Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime spoke with CNN about Nintendo’s position in the handheld device marketplace. Reggie, in turn, gave CNN and Nintendo’s following of fans and haters one heck of a set of quotables to run with. These are just too much to turn down.
Over the last few months, Nintendo’s been caught up in a bit of drama concerning the mobile marketplace and how they perceive it. Whether their execs cite mobile games as a source of decay in the gaming industry, or mobile developers ding Nintendo for producing “$49 pieces of plastic,” the Big N has been center stage on the mobile circuit.
As CNN has it, this is Reggie Fils-Aime’s perspective on Nintendo and the smartphone marketplace:
We don’t want to be in the phone business…We don’t see that as an opportunity. Phones are utilities. Phones are not by definition entertainment devices.
It makes sense to enter a market when you feel you’ve got some sort of competitive advantage…From Nintendo’s perspective, we don’t see that we have a competitive advantage in telephony.
It’s pretty easy to pick up on the gadget geek rage inducing portion of that statement. Before exploding into tiny bits, consider where Nintendo is correct. The company does not have an advantage in the telephony world. They make games. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, each with their own mobile devices in the Xperia Play and Windows Phone 7, Nintendo only makes games. They don’t have relationships with network carriers, they don’t have a hardware history with cell devices and they don’t have a customer base that will see Nintendo as a phone maker.
So, despite Fils-Aime’s poor choice to pin phones as only good for utility, the President is mostly right. Though, we’re willing to bet where you’re opinion will fall.
In the same story, Nintendo’s Hideki Konno addressed the company’s perspective on the mobile industry as well. And, perhaps as a way to end this story, his vocalized opinions are a little easier to swallow.
It’s not that I’m uninterested…However, I look at the business model, and I see so many additional costs that come into play…Would we increase the price of the software itself?…The distribution couldn’t be free.