Iwata: Dedicated handheld gaming is “not going to go away”

Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 07:36 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata is adamant that smartphones won’t gobble up the market previously reserved for dedicated portable gaming devices.

“I’m not saying there aren’t people out there who aren’t going to purchase a dedicated handheld device based on the availability and the fun factor in their smartphones,” Iwata told Kotaku in a lengthy interview.

“I’m not saying that that’s not true. I do want to say that there are still people buying our devices and that is also factual.”

Iwata said he recognises that the future of dedicated handheld gaming devices has changed with competition from smartphones and tablets, meaning Nintendo isn’t just squaring off against platform holders and publishers any more. Nevertheless, he still believes the 3DS can carve out a market for itself.

“The games available for smartphones, I’m not saying that none of these are interesting, rich or fun experiences, because I know that there are some,” he said.

“One way we can ensure that there’s a market for handheld gaming devices is by continuing to bring out entertaining and engaging software that will provide users experiences that they cannot get on these other devices.”

Iwata said games can be time-fillers, or satisfy a desire for a rich experience; presumably Nintendo aims for the second category.

“I think that consumers who are willing to pay money for a gaming experience are looking for something that is more rich and are willing to spend some of that valuable time on that experience,” he said.

“I don’t think we’re going to see the desire to have, again, rich and deep sort of gaming experiences – we’re not going to see that vanish. That’s not going to go away.”



  1. Dragon246

    Maybe, but I would prefer a all in one device. It would have been amazing if I could have made calls using vita. Unfortunately the requirements of good portable gaming like big screen in vita or dual screens in 3ds and physical controls are lacking in smartphones. Unless a radical redesign of smartphones take place, I would continue to buy dedicated handhelds.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ASBI

    @1 it is not about the design, cuz Ive seen people make phone calls using the Galaxy Tab 7″

    + they shouldnt worry about the design, I can use a wireless bluetooth headphone to make phone calls

    Im telling you, if Vita was a phone it wouldve been a day one purchase for me.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. manamana

    He is 100% correct and that’s why nintendo isn’t going to show Mario and such on iOS/Android. @Dragon should’ve looked funny with one end of Vita on your ears and the other on your mouth. Nearly the size of the first mobile phone I guess. ;-)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dragon246

    Completely true .
    That’s why i said redesign is required .

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gadzooks!

    With the huge numbers Ninty continue to shift it’s obvious the demand is still there for dedicated handhelds if the focus is right, and they know how to design devices and games that match the way people want to game on handhelds.

    Sony however, fundamentally do not understand the market. Forcing excessive, unwanted tech on people along with showy shallow games… Well, the proof is right there for all to see in the pathetic Vita sales figures.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. xxJPRACERxx

    Last time I used a cell phone was ~15 years ago. I’m glad to be free now. I have a tablet when I want to read a pdf or some web sites while taking a shit but gaming on this is pure crap.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Gheritt White

    “If Vita was a phone it wouldve been a day one purchase for me.”

    And for a lot of other people too, I think. Sony missed a golden opportunity there.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. manamana

    @7 I’m wondering if it’s true. I can hardly imagine nor do I have had the need to make/receive a call whilst playing on my handhelds (be it PSP, DSi, Vita, 3DS/XL).

    #8 2 years ago

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