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Sony, Nintendo Execs Don't Fear the iPhone

| 29 Jul 2008 20:58
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Even as the library of games grows for the iPhone, the top two portable producers have claimed that Apple's handheld isn't competitive in the gaming marketplace.

With the release of Apple's iTunes Application Store, game publishers now have an organized platform to pawn their iPhone games to an increasing userbase.

Hype over the iPhone's success may have financial analysts pondering whether it could become a competitor to Nintendo's DS, but Nintendo of America's President Reggie Fils-Aime says that he is "aware of what the iPhone is doing."

"Just like in the home console space we're focused on doing what it is we do well," explained Fils-Amie. "Installed based by next march of 100 million [DS] units - and that's a worldwide number. In the U.S. we're at 20 million. And so we've got a large installed base that we're looking to drive even further and to sell software into. That's our focus. We'll see what happens with the iPhone but it is not something that will make us change our direction."

Although the simple software so far released on the iPhone is more reminiscent of DS games, Sony's Playstation Portable plays video and music, an arena where the iPhone dominates. However, with an emphasis on the phone feature in the iPhone, Sony sees it as only an "indirect competitor."

John Koller, Sony's PSP manager, says, "In terms of the iPhone, it's rooted in telephony, right? It's in the name. The person is purchasing it primarily as a phone first and foremost, whereas a person buying a PSP is buying it first and foremost for games - over 70% buy it [PSP] just for games. So it's a little bit of a different consumer base."

Koller continued, "Not saying we're not looking at it intently because we are. The amount of VC [Venture Capital] money that's pouring in, you've gotta actually look at it.... Most analysts that we talk to say that the competition for iPhone is actually against DS and that type of gameplay. PSP is much more of a rich experience in terms of console gaming on the go. Not that we're not looking at it, but I think there's some other ways to kind of parse that discussion."

Source: MTV Multiplayer

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