Why Nintendo Has No Interest In Mobile Phones

Why Nintendo Has No Interest In Mobile Phones

Though Nintendo has, notably, struck an arrangement with AT&T to provide free wireless Internet hotspot access, the company remains adamant that it isn’t entering the mobile phone business.

“We don’t want to be in the phone business,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, told CNN. “We don’t see that as an opportunity. Phones are utilities. Phones are not by definition entertainment devices.”

Moreover, Fils-Aime candidly said Nintendo’s lack of competitive advantage in that market space is why the games maker has no desire to follow Microsoft or Sony into it. “It makes sense to enter a market when you feel you’ve got some sort of competitive advantage,” he told CNN. “From Nintendo’s perspective, we don’t see that we have a competitive advantage in telephony.”

CNN pursued the Nintendo-phone angle noting that some analysts expect smartphones and other mobile devices to cut into the handheld gaming market. Despite that, the 3DS’ launch this past weekend was more successful than either the GameBoy or the original DS’ launch.

“We have no desire to get into telephony,” Fils-Aime said. “We believe that we will earn our way into someone’s pocket without having to offer that (phone capability) as an additional factor.”

Why Nintendo isn’t making a phone [CNN]


  • “Phones are utilities. Phones are not by definition entertainment devices.”

    Really nintendo? What about PCs, are they not by definition entertainment devices because they can do other things too? Well done on meeting the changing marketplace nintendo -.-

  • “Phones are utilities. Phones are not by definition entertainment devices”

    Nice short sighted view. Way to aknowledge the recent industry shift in this direction.

  • Gaming will only last so long as a way to make money on phones. Gaming on a smartphone is easy to do for free. Nintendo are smart enough to realise this. Other companies can spend a few years making all the coin they want but soon enough no coin will be had and all the development and production money will go into a huge sinkhole and those profits they made will be lost. Pirating smartphone games is easier than NES and SNES simulators.

    Hell, even the average joe can pirate a movie these days. Pirating smartphone games? It’s a cakewalk in comparison.

  • Why does this smartphone vs Nintendo argument crop up so often?

    I know, as ‘adult’ gamers we often forget that there are people who buy 3DSes beyond our own demographic.

    A HUGE percentage of DS owners are children. Children who probably don’t have expensive 24 month smartphone plans. And for whom, a rather inexpensive, chunky and durable games console will always be the best option. It’s the same reason why many kids use cheap dumbphones with prepaid plans. Good battery life, reliable and relatively ‘disposable.’

    And no, I don’t think the iPod touch is a legitimate gaming platform either.

  • At least he’s was honest; Nintendo wouldn’t be able to compete with the larger phone makers even if they did want to go into that market. I don’t think anyone would want to buy a “Nintendo phone”. It even sounds silly.

    Nintendo are pretty damn good at what they do will dominate or have a significant share of the handheld market for a long time to come.

  • A games company making a phone is something playstation would do (and have… i think). This kind of thing would ruin Nintendo’s name I think.

    That being said, I think the next move for Nintendo handhelds is to wirelessly connect to televisions. That way you can play at home on the big screen, put the controller in your pocket and get on the train and continue your game. Sure, Ipad can kind do it now… but we need a REAL controller. With joysticks. 😉

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