What any major publisher should fear

From The Motley Fool comes this article about Nintendo being wrong about Apple and the free games market on the iPhone/iPod/iPad, which very nicely fits into the somewhat recent blogging trend of discussing social games and their impact on the games most of us enjoy (that being games with actual gameplay).

As I commented before on all of this, whatever happens is likely to be a win/win for us. If Facebook/iWhatever games do reach a level where they are challenging Nintendo in terms of gameplay and quality, and start actually pulling people off Pokemon and into PokeFarm, well then that’s just another area to play decent games. If they stay on the current level of ‘gameplay’, the fad will pass faster than the pet rock, especially when what made them profitable to begin with (scams) are now being removed.

What I do believe is a significant difference between many iWhatever games and the FB games I’ve seen is that the iWhatever games are already on a much higher level. They might be simple in terms of graphics and sound due to hardware limitations, but with many the gameplay is as solid as it was back in the NES/SNES days. If anything, it’s actually a return of sorts to a focus on gameplay and innovative ideas, when for a while now flashy graphics and fancy movies surrounded stale rehashed gameplay.

Another major advantage to the App store platform is the standardization of it all. Everyone has the same hardware, everyone goes to the same spot to shop, and everyone uses the same review system that is just one click away for any potential buyer. A bad game is quickly identified by user reviews, and quality products will likewise move up the Top Seller chart. It’s certainly not a perfect system, and trash apps still show up on those lists, but more than ever the buyer has a wealth of information right at their fingertips, which will hopefully lead to smarter purchases and more rewards to those making actual worthwhile products.

So while I don’t believe Nintendo should worry about the new business model behind the App Store, what they SHOULD worry about is all these new game studios turning out actually interesting, innovative games on a platform that is not nearly as restricting as the current console space, and how favorably their products might stack up by comparison.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Console Gaming, iPhone, Mass Media, Random, RMT. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to What any major publisher should fear

  1. spinks says:

    See, my conviction is that it’s actually iTunes and the app store that are the great game-changers, not just the apple device with its nice UI.

  2. Ben says:

    if Nintendo ported over some of its old NES/SNES games to the iFormat, they’d be on the top sellers list.

  3. Adam says:


    Have anyone of you played a game on a touchscreen device?

    It’s amazingly bad.

    Apple will never lower themselves to put out a dpad’ish thing for gaming.

    NintendoDS or SonyPSP division + AndroidOS would be a game/phone platform that would own the kids.

  4. Wilhelm2451 says:

    The Motley Fool? I thought they would have crawled in a hole after the bursting dot com bubble, never to be seen again. Well, being wrong never stopped Jean Dixon I suppose.

    It is interesting that while Nintendo does not see Apple’s platform as a competitor, they have been trying to jump onto something like the iTunes store business model for a while now, first with the Wii points store and then with the wireless store for the DSi.

    This will free them from the tyranny of the store shelf/cartridge/disk to a certain extent, though a disturbing number of people I know who have a Wii or a DS give me a blank look when I mention connecting to WiFi.

    Apple has an advantage in that its devices are meant to be used wirelessly as a primary means of communication, but also have the ability to dock with your PC, and that they have a much lower bar to entry with a dev kit you can just download.

    And while people moan about the tyranny of Steve Jobs controlling what apps they can have on the iTunes store, Apple has nothing on Nintendo and how they work to control developers. Nintendo might need to unclench a little bit to get games flowing the way they are at the iTunes store.

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea I would never follow TMF on actual investing advice, but I do like the CAPS thing they have going. I was doing rather well on it when I was active with it, plus some of the higher-ranking people on that are, well, smart, and have made me a good chunk of money.

      An interesting side development will be to see just how far Sony/MS/Nintendo relax in terms of allowing game distribution on their networks. Back in the old days they had absolute control for a number of reasons, but that’s not something that is going to hold up for long (if even now), and the app store is a perfect example of why it’s a good thing. The usual problem of having 1000s of user-made games is somewhat solved with the easy and instant rating system, allowing the few quality products to rise above the flood of trash.

    • Dblade says:

      It doesn’t work. Look at the PSPgo, which is a pure wireless version of the PSP. That’s completely freed from the “tyranny” of the UMD but people don’t bother with it much because you run into storage issues and can’t do things like share games or buy used ones.

      Honestly though, the Motley Fool has no idea what they are talking about. You can argue about Nintendo’s financials overall, but the DS has been nothing but profit for over 5 years, and has dominated the handheld market like virtually every other game boy system has. Offering a flood of free or 99 cent crap games wont make a dent in that because the DS offers so many excellent, full price games that people want to play.

      If anything they already showed what touch screen games can do, and the Ipad is going to have hell trying to top already existing DS games like cooking mama, trauma center, or nintendogs.

  5. yourdissapointedfather says:

    when was the last time syncaine made a post that wasn’t complete and utter tripe? Writing about Darkfall PvE is enough, but now iPhone apps? Did Tobold buy out your domain?

  6. popodepok says:

    I just finish beating mass effect 2. This sequel comes with awesome graphics compare to the first one. Here’s a somewhat short review on mass effect 2. The game starts very shortly after the previous one and Shepard is now a human hero. A very cool thing is that if you have your save file from the first game this will affect many things in the sequel depending on the decisions you previously took.

    Mass effect 2 is more of the same but with many great changes such as you no longer have an inventory like in most normal RPG’s. You’ll get very quickly tired of hearing “probe away” while scanning a planet for resources. The sequel is a lot more of a first-person shooter than the previous game. In fact I would say this one is more of a first-person shooter with a very well done and detailed storyline with great realistic party members. The new delay between shooting that was overheating previously is now simply reloading your gun like in most first-person shooters.

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