Nintendo president says Sony's 3G approach will hurt sales

The handheld console wars will be reignited this year with the launch of Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PSP successor, still referred to as NGP (Next Generation Portable). Both companies are pursuing different strategies when it comes to modern mobile gaming, and Nintendo's Satoru Iwata thinks Sony's 3G/semi-smartphone approach may be prohibitively expensive.

Iwata specifically called out 3G connectivity in a recent interview. While it is cool to be able to access the internet from anywhere a mobile data connection exists, doing so costs additional money. Iwata said that by charging users a monthly fee to use the device to its full potential, it already loses some of its appeal and possible user base.

The 3DS, he contends, is a different animal from both NGP and smartphones. "We're making software that is packed with the kinds of surprises and enjoyment that only the 3DS can deliver," promised Iwata. He also wants to see the 3DS achieve and surpass the DS' 140 million units sold worldwide. "We'd like to increase this even further with the 3DS," he said. A tall order, for sure.

Nintendo is in a precarious position as the only console manufacturer that doesn't dabble in other consumer electronics as well. The market is shifting, with smartphones becoming an increasingly popular part of the industry. Microsoft has Windows Phone 7 and Sony Ericsson is working on the Xperia phone, giving Nintendo's competitors a chance to cash in on the mobile gaming sector.

Nintendo, meanwhile, has to hope consumers will still find value in dedicated devices that primarily play video games.

[Source: Andriasang]

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Mar 1, 2011


NGP Nintendo


  • NeelEvil - March 2, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Sorry, that was meant for Chris928
  • jmcgrotty - March 2, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    " hopefuly the Sony will give up on the crud consoles they have been pumping out lately." That would be the system they released before the PSX, then, right?
  • NeelEvil - March 2, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    @04whim- That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. The Nintendo president is a fanboy? Not just doing his job, no? Do you expect Ronald MacDonald to wax lyrical about how good the Whopper is as well?
  • sgloomy - March 2, 2011 4:26 a.m.

    not really excited about any smartphone any company may put out, mobile gaming is pretty much in apple's hands, everyone else should just move on, same goes for tablets.
  • Jesse1066 - March 2, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    Xbox Live and World of Warcraft are doing pretty well, and they both require subscriptions. Not that this is exactly like that. 3G on NGP will probably cost more. I'm pretty sure it's optional, though.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - March 2, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    Sony has a thing for stupidly expensive hardware, after all. And we all know how popular the subscription idea is for CoD, so imagine what would happen if an entire console nearly required a subscription to 3G to play. I think Iwata did hos homework on this one.
  • Cyberninja - March 2, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    once the games are out i will decide which is better seeing as i play my ds and psp equally.
  • shawksta - March 2, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    I think Iwata is trying to let everyone remember what Sony did to the PSP, they focused too much on tec and not enough on Games, which is what we buy it for. He's pitying them but most likely Sony will get the NGP right this time. Windows 7 and the sony phone are what they are, PHONES, pushing them to be gaming devices to too much and will throw away their values and lose its space for anything else,I cant stand anything that thinks they can make any phone a gaming device, as far as GAMING goes, they'll die out with just 3DS and NGP standing
  • conchking - March 2, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    Hey can anyone give me a straight answer? I want to get a 3ds eventually, but should I hop on board with it on launch day or wait until something worthwhile is announced. So far the only interesting games are SSF4 and PES3D. I guess I can also pick up some ds games but that is sort of anti-climatic.
  • chrisat928 - March 2, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    "I don't know how they're implementing 3G, but it's not good." So, Iwata is just a fanboy like everyone else? Complaining about something he has no idea about.
  • MkLangley - March 2, 2011 12:54 a.m.

    Let him worry about his device. 3G is a welcome addition on my book, not just for gaming but for apps like skype or web browsing, checking the psn store at any time.
  • Robusken - March 2, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    Do we really need to argue over the other things the handhelds are going to offer? I really hope that it just comes down to the games making it or breaking it for these two.
  • 04whim - March 2, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    So the Nintendo president is saying that Sony's will be crap and that Nintendo's will be good? How is that even news? :S Personally looking forward to the NGP far more than the 3DS.
  • mockraven - March 2, 2011 12:45 a.m.

    I thought the 3G part was optional, anyway. Can't remember for sure, though. Ah well, it's the games that make the handheld, the games! Show me the games, then we'll talk.
  • jpbr139 - March 2, 2011 12:42 a.m.

    Iwata-san is so right, Nintendo doesn't need a "smart"-handheld, just playing video games is enough (at least for me)
  • ombranox - March 2, 2011 12:37 a.m.

  • Eliath - March 2, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    I don't care what Nintendo or Sony thinks of each other. I will wait and see what developers think of the next portables and make my decision then. Personally, I do not see much merit to the 3DS yet.

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