With the recent surge in smartphone gaming, many analysts suspected that Japanese video game company Nintendo would make its own move into the field. But Nintendo has nixed the idea.
We have no desire to get into telephony, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime told CNN. We believe that we will earn our way into someone's pocket without having to offer that (phone capability) as an additional factor.
Fils-Aime's comments come during a time where smartphones are rapidly taking over the mobile device market. Apple's iPhone, for example, functions not only as a phone, but also allows users to browse the internet and install countless apps -- small programs that do many of the things a desktop computer might do. More significantly for Nintendo, however, is the iPhone's burgeoning status as a video game platform. Angry Birds, for instance, has proven one of the most popular apps on the market in the last few months.
Despite the smartphone's sucess as a video game platform, however, Nintendo has no interest in entering the sector, according to Fils-Aime. We don't want to be in the phone business. We don't see that as an opportunity. Phones are utilities. Phones are not by definition entertainment devices, he said.
Some of Nintendo's competitors are not so dismissive. Sony, in particular, has made significant inroads into the mobile games industry in recent months. With its upcoming Xperia Play phone, Sony plans to price games in a significantly lower price range than games for its current PSP console. The company also plans to create dedicated area in the Android Market for its games.
Nintendo's reluctance to venture into the phone sphere echoes in many ways the company's opinions on a number of previous industry shifts, including HD graphics, online gameplay, and motion controls.
Likewise, Nintendo is opposed to the idea of releasing its titles for smartphone platforms. At the Game Developers Conference in March, Nintendo president Shigeru Iwata came out against smart phone games like Angry Birds, which he does not see as sustainable in the long term.
Yes, pretty much every game is cheaper to develop, but what revenue will they engender? he, imploring developers to resist the pull of smartphones.
But Rvio's Peter Vesterbacha has a similar feeling for Nintendo's own business model. It's interesting to see people like Nintendo saying smartphones are destroying the games industry, Vesterbacka said to MCV. Of course, if I was trying to sell a $49 piece of plastic to people then yes, I'd be worried too. But I think it's a good sign that people are concerned -- because from my point of view we're doing something right.