Nintendo quotes stir speculation on Apple, online gaming, 3D

Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto talk Nintendo's future...

Quotes from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto appeared in several publications recently suggesting that 1) Nintendo sees Apple as "enemy of the future," 2) Nintendo is "desperate to realise" online gaming, and 3) you can turn off the 3D function of the Nintendo 3DS console.

That first bit comes from British publication, Times Online. The report says Iwata "is understood to have told his senior executives recently" that Apple is their new rival in the games space with its iPhone and iPad. It doesn't take a genius to see that Nintendo and Apple aim for the same audience with their devices (you've seen the happy, smiling family-oriented ads) -- however, a second study from Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty (via IndustryGamers) backs the claim up by asserting that the iPad hurts handheld gaming console sales in the same way that it hurts Netbook sales. Coupled with the recent decline in Wii sales, the alleged quote by Iwata seems legitimate.

The second piece of news is shakier because it's speculation. Granted, the speculation comes from Miyamoto, Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development lead, so there's a bit of weight there. He told Edge magazine, "Probably the other thing that we are desperate to realise is the core [online] business structure. Do we need to demand customers pay monthly fees to enjoy online activities? Or give an online subscription that is free of charge, but then offer something extra for people that pay, so that they get some extra value? With these core business strategies I think we are less active than we should be." So while a monthly subscription fee for your Wii isn't a reality yet, it was enough to get tongues wagging.

The third piece of news is the one that carries the most weight, despite the lack of a direct quote. In an interview with the Associated Press regarding Nintendo's recent earnings release, Iwata apparently told the reporter that the 3D function on the upcoming handheld 3DS can be switched off, allowing players to play games with or without 3D. Nobody's seen the console yet, but based on the earnings report, we know it'll be on shelves this fiscal year.

Sources:Rivals are invading its patch, but Nintendo is ready to go to warNintendo Hurt By iPad Surge, finds StudyMiyamoto: Nintendo Could Charge For Online GamingNintendo to beef up piracy measures in 3-D machine

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AJ Glasser

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