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Iwata Is Not Worried About Smartphones Rivalling Dedicated Gaming Handhelds

When asked about the threat of smartphones to the handheld gaming industry Iwata replied: "I think a lot of this discussion is based on the premise that the handheld gaming device market is shrinking or vanishing and I don't think that is true and I'd like to address that. Something that [Nintendo of America president] Reggie [Fils-Aime] said at E3 was that the Nintendo 3DS hardware was selling more or faster than the DS, and I think that's something.. that a lot of people are aware of. But something that Reggie also said is that the 3DS software sales were exceeding DS software sales." Fils-Aime had told an audience at the E3 gaming show in June that the 3DS had sold more than 10.5 million games in it's first 14 months, more than the DS had sold in the same period of time. For further quotes from Iwata on the subject, click the button below. "I think this is proof that even though we see an increase in smartphones and tablets and whatnot and there's obviously a huge flood of games in the market, I think the software sales that Reggie alluded to and pointed out really prove that these people, even with this flood of free games and whatnot for these portable devices (non-game-centric devices) are not keeping people from purchasing software for dedicated hardware." "As of last week, 3DS sales in Japan reached seven million, and that's the 77th week post-launch. If we look at DS and DS Lite which people were saying, ‘oh my gosh this thing is selling like hotcakes, it's crazy!' it reached the seven million mark at week 72. And for the Nintendo DS that was two Christmases. For the 3DS it's only been one Christmas. And we also had a large earthquake in Japan. And of course now there's a smartphone boom in Japan, we're right in the middle of it." "I'm not saying there aren't people out there who aren't going to purchase a dedicated handheld device based on the availability and the fun factor in their smartphones. The examples you gave are factual. I'm not saying that that's not true. I do want to say that there are still people buying our devices and that is also factual." "I don't think there's not a bright future for handheld devices but I understand that the competition, again with the rise of smart devices is different, and I do recognize that." "Previously we had to think, ok, 'How are we competing with Sony?, How are we competing with Microsoft?, How do we compete with all the other software titles and all the other publishers out there?' That environment has changed. And the games available for smartphones, I'm not saying  that none of these are interesting, rich or fun experiences, because I know that there are some. And one way we can ensure that there's a market for handheld gaming devices is by continuing to bring out entertaining and engaging software that will provide users experiences that they cannot get on these other devices." "I think within games you have two needs that people fill. One is the time-filler need. The other is that it's a very important time for me and I want to have a rich experience. Those are two separate needs, I think." "The other thing is how much are consumers willing to pay to play. I think that consumers who are willing to pay money for a gaming experience are looking for something that is more rich and are willing to spend some of that valuable time on that experience. I believe that as environments change and as the world progresses we're going to have different ways in which people want to spend their time. That being said, I don't think we're going to see the desire to have, again, rich and deep sort of gaming experiences... we're not going to see that vanish. That's not going to go away." What do you think of Iwata's argument? Do you agree with him? Are you glad Iwata has this positive outlook? Let me know in the comments! Source


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