Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Someone at the top of a large company believes consumers are dropping their PC and gaming handhelds in favor of their mobile phones.

To get just a tad more specific, Capcom is the latest publisher starting to buy into this, and as MCV reports, is funneling money into several iPhone gaming projects. The kicker is this little wrinkle: Capcom sees smartphones as universal gaming platforms. Everyone has one!

“The casual gamer that used to play on the PC and the hardcore gamer that used to play on a dedicated gaming portable now plays on their smartphone,” Capcom Interactive’s president Midori Yuasa told MCV in a recent interview.

“The iPhone and larger smartphone markets are extremely important to Capcom as, like no device before, smartphones have the potential to become a universal game platform.

“We have a lot of stuff on the horizon for both hardcore and casual gamers, so 2011 is shaping up to be huge on Capcom’s mobile front.”

Look, the Nintendo DS is huge, both worldwide and in the US, and while sales might be dragging of late, there’s a lot, and I do mean a lot, of Nintendo DSes out in the wild. In fact, the DS has sold so well over its life span that publisher Nintendo is preparing to give consumers a new handheld called the Nintendo 3DS later this year. It wouldn’t make this business decision if the cold, hard reality wasn’t that people still want handhelds.

But Yuasa does have a point. I mean, where the hell is your PSPGo? It’s definitely not in your pocket like your iPhone is right now. And really, that’s the most compelling argument when it comes to smartphone gaming trumping traditional handheld gaming. As my brother Eli says, the best handheld gaming platform is the one that’s always in your pocket, similar to how the best camera is the one that you have on you when you need it.

We’re still in a period where no one is sure what’ll beat what, but I think, for once, that this statement isn’t as insane as it once was -- and it’s even less insane when you stop to consider just how much awesome is available on the App Store for pennies compared to the recently announced 3DS game pricing ranging from $40-50.

[via MCV]

  • metalcasket

    “We have a lot of stuff on the horizon for both hardcore and casual gamers, so 2011 is shaping up to be huge on Capcom’s mobile front.”

    That's great to know. I wonder which indie developer Capcom's gonna steal their next great idea from. Personally, I'd love to see BIMBO or Beat Your Meat Boy.

    • Anonymous

      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.
      Monster Hunter Tri.

  • ndre

    wasn't Capcom unhappy with the iPhone sales of Phoenix Wright and SF4?

    • Supagoa

      Maybe, but what did they expect releasing an old game everyone has already played? Now if they'd put Ghost Trick out on the iPad I think they would have seen awesome sales figures.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cat-Astrophy/100000838113704 Cat Astrophy

      PW, yes. SF4?! Are you kidding me? SF4 did so well they've been willing to put lots of money in porting in new characters and doing tons of updates. It did VERY well on the iDevices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

    I'm sure this so called "huge" year is comprised of Mega Man 1-XXXXXX, SF1, SF2, SF2Turbo, RE1-5 + spin offs, etc...

    Not that I didn't like those games when they came out, but my bet is that's what's gonna happen. I refuse to buy any remade / ported versions that are overpriced as that spoils the innovation and diversity which has made the mobile gaming so exciting.

  • Sl1pstream

    "Where is