updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri May 7, 2010
Nintendo shifting attention from Sony to Apple
Nintendo is now targeting Apple as its primary challenger in handheld gaming, a leak from within the gaming giant confirmed on Friday. The Japanese firm's president, Satoru Iwata, is now believed to have shifted Nintendo's attention away from Sony's PSP and towards the iPad, iPhone and iPod as the largest threats. Apple is the "enemy of the future," the Times source said.
While outwardly confident, Nintendo is reportedly worried due to its first drop in profits since 2004 and a corresponding rare drop in the number of DS gaming systems. Both the hardware and software teams have refocused themselves to restore a level of "surprise" to their lineups that would please gamers.
A large part of the company's faith in reviving its efforts hinge on the 3DS, which will be formally unveiled at E3 and may ship in the fall. It will be the first truly major handheld introduction for Nintendo since the original DS in 2004 and will at the least have glasses-free 3D displays as its key feature. Unlike nearly every other Nintendo console in the past decade, it may also tout performance as it could have a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra and larger, high-resolution screens that might not be matched by Apple or Sony.
Publicly, Nintendo has usually tried to deny that Apple would have any impact on its market but has found it increasingly difficult to hide the influence of its American rival. Apple has been taking mobile game revenue from Nintendo even though many iPhone games cost have prices a third or less of their DS counterparts. In terms of sheer units, Apple is also poised to outsell Nintendo as it moved 8.75 million iPhones just in its last quarter alone and millions of iPod touch players at the same time; Nintendo only expects to sell 30 million units for its entire fiscal year.