The Nintendo Switch (and its future companions) may be killing life support for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U permanently. I still am mad at Nintendo's history of manipulating customers and taking away things which could be much, much better (like Miiverse), and I still am resistant on buying a Switch. However, as one who sees the marketing strategem of Nintendo, it makes me wonder...
Has Nintendo changed focus on competition? In other words, what if Nintendo is not competing with other dedicated console manufacturers as much, but rather a more versatile platform: Smartphones?
Miitomo and Other Nintendo Smartphone Apps
According to Wikipedia's sources, Satoru Iwata was against the mobile gaming industry:
Regardless, Iwata did see Apple's App Store as a potential threat, calling them an enemy of the future. However, as the smartphone popularity grew, Iwata changed his viewpoint:
Interestingly, Iwata also mentions the NX in the documents about the partnership with DeNa:
Posthumously, Iwata's landmark smartphone app Miitomo was released March of 2016. This was very much brought on by the partnership Iwata had secured before with DeNa.
Nintendo Switch - Just a Small Tablet
Interestingly, Nintendo Switch, although still a dedicated platform, now has some VR capabilities thanks to the latest Labo kit:
Which oddly enough seems like Google Cardboard:
Also, consider a few more similarities:
- The Pay-to-Play Nintendo Switch Online, very much like subscription services on Google Play and iTunes.
- In-app purchases, introduced in the 3DS, much like in-app purchases in mobile apps.
- The portability of the Switch, and its tablet-like appearance.
- The hacks which allow Linux and even Android to run on it (here on GBAtemp!). Also note that by downloading the Open Source Software archives and peering into them, it uses a lot of Mozilla code.
What Does This Prove?
If you are looking for solid proof of Nintendo taking on the smartphone industry, I suggest browsing more IR Event documents and doing a bit more Googling. I'm not trying to prove anything; I just find all this curious.
What do you all think?
Iwata Did NOT See the Switch as a Smartphone Competitor
If you will reread the document about Nintendo's partnership with DeNa, you will notice that Saturo Iwata himself said that what would be later known as the Nintendo Switch "has no direct relationship with our alliance announcement". This can simply be read as Iwata had no intentions of the Switch competing with smartphones. However, since Iwata's death, it seems that it does just that. After all, the smartphone industry has grown much more since the concept of the NX, or Switch.
Is Nintendo Still Competing with Other Dedicated Consoles?
That is still true, considering that there are a few similarities to other dedicated consoles, namely Playstation and Xbox. However, it's quite interesting to note that Nintendo Switch's form factor, among other things, do not seem to compare too closely with Playstation or Xbox. Has anyone seen an Xbox tablet? How about a Playstation smartphone? I'm talking dedicated devices, with PS or Xbox as their OS. While smartphones and tablets have apps that integrate into the consoles' features, they're not quite like the Switch. Also, while it's true that Playstation has its own VR headset, it is not stand-alone and allows for taking the device anywhere like Google Cardboard. However, the Switch is like that. Curious...
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