updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri March 20, 2009
Nintendo vs. Apple
Nintendo may indeed putting pressure on its stable of game developers to compete with the iPhone, the iPod touch and the App Store, according to industry sources. Attendees at this week's Nintendo Developer Conference in London are said to have been told that the company wants a variety of smaller titles for its DS Shop and DSi Ware services, set to accompany Nintendo's DSi handheld when it launches in the US on April 5th. Unusually, Nintendo also wants a number of non-gaming apps available, the sources claim.
While Nintendo already sells downloadable software through its Wii console, the titles there are typically complex, full-length games aimed at Nintendo's traditional audience. The DSi however includes hardware such as a camera and microphone, which will make it possible to compete with the Touch and iPhone. The latter devices are backed by the iTunes App Store, which sells a host of so-called "casual" games alongside a few serious ones, and a number of practical utilities. The popularity of the store may be seen as a threat to Nintendo.
"It seems Nintendo is keen to get across the message that its formats should be the first choice above any others for those looking to pursue new avenues for games design and ways for developers to make money," claims one of the sources. The DS and DS Lite are currently the most popular platforms for dedicated handheld gaming, but could be eclipsed as smartphones gain processing power and better interfaces.