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How Apple Is Beating Nintendo At Its Own Game 425

Zothecula writes "In an industry obsessed with polygon counts and frame rates, Nintendo's Wii console and DS handheld were the proverbial knives at a gunfight. They were grossly underpowered compared to the competition, meaning Nintendo could sell them at a profit from day one. Their innovative control methods ensured they still sold like hotcakes. An animated GIF of Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata holding a DS that printed money became the go to picture to run alongside quarterly announcements of Nintendo's gargantuan profits. If a disheveled man emerged from a time-traveling DeLorean with tales of a near-future Nintendo struggling to sell its latest handheld, I'd have been more surprised about the Nintendo thing. So what on earth happened?"
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How Apple Is Beating Nintendo At Its Own Game

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  • by wsxyz ( 543068 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:58PM (#37058694)
    Because iPhones & iPod Touches can do a lot more than just play games?
  • Misnomer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lysander7 ( 2085382 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:02PM (#37058760)

    The title should read "Apple is Beating Nintendo at a Completely Different Game".

    Honestly, it's not even comparable. People want iPhones because it consolidates multiple devices into one, eliminating the desire to carry a GameBoy around, and games from the app store hold an entirely different niche in the market than handheld console games. While yes, that niche is dominating the video game market, I don't think it's safe to call them "video games" as well.

    But of course, naming the title this is a way to get more hits, so I really shouldn't be surprised.

  • by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:05PM (#37058822)

    Could it also be because people can buy about 20 iPhone games for the price of one 3DS game?

  • Image matters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brannoncyll ( 894648 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:07PM (#37058848)
    We should not forget that people tend to associate handheld gaming consoles with nerds and children, whereas mobile phones are *cool*. Every day I see high powered businessmen suited up for a day at work playing Angry Birds on the subway, but I have never seen an adult using a Nintendo.
  • by Jartan ( 219704 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:08PM (#37058866)

    I love how everyone acts like this really has something to do with Apple. The reality is it would of happened no matter what. Nobody wants to carry an extra device.

    The moment selling graphically powerful phones became normal was the moment handhelds were doomed. Apple brought this about earlier perhaps but Moore's law said it was going to happen no matter what.

  • Re:Misnomer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:09PM (#37058872)

    You come off like an angry Nintendo fan. Nintendo has publicly stated that Apple is their biggest competitor, so they know all too well the threat of mobile gaming. You even refuse to classify app store games as video games, which is bizarre. A system that sells and plays games is a gaming system--if Apple is hurting Nintendo's sales, what other game could it possibly be beating Nintendo at?

  • 3DS is doing fine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:12PM (#37058922)

    The sales figures for the 3DS were respectable, and the price drop will continue those sales.

    Electronics (and everything, it seems) have taken on the blockbuster movie vibe -- if it doesn't hit BIG IMMEDIATELY then it's a total flop.

  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:15PM (#37058958)

    So, Nintendo brought a knife to a gunfight (bad) except that they could sell these knives for a profit (good) because they were underpowered (underpowered knives ?), so they could print money (good), except that if a disheveled man emerged from a time machine (say what ?) he would be surprised that they weren't selling after all, or something. And then

    A wild STEVE JOBS appears! STEVE JOBS uses DESTROY VALUE. It's super effective!

    And they say you don't need editors on the Internet.

  • Re:Region Locking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:17PM (#37059010)

    For some gaming niches the games never make it to the US. Also individuals that are looking for gaming in foreign languages are going to have a tougher time playing games if they have to buy a second unit to play those games.

    And, if it really only applied to the GP, then they wouldn't be doing it. They're doing it because it applies to a lot of people.

  • by YojimboJango ( 978350 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:23PM (#37059126)

    I remember reading (cant find source) that some of the big wigs at Nintendo told their stock holders that the hardware was done, but they wanted to hold off the release of the 3DS till they had an impressive line up of launch titles. Stockholders wanted a quick pay day from the successor to the system that printed money, and forced it out early.

    The system then launched with no games. And gamers, well as much as we like cool new hardware, we actually seem to like games more. No games? No sale. Sorry, that's just how it works. Now the 3DS isn't selling well and there's this sentiment that it won't sell well in the future and everyone (stockholders) is all up in a panic. Actual gamers? Well when that must play game comes out around Christmas then I'll jump, till then... why?

    I'm not convinced that iPhones are killing the dedicated hand held market. Maybe diluting it a bit, but nothing like the scare tactics that we're seeing. You're not going to find a game with depth on your iDevice or android that you will with a 3DS or a Vita. If only for the reason that even last gen portable games often went over a gig in size (UMD discs could hold 1.9 gig on them). Your iPhone would be able to realistically hold about 5 games of psp quality before you'd have to delete the old ones to make room for the new. When you start looking at the vita, you're looking at 6 to 8 gig per game. You'd fit one? Maybe two games on your phone?

    This is all over inflated.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @02:01PM (#37059634) Homepage

    Calling Angry Birds innovative just makes you look stupid.

    It's a fresh approach to an old idea. I am not sure I would exactly call it "innovative".

    It's a good example how some nice design can help effectively recycle an ancient idea. Not quite "innovative".

    It is what it's: a dressed up 2600 game. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people just aren't going to pretend that Angry Birds is something that it is not.

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