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Nintendo to slash 3DS price by $80 as Apple gains in mobile gaming

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Nintendo made a surprise announcement Thursday when the Japanese game maker revealed it will cut the price of its recently released 3DS handheld by $80, as competition from Apple continues to grow, and a new handheld from Sony looms.

The Nintendo 3DS, which first hit the market in the U.S. in late March for $249.99, will see its price drastically reduce to $169.99 starting August 12. The announcement of the price cut, just four months after the handheld went on sale, came as the company posted a loss of 25.5 billion yen, or $324 million, for its first fiscal quarter.

Poor sales of both the new 3DS, which features a screen that allows for glasses-free 3D, and the motion-sending Wii consoles have both been attributed to Nintendo's struggles. The company revealed on Thursday that it has sold 830,000 3DS handhelds in the U.S. since it launched.

The major changes from Nintendo come as Apple continues to find success with its iOS-powered devices and inexpensive games available on the App Store. Games consistently dominate the list of top paid applications available for both the iPhone and iPad.

Just this week, the chief executive of major game publisher Electronic Arts revealed that the iPad has become the company's fastest growing platform. He also revealed that dedicated gaming consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS, have slipped from 80 percent to 40 percent of the gaming industry, while multipurpose devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have become major players in the market.

Nintendo and Apple will also face new competition this fall, when Sony releases its own next-generation portable gaming system, the PlayStation Vita. Sony surprised the industry in June when it revealed the Vita will be priced at $250 in the U.S., positioning it against both the 3DS and the iPod touch.

Like the iPhone and Nintendo 3DS, the PlayStation Vita will also feature a touchscreen. It also features traditional buttons for tactile feedback, and a unique touch-sensitive back panel that game developers will be able to utilize.



Nintendo's newly announced price cut makes it the least expensive option when compared to the iPod touch and PlayStation Vita. For early adopters who paid the full $249.99 price, Nintendo will reward their investment with 10 free downloadable NES Virtual Console games, including "Legend of Zelda" and "Super Mario Bros.," and 10 exclusive Game Boy Advance titles, including "Metroid Fusion" and "Mario Kart: Super Circuit."

Apple began promoting the iPod touch as a game-playing device in 2009, when it declared the device the "funnest iPod ever." Since then, advertisements for the device have focused greatly on the wide selection of game titles available on the App Store, and Apple has also offered social networking support with the release of Game Center last year as part of iOS 4.
post #2 of 62
Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.
post #3 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.

... or it could have something to do with Nintendo's $328 million loss.
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post #4 of 62
I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.

Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).
post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.

Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).

Really? So you think that the fact that dedicated gaming consoles have dropped to 40% from 80% of the market has nothing to do with Nintendo's struggles?
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.

Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).

It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.

Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.

If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).

I'm... sorry, are you of the belief that the Wii was a flop? I'd have you check your entire life, then, not just your sources.

Originally Posted by helia

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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Really? So you think that the fact that dedicated gaming consoles have dropped to 40% from 80% of the market has nothing to do with Nintendo's struggles?

No... it's because the Wii was a flop...
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post #9 of 62
I'm interested in a 3D camera and viewer... the fact that you can see 3D on the 3DS without glasses makes it an attractive choice. Is there any way to then display those 3D photos on a 3DTV?
post #10 of 62
Interesting to see AppleInsider put an Apple slant on this story when there really isn't one. Nintendo's low sales have to do with it's high price and lack of compelling software. Paired with the impending release of the PSVita at the (previously) same price, Nintendo needed to do something quickly.

On the positive side, early adaptors (like me) get TWENTY free downloadable games.
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I'm interested in a 3D camera and viewer... the fact that you can see 3D on the 3DS without glasses makes it an attractive choice. Is there any way to then display those 3D photos on a 3DTV?

HDMI out which I believe the 3DS does not have.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

No... it's because the Wii was a flop...

are you stupid or just being sarcastic? the wii has sold 90 million units worldwide, nearly double its nearest competitor.

i realize that wii has trouble selling software but you have to realize that it is about to be replaced. The Wii U will having more power will rectify much of the Wii's software library woes. It's already been announced that the Wii U is getting games like Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, and many other cross platform games.
post #13 of 62
It is not an AppleInsider exclusive viewpoint that traditional dedicated mobile gaming (Nintendo and Sony) is feeling pain from general use devices that also do games (Smartphones).

My daughters are 4 and 6. They used to play the Wii maybe twice a week for a while (Rock Band, Just Dance, Wii Fit, some Virtual Console games, a Princess game they have, etc). When my wife and I upgraded to iPhone 4s we gave them our old (2G) iPhones. We have not turned on the Wii in the last 6 months a single time. When they want to play games they play on their iPhones or my iPad. For Christmas they will probably each get an iPod Touch.

