Nintendo’s American president has claimed that Apple are a bigger threat than Microsoft in the games market.
Reggie Fils-Aime made the comments in a recent interview with Forbes. “Do I think that in the near term they can hurt us more than Microsoft?” Fils-Aime says. “Absolutely.” Apple has sold more than 14 million iPhone devices in the quarter ended September. Casual gaming is booming whilst dedicated consoles like Nintendo’s DS are suffering from high amounts of piracy. Nintendo is fairing well though after selling more than 20 million gaming devices in 2009, more than Sony and Microsoft put together.
Microsoft has not invested in the portable gaming market. The software giant has no offering and seemingly no plans to enter this market, focussing on the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live as its game offerings. Rumors of a portable Xbox device have existed since the dawn of the original Xbox but Microsoft’s long term plan is to provide Xbox Live on more and more devices.
Microsoft recently released Windows Phone 7 which, amongst other features, focusses on gaming with Xbox Live integration. Many analysts believe Microsoft’s Xbox Live integration on all Windows Phone 7 devices could be crucial to winning new and existing casual Xbox games developers. Microsoft is holding its Professional Developers Conference in Redmond on Thursday and Friday where it’s expected to focus on Windows Phone 7 development.