Is Nintendo "wrong" for not making ios games?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by radiogoober, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    Question: Is Nintendo "wrong" (ie, poor business decision) for not making iOS games or an "emulator"?

    Nintendo has been vocal about not making anything for iOS. I read a while back its stock holders were upset about this. So, what are the pros and cons of Nintendo making iOS titles?

    Pros: they get millions and millions of sales
    Cons: they lose out on sales of their hardware platform

    That's all I have. I know a lot of you really understand the industry so I would love to hear more.

    I wouldn't initially believe that someone says "I can't decide if I want a portable, handheld Nintendo device or an iPad." I wouldn't believe the markets really overlap. Nintendo has some fantastic games, ie, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and others. And Nintendo is pretty good at making games for strange input devices (ie, the Wii), so I would believe they could make a really nice game for a touchscreen device that can stream to AppleTV, and has all the tilt controls, etc.

    Basically, the chance of me ever buying a dedicated portable gaming device is zero. But the chance of me buying great iOS games is 100%. I have to believe that Nintendo is missing out by not making games for iOS.

    Your thoughts?
  2. Skika, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    I would say they arent porting or making games because they dont believe the touchscreen controls would be good enough for their games and because they want to keep them exclusive on their consoles.
    And they dont want to look like they dont believe in their hardware anymore.

    But what i think they should do is, make some new games just for the iOS with their characters. They should be really easy and not too deep just enough to get you hooked and wanting the real thing.

    EDIT: And i guess they want to control the user experience as a whole. Just like Apple isnt allowing OS X on other devices.

    My 2c
  3. ctbear macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2010
    It is all business...if they make games for iOS, then who would buy their consoles/devices?
    It might be tempting to sell lots of units of their games on App Store...but they put huge investment into their devices, not really smart to let it die like that.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    Yes they are to me. Watch in couple years how Nintendo will be like Sega only sell games and no hardware.
  5. taipan61 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2011
    corner starbucks
    i just couldn't see playing super mario with a touchscreen, call me old school but i would miss the tactile feel of the buttons

    but i do think that the games would 'port over, but they would be hampering their own market of handheld consoles

    but again on the money side, most of us remember nintendo dearly, so by charging about a million+ of us 3-4 dollars apiece you still make up your shortfall, i actually think the handheld market is eroding due to the smartphone market as its a mutlitasker vs a unitasker
  6. 0dev macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    Of course it's a poor business decision. Business is booming in the mobile games sector, yet they're determined to stick to a dated business model of selling dedicated hardware. Thing is, people who still buy this hardware will continue to do so, and people who don't, won't have bought it anyway. It's already a declining sector.

    IMO, the best way for Nintendo to balance their interests point is to sell "lite" watered down games in the App Store and only sell full games for their hardware.
  7. radiogoober thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    Thats a really good idea. Create some nice games, and then the user says "damn, if it's this good on the iPad, it may be way better on the handheld!". To be honest, that's how I got my first Mac. Had a 2nd gen iPod, and said "wow, this is pretty sweet. Maybe I can try out the cheapest iBook." Seven Macs, four iPods, three AppleTVs, and five iPhones later here I am.

    That's true. But as someone else mentioned, Sega did this. Sega used to make hardware, but now they only do games. Honestly, perhaps the dedicated portable device market is petering out. I don't know anything about their sales. But I do know that I've bought well over 150 iPhone/iPad games, some as much as $10, and will continue to do so, but will never buy a dedicated portable gaming device.
  8. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I think your'e missing the most important part of this equation. When Sega decided to exit the hardware business, they were coming off four hugely unsuccessful pieces of hardware-- Sega CD, 32X, Saturn and Dreamcast (which was popular initially, but was very quickly squashed by the PS2). Nintendo, on the other hand, is coming off the most popular console of this generation, the Wii, and the most successful handheld, the DS.

    By the time Sega made the decision, they had been bleeding money for years. It was a move made for the sake or survival. Nintendo is a far, far cry from being desperate. Committing to iOS or Android games would be the absolute worst mistake they could make, effectively capping their future growth.

    And, don't forget there's the idea of protecting their IPs. As someone else mentioned, playing Mario on a touchscreen is a nightmare, which would equate to a poor user experience and brand damage.
  9. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Give a kid a $99 Nintendo DS. They break it. You're pissed, but get another one for $99.

    Give a kid a $229 iPod Touch 8GB for games. They break it. You're REALLY pissed because it's expensive, and buy your kid a Nintendo DS. :)

    Someone needs to fulfill the kid game market. Nintendo is in a great position to do that.
  10. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Nintendo's DNA is like Apple's. They make both the hardware and software. Nintendo considers it an advantage as does Apple.

    They don't think it is wise to give that up and grab some easy short term profits on iOS. It would hurt their business long term.

