News Article

Nintendo Insists That Apple's iPad Isn't a Threat

Posted by Damien McFerran

Reggie Fils-Aime: iPad isn't even a mouthful, while DS offers both "snacks" and "meals"

In case you hadn't noticed, Apple launched a new piece of hardware recently.

The iPad is, according to Apple fans, the best thing since sliced bread but Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime isn't so keen. In fact he's been downright disparaging about the new device:

Apple is not having an impact on Nintendo when you look at our business, our volume, our hardware, our software. I've seen data that suggestions that while consumers are constantly downloading Apps, they play with them for a few times and then they are moving on to the next thing.

Clearly it doesn't look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads.

If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, (Apple's) aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get.

So there. Take that, Steve Jobs.


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User Comments (57)



JayArr said:

I agree the iPad isn't a gaming first device. So I don't see it taking away sales from Big N.



M00se said:

ipad is not a gaming device. calling a tablet a gaming device is stupid. and the games on it dont even come close to the titles on the ds, they have failure games like nfs shift, mirrors edge and such. for once reggie is right!



Deviant_Mugen said:

"If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, (Apple's) aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get."

Oh, snap! Reggie went straight for the jugular...



AVahne said:

well its not a gaming platform, but some people actually thinks its a great one(wtf?)



JakobG said:

Of course Reggie says he doesn't see the iPad as a threat, it's advertising.
Yet I find it ignorant to call the iPad a weak gaming device; it may does not feature cartridges or such, but there are some large games available at the App Store, such as Street Fighter 4.
Also, the DSi is also supposed to handle utilities, an area which clearly rules the iPad.
At last, the iPad's hardware is superior to the DSi in every aspect.

Oh, and the iPad wins at Virtual Console as well.



Damo said:

I sure hope you're wearing flame-retardant underpants, JakobG.



V8_Ninja said:

Kinda agree. While many people will download apps and play them, they won't really play them till the end. I recommend watching this video to try and get at what I'm saying. I don't completely agree with Tommy Refenes, but I do agree that most games are more-or-less made with the thought of money first and gameplay second.



StarDust4Ever said:

LOL, at first when I looked at the artical, I thought it was a typo for ipod

Apple is not a serious gaming device; it is more like an all-in-one: It does a lot of different things, but doesn't excel at any one thing. Nintendo is first and foremost about games - anything else is merely a bonus. Apple try to do everything, but to them, games are a "bonus" not a primary means. But if Apple really wanted to go the Sony/Microsoft route, they have the finances and brand loyalty to become a serious competitor in the gaming market. But I don't think they will, because much like Nintendo, Apple tends to "think outside the box". Also, if they try to go down too many paths, they risk saturating their on market, meaning different product lines would begin to compete rather than work in tandem.



JakobG said:

Also, at the end it's about who makes more money.
It's just a different approach to games.



MekkaGodzilla said:

As much as I hate Apple, ignoring the threat it is would be foolish. Obviously, Reggie is just taking this stance for the media. The iPhone/Pod/Pad might have a huge list of shovelware, the appstore is really miles ahead from the DSiware store it terms of usability and quantity/quality of games.



Nintendoftw said:

iPad is no threat at all to Nintendo nor Sony... I think Reggie's big-headedness was needed for this one.



Moco_Loco said:

Personally, I'm still trying to figure out any possible reason I would want an oversized iPod Touch when I could get a real laptop with tons of memory and a lot more functionality for the same price. I find the iPad puzzling at best.



SilverBaretta said:

I love Apple, but I don't think the iPad was a good choice for them. Unless they can upgrade it to something more than a tablet with Netflix, I don't see this being a competitor to any major gaming company.



Bankai said:

You know, blind denial doesn't really do you any favours, Nintendo. The iPad has plenty of potential as a gaming device - I recall similar denials coming from Nintendo over the iPhone threat, and yet... there it is, with a good library of games.

Of course the iPad hasn't got a huge game library yet. IT JUST LAUNCHED. Sales are strong, and I can guarantee that games developers will take it quite seriously in the future.