We *may* drag the Wii out this weekend because we have company in town. But we may also just whip out our iPhones and play Scrabble on the iPad.

I would love to see Nintendo follow Sega's path and turn into a software-only company. As a consumer who spends a lot on entertainment, I have shifted my spending significantly away from Nintendo.
post #14 of 62
this has nothing to do with apple. The 3ds has no games out for it yet. No real reason to buy it. this will change during the holidays when nintendo's good franchises start to hit the system.

Plus nobody was going to buy the 3ds at $250 .

This has nothing to do with apple and is because of nintendo themselves.

PS the bad yen is not helping things considering the dollar is worth more then the yen .
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.

Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.

If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.

Nintendo is going to have to make a gaming phone to maintain growing sales. if they decide to do so they can take advantage of the fact that while ps vita has 3G connectivity, not including phone functionality was a mistake (and the xperia play is limited by the fact that it only plays android games and not PSP/PS Vita games)

The problem is that they aren't at the forefront of technology and it's possible that they won't realize that they need to make a gaming phone before it's too late. they have been late or unsatisfactory with every recent technical advancement lately, and their first party quality, low price casual hardware, and some innovative ideas have been keeping them afloat.

HOWEVER another thing to consider is that nintendo handheld consoles have always appealed to kids and parents won't be buying $300 android phones/PS Vitas for their 10 year old just to shut them up in the car. This is exactly why Nintendo had to reduce the price of the 3DS.

Nintendo's lineup needs to look like this:
$99 DSi
$150 3DS
$200 3DS 3G (optional)
$300 3DS phone hardware (free with 2 year contract), which has to be new hardware and function something like the Xperia Play. To beat the Xperia Play/PS Vita it should be compatible with 3DS and DS games as well as Android games. Nintendo needs to start making games on the Android platform which could be a challenge considering they have zero experience.
Possible Android tablet? Why not! Imagine Mario Party on a tablet. If Nintendo came out with an amazing software lineup for an Android tablet they could be one of the first tablet makers to be successful against the iPad.

Nintendo has three markets and I think my plan would appeal to them all. I don't think Nintendo can get away with only having one piece of handheld hardware if they want to capture all of these markets.
1. Kids
2. Casual players (who would be interested in hardware like the Xperia play)
3. Hardcore/Nostalgic Nintendo players (who would probably buy the PS Vita over the 3DS)
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm... sorry, are you of the belief that the Wii was a flop? I'd have you check your entire life, then, not just your sources.

Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?

The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I think the Wii U will flop just like the 3DS.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?

The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I doubt that the Wii U will be a sales success.

Are you playing dumb or do you know what "another" means?
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post #18 of 62
Two scenarios I see:

1) Nintendo got greedy and was selling the 3DS at wild profit margins (but didn't as much as they expected).
or
2) Nintendo is now taking a loss on the 3DS (which we know will never happen).

And I will bet you $100 it was the former and it fell flat on their face. My guess is that they absolutely did not expect the PS Vita to be $250. If they were selling at the same price, Nintendo would have had a real problem on their hands. The other issue here is that Nintendo never seems to learn from its mistakes. They are often so full of themselves that the rehash the same game 6 different times on various consoles, expecting you to pay for them again and again, while not spending nearly as much time making new games.

Case in point: the two biggest games on the Nintendo 3DS right now are remakes from 12-14 years ago (Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 3D). We didn't even know about any NEW Nintendo games until E3, 3 months into the life of the console. It's like Microsoft launching the next Xbox with a Halo remake. Or Sony giving you GTA 3 again on the PS4. That is NOT how you launch a console or handheld. Period.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.

Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.

If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.

How would a DS smartphone cannibalize itself? That's like saying the iPhone cannibalizes the iPod touch or the other way around...reality is that both sell extremely well.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

are you stupid or just being sarcastic? the wii has sold 90 million units worldwide, nearly double its nearest competitor.

i realize that wii has trouble selling software but you have to realize that it is about to be replaced. The Wii U will having more power will rectify much of the Wii's software library woes.

I just ask that you pay attention to the conversation... nothing more. It will all become clear.
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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Are you playing dumb or do you not know what the Wii U is?

The Wii U is coming out next spring and looks like a rehashed Wii with a funky controller. I simply said that I think the Wii U will flop just like the 3DS.

Except it won't.

There was good reason for the 3DS to not be very successful: it's the first implementation of glasses-free 3D tech EVER, much less in a mass-produced, highly famous device.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

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post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Are you playing dumb or do you know what "another" means?

3DS is a flop. [I think] Wii U will be a flop. Hence "another"

The original topic of discussion was the 3DS, not the Wii.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

HDMI out which I believe the 3DS does not have.

