Whenever a new product hits the shelves the first thing that certain sectors of the media do is try and find a rival product to compare it against. At the moment, the success of Apple’s iPhone and iPod range has led to comparisons with pretty much any electronic gadget released in the past few years, including MP3 players, mobile phones and (of course) games consoles.
Nintendo’s shiny new DSi – which adds all sorts of multimedia functionality to the existing DS design - is also being put in the ring with the iPod, but at a recent ‘Iwata Asks’ blog post, Nintendo main man Satoru Iwata had this to say:
Nintendo doesn't have any intention of directly competing with existing products, but the mass media has a tendency to portray everything as a rivalry between opposing companies. It seems (that) some people have the impression that we want to compete with cell phones or the iPod, that putting cameras or music players in our devices is out of character for us.
He certainly has a point – the DSi is going to be aimed mainly at the kiddies, and they probably can’t afford to drop the amount of cash for an iPhone and expensive mobile phone contract. However, for more mature gamers the DSi is almost certainly going to be compared to the iPhone, which itself is becoming a more attractive proposition for portable entertainment by the day, thanks to its games-packed App Store.
As these devices edge closer to the mythical ideal of ‘convergence’ by packing in as many options as possible (let’s not forget the DSi will boast MP3 support and has two digital cameras on-board) it’s inevitable that they’ll start stepping on the toes of other products that don’t necessarily inhabit the same market.