The Vice President of Activision’s Mobile Development Greg Canessa has today commented on the 3DS, stating that it is facing a significant competition from mobile and tablet devices. In an interview with iGamer, Mr. Canessa was quoted as saying:
“There’s no doubt that that space faces challenges. They are more directly competitive with what’s going on in the tablet and mobile space and there’s a lot more overlap there, to be honest.
“It is a challenging market, and challenging in a number of ways. From a gameplay immersiveness standpoint, from price point and business model standpoint, I mean it’s $40 for some of those games and you can get great experiences – not necessarily comparable experience, but great nonetheless – for seven dollars on a tablet.”
While this is something that I am sure we have all been aware of for some time, it remains to be seen if and how Nintendo will respond to this threat. I still find Nintendo’s pricing of certain titles astonishing. Only yesterday I was browsing the eShop and recoiled in horror when I realised that it would cost me over £5.00 to download Cut The Rope to my 3DS– the exact same game that I purchased on my iPhone for something like 69p!
Let’s be clear, people do not by a 3DS to primarily play games like this, but the scope and scale of mobile phone games is increasing all the time and we are approaching a time when mobile gaming may truly start to compete with full priced 3DS titles. In the short term I do not think Nintendo will be too concerned by this young, fresh faced upstart. However, in the future I expect the situation will change and Nintendo will need to adapt its pricing strategy if it is to be taken seriously.
Now, before you all start panicking and rashly throwing your poor, unsuspecting 3DS systems in the trash, I would like to point out that Nintendo Gamer has also just published an article which points to the fact that the 3DS is shifting units at a phenomenal rate in Japan. Following the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf the handheld wonder is currently outselling all the other consoles combined, by more than two and a half times! I think it is fair to say that the 3DS’ best days are yet to come.