I would think transferring the files to another device or the TV might be a solution.

In any event, the 3DS's 3D camera's are only 640x480 - they are just a novelty to have fun with the console and there's no reason to transfer them to anything else except to another friend's 3DS.

There really isn't a reason for the 3DS to have HDMI out. Are you going to buy a 20 foot HDMI cable and play low res games on your TV while having to look down to use the touch screen?
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

3DS is a flop. [I think] Wii U will be a flop. Hence "another"

The original topic of discussion was the 3DS, not the Wii.

Thank you... I misread... apologies.
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post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

Are you going to buy a 20 foot HDMI cable and play low res games on your TV while having to look down to use the touch screen?

Nintendo basically wants you to do this with the new controller on the Wii U (minus the cable)

Look at the TV, look at the LCD on the controller, look at the TV
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Thank you... I misread... apologies.

No worries
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'm sorry, I don't think this has anything to do with Apple, and is just AI's attempt to bash another company while propping up Apple.

Instead, I think this is simply because the product SUCKS and Nintendo is on a downward spiral (I predict another flop for the Wii U).

What do you mean "another flop"? The Wii brought Nintendo back into relevance! It has sold almost double its nearest competitor.

It had a software drought towards the end but at the end of the day the console wasn't powerful enough to last very long.

I'm not sure how the Wii U could "flop." Nearly everyone who actually has used the controller loves it, and I think the extra screen is going to be really useful for games, and the fact that you can watch a video while someone else plays a game on the TV will be really useful for many families. Essentially the controller has iPad/drawing tablet functionality and I'm not sure how you can say that will flop. It can also be used as a sort of sniper scope or used to avoid screen peeking without using a 3DTV.

The Wii U will have all the casual type games and be 100% Wii compatible, as well as having many cross platform games confirmed. Actually, the Wii U will probably receive every game that happens to be cross platform as it has the same power as the other consoles. It will literally be the best console to own as it is compatible with 3 types of controllers.

Games confirmed are Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum, New Super Mario Bros., Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, Metro: Last Light, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3

The only reason the 3DS is having trouble is because it was priced too high and not enough software was prepared. It's true many games are being put on hold or cancelled for the 3DS due to this fact but Nintendo is taking the right action by drastically reducing the price. Nothing prevents them from coming out with a 3G or phone version in the future if the market goes that way.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Nintendo basically wants you to do this with the new controller on the Wii U (minus the cable)

Look at the TV, look at the LCD on the controller, look at the TV

I would say the cable itself is what most of what makes it impractical!

So you are right but I would say it is more of an iPad experience. It's not a tiny 400x200 screen or whatever the resolution of the 3DS happens to be. I think Nintendo consciously saw the iPad's gaming success and is going one step further by integrating that into a home console with the standard gaming analog sticks and buttons as well.

Other functionality:
- "Sniper scope"
- Eliminating screen-peeking
- Playing a home console while others watch TV in the room
- Playing iPad-type games
- Drawing tablet functionality
- Each player having a unique view while an overview is shown on the TV or something similar.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.

Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.

If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.

I think the easier option is to simply port all their games wholesale to iOS. They probably won't do it out of pride until it's so late in the game that no one cares, but their hardware is really nothing special and next to almost any other portable gaming device just looks silly IMO.

I find it hard not to burst out laughing when I see people using them on the bus or the train, poking that silly little stick around the screen.

There isn't really that much difference between that stick and a finger. They should just admit they are not likely to surpass Apple's hardware and port every single Nintendo title to iOS. Their costs would go way down, and their market reach would jump up a notch. Net result ... profit!

Edit: to be clear, I'm just talking about the 3DS and the older games. It seems the thread has been derailed into talk of the Wii and the Wii U.
post #30 of 62
Just recently bought an iPod touch even though I own an iPhone 4. It's because I'm sick of always draining my iPhone battery and I want to play some of the more resource intensive apps and RPG's on my touch. If the 3DS is 249 and the iPod touch is 300 with cheaper games with more versatility Then this is a no brainer for me. The games might not be as excellent as Nintendo's but there's still some great apps out there for great prices and it's only gonna get better as time goes on.
post #31 of 62
EA also said

"it had five of the top 10 paid games on Verizon, two of the top ten paid games on the iPhone, and two of the top ten paid games on the iPad in June. In mobile, EAs revenues were $59 million"

that is right TOTAL - in perspective - total revenue hit 998 million, so Mobile games for EA could be fast growing but it would go bankrupt if it did not sell console games.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

No... it's because the Wii was a flop...

I thought I had heard most of the bizarre crap before - you are kidding right?
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.

