Portable gaming pioneer Nintendo is under siege from the iPhone platform. Although the Nintendo DS is a decent hardware device in its own right, the iPhone has steadily eaten into its market share. As detailed in a recent Touch Reviews article, Apple’s share of the mobile gaming market has grown 500% in the last year. Traditional gaming companies realize the threat the iPhone platform presents them.
Perhaps its with this in mind Nintendo recently announced some rather ambitious future plans for the Nintendo DS. As detailed in an article in AppleInsider, Nintendo plans to release a 3D successor to the current DS. Unlike current 3D systems, the new Nintendo 3DS will not require glasses for the 3D effect. If Nintendo is able to get this device to market in the next year as planned, it would certainly do a lot for helping Nintendo fight back for some of the lost gaming market.
While generally available, glasses-free 3D device would certainly be novel and revolutionary, I have my doubts about whether it would claw back the market lost to Apple’s mobile devices. The main strength of the iPhone platform (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad included) is its ability to be both massively versatile and incredibly applicable to a specific task at the same time. What I mean by that is the iPhone was not designed for a particular task and given enough hardware power to do most any task. So the iPhone wasn’t designed to be a phone or a PDA or a gaming device; it was designed to be able to do all of these things and more. In fact it can do anything a developer can imagine within the confines of the platform. The new Nintendo device may be 3D and have backwards compatibility to a catalog of Nintendo games but its still a single purpose device. More and more these days consumers are looking for one device that converges a host of tasks and the iPhone does that well in most cases.
Would the novelty of 3D push you to purchase a single use device over the iPhone? Do you prefer to have a group of single use gadgets or one or two that combine all of your needs? Let us know in the comments.