Amrulez said:

Lets face it we all love nintendo and the best games are on the DS but the App store doodoos all over DSiware due to the incompetence of Nintendo much like their online plan also sucks. The Ipad or Iphone have a ton of good games and quite a few that play just as well as games on the DS. The Ipad is not a threat but its nothing to be dismissed either. Still its apples and oranges to be honest.



wizball-23 said:

Hmm... Looking at my DS library on the shelf behind me, there's an awful lot of games that I imagine would play just as well—if not better—on an iPad or iPhone. Many of them are favourites of mine: Electoplankton, Ouendan, Zookeeper, Trauma Centre...

Also, it seems to me that the iPhone, iPod Touch, and now the iPad, are responsible for getting a lot of new people interested in video games. I keep on meeting people—"non-gamers"—who have become addicted to Plants Vs Zombies or Air Traffic Controller or Field Runners.

(As far as the iPhone OS not being a "viable profit platform"—oh boy... Tell that to the Canabalt lads, who are still making "pretty decent money" on a port of a free online flash game!)



Slapshot said:

If this was coming out of Sony or Microsoft about the iPad and the iPad was a Nintendo product there would be a WHOLE different reaction here!

Why is Reggie even making this statement? I have a Android.... I have SEVERAL fun casual games that are FREE! They dont touch average DS game by no means. I dont see people thinking..... Hmmmmm will I buy a iPad or a DSi!

Reggie you sound much smarter commenting over your REAL competition!



Cheezy said:

I honestly thought the iPad was a dumb idea. I can't imagine walking around school using that thing, and listening to music with it. It wouldn't even fit in my pocket! While it does have some certain new features, I'm fine with my DS and iPhone. The DS for games and the iPhone for everything else and a few more games. It's way to huge to carry around, at least for listening to music, anyway.



DK_vs_KK said:

You can find some pretty fun Apps on the I-Pad, but they don't provide near the same amount of content or value that a Nintendo DS game can provide (as long as you're buying the right DS games). If your looking for more value and content in your games, buy a Nintendo DS. If you're looking for short, but fun diversions, buy an I-pad or I-phone.



aaronsullivan said:

I have an iPad. Games on it are awesome. Not really a threat to the DS, however. More like a continued broadening of the gamer base a la the Wii.

The DS is for school age people. No one else would put up with the dinky screens and cramped controls. I'm not disparaging the DS, either. There's phenomenal innovation and games that I love on it. I barely play it though. You just can't share the experience. I have kids and I like to hang out with people while playing games. The Wii has been awesome for this, the DS, not so much.

In our household right now, though? It's all iPad. First of all, for me at least, it is THE best way to browse the web bar none. It's the screen guys. It's just big enough and sharp enough to replace a TV, yet you can hold it in your hand. You can also sit next to someone and they can see it just as well as you.

This means games are fun to share on this. It's not uncommon to have a couple people leaning in and participating at the same time and some games even have multiplayer, using half of the screen each. Racing games with tilt are immersive in a way I haven't experienced on other platforms. Something about holding it right out there in front of you makes a big difference. Online play is easy -- hey, no friend codes! -- and plentiful. There are some deep games on the platform now. In the same way we know not to disparage the Wii because of all the shovelware, you shouldn't do the same for the iPhone/iPad platform.

Reggie is defending Nintendo and specifically DS in ways that make sense. The 3DS will satisfy most teens that might start to think about an iPad, but unless that thing has a very large screen and/or a couple of killer franchise games, it's not going to appeal to me personally.

What I REALLY want is for Nintendo to make some games for the iPad. lol.

The whole time I've been writing this lengthy post, my 4.5 year old has been playing with the iPad. Usually she is begging to play NSMBW -- she's really good at it! She's not going to give up on Nintendo, but iPad offers her a lot that Nintendo doesn't.

There's much more I could say on this but, bottom line: I'm guessing that if you all received an iPad for free you'd be happy to put down your DS for awhile.



Slapshot said:

@aaron.... great little summary of the iPad. I actually might invest in one myself as one of my laptops just kicked the bucket awhile back. I need something other than my wifes laptop and my phone that runs the Internet really well, so I dont have to sit at my Desktop. Ive been looking at the smaller Laptops that are like 10in wide but the iPad looks really great for it.



