For years Nintendo has competed against Sony Corp. on the market of video game systems. However, the emergence of highly-integrated mobile devices, including, but not limited to, Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad or Nokia N900, can change landscape of mobile gaming market. According to Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, Apple is already the enemy of the future.
“[Apple, and its iPhone and iPad devices] are the enemy of the future,” the president of Nintendo is reported to have said to the company’s management.
For many years Nintendo has been trying to broaden demographics of video gamers and address new types of consumers. The company has been pretty successful with that with Wii becoming the winner of the current-generation of home consoles and DS becoming the most popular handheld game system.
But even the phenomenal success of DS console is overshadowed by the adoption of various mobile phones, including Apple iPhone. With tens of millions of similar iPhone users across the world, Apple platform is indeed very attractive for game developers and thus end-users. To make the matters even worse for Nintendo, the iPhone is a phone, a media player, a game console, an Internet browser and so on, whereas the DS is solely designed for games. No surprise that according to some surveys high-school girls and men aged between 30 and 40 – reported that they would rather have an iPhone than a DS in their pockets or handbags.
It remains to be seen how exactly Nintendo plans to address the threat from various handheld consumer devices, which may be from Apple or from tens of other PC companies. Later this year Nintendo plans to release the world’s first portable game console with stereo-3D screen, which is likely to attract a lot of attention of gamers. But the big question is what will Nintendo do to address the users of smartphones?