Forget Apple getting into games; should Nintendo get into smart phones?

Game Informer editor Andy McNamara argues that a convergent portable device, both for games and phone crap, is inevitable.

In a printed column titled The future is ringing, will someone please pick up, he writes, “I can’t wait to play the 3DS, but I get the sinking feeling that it will only pacify us until this inevitable [convergence of gaming and smart phones] happens. If Sony and Nintendo don’t build the one device to rule the pocket of gamers everywhere, someone else will.”

Let’s see: Nintendo’s coffers are overflowing with portable moo-la from a gaming only device, not to mention its home console. Convergent devices rarely, if ever, dominate an entire industry. And the 3DS is the most anticipated hardware in gaming right now.

Yeah, Nintendo should totally forget all that and pick a fight with Apple.

Sarcasm aside, this whole argument of convergent devices ruling the future is getting embarrassingly repetitive and trite. Wasn’t “multi-media” suppose to rule the ’90s? Wasn’t our fridge suppose to be talking with our lawnmower by now? Wasn’t the Xbox 360 and PS3 suppose to rule this generation of video games?

Not that those consoles don’t have their strengths and conveniences. But the only real reason people buy ’em is because they have good games associated with them.

14 Responses to Forget Apple getting into games; should Nintendo get into smart phones?

  1. srkelley says:

    Even so, I’d love to see skype come to the 3DS. Combining Skype with the below linked item would give us the best option for mobile talk and gaming.

    http://www.gadling.com/2010/08/26/review-virgin-mobile-mifi-2200-and-40-unlimited-3g-broadband2g/

  2. RisnDevil says:

    Your counter-arguments (even with your sarcasm aside) miss the point by more than a little, and are ultimately wrong.

    “Multi-media” did rule the 90’s. From the advent (and wide adoption) of CD, to the birth of DVDs, and everything in-between, “multi-media(s)” did dominate essentially all digital fronts, even if often times for piracy.

    I know you said (and I “agreed”) sarcasm aside, but then you go on about fridges talking to lawnmowers. Ok, taking that at face value, there is no need for such a thing, but there are fridges that connect to computers and internet through wireless, and reorder items for you or at least compile lists of what you have/need/want. What else do you need from your fridge? Hell, there is a toaster that connects to the internet to toast the daily weather forecast into your bread!!!

    For your final several statements (“Wasn’t the Xbox 360 and PS3 suppose to rule this generation of video games?….But the only real reason people buy ‘em is because they have good games associated with them.”) I say shame on you. They are, for the most part, argumentative fan-speak drivel. The same thing can be said about the Wii (ESPECIALLY the last sentence) and had no basis for the original point.

    A single portable, that does EVERYTHING well, is sleek and affordable, is pretty much a holy grail, if you will. It will be VERY hard to design such a product, but would sell like hot cakes, period. And if Nintendo doesn’t make it themselves, they will be in a hurt locker. But you know what? So will Sony, and Microsoft if they ever get into the handheld market. Just because Nintendo is successful with what they have, or hasn’t gone in that direction YET, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t or that it wouldn’t be successful. I mean, Sega had the GameGear WAY before Nintendo had a color portable, and it flopped. Did that mean Nintendo should never have gone color? Of course not.

    Nintendo has a VAST amount of resources at hand, and to see them actually step into the mobile phone/gaming scene, would be a market changer…if they actually cared to try and not do it as a side project.

  3. baelnic says:

    Wasn’t there almost 20 posts yesterday about disc-less Netflix streaming? Obviously we want convergence. I’m not sure phone + gaming system is what people want but I can see phone + wireless internet connectivity (3G, 4G, not WiFi) as something someone might want with their portable game system. Streaming movies and tv to a game system is becoming a commonplace feature, it’s only time before we demand that with our portable device.