Hodn said:

Yeah it´s a nice "toy" and everyone who is interested on electronic stuff at all probably likes it but honestly it´s still a pretty expensive device especially for what is possible on it (or should i say what is not possible ), you could buy 2 "real" consoles for that money or a much better laptop (where you can show your friends too what´s going on ).
I just think "most" games are not made for a touch screen of course puzzling and such stuff are perfect for it but i mean "real" games.

However i admit that i don´t like Apple at all and all this iPhone, iPod or whatever i... are imo only hyped things (or peoples just want to be "IN" or so) , Apple is just very good in marketing this stuff but they are not the only ones with touch screens anymore.



Rhansley64 said:

Ipad isn't a threat to Nintendo, in fact the whole Apple VS Nintendo thing on various Gaming Websites is a joke. For one thing Ipod is a music device, Ipod Touch is still a music device with semi multi media function same goes with Iphone with added Telephone App, my point is Ipad maybe a nice device and all but if anyone compared it to a Game Console / Handheld they need their brain checked since they probably think PC is Game Console as well. For start Ipad is competing against most likely Laptops aka Microsoft Windows is Apple's prime opponent anything else is just a second thought. Second Ipad's price proved Apple is asking to much for system that should be be $300 (that's just my opinion anyway). Third Ipad may run some big titles but for as i'm concern there just Casual games that nobody cares and PC ports well that's just better off playing on PC or any system with "Game Controller" as a option for playing games, seriously can anyone play games without feeling awkward knowing you have to use a Screen to play games heck at least the DS Styles makes the whole Touch Screen option fun but even that Handheld system has buttons / option on several games that uses the features. Ipad is just for Internet browsing and work everything else is a second thought even the whole E-books idea sound expensive if anyone wants virtual books to read and at a cheap price should get the 100 classic books collection on DS that's coming soon to the US region on june 15 and if i remember correctly EU and AUS already have this software in their region.



Bankai said:

Rhansley - reading books on the DS is nothing compared to reading them on a real e-reader. The iPad is only one step behind the Kindle as an e-reader. The DS is about 10000000000000 steps behind.

The iPad is a general use device, yes, but that's not to say it won't be really good at games. It'll do games well, e-books well, Web browsing well... and while it won't be #1 over the specialists in each field, to say people won't be attracted to converged media like the iPad is crazy.



WiiFreedom said:

Oh come on! First Viacom is threatening Youtube, now Apple VS Nintendo? ....I'm gonna throw up.... X(



JebbyDeringer said:

The iPad has an identity crisis. It really should be more of a computer and less of a gaming device. I can see some uses for an iPad but gaming wouldn't be one of them.



Sean_Aaron said:

I was writing off the iPad and now I'm seriously considering one. The squashed screens and crappy touchpads on netbooks make them a non-starter for me and laptops are simply to large/heavy for me to want to carry one with me regularly just to write the odd article or read email and a phone feels too small/fiddly for same.

But I don't think I'd be playing any games on it - I simply prefer the DSi LL for that. Now where the iPad is a threat is someone who's not necessarily that serious about gaming on the go, but might have considered it if the iPad didn't exist. To be frank if I didn't have the DSi LL, I would probably fit into that category, but having the DSi already I'm not going to ditch it if I get an iPad.

In the long term if this kind of device becomes more commonplace then NIntendo could have a smaller share of the marketplace, but I don't think it's a "DS killer" by any stretch of the imagination.



JustYourAverageBleh said:

That was a very good analogy, Reggie.
He's right. even if there are so many good content that can be found in the App Store, nothing beats a classic button-masher (or a wii-wiggler.)



These game journalists are so funny and pathetic. Now that Sony and MS, the two "mighty" giants of gaming were destryed by the "inferior" Nintendo they are now resorting in another company like Apple...even if they have NOTHING to do with Nintendo

Ipod is not the first non-portableconsolemobile device with games and isn't either the most succesful so why this obession for comparing them? Is ridiculous.

But again, game journalism has become more and more ridiculous.



jdarrell said:

I basically agree with Sean. When you're used to a tablet, it's hard to go back to settling for a netbook or laptop.

Tablets are fun to write on, and have respectable games, but Nintendo is better off focusing on their own market, and that's why a device without buttons isn't a threat.



