Several days have passed since Nintendo announced there’s no chance of it entering the mobile gaming space. Talking at a 3DS press conference, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, when asked about the possibility of Nintendo developing mobile titles, stated explicitly:
“This is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It’s probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we’d make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short term profits, but to Nintendo’s mid and long term competitive strengths.”
Interesting words from Mr. Iwata. It’s good that he recognises the obvious explosion of mobile gaming, but it’s commendable that he believes strongly in his vision for Nintendo. The recent 3DS price drop has caused shockwaves across the handheld market, considering the urgency of the drop and the question whether dedicated platforms are still profitable is an important one. Sony’s Vita seems to suggest so — sales figures in the coming years will reveal whether a shift is occurring.
However, with Apple’s iOS reducing development costs, Nintendo might struggle in coming years. Its hardware has the advantage of multi-tasking — the days of single use devices are becoming less common.
Obviously distribution methods are always changing, as are gaming platforms, so accurately predicting what the market will do is difficult. We could all be cloud-gaming in the near-future. Who knows?
It’ll certainly be interesting to watch. Whether or not Nintendo takes a U-Turn on its statement is one that will reveal itself in due course.