Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mario, Zelda, Pikachu On the iPhone - Keep Walking, People. It'll Happen But Not For A While Longer

Sega has transitioned to the mobile devices nicely.  And it has been years since Sega has been on the console or handheld business.  And while Sega has brought a few games over to the iPhone and Android, one major studios and hardware maker has not, Nintendo.

Yesterday, the blogs were excited by news that Nintendo investors were not happy with the performance of the latest 3DS sales, the surprised price from $250 down to $170, and Wii 2 still at least a year away.  Also part of the news was that some investors want to see Mario and company on the iOS.  

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, a legend in his own right, has pledge to make first-title games for Nintendo hardware so long as he's in charge.  Having said that, in a gaming era where games can be had for $1 to $16 on iOS while Nintendo still charges $40 a pop, it doesn't seem like Nintendo is "with it" as the gaming market has moved beyond its comprehension of what the consumers, particularly mobile warriors, want.

So, will we see Nintendo titles on iOS soon?  Probably not.  It'll happen someday but you have to ask yourself that when it happens, it is going to matter anymore?  By then, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch gamers will have other titles to focus on.  Sonic could be the Mario for iOS by then and kids will be asking "Who's Mario?  Pika-what??".  

The thing is that Nintendo, known for being out there, really went out there with the 3D in the 3DS.  But it was gimmicky and not revolutionary in the way the Gameboy or Wii controllers were.  Things came crashing down to earth once fanboys (myself included) bought the 3DS at $250.  I have bought games but the $3-5 games from the eShop, not the $40 a pop games at the retail stores.  I'm waiting for BF when I hope to pick up 3DS games at half the price.

And that is what we are used to now that Apple's app store has trained us to expect quality even for 99 cents games.

It's possible that before we see Nintendo titles on the iOS, we'll see NIntendo possibly give the smartphone market a go first the way Sony did with the Xperia Play running on Android.  And after that fails, then we might see Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon on iOS devices.

Source: Bloomberg.

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