Nintendo Researching Gaming Phones

By Ishaan . July 7, 2011 . 11:40am

A shareholder recently said to Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, that he felt games were a waste of time and that he would never buy a product like the Nintendo 3DS unless it had further value added to it, such as the functionality of a mobile phone or some other practical application, suggesting that Nintendo investigate the possibility of releasing their own gaming phone.


“If we had never considered combining a mobile phone and a handheld device, we would be negligent, but on the other hand, mobile phones are subject to monthly fees and we need to consider how well this would fit with game devices or how we should balance these aspects,” Iwata revealed in his response.


“Adding to this,” he continued, “mobile phone companies are generally divided by countries and when running a business on a worldwide basis, we need to consider in what conditions can we partner up with mobile phone companies around the world. Please understand that we are still researching these areas.”


To another investor who requested implementing smartphone functionality into the current 3DS, Iwata replied that doing so would require Nintendo to compete head-on with smartphones. "Nintendo is not a company which has yielded results so far by directly competing with other companies in that way," he emphasized.


“It is theoretically correct,” Iwata conceded, “that for example, if you added a GPS function to the Nintendo 3DS, you could create a 3D car navigation system with the Nintendo 3DS, but rather than putting effort on creating such things, we have to develop things which are ‘only enjoyable on the Nintendo 3DS,’ things that can not be achieved on iPhone or other smartphones, and offer them.”


He concluded: “And, by the time smartphone applications take a part of the idea from, refer to or imitate such things, Nintendo will have had to have already proposed the next thing. A bright future can not be realized if things do not work in this way. I would like to strive to propose products or software which make even iPhone or other smartphone users feel that the Nintendo 3DS is worth carrying around with them.”

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  • Why would s/he be a shareholder if they are not willing to buy the companies products?

    The solution I propose is to add app store functionality to the 3DS. How else will I feel this device is comparable to my iOS device if I cant play my music, watch videos, and have productivity software functionality on it regardless of what $39.99 software is proposed?

    • malek86

      “Why would s/he be a shareholder if they are not willing to buy the companies products?”

      Shareholders are usually interested in share earnings and capital gains.

  • A gaming phone by Nintendo, what will they call it? Wii Call or Wii Phone?

  • SetzerGabbiani

    I actually agree with Iwata in this instance.  When (if) Nintendo decides to go this route, it means we are at the end of the road of gaming as it once was.  I don’t want productivity software on my portable gaming console, nor do I want phone service.  I expect a gaming device to play games with deep gaming experiences and a smartphone to play bejewled and perform non-game related activities.

    The shareholders clearly want Nintendo to expand beyond pure gaming, but I really think this is a mistake.  I have my Blackberry for all of my work related and social activities, I don’t need any of that on my gaming system.

  • I hope they want call it Wii iphone

  • Hold up.  Shareholder claims “games were a waste of time”.  THEN WHY DOES HE HAVE SHARES IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    • Money

    • Because she liked the name of the company.

    • Shareholders don’t necessarily have to care about the product you sell. They’re in it purely for financial gain.

  • Is too obvious to see those guys have never ever touched a gaming system, noobs, surely THEY ARE PART OF THE “ORGANIZATION”!

  • They should just put that money they invested for new R&D toward developing for the existing mobile platforms. It’s the goldmine of casual gamers they’ve always wanted.

  • I like having a pure gaming handheld.  I’d be too distracted playing a game to use the phone function among other things.  Keep this stuff separate.

  • Oh god, I cant stand this anymore! I dont want any functions on my handheld besides the hardware to play games! Now lots of people are whining on the lack of functions on the 3DS, I really dont get it. Its a game console, why must people play movies on it?

    • A lot of people like the convenience of smartphones because they do so many things. Even if gaming is a “secondary” function, it doesn’t matter because the same device lets you do a little of everything. 

      Think of it like a PC. Sure, you could use it to play games (and many do), but even gamers appreciate being able to do other things on their PC like browse the net or watch movies. This is the exact same concept, only portable.

    • Im sorry but the device is pricey, $249.99, who is going to pay $249.99 for a device that ONLY plays games? If it is only playing games, then it isnt worth the value at all. 

      • Ereek

        who is going to pay $249.99 for a device that ONLY plays games?

        If they’re good games, I will.  Extra features are nice, but I want my gaming devices to primarily play games. Just as I use my cellphone primarily as a phone – extra features are nice and helpful, but I do not find myself using them as often as others.

        You’re making those assumptions again, my dear.  Assuming everyone shares your opinion.

        • I payed  500$ for the ps3 god dammit, when it was released, and i have done nothing but play games on it.

          HELL YEAH!

          …Wish i had as much money as before T-T now i cant imagine myself paying at least more than 300$ for a console

        • What assumption am I making, based on the initial presentation of the 3DS in the West, I would say Nintendo was under the impression that consumers desire their devices to have more functionality, hence why a browser, online ecosystem, and even NETFLIX was in that very first presentation of the 3DS to the western world and still an often requested feature by tons of consumers.  Im not assuming anything but just that going by the presentation, additional functionality via movie streaming, camera, 3D music video, internet browser, and music visualizer, is valuable to Nintendo and to consumers, for such an expensive device.  

          Based on Nintendo being of the belief around their financial briefing that consumers are confused or not seeing the value in the 3DS thus far…I would say people arent all that willing to spend such a large amount of money on a device to ONLY play games at this point in time. Which led to their response to quickly roll out online service and to mention that the movie services are coming fast.

    • I get your drift. I’m the type of person that just needs a device to do it’s job, than for it to do it all. If I want to game, then I’ll get a gaming console.

      However, times are changing, and people want machines that can do everything. It’s convenient. People want to be able to whip out whatever they want on the go. I don’t mind that, as long as it doesn’t interfere with it’s main purpose.

      Hypothetically, if the 3DS had lost it’s quality as a portable game console, because there were other functions added to it, then I would frown upon it. I’m a firm believer of the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

      But so far, I haven’t really seen any big offender of that. The iPhone does a pretty good job of being a phone, despite having everything else down it’s belt.

    • I agree with you Dylan. I’m happy if just playing games on a handheld, I don’t expect anything else. Nintendo is a game company and they focus on what they do best. I still don’t even understand the point of watching a movie on a phone, let alone a game system.

      • Convenience? If youre paying $20 a month for streaming services, surely it would be beneficial to extend that value across multiple devices for multiple members of a family? What if youre traveling on a wifi enabled train or bus or at a restaurant or park thats wifi enabled for the day and you dont feel like playing a game. Simply browse and watch a show. Simple. Probably more cost efficient for people who havent bought laptops or have unforgiving battery life.

        A large majority of other handheld devices can play movies and such, its absence in a device would be a selling point against the 3DS.  Sure it may seem pointless, but this is a $249.99 device… 

  • XypherCode

    “Nintendo is not a company which has yielded results so far by directly competing with other companies…”

    you got that right! :D just doing what they do best

    in my opinion phone functionality is really not needed here. the 3DS is a game platform and Nintendo is a game company. browsing the net and downloading content is enough plus some other features to enhance experience.

    sure the 3DS is quite pricey but i think they can compensate on games…but unfortunately as of now that’s not happening yet.

  • you know lg optimus 3D is out right?

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