JakobG said:

I spent ages writing another comment, but then the internet connection broke as I submitted, loosing it all.
Reggie can't compare a DSi with a computer.



aaronsullivan said:

@32. Hodn
Sharing a laptop screen is nowhere near as nice as sharing an iPad. If you have an Apple Store near you when the iPad arrives bring a friend and look at it together. You'll see what I mean.

@36. JebbyDeringer
Many people have a hard time understanding how an iPad would fit into their computing habits, but I wouldn't call that an identity crisis. It's a highly portable and convenient media consumption device. Just like any device, different people will find different uses, but most WILL find a use that is specifically great for them.

The primary uses we get out of it so far are web browsing in total comfort, playing games -- currently playing Labyrinth 2, Color Bind (not a typo), Real Racing HD, Tap Tap Radiation, DropZap, Pocket Legends -- creative fun like drawing -- Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, DrawingPad (for daughter), Aqua Forest -- and watching free TV.

I'm also going to try and use it at work for entering students grades and possibly doing some presentations with. Reading books on it is awesome so I'll be using it for that. I'm not that into comics, but it's a great comic reader.

I could see someone using the iPad primarily for games, though, too.

Those games listed above are all unique to the platform (iPhone/iPad) I believe and while some are a bit derivative -- really, what racing or rhythm game isn't -- they are all top notch and you don't miss a control pad in any of them (save pocket legends which would be nicer with a real analog stick). I also have Super Monkey Ball 2 on it and it is the best way to play that game for me. There's also some inexpensive casual games to spend a little time on here and there like We Rule and Air Hockey (great two player quick game).

Really, I haven't had that much time to play and I avoid some of the deeper ones at the moment (like Space Minor: Space Ore Bust and WarpGate and a bunch of hack and slash games) because I just don't have the time.

I bought Geometry Wars and have barely played it yet. It does illustrate that devs need a bit more time to get the analog stick (on screen) thing worked out. A physical pair would definitely be better for a game like that. A lot of the devs had no hardware to test on before launch, but that will change now.

I also have a board game called Small World on the iPad which you play with it resting on the table. Haven't had a chance to really try that out yet, but that type of potential has me pretty excited.

All in all, I've spent a little bit more money than one DS card on all these games ($40-ish?) and many of them were free or lite versions I haven't exhausted yet. Yes, I did pay $500+ for the hardware.



Kevin said:

He's right about the apps. Once you get enough of one you tend to move on to another.



Knux said:

None of Apple's handhelds are true gaming handhelds. However, the PSP and DS are true gaming handhelds.



Rhansley64 said:


That's when your wrong, PC doesn't count as a Game Console same goes for Cell Phone and Ipod Touch (If someone count it as a Handheld System) for start these devises falls under the Multi-media category, Game Console falls under Game market as primarily the main focused everything else is a second thought for example everyone who bought a Wii are 100% gamers compare to everyone who bought a PC about 5% are Gamers while 95% don't think of it as a Gaming device, that's a fact anyway as for


I can't really argue against you about the whole 100 Classic books collection being better on Ipad since i'll admit i won't criticized something if i haven't tried it but Ipad you are a correct is a Multi-Media device meaning there's no Prime market it's supposed to let you decide that.



aaronsullivan said:

@47. Kevin
How is this different from console and DS games? Most games are shorter on iPhone/iPad, but they are also far less expensive. I prefer a good solid experience even if it's short to one that is made artificially long.

@48. Hyper Knuckles
Without your personal definition of what a "true gaming handheld" is, your statement doesn't tell me anything. I play games on the iPad and it's really, really fun. I hold it my hand or hands, so the obvious definition is out. What's your definition?

For a group of people with a high percentage of Wii and DS advocates, I find the many knee-jerk reactions to the unconventional iPad inconsistent, at best.

I will admit that I don't look forward to anything on the iPad nearly as much as Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Other M, or the new Zelda. Maybe releasing my own game, but that's not a fair comparison.



aaronsullivan said:

So, that was it, then? Glad to entertain you, though I don't think I wasted any money on it. My family has run its 10 hour battery down every single day since we got it.

It gets interesting to classify platforms or non-gaming platforms when there are types of games that excel or are clearly unique on those platforms. PCs have RTS games, for instance and WoW. I would say racing games offer a unique experience and casual internet reliant games and obviously multitouch games excel on the iPad, games that rely on GPS are uniquely suited to iPhone.

