Nintendo calls iPhone gaming a threat, Windows Phone 7 not so much

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nintendo is finally admitting that the iPhone is taking a big bite away from its dominance in the market of handheld gaming. But it's not quite as worried about Microsoft's upcoming game-centric mobile platform.

In a recent interview with Forbes, charismatic Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the rise of mobile gaming is a threat. However, he said he's not really even focused on the new Windows Phone 7 platform, which actually directly connects to users' Xbox 360 accounts and lets them interact with gamers on the go like no other phone. In the short term at least Fils-Aime said Apple "can hurt us more than Microsoft."

"I compete with [Farmville publisher] Zynga, I compete with surfing the net, I compete with the newspaper," opined the Nintendo exec. Sounds like the complaints of every teenager's parents. But, he added that Nintendo will come out on top because its products are always and always will be first and foremost, dedicated game devices.

Although Nintendo has launched new DS units since it first developed the platform several years ago, it really hasn't fundamentally changed that much. Thus the DS platform is going to be seven years old next year, which kind of already makes it something of a relic in the world of video games. As such, DS sales are on a steeper decline than ever before.

Nintendo desperately hopes to come back to the top of gamers' minds when the 3DS launches next year. It'll be the first new major hardware released in about five years, so it will certainly get a lot of attention. But one thing Nintendo has proven more than anything else over the last couple years - you need to have killer software. The Wii and DS have become way too inflated with cheaply made, forgettable titles.

The PS3 and Xbox 360, on the other hand, get the products that developers work years on and spend multi-million dollar marketing campaigns on. The 3DS will be a change for Nintendo, because it will actually be the most technologically sophisticated handheld device on the market when it launches.