Nintendo profits freefall as iPhone cuts into portable game sales

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Japanese game maker Nintendo's profits were cut in half, as sales of its portable Nintendo DS system continue to feel the impact of the iPhone and iPod touch.



Nintendo's profits fell from 133 billion yen a year prior to 64 billion yen , or $709 million, last quarter. Those losses, in part, were attributed to increased competition, including Apple's iPhone.



"Nintendo's portable game machine, the DS, also faces increasing competition from Apple Inc's iPhone, which has become a popular platform for handheld games," Reuters noted.



To combat declining interest in its Nintendo DS platform, the company announced it intends to launch a new form factor for the hardware in Japan in November. The Nintendo DSi LL will feature 93 percent larger 4.2-inch dual screens and will carry a $222 price tag.



As Apple continues to gain ground in the portable gaming space, the Wall Street Journal also suggested that the Cupertino, Calif., company could enter the console business and compete with the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3. While that rumor has persisted for years, it has yet to prove accurate.



For years now, Apple has pitched its iPod touch as a portable gaming machine, dubbing it "The funnest iPod ever." The latest upgrade to the hardware includes the ability to run Open GL ES 2.0, with up to 50 percent faster performance.



When the upgraded iPod touch was unveiled in September, Apple highlighted a number of high-profile upcoming game releases from franchises that were established on competitors' hardware, including Assassin's Creed and Madden NFL. While many of the early successful iPhone and iPod touch games came from small-time developers, big-name content creators like Electronic Arts, id Software and Konami began flocking to the platform this year.



Apple also boasted in September that, at that moment, the iPhone OS had 21,179 game and entertainment titles available, compared to 3,680 for the Nintendo DS and 607 for the Sony PSP. One of the strengths of the iPhone and iPod touch is the number of budget-priced titles available for the platform. Comparatively, most games for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP cost between $25 and $40.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 204
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    The iPod and iPhone now rule handhelds.



    http://www.neowin.net/news/gamers/09...si-ll-revealed



    Hey Nintendo, 2002 called, and they wan't their handheld back.
  • Reply 2 of 204
    To me it seems unlikely that iPhone or iPod Touch had that much of a significant impact on Nintendo's portable sales. Another example of Apple cheer-leading by AI.



    What does seem likely is that we are 1) in a recession 2) somewhat stale hardware 3) everybody and their brother already has a Ds. Sure some impact from the touch, but I have yet to any kid dropping the Ds for the games on the Touch.



    I've even asked my 9-yr old about the Touch, and he said it was too hard to control compared his Ds or PSP.



    Thoughts?
  • Reply 3 of 204
    icarbonicarbon Posts: 196member
    Hey, when is Apple going to set up a built-in iphone emulator into OSX so that I can play various silly games on my computer (use the mouse or trackpad as interface)?



    it just seems like a good way to get EA and everyone else happily developing games for mac...
  • Reply 4 of 204
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Ouch! That is about 20% worse than I predicted for Nintendo. Unless Nintendo builds a competitive PMP into their handheld gaming device and/or the next "must have" game I have to wonder if this DSi LL will also be a failure.
  • Reply 5 of 204
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by travisc77 View Post


    To me it seems unlikely that iPhone or iPod Touch had that much of a significant impact on Nintendo's portable sales. Another example of Apple cheer-leading by AI.



    What does seem likely is that we are 1) in a recession 2) somewhat stale hardware 3) everybody and their brother already has a Ds. Sure some impact from the touch, but I have yet to any kid dropping the Ds for the games on the Touch.



    I've even asked my 9-yr old about the Touch, and he said it was too hard to control compared his Ds or PSP.



    Thoughts?



    I agree with ou there.
  • Reply 6 of 204
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by travisc77 View Post


    I've even asked my 9-yr old about the Touch, and he said it was too hard to control compared his Ds or PSP.



    I?ve seen young kids be able to use my iPhone and learn to navigate the pages to find games and go back using the Home Screen astonishing quick, but the lack of a D-Pad can make it less than ideal for the way games have been designed for 30 years now. Now that v3.0 has allowed for 30-pin connector access I expected to see some D-pads on the market for the holidays. Actually, I?m surprised I?m not seeing more accessories on the market for the Touch and iPhone.
  • Reply 7 of 204
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by travisc77 View Post


    Another example of Apple cheer-leading by AI.....Thoughts?



    Yeah. Your point being?
  • Reply 8 of 204
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Actually, I?m surprised I?m not seeing more accessories on the market for the Touch and iPhone.



