updated 07:50 am EDT, Mon April 4, 2011
Nintendo US head rules out getting into phones
Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview on Friday ruled out the prospect of a phone. The console maker had "no desire" to get into the business and expected it could compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Sony through a dedicated gaming device. He didn't see Nintendo as having expertise it could bring to bear in the area and told CNN that phones were almost antithetical to a game system like the 3DS.
"Phones are utilities," he explained. "Phones are not by definition entertainment devices."
A Japanese producer for the firm, Hideki Konno, added that there were "so many additional costs" to a phone. If Nintendo had to share revenues with carriers, it might have to roll the cost into the games themselves.
His company's attitude is a sharp break from that of Sony. Already having phone experience through Sony Ericsson, it decided to launch the Xperia Play as a direct counter to the iPhone. Its design faces an uphill battle as it's trading mostly on ported PS1 games and a handful of originals.
Nintendo may have felt the effect of its lack of participation in phones through a steep drop in holiday sales, although the reasons for the slump could be various. It may have also faced competition against the iPod touch, and buyers who might have sprung for the 3DS in the holidays may have been holding off altogether.