people who BUY an iPhone have to cuts costs elsewhere due to the the monthly phone bills associated with the iPhone thru AT&T.
This does NOT mean the iPhone or iTouch is anywhere NEAR as good as a dual screened gaming device with FULL developed apps. My iPHone is ok for short games, but the controls suck A_____ for anything that requires "reaction" timing...

Nintendo needs to suck it up and realize the truth. Then they need to release Mario iKart!! and the classic super mario bros too! their two best games.

I agree that the ds/dsi currently has more appeal to the hardcore gamer, but for casual use The iPhone/iPod Touch just fine.
The ds/dsi is barely pocketable, requires all kinds of paraphanalia - such as a safe place to store the physical games - and has limited functionality. The iPhone is a self-contained, multiple-function device that fits easily in the pocket. I think many teenagers will opt for the latter, not the former.
As for adults, it's no contest in most cases.

I have a DS and an iPod Touch. I love both devices, but since I got my iPod Touch a year ago, my DS has seen less and less playtime. I'm big on puzzle games, and it seems like a cool new puzzle game comes out in the App Store on a weekly basis - often for a couple bucks or less. I do still play some long, story-heavy games on my DS, like Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - I have seen very little in the App Store that has actual well-developed story or characters.

I consider myself a regular gamer and in no way do the lame apps on my iPhone compare to the games on my ds... The thought of the iPhone even being compared to the ds is stupid, playability on the ds is 100x better than the sometimes frustrating sensative touch of my phones screen. They cannot be compared

iPhone games are (generalization) not as good as DS or PSP games, but they do not have to be. Since the iPhone is already in a person's pocket, and the App Store makes games absurdly convenient to purchase, iPhone games only have to be good enough as a time-killer so people to buy less DS titles, stop carrying their DS around, or never buy one in the first place. If enough people think their iPhone games are "good enough," that will affect Nintendo's bottom line, even if they do have better games.

Just wait and see what happens when the iPhone game controller is released and people start developing games to work with it.

My son just turned 6 year old and has been asking for a DS. I upgraded the iPhone 3GS and gave him the 3G iPhone with no service.
To me it saved me money, already had the old iPhone, the games are cheaper, and you can share the apps on all of our iPhones (using the same iTunes ID).
He can now play games, listen to his music, look at photos, watch movies, watch Live TV thanks to Orb and get online via WiFi.
So, now all of his friends with their DS's are way jealous.......along with a few of the parents.
FYI: I found I could filter internet content on the iPhone with free OpenDNS, which we already use on his laptop. On WiFi network settings, point to OpenDNS's DNS servers. Great for kids on iPod Touch's or old iPhone's. Only wish Apple would let us password protect the Setting of the iPhone.

@ everyone
I have said this before it doesn't matter( in terms of business...sales) that the hardcore gamer thinks the DSi is a better than the iPhone. The casual gamer is where the money is. And apple has tapped that resourse. It will inspire the others to be more creative and charge less. That will be a good thing. That is not to say Nintendo and others will chomp at the bit to release a premium Zelda or any other title for .99 but they will and you can bet your arss that they will look at pricing somewhat .... To the point of rethinking distrubution!!! A direct download gaming service?? That will never work!! Oh, wait. It already does work. Hell, that's good for the ecosytem as well. No carbon footprint for cartridge/disc manufacting. Hollywood will soon see the benifit of this, but I digress. You don't have to be the best to sell. You just have to sell.
(the above statement is not to put down the hardcore gamers. You are all pioneers in your own right. And gaming companies should always do there best to put out the best possible. Let the games begin.)

I seriously don't think that Nintendo really has to worry about the I(phone/touch) Nintendo's DSi is perfect for saving money as well, from 2 bucks to 5 bucks, you can download games from the DSi shop. and to the person who said that Iphone is cheaper isn't really true all you need to pay is a one time fee of (roughly) $170 and without a contract or hiding fees. Heck i even got like 50 people from my school (which is small anyways) to want a DSi with just playing around with the camera on it. just playing with the voice recorded is even just as fun.