Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata Claims iPhone, Android Are Devaluing Games

Posted by at 11:21 am on March 3, 2011

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata during his Game Developers Conference talk later on Thursday attacked the iPhone, and to a lesser extent Android, over their effect on gaming. He consciously avoided mentioning Apple or Google by name but was critical of them since gaming was strictly incidental and they had “no motivation” to keep the value up. About 92 percent of games on these platforms were free, he said, and they risked taking important income out of the business where the 3DS and DSi would keep it afloat.

The comments nonetheless are a rare public acknowledgment from Nintendo of the effect of the iPhone and iPod touch on its sales. Although in part attributable to customers holding off for the 3DS, DSi sales fell sharply year-over-year in December by about 800,000 units, suggesting that at least some of those who had passed on the DSi were using their phone instead.

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