In May 2010, I wrote abut Nintendo vs Apple:
Get out that scam of selling plastic! There’s no need for it considering every DS Lite and DSi has had WiFi for years. So, yes, in three years Nintendo has been made to look like a dinosaur but declaring war is not the right thing to do.
Nintendo and Apple are not necessarily enemies and I find it simplistic for them to consider themselves to be enemies. Look at SEGA – which has brought Sonic, Golden Axe and Football Manager to the iPhone among others.
Yesterday, Don Reisinger wrote on Slashgear: Is Nintendo the Next SEGA?
SEGA’s decision to end its hardware development and focus solely on software was a controversial one at the time, but it made quite a bit of sense. The company had solid game properties, led by Sonic, and it knew that it could sell them on multiple platforms.
It’s a similar story for Nintendo. If the game company sees its hardware business start to take it down, it has the software it needs to make the landing a bit softer. With Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and others, Nintendo is arguably the most successful software developer in the game industry.
Imagine if Nintendo produced versions of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and others for iOS. 200 million devices out there. And a multi-player Super Smash Bros on iOS would easily sell for $9.99. Same for Mario Kart. And if they did the same for Android, they could easily trounce the recent lacklustre efforts of Sony to enter the app phone gaming market.
Since 2004, Nintendo have sold 146M DS units (of all types) and since 2006, they’ve sold 86M Wii units. (source: Wikipedia)
And this doesn’t need to be an either-or situation. You don’t have to give up all of the hardware and just make software – but doing some controlled licensing of the popular titles could provide a real kick to their fortunes. My kids show their own interests – they’d rather play Tiny Wings or Sooziz on iOS than any of the (much more expensive) DS titles.