Nintendo prepare for Apple threat following victory over Sony
Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo president, has allegedly been telling his senior executives that the battle against Sony has been won, and that they should focus their attention on the threat that’s being posed from Apple with their iPad and iPhone. That’s very complacent, don’t you think?
The Wii and DS have been incredibly successful for Nintendo, with both having considerably outsold Sony’s hardware options – the PS3 and PSP – so Iwata can rightly be proud of his company’s success.
The Wii, however, is ageing badly: its sales were down 21% last year and games developers have continued to shun the console in favour of the more powerful PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS3, in contrast, is going from strength to strength as top developers continue to be attracted to the console, and with Sony regularly adding new features such as 3D, Vidzone and the Video Store, there is a lot for consumers to get excited about.
Nintendo will be more concerned that Sony are on the verge of releasing PlayStation Move, a more responsive and accurate motion controller than the Wii Remote. The release of Sony’s motion controller is going to leave Nintendo with few notable features to sell to prospective customers.
Yet, the Wii doesn’t seem to be a priority for Nintendo as their focus is on winning a portable games market which has been blown wide open by the arrival of the iPhone. They hope that upcoming 3DS will continue the success of previous DS models.
Sure, Iwata is essentially correct, the PS3 will never catch up with the Wii because its lead is too huge, but once consumers start to move to another brand it’s hard to get them to return. The long-term threat from Sony is definitely there, and complacency from Nintendo in this generation could be very harmful for them in the next. Iwata should remember that the battle is never won in business.
Alternatively, Nintendo may have some exciting new games and hardware to unveil at E3. Maybe he has reason to be confident. We’ll find out soon enough.