  4. Gern says:

    baelnic, you said it right. Streaming is the next frontier in gaming. Music and movies are already streamed and Netflix is commonplace. The OnLive service has a small box you can get in the future to connect to your TV to stream games. The next frontier is for Apple and Google to support streaming gaming on their handheld phones and have an output in the phone that connects to the TV and then a bluetooth receive in it that can recieve the signals from the wirelesss controllers. Convergence will continue to happen. I remember about 7-8 years ago when portable MP3 players were popular. I used to have to carry my portable MP3 player, my cellphone, and my digital camera. Now they are all converged into my iPhone. One device, with more features. I see that Sony is getting on board with Google TV and it appears Sony knows that the next big players in entertainment and gaming will be the likes of Google, Apple, Netflix, OnLive, Valve.

  5. Josh says:

    Nintendo could definitely go the niche route and make a kid and parent friendly phone. Imagine a phone for parents to buy their kids with plenty of parental controls and a kid friendly durability and design that also plays nintendo’s greatest games.

  6. chris_wing says:

    @Gern, Isn’t Onlive already out and struggling to find ANY subscribers? Valve doesn’t stream games, they just have digital distribution, like Wii Ware, right? Streaming movies is a natural fit because it feels like simply watching TV. Streaming games is a horrible fit because latency is the number one enemy of online gamers, and when the latency creeps into all your games, online or not, your left sword fighting with a piece of rope.

    “# chris_wing says…
    October 2nd, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    So, who wants to wager the second 3DS model will also be a phone?”

  7. Richard says:

    When Blake mentioned the failed multi-media fad, I think he was referring to CD-I and the whole educational CD rom market that got wiped out by the internet.

    In the end (which won’t be the end), what do you want to bet this’ll all work out in a way no one sees coming?

  8. gamecollector44 says:

    First off, I gotta say no to Apple/Nintendo conjoining for gaming purposes. Then they can make some bogus claim about how they’re ruling the gaming market. Again. As for the DS ever becoming a phone…I gotta say not, because then you’ll have to pay for the phone fees, and whatnot. However, Skype 3D would be neat. As well as Facebook and Youtube. Those three things are WAY overdue for a appearance.

  9. Skotski says:

    I’m not sure if Nintendo ever should touch smart phones.
    Nintendo’s treatment of online connectivity is what concerns me.
    You see, Nintendo has all the ability in the world to make their connectivity great, but if you look at most of their games… any game that would become a competition of sorts, gets shot down with tons of restrictions in-game (tripping in SMBB, slingshot racing in Mario Kart, etc.)… and gets shot down even more in online capabilities (whether it’s crappy online for Brawl -yet with pre-input taunts, or lack of WiiSpeak support -yet great running online, fact is, they’re capable, but restricted).

    It all has to do with their philosophy: family friendly.

    And if they were to create a smart phone, it would focus almost completely on that! It would become one of those “kid phones” where there’s heavy restrictions that are automatically in place for the kids (limited numbers, non-erasable history, etc).
    … Nintendo wouldn’t want to release a product for all ages without those restrictions carefully in place.
    I commend them for that, but they haven’t found a perfect balance with it yet.

    Once they find a perfect balance with online support, I’ll be fine with them finding a perfect balance with smart phones.

  10. Sheldon says:

    what they CAN do though, is make free 3G internet… like the kindle.
    i would be the happiest camper ever

  11. Joel says:

    I just want that phone….anyway to have my phone modded to look like that?

  12. mrredstuff says:

    3ds to have skype would be awesome. but i do not want a contract of any sort with my handheld console.

  13. chris_wing says:

    “3ds to have skype would be awesome. but i do not want a contract of any sort with my handheld console.”

    What everyone seems to not understand is that you don’t need a contract with Nintendo, you need a SIM card. Take the card out of the phone your using now. Now put that SIM card into the SIM card slot on the second generation 3DS.

    Wow, how did that happen, now I can make phone calls with my 3DS!

  14. Watire says:

    You need an long article to explain why this is not going to happen.
    You need an long article to explain how this is could possibly happen.
    Now how long a post do you need to explain what business Nintendo could find in a market where very few people are willing to pay the full price of their hardware !!! ???

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