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Nintendo not afraid of Apple? Maybe it should be, says survey

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Portable gaming is Nintendo. Whether you're spending your morning commute with a PSP, Nintendo DS, or Neo-Geo Pocket (RIP), to most passers-by, that little slab of plastic in your hands is a Gameboy. And oh, hey, 129 million sales. Nintendo's throne is unassailable, right?

But we can remember a time when console gaming was the same way. "Wanna play Nintendo? Etc." And according to a survey by Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, Nintendo might be well served by remembering how that whole thing turned out.

The survey (via Fortune), which asked people whether or not they'd be buying certain tech toys or an iPad, found that 17 percent of respondents planned on sailing right past the handheld videogame aisle and into Apple's open arms.

Last month, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime seemed to think Apple was about as much of a threat to his company's portable supremacy as the fruit its named after.

Meanwhile, Nintendo recently reported a steep decline in overall sales - especially in Europe, where sales were down a whopping 34 percent.

This is far from proof that Nintendo - and, to a lesser extent, Sony - needs to pack it in, but neither should the console-maker drop its guard. Otherwise, in a year or so, we'll probably start hearing conversations along these lines:

"My iPad browses the web, stores books and magazines, plays games, gives me directions - honestly, pretty much everything. What's your 3DS thing do?"

"Uh, you know how some cheesy kids' birthday cards look 3D if you hold them the right way? That."

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