    Wasn't that long ago Apple opened it up, my suspicions are that the next few months will see a deluge of accessories.
  • Reply 9 of 204
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Actually, I?m surprised I?m not seeing more accessories on the market for the Touch and iPhone.



    That is an interesting observation. Why do you suppose?
  • Reply 10 of 204
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by travisc77 View Post


    Another example of Apple cheer-leading by AI.



    Another example of an Apple fan site . . . being an Apple fan site.



    iPhone cuts into portable game sales



    If by "cheerleading" you mean "reality", then you're absolutely right.



    And we're talking about the DS here. It was interesting about 4 years ago. Now it's just sad.
  • Reply 11 of 204
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Wasn't that long ago Apple opened it up, my suspicions are that the next few months will see a deluge of accessories.



    The iPhone OS v3.0 was released at the end of JUne, but the announcement of the iPhone OS v3.0 30-pin access for 3rd-parties and SDK 3.0 Beta 1 were released in Mid-March. That is full 7.5 Months that companies can ready their wares. At least make an announcement.



    What I find most odd is that prior to the iPhone v3.0 announcement officially allowing the 30-pin access we had two companies who worked up demos of D-pads for Apple?s devices. What happened to them?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    That is an interesting observation. Why do you suppose?



    I have no idea. Maybe there are issues with it. TomTom is no longer able to get the GPS working with the Touch or 1st Gen. iPhone.
  • Reply 12 of 204
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    Makes no sense not to enter the console market with the ATV.



    IT's a small risk, high reward scenario. GAmes are sold on the app store just like with the iPHone/Touch. ATV is already in stores. Probably has enough power to do iPHOne games or if not upgrade it a bit. That shouldn't be difficult to do and keep the same pricepoint given it is still $230 after a few years.



    Only hurdle is what do you use for a controller?
  • Reply 13 of 204
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    And we're talking about the DS here. It was interesting about 4 years ago. Now it's just sad.



    The great thing about Nintendo is that they can falter, misstep or simply fall out of favor but come back strong years later. I do not doubt that Nintendo will just bide their time until the paradigm shift allows them to make a comeback like they?ve done so many times before.
  • Reply 14 of 204
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    I can't believe. Simplistic and awkward iPhone games of 1 level and a half just can't compete yet. There must be another reason for this.
  • Reply 15 of 204
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    I bet the next version of the iphone and ipod touch see the home button changed to a D-pad. It would be awesome for gaming and navigating table views.
  • Reply 16 of 204
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    256 x 192 on a 4.2" screen. Now that's some high-quality gaming!
  • Reply 17 of 204
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    Makes no sense not to enter the console market with the ATV.



    IT's a small risk, high reward scenario. GAmes are sold on the app store just like with the iPHone/Touch. ATV is already in stores. Probably has enough power to do iPHOne games or if not upgrade it a bit. That shouldn't be difficult to do and keep the same pricepoint given it is still $230 after a few years.



    Only hurdle is what do you use for a controller?



    your iphone over wifi. ick. the iphone wifi remote app for ATV works quite nicely so i'm sure it's possible and has been considered.



    I'm sure apple could provide a wifi controller for a mere $19.99, $29.99 or $39.99... the usual add-on price.
  • Reply 18 of 204
    yeah nice try AI. every other site reporting this doesn't mention a word about apple, they talk about currency exchange and other factors contributing to falling profits.



    the ipod touch / iphone and ds have such an incredibly different price point and feature set that it's hard to argue that they compete directly.



    the iphone has no physical buttons, making it incapable of anything beyond 10-second gaming.
  • Reply 19 of 204
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    I don't think the Touch has heavily impacted DS sales.



    In Japan I don't think the Touch and iPHOne are that big.



    IN the US the DS is still selling quite well. Still #1 selling gaming console.



    I think Nintendo jumped the shark with the Dsi though. It wasn't a full-fledged sequel. It was just a stop-gap product that isn't going to be fully supported this late in the lifecycle.



    I do think making a bigger screened DS is a good move. When I had one I never took it out of the house. And thought the screen was too tiny for half the games. AT this point though it seems like another stop-gap product.



    Something you buy now and a year later Nintendo announces the DS2.
  • Reply 20 of 204
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I've got an iPhone and a DS, and I used to own a PSP. They're all handheld consoles but I don't see much overlap in their markets at the moment. Each console's abilities, controls and games target a different gaming environment:



    Sony PSP -> Plane ride

    Nintendo DS -> Bus ride

    iPhone/iPod touch -> Toilet break



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Hey Nintendo, 2002 called, and they wan't their handheld back.



    Wake me up when anything on the App Store is as good as New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart DS or Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.
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