    The games business btw is pretty cyclical. IT's a hits business and a business that transitions between platforms every 5-7 years. You can't react to every downturn or non-hit game with the thought that you have to completely change.

    YOu concentrate on making great games and offering new experiences to consumers. Nintendo has not lost this ability overnight.
  11. Thanatoast macrumors 65816


    Dec 3, 2002
    I'll repeat trip1ex here - Nintendo and Apple have similar DNA. Nintendo makes money from every piece of hardware it sells. It's a hardware company like Apple in that they create great software in order to push their hardware sales. Sony and MS sell their hardware at a loss in order to make it up on the back-end by selling software.

    Nintendo would never sell/license just software unless they were in Titanic-level dire straits. It's not in their best interests to do so - it's not how they make money nor how they like to do business.
  12. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    Yeah but like someone else mentioned, the portable gaming device is an old business model, it's not gonna catch on in 2011. There is still a market for it, as it's catered to kids. But in order to truly succeed you have to consider the consumers they just lost to the smartphones. I just think that they should release old games that don't matter anymore to iOS, like all the NES and SNES titles. They can be stubborn if that business model is succeeding, but it's not and they need to change their focus.
  13. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    I don't think the Nintendo/Sega comparison is completely fair as Nintendo has still been pretty successful with hardware for so long, but I would kill to be able to get Nintendo on my iPad and iPhone.
  14. mystik610 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Outside of cell phones, the portable market was never really successful outside of games marketed for kids. Sony has had mediocre success positioning the PSP as an adult oriented portable gaming system....even before smart phones ever became mass market products.

    The 3DS is clearly marketed towards a younger market, and they have that market cornered.

    Beyond that, hardcore gaming is not really suitable for a touch screen interface, and as such, the iPod/pad/phone is not a true replacement for a portable gaming console. Is it good for 'quick fix' type games? Yes. But many of the titles that are successful on the 3DS, and many of their popular NES, SNES and N64 titles would play terribly without physical buttons.
  15. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I don't think that they are wrong in their business model. Their hardware in general has sold very well, the Wii is the most successful of this generations consoles. While I would love it if nintendo released their titles on the iPhone or the iPad, I understand why they don't.
  16. Thedeathbear macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2010
    Nintendo has dumped a lot of money on the hardware in the company. It wouldn't go well. It would be like apple ditching hardware and just becoming a software company.
  17. Thanatoast macrumors 65816


    Dec 3, 2002
    That sounds reasonable. Heck, Square released FF & FFII already. I don't think we could go past the NES era without an add-on accessory to provide the appropriate buttons though.
  18. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    I think there is some overlap - I used to be all about my DS, but I literally haven't touched it once since getting my iPad in March. And only a month before, I'd traded out my DS phat for a DSi XL! Needless to say, I haven't bought any new games. If the iPad 2 had come out a month earlier, they probably would have missed out on the hardware sale, too.

    I don't know if I'd buy nintendo games on the iPad, though. For one thing, I mostly have only one hand available when I use it. And I just haven't been that impressed with the controls for platformers - though nintendo at least has years of experience with touchscreen controls now.
  19. Looon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Pretty soon the iPad and iPhone will be the only two mobile platforms and nintendo and Sony will be developing games for them just like sega had to do when their hardware division failed
  20. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    It really seems that way, doesn't it. They Day Sega pulled out of the hardware race was a very sad day for gaming. The same would be true of Nintendo if that happened.

    Sony v MS just isn't anywhere near as interesting as Sega V Nintendo was.
  21. radiogoober thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    I agree it would be suicide for Nintendo's hardware if they started making iOS games. I also agree it's not quite fair to compare Nintendo and Sega at this point.

    But, I just can't help but think the dedicated portable gaming console is going to become outdated. It may or may not, I don't know.

    A post was made earlier comparing spending a few hundred dollars on a iPod touch, vs, the cheaper handheld Nintendo hardware. That's a good point. But, we have to take into account the price of games. I just looked on Target's website and saw a 3Ds game, Star Fox, was $40.00. iOS games are $0.00 to, typically at an extreme, $10.00.

    If you buy your kid, or yourself, 5 games you're already at $200. Whereas on a iOS device, you could be looking at anywhere from $0.00 to $50.00 for 5 games. It seems that the cost of ownership may actually be cheaper for the more expensive device. Plus you could always take out a SquareTrade warranty for $6/month. (I learned this lesson the hard way, after dropping my phone in the toilet while completely drunk at a bar.)

    Also, doesn't it kind of seem that the whole "game cartridge" thing is antiquated? Do these portable devices have anyway to just download games from the internet, or store them on the device? (I genuinely don't know.)

    (I posted previously that I've probably bought 150 games or so for iOS. I may have spent anywhere from $150-$350 on games so far, I don't know, maybe more, maybe less. That would be $6,000 worth of 3Ds games. - Now, to be fair, a *lot* of the games sucked and got deleted within a few minutes.)

    Now, of course the quality, or length of game, on the 3Ds may be a bit longer, or better, or have more replayability. Or maybe not. I've played some really fun games on my iPad. But since the games are priced so cheaply, it makes them feel disposable, and I can delete the game and not really care about it ever again, because I know a new game, that I never would have imagined, will be out next week. Looking back at my last portable gaming system, a Gameboy (back in like 1989 or whatever), I know I played the same games over and over, but I don't know if it was because I only had 2 games, or if it was that the games were that good (Mario and Ninja Turtles!)

    For me, it's about convenience. When I go on a trip, I try to travel light. I carry a backpack and a small bag. In my backpack I have an extra iPhone/iPad charger. So all I have to do to take care of my entertainment needs is to put my iPad in my backpack. That's it. It gives me books, movies, music, games, internet, and (tediously painful to use) productivity apps. And I already have the charger packed that can take care of both my iPhone and iPad. I would feel frustrated to pack a secondary gaming device, charger, games, etc.

    I think a big thing the portable gaming systems have going for them is their control interface. A lot of games are extremely tedious to play just because of their poor interface. I'm playing the Rainbow Six game, from Game Loft, and it is just not quite right. It's not fluid, and it can make the game frustrating. That actually surprised me because Game Loft actually *perfectly* nailed the use of two thumbs to move around in a 3D world with their game Order & Chaos. In my opinion, their controls in O&C are the single best implementation of controls in iOS. But still, it doesn't beat having hard, physical buttons to press.

    I've seen some of those stick-on physical buttons for iPhone/iPad, but haven't tried them. Also those hardware buttons that are in a cradle for the device. That looks pretty neat too.

    I do believe that if Nintendo put their heart into it, they could design incredible control interfaces for a touch screen. But as it's already been said, it would be suicide for their hardware. Who knows. Apparently their stock holders (link: really, really want them to develop iOS games. And from the same article, it says Nintendo's portable gaming has really been hurt by mobile devices.

    It's an interesting market. It kinda sucks, because there's nothing "evil" or "crappy" about Nintendo. In fact it's that they make such nice games that I want to play them on my iOS device. But I don't want to do it enough to where I'll go buy a handheld from them, so I'll do without. I think we'll definitely see some major changes in the next year or so though.

    Sorry for rambling :)
  22. mystik610 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Saying that the iPhone and iPad will replace traditional handheld consoles is like saying motion controls will replace a gamepad for console gaming.

    There will always be a market for 'core' gamers in both the console and portable gaming market, and although casual games tend to have a wider market penetration, core gamers have proven to be a more consistent, higher margin, stream of revenue for game developers.

    The problem with touchscreen controls is that they lack the precision of physical hardware buttons....and precision controls are key when it comes to 'core' games.

    I'm not a big portable gamer, but the games on the iPhone and iPad are, for the most part, gimmicky quick fix games. Most lack depth, replayability, and are not a replacement for the 'core' type games you'd find on the DS or PSP.
  23. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    Very true that they started with fairly low quality games at the beginning but now they are getting some great production values. Also iPad already has some greart remakes of the old favorites such as GTA, Pirates!, Final Fantasy, NBA Jam, etc, and they are all games with depth and replayability.

    Another thing is, unfortunately for Nintendo a handhand console by its nature is "casual" and more so for the NDS crowd. If you look at the NDS library, a ton of it consists of games aimed at users who are not in that "core" group. More importantly, there will be no growth if they cannot attract those non core buyers. It is not that long ago Nintendo brushed off iOS as a viable gaming platform, but now they clearly see it as a threat.

    Like the OP said, it might be an interesting idea for Nintendo to make some good mini games just to wet the appetite of the young generation of gamers on iOS. But they will resist doing anything like that until the very end; i.e. They are forced to make games on other platforms because of financial reasons, and they are not that desperate yet.
  24. Looon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    There's a lot of gimmicky crappy games that lack depth and replayability on the PSP & DS too
  25. MVallee macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would say Nintendo is wrong for ignoring iOS all together but not wrong for still having their own hardware.

    Nintendo has a HUGE catalogue of classic games that really arnt earning them any money. Why not port some old classic games to iOS and make some money that way? If people are already playing Nintendo games on jailbroken devices they are obviously easy enough to port over. If they are worried about the tactile feel of buttons in their old games, release something like the iCade that Atari has or a dock connector controller. Or even let the Wii remote double as a Bluetooth controller like it does on Jailbroken iPhones.

    If they only released the classic games, hardcore gamers would still buy the hardware to get the new release games. That way they don't hurt their current systems but they make money on games that probably earn next to nothing for them now.

    I'd pay $5 a pop for original Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong etc. and I know millions of others would as well.

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