So, they're not gaming "consoles", but they are the best at certain types of games. Kind of makes the "consoles" classification useless in some regards. Labels do that. They mislead. In fact the more rigidly you apply them, the more often they mislead.

Just sayin'



EdEN said:

Well, an iPad costs as much as 3 DSi XL +Tax, so I don't see the iPad being a purchase for me to take the place of the DSi. I don't even see it as a purchase to go next to it...



bbb7002004 said:

Two very different target audiences for two very different devices. I don't really see the ipad infringing on the handheld gaming market, especially this gen, and I don't see the DS taking over the "personal computing for people with a superiority complex and too much money" market.



CanisWolfred said:

Why would it even be a threat? They're marketing to different audience, who buy the products for completely different reasons. The iPad doesn't even count as "Competition".



aaronsullivan said:

I don't know much about you, so it's hard to give you a good reason to get an iPad. You browse the web, and it's the best way I know to do that. I presume you're a gamer, and there are many game experiences that are uniquely suited to the platform that you can't get anywhere else. That's the best I can do without knowing your interests. Maybe you like reading comics? It's the best device for that, easily.

As far as competition with the DS, there is none at the moment, really, but there is some overlap in the future. For instance, it's (well) rumored that there will be a 6-7" iPad for $400 in January of 2011. That would be far more desirable to the school age crowd, I think. More like carrying around a paperback than a notepad -- still very pricy if all you want to do is game on it.

Bigger game companies like Square are showing real interest with their iPhone-only RPG, Chaos Rings. And there is no downside to using a touch screen for RPGs, RTSs, Tower defense games, MMOs and others.

Plus, the platform is going to be more flexible for gaming. You'll have the tiny versions on iPod Touches for those who want ultra portable. Possibly the middle size for a tradeoff between portability and utility/immersion, and then the big honking iPad for lounging about in libraries, common rooms, coffee houses, and homes with friends.

There are clear advantages over the DS, as well. DSiWare ties you to a single device. iPhones and iPads tie you to an account that can share across multiple devices. (Buy once play on all your family's devices).

I gather that the graphics/gaming performance on the 3DS will go beyond what maybe even the current iPad can achieve, atm, but Apple updates hardware every year. So, by 2012 six months to a year after the 3DS, the new Apple devices may very well outperform it handily.

DS has a huge advantage on price, but if the 3DS is $200+ the gap narrows a bit. Especially considering the price of games. If you like the little games on DSiWare, you'd LOVE the App Store. There are already many free small games and some large deeper free games that rely on tempting you to buy things -- for the frugal it's an extra thrill to beat the system, by never paying. With iAds it will be even better for those that can tolerate ads -- with paid versions of those games if you can't. Not an option I've heard anybody predict on DS/3DS.

For most is-there-an-app-for-that questions on the DS the answer is no. The opposite is true for the Apple devices.

You can't listen to Pandora while playing a game on the DS and I'm guessing you won't be able to on the 3DS -- though that is speculative, I think it's a good bet. Right now, on Apple devices, you can play your dl music in most games, but come Summer (Fall for iPad) you'll be able to multitask on the Apple devices, so you can even take Skype calls in the middle of your game, check an email, look up directions to a meeting place, hang up and then get right back to the game that is waiting for you without a hiccup.

In short, give it a year and there will be plenty of overlap. I realize I made more of a case for the iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad competing with the DS/3DS rather than what the article is talking about. That's because the iPad alone really is no threat to the DS/3DS as many have said here, but it IS part of the larger platform that is going to keep Nintendo on its toes.

In the end, my bet is that Nintendo is going to have a strong foothold for a long time and the 3DS will do just fine. The 3D is turning out to be a nice checkbox that no other competitor will have filled for a long while. Whether you think it's gimmicky or not, I believe it's going to help.

Most importantly Nintendo isn't going to be making games for any other device and Nintendo still makes some of the best games, period. Nintendo knows a good gaming experience and can execute on providing it over and over. Apple relies on third parties for ALL gaming because its DNA is about focused consumer applications and hardware design excellence. I think this gives room for both companies to infiltrate into families simultaneously. I know they will in my family for the foreseeable future.

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