I don’t understand why there’s all this hubbub about Apple vs. Nintendo or whatever. There really is no need for strife, here, people. Here’s where I’m coming from — Apple’s hardware is not in direction competition with Nintendo’s. Now, I said “direct” because it is certainly indirectly competing with the 3DS and Project Cafe and all but they certainly aren’t going head to head.
What do I mean there? While some “casual” gamers get their fix with Angry Birds or Hoggy, keeping them from buying real games like The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks or Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, that’s not everybody. Just as not everyone is going to buy a 3DS, not everyone is going to necessarily get a iPhone or iPad or iPod or what-have-you instead.
See, you aren’t going to get the same gameplay experience on a computer, tablet, or MP3 player as if you were playing on a game-oriented machine. The 3DS, just like every other piece Nintendo hardware going back to the NES… no, even the Game and Watch, is a machine designed specifically for games. Specialization is the key. iPods and phones and such and not made with games in mind. The games you can get at the App Store really aren’t even close to the same thing as Mario Kart DS. Yeah, you have your Monkey Balls and Metal Gear, but let’s not kid ourselves, here — it’s not even close to parity.
That being that, I don’t really feel that these devices are in competition with each other. Obviously, that’s what Satoru Iwata thinks, and what Reggie Fils-Aime thinks, with his comments about not supporting “garage developers.” I have an iPod and a 3DS, and I rarely think of playing a game on one instead of the other. There are times to play iPod games, like when I’m standing in line for something and don’t have an actual game machine with me.
Now, there have been some changes in portable gaming systems. These days, playing a portable game is basically the same as playing a console game, only you can take it with you more easily. That being said, it’s not as easy to take the 3DS with you as it was a Game Boy Pocket, or a Game Boy SP, either. But the games are more interesting than ever, and I have a feeling things will keep on getting better. We’ve got Ocarina of Time on a handheld!
This would, of course, be more impactful if Super Mario 64 hadn’t come out on a portable in 2004. But you can’t play either of those games on an iPod.