Friday, November 14, 2008

Mobile Gaming: Nintendo May Not Be Worried About Industry Challenges

Everyone will saying gaming is about quality and not about quantity.  Well, some quantity too.  But this is something Nintendo knows and this is why Wii has done so well.  Make a quality game system and people will follow.  It's the same for the DS and back to the original NES.

Then Sony came along and tried to get into the mobile gaming secgment with the PSP and I think it has done well with a more powerful gaming  experience in terms of graphics and expandability.

Recently, a newer version of Nintendo's handheld, DSi, available initially only in Japan is an answer to lower ales and quite possibility to differentiate itself from PSP.

Onxo being a place for mobile rants and an American-centric focus can't help but bring in a little about the iPhone or the iPod Touch.  I'm sure eventually, RIM and Microsoft will be getting into the  mobile gaming arena.  Still, I don't think Nintendo is really too concerned about these new upstarts.

Nintendo has always been an innovator.  Dual screens.  Wii's controllers.  And they stick to their guns when they have to.  Cartridges.  Leaving out DVD playback function because it would get in the way of Nintendo's game experiences.

With the recent campaign by Apple to push the iPod Touch as a mobile gaming device, you have to wonder, I have, if Nintendo has anything to worry about?  And it is an effort by Apple to move into the hearts and minds of gamers that Apple is serious about games.

Apple does have the app store on its side with a couple thousands of games.  More games than the DS and PSP libraries combined as they like to spin things.  Trust me when I say they are not exaggerating and umber will most certainly grow.  Plus, the iPhone and the iPod Touch features pretty impressive hardware at that.

But in the end, I can't say that Nintendo has to worry about anyone else, including Apple for a while.  For gamers, it still comes down to quality.  And Nintendo with its smaller library of games than Apple or other mobile platforms,  including Windows Mobile, has depth and a traditional gaming experience that folks have come to know and expect from the gaming giant.

That's not to say the situation won't change.  Others will get better at producing quality games with depth and Nintendo will need to innovate to differentiate its platform from all the rest.

DSi  is okay but I can't wait for DS 2.  Personally, I'm betting on something really special from our Japanese gaming overlords.  What would you like to see from Nintendo's future handheld system?  Me, I'm looking for more social features like video chats and general mobile computing features like e-mails, texting, and browsing.

Note:  DSi's pricing is a bit disappointing.  But it is Nintendo, so I suppose it should command some premium.

Another note:  I would love to see Apple and Nintendo collaborate on a project.

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