Well, not really. Starting with the Wii and DS, Nintendo has definitely shifted their target audience. They left the competition for the "hardcore" gamers to Msft and Sony and instead tried to appeal to the "casual" gamers (hence the focus on non-traditional controllers, unwillingness to pay for expensive hardware that the "typical" gamer is willing to pay for, etc...). A key component of this strategy is cheap hardware/software, since the casual gamer is less likely to put as much money into games as a hardcore gamer.

The problem (and the reason why this is relevant to an Apple blog) is that the iPhone/iPad just happen to have the hardware suitable for the types of games Nintendo is releasing, and since many people already own iPhones/iPads for other reasons, they end up being much cheaper in the eyes of the target consumer than the Nintendo products.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I just ask that you pay attention to the conversation... nothing more. It will all become clear.

OP didn't make it clear which "flop" was the previous flop, simply saying "another flop", because in my mind, the 3DS has not been out long enough to determine that it's a "flop". It's the #1 selling console in Japan at the moment as well, doubling its nearest rival. Really it's great hardware. Nothing wrong with it. Maybe Nintendo will need to make a 3G or phone version soon, but it's not like the PS Vita is even available yet nor does it have any phone functionality (plus, 3G is too laggy for any kind of online play that's not turn based or an MMO).

Lowering the price so much will create the sales in the younger market that they were missing and largely resolve any sales woes. (A lot more 30 something adults buy handheld systems in Japan (who use public transport) and that's why the 3DS is the #1 console there. Lowering the price is needed in the US since most portable gamers using a dedicated device are KIDS)

Was the PS3 a success originally? Everyone was bashing its $600 price and making fun of how it didn't sell out on launch day like the Wii or the Xbox 360. People also doubted the Blu-ray format. Today, the Xbox 360 and PS3 have sold nearly the same amount worldwide (vgchartz.com)

No console has more than one or two pieces of really good launch software. The DS's only good game at launch was an old Nintendo 64 game, same with the 3DS (and that was late for launch). PS3 and Xbox 360 had terrible launch games (Perfect Dark Zero, the O.K. Resistance: Fall of Man, and a bunch of EA crap) It takes at least 6 months for the good games to start trickling in for any console that has ever been released.

Also, if you see my other post, and use some common sense, you might realize that the Wii U won't be anything near a flop. You personally may or may not like the new controller (even though you've never used it) but it's another example of a nintendo product that's in its own class.


BTW, I don't even own a console, so I'm no Nintendo apologist or whatnot. I'm a PC gamer since it's the cheapest and highest quality experience I love paying for games at a fraction of console cost on Steam and realizing that my $100 video card gives me better graphics capability than any console.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think the easier option is to simply port all their games wholesale to iOS. They probably won't do it out of pride until it's so late in the game that no one cares, but their hardware is really nothing special and next to almost any other portable gaming device just looks silly IMO.

That's certainly an option but they'd be better if they had their own platform and thus control of their destiny, especially as they don't make 100% of the games for their platform as it is.

Sometimes I wonder if they would make a good take-over target for Apple. The Wii could integrate Apple TV and put iOS into even more living rooms.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

I thought I had heard most of the bizarre crap before - you are kidding right?

It may very well have changed, but back in 2008 the story of the Wii was that it was a huge seller, but that the customers weren't very profitably because they didn't buy many games.
post #37 of 62
I doubt the validity of this story. I believe the 3DS was just a gimmicky way of selling the same old sh**!
post #38 of 62
Suck It Down!

Duke

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I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Yes, Apple is doing well on the mobile gaming front, but the 3DS is still mostly in competition with the PSVita. The price drop is almost certainly due to the fact that the PSVita debuted with hardware that the typical gamer is more willing to pay for. Since the 3DS debuted when the iPad had alread been on the market for quite some time, I think Nintendo would have already taken that into consideration when it announced its original price point.

Agreed. Also, in addition to the cost of the 3DS Nintendo software lineup for the 3DS is rather limited. Plus Nintendo really made an error and region locked their portable gaming system. I was considering a 3DS as a replacement for my DS Lite, but after reading that the system was region locked, I walked away from that purchase. Finally, the 3D effect (which works pretty well) is really just a gimmick that many folks are just simply not willing to accept.

This price drop is a result of Nintendo's hubris.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

It's not just Apple, but Nintendo is losing their old handheld market to iOS & Android devices, in much the same way that the PMP market dried up and the point & shoot camera market shrank.

Even if Nintendo had made the bestest little handheld console that ever was it would still be seeing shrinking sales.

If Nintendo isn't willing to cannibalize itself, which would mean making a DS smartphone, its best hope is that somebody who does make smartphones buys it for the games catalogue.

Sorry, the games are too different. A person who really enjoys gaming versus someone who wants a 5 minute "quickie" will want a dedicated console. There are a few good games on iOS, but most of those were ported from dedicated consoles.
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