Nintendo execs don’t want to build a phone and say they have no plans to, according to CNN.Plenty of people are clamoring for a Nintendo phone, however. And it seems to make sense, because after all the iPhone is a huge gaming device and the direction of the mobile gaming market seems to be phones that also do games.
But in all likelihood, it’s not going to happen.
Part of the reason, executives say, is due to the economics of the phone business, mainly having to deal with, and share revenue with carriers. But the main reason is that Nintendo says it would have no competitive advantage building a phone.
And that’s right.
What has made Nintendo such a huge, beloved and innovative company is focusing on doing what they’re best at and following their own direction, for good or for ill.
When Sony and Microsoft were making hugely powerful consoles that were equal parts gaming machine and media centre, Nintendo announced the cheap, games-only, comparatively under-powered Wii, and was the laughingstock of the industry. Until the Wii took the market by storm, capturing a new audience of casual gamers with its intuitive design. (This writer’s parents in law, who only got the internet a couple months ago, have a Wii.)
Same thing with mobile gaming: Sony wooed reviewers with hits powerful, fancy PlayStation Portable. Instead Nintendo made the clunky-looking DS, but it turned out a dual screen portable console for games was really fun and addictive.
Sometimes that strategy fails: in the 1990s Nintendo lost its leadership in the console market for a decade by misjudging the transition to CD-ROM games with its Nintendo 64.
In some ways, Nintendo is the Apple of the gaming industry: it only cares about making the best, easy-to-use devices and software, pushing the envelope of usage and design, and selling enough to make a profit. That’s their DNA.
recognising its limitations and focusing on what it’s best at is one of the most powerful thing a company can have in its DNA
Will the majority of mobile gaming move to smartphones and app stores? Probably. Can Nintendo keep making devices and games great enough that enough people will buy them? Probably.
In any case, asking Nintendo to make a sub-par iPhone is like asking Apple to make a netbook. It may be a nice idea in theory, but it’s not gonna happen.