The gaming war in the handheld space is about to get really ugly. Nintendo might have successfully launched its new glasses-free 3DS handheld in the U.S. to the tune of "best U.S. launch day sales records," but what about Sony's encroaching NGP, Apple's delectable iOS devices or Android? Is old Nintendo concerned?
To make a long answer short: no. Concerning Sony's quad-core NGP, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that it's not in competition with the 3DS...yet. Fils-Aime is dismissing it until Sony announces pricing and availability. He downplays the NGP's raw power as a feature that matters to gamers (Wii owners would disagree) and instead touts the importance of the entire experience, in which Fils-Aime says the 3DS has going for it — glasses-free 3D, taking pictures and taking video, features the NGP will have as well.
Addressing iOS and Android's apps eating into its market, Fils-Aime says that Nintendo's exclusive content and IPs such as Mario and Zelda will always be what separates its systems from smartphones. Nintendo might milk Mario Link till they keel over and die, but we all know that having first-party titles is not enough — platforms need a steady flow of good third-party titles to keep the momentum going.
For the most part, Nintendo's been able to hold onto its slice of the mobile gaming pie, but it'd be a little foolish to not tread cautiously with the NGP, iOS and Android looming ahead. The DS might have sold over 140 million units globally in its lifetime, but some games on the iOS and Android are seeing lofty success too. Roxio moving $12 million in sales for Angry Birds isn't exactly something to turn the cold shoulder on. There's a lot of money to be made here for everyone, but who will be the Pac-Man and do the chomping and who will be the ghosts? Only time will tell.