Nintendo's Not Worried About SmartGlass, Because You Only Have Two Hands

While E3 was occupying everyone's attention last week, Nintendo held an analyst event for their investors. During the Q&A, one meeting participant honed in on something many of us have been wondering since Microsoft unveiled their SmartGlass, and posed the question: "Are you worried about SmartGlass? How does Nintendo intend to differentiate its hardware system?"

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata responded with no more concern over Microsoft's new tech than he had earlier over Apple's.

Other companies all scrambling to mimic what Nintendo announced last year is a good sign, Iwata explained, signalling that they are on the right track. And as to a specific threat from Microsoft? Nintendo's banking on the fact that iPhones still don't have controllers, and that gamers need real control:

The question is, is what they're offering truly capable of doing everything that we're offering? From what we have seen so far, it looks to us as if what they are able to offer really is only a small facet of what the Wii U is capable of.

We know that the core users who love playing video games like controllers that you hold with two hands. But what you don't have on smartphones and tablets are the buttons and the control sticks that they prefer to use. Now, if they could hold a controller with two hands and hold a tablet or a smartphone with another hand, there would be no issue. Unfortunately, since it is not possible for humans to do that, you can't play a game in a way you can play with the Wii U.

Iwata raises a fair point about the impossibility of holding a smartphone and a game controller at the same time, something I may have, er, awkwardly discovered more than once in my life. We'll find out how good the controller really is when the Wii U launches at the end of the year.

2012 E3 Analyst Q & A Session [Nintendo]


    If the stupid americans hadn't cut stem cell research, we would be able to do that!

    I agree with Nintendo. Smartglass is more of an obtuse angle compared to an anagram of ORIGIN GAME 2 YEAH NSW WOOO

    And they weren't worried about Iphones impacting on DS sales either.

      What are you trying to say? The 3DS is literally the fastest selling console ever

    Have Nintendo not heard of this thing called... umm... Kinect?
    Do they not realise that you don't necessarily have to be holding a controller? There is definitely an opening for that type of genre where we could see games heavily oriented towards Kinect+Smartglass device.

    Nintendo - I'd be quaking in my boots if I were you. Wii U looks to be nothing more than a gimmick - just like the original Wii was for most gamers.

    I, like many other people I know of, have a Wii as well as an Xbox (or PS3). I can honestly say that besides the fact my 2yr old likes pushing the power button on and off the Wii constantly every day, the rest of my family has only ever turned it on to play it no more than 5 times in the past 4 years. The Xbox is almost always on... whether it's gaming, media streaming from the PC, Foxtel, ABC iView, Vevo. From what I've seen, Smartglass and Windows 8 is going to make this experience for me and my family a whole lot better. I just can't see how Wii U is going to hold its own against it in the long run.

      well, the 3ds has become the fastest selling console in various countries so, yeah, they had nothing to worry about.

        The 3ds had nothing to do with the original article or my comment. I was merely stating that I don't believe the Wii U concept will stand up in the long run against the other "full" consoles, in particular what's coming with Xbox and Smartglass. There's no denying that the 3ds is a very successful handheld console, as were its predecessors.

          wow, my bad, that was meant to reply to the comment above yours. Sorry bout that

        "Wii U looks to be nothing more than a gimmick – just like the original Wii was for most gamers."

        Yet you're saying Nintendo should be worried cause Xbox has Kinect? And the Kinect isn't a gimmick...heh.


          "Kettle, pot black and all that jazz"

      ...Kinect is good for controlling games? When did this happen?

      I think Nintendo know what they are doing. You say the Wii was a gimmick, as it may have been for many, but it still made a shedload of money. And thats the key, they make it cheap enough and intriguing enough to get lot of people to buy it in addition to other consoles. The Wii was never designed to go toe to toe with the 360 or the PS. Nintendo kind of have their own middle ground. Nintendo always design there machines for a roughly five year cycle. All the Wii U has to do is print them money for five years and it's done it's job.

      Kinect + smartglass still can't compete with the Wii U, you still don't have physical analog sticks and buttons. And what could you do with the kinect when you're holding your smartphone or tablet with 1 or both hands? Kick your feet around? Use it for nothing but voice commands? (Which is ironically what Microsoft has rendered the kinect to be this E3, nothing more than an expensive microphone).

      "From what I’ve seen, Smartglass and Windows 8 is going to make this experience for me and my family a whole lot better. I just can’t see how Wii U is going to hold its own against it in the long run."

      "Your family". Considering the ridiculous amount of Wiis sold and still consistently in use, you can't hold your own experience to the community at large. If I did that I'd say the Wii itself was a failure but it clearly wasn't.

      Kinect is just as, if not far more of a gimmick.

    Article heading says it all. Wii U is in good hands ....

    This Wii U thing will be a gimmick just like the Wii was.

    Accessory maker makes phone cradle for 360 controller, problem solved.

      and you know those will be the first things coming...

    If I were Nintendo I wouldn't be worried for the same reason psp-ps3 connectivity, gba-gc link and the wii classic controller didn't take hold... If it is not packed in ie garunteed to be in the lounge of every console owner, devs will not waste the resources required to support it.

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