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Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata concedes that smartphones and tablets have changed the industry

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata concedes that smartphones and tablets have changed the industry
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has conceded that smartphones and tablets have changed the gaming industry considerably, and reiterated his belief that Nintendo can see off this competition simply by offering gaming experiences that cannot be achieved on mobile.

Asked by the Independent whether he felt that competition from iOS was weakening Nintendo's grip on portable gaming, Iwata responded: "I don't think this is a central factor."

"I think it's much more about our lack of ability to release software in a timely matter that will motivate people to go out and buy our gaming hardware.

"But obviously smartphones and tablets have changed the environment that we operate in and we can no longer offer some kinds of games experiences that couldn't also easily be offered on a smartphone, so we need to differentiate and offer something exclusive."

Just a phase

Although Iwata admitted that smartphones and tablets had been disruptive, then, he was keen to downplay the extent of this disruption.

"We've seen this in the past. As personal computers became cheaper, people were saying 'we don't need more home consoles then do we?' Then, with the advance of mobile phones, people were questioning the need for dedicated gaming machines and now with smartphones again."

"I think if we can offer exclusive entertainment that cannot be replicated on other devices then we’ll have the chance to survive."

Looking after the middleman

Iwata – who famously argued that low-cost mobile gaming was devaluing videogames – also took a sly shot at Apple when asked about the Nintendo eShop, and the company's approach to the digital distribution of its software.

"We have the example of Apple out there that's very successful which is based on skipping the intermediates and therefore increasing profitability or lowering prices.

"That's one way of approaching [digital distribution]. Our way is quite different, we still think retailers are important."

[source: The Independent]

Staff Writer

PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013

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