Nintendo Frowns On (Most) Cheap iPhone Games

Nintendo would love for us to keep paying $US40 or so for portable games. Never mind that $1.19 stuff on iPhone. Those games are a threat to Nintendo? Well, they're a "risk," Nintendo says.

"I actually think one of the biggest risks today in our gaming industry are these inexpensive games that are, candidly, disposable from a consumer standpoint," Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime told Game Trailer TV host Geoff Keighley in the Spike TV series' latest episode. File-Aime was on the show to promote the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's next portable gaming machine, which launches next month in America.

Fils-Aime wouldn't call $1.19 iPhone staple Angry Birds disposable. He called that one "under-priced". But, he said, these cheap games create a "mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be $2". He said that 3DS launch-window submarine game Steel Diver, on the other hand, is a "full-fledged" game that will be worth its $US40 or so asking price.

Nintendo has sold some superb small downloadable games on its DSi system for $US5 or less. But those aren't the kind of games Nintendo is currently promoting for its next system. Nintendo is pushing full-priced store-bought games like Nintendogs + Cats and Pilotwings Resort. Of a lot of those cheap iPhone games, Fils-Aime cracked: "I actually think some of those games are overpriced for one or two dollars, but that's a whole different story."

Nintendo's mocked bad, cheap iPhone games. Sony did so before them. Are those games so bad for gamers? Do they set expectations for game prices so low that we'll refuse to pay for more expensive, grander games to be made? Or are those cheap games only a problem for the companies that prefer to sell video games for $US40 and up. We shall see.

Nintendo 3DS Preview Special - February 4, 2011 [GTTV]


    I say there's room for both. I will be enjoying the best of both worlds, 3DS for its awesome bigger titles, and my android mobile for quick sessions of Crystal Defenders! But I could understand if a child plays these cheap titles on his iphone, wants something more. He checks out the 3DS and is blown away by the game prices! Nintendo ate lucky that they posses the most popular names in gaming, that people will pay full price for them. (I'm one of them!)

      That should be nintendo are lucky, not ate lol

        They ate Lucky? Poor Lucky, we shall never forget him.

        Or remember him for that matter.

    It'd be nicer if they also made quality games which launched at the $10USD mark. Steam's amazing indie selection has me looking at $110AUD AAA console releases with disdain.

      $110 ? You need to stop shopping at EB.

    “I actually think one of the biggest risks today in our gaming industry are these inexpensive games that are, candidly, disposable from a consumer standpoint,”

    I'm sorry Reggie, did you just name 60 - 70% of the Wii gaming market which is at the current time SHOVELWARE?

      “I actually think some of those games are overpriced for ten or twenty dollars, but that’s a whole different story”...?

      Yeah, full priced shovelware!

    Dirt cheap 2$ games and I dont mean that in a bad way have a place in the industry but when you start offering them for the price of a newspaper the gamers tend to expect all games to that cheap, if anything this will make publishers give more thought into the worth of the games they are selling and have a more balanced approach to pricing. Angry birds - no more than $5 but wiiware games are very overpriced with a few exceptions - World of goo being one....

    I actually say most iPhone games are OVER priced. Most of them are barley worth the bandwidth to download, they are just cheap little distractions. You can play most of them (or at least, the games that they ripped off) for free on newgrounds anyway.

    It's not really a threat to real video games, as it's like comparing a ball-and-cup to a game of cricket.

    Piss off Nintendo. You're the problem with gaming. while other companies are striving to develop something imaginative and innovative, you re-hash piss-poor sequals to Mario and Zelda. A lot of cheap mobile games are also developed by amature game companies with limited funding. Stop slagging off the little guy. You're the Woolworths of the gaming industry.

    This analogy seems to fall over when you try to apply it to another market.

    Ferrari make cars for over half a million, Hyundai Getz is worth $13,000-ish. I know which one I can afford and which one I dream about driving.

    McDonalds sell you a Burger, Fries and a Drink for under $10 (say a Quarter Pounder and I don't eat McDonalds). A good sized Steak and Chips in a decent Restuarant is around $30 to $50. People don't go to McDonalds, than avoid this restuarant because it's more expensive.

    With cheap games, I know I may buy a $2 game to pass the time. But will it be a must have title? Will it be an epic game that people will talk about for generations?

    And just to throw something out there, how many kids have a Smart phone? They are usually on contracts which have massive totals. iPhone with Telstra $58 a month, 2 year contract, min total $1,392.

    If I buy a portable, I don't have to pay something every month, it has no minimum cost. Although if I look out how much I spent on my DS, over it's lifetime probaly far more than $1400. Then again I can trade my portable games in (I don't, but some people like to).

    And yeah, I take full advantage of Steam sales and indy games sold for $10 that put $100 games to shame.

    So cheap disposable games from Apple are bad but if it's an over priced, lower quality piece of junk at a premium price it's OK? Compare Call of Duty WaW on DS ($50 when launched) to Call of Duty WaW Zombies on iDevices ($6). The iDevice game is far superior because regardless of how good developers are, Nintendo hardware is pathetic.

    If the 3DS combines both; a cartridge-based system of 'real' games and a download WiiWare for light titles and ROMs, I'll be happy.

    It also better mean that their AAA titles are worth 40x more than the downloadable ones. At the very least, Android and iOS will keep Nintendo's pricing on their toes.

    iOS and Droid games can afford to be US$0.99 or US$3.99 because they are for multipurpose devices that almost everyone has at least one of. Almost no-one buys an iPad JUST for games, its part of the overall pitch. The bigger install base, brings more (mostly casual) customers and the pricing structure is based on sheer volume of digital distribution. Sell 20million at 5c profit each and you still make $1million.

    If you have a DSi, you have bought a gaming specific tech item, and should reasonably expect a fully fleshed-out game at retail for US$40, retail costing is another beast- manufacturing, packaging, shipping- and this comes into play at bricks&mortar stores (Price parity between disc and digital versions is another story- and one for another troll session).

    But Nintendo have gotten the overpriced shovelware mostly from 3rd party devs, esp THQ and Ubisoft- and yes that is partyl N's problem for licencing them. Shitty indistinguishable minigames copying WiiPlay and (allegedly) fitness titles ripping off WiiFit... Most all of Ninty's games are full and great-yes even WiiMusic, they've just been too sparsely populated. No Zelda for 4 years. No Kart for 4 years. 2 (eerily similar) 3D Marios and 1 sidescroller Mario. 1 DK. 1 Monster Hunter.

    Of Corse ANGRY BIRDS isn't one of them and "Underpriced" because its coming the 3DS soon. What a w*nker!! Seriously... it wont be underpriced for long when it gets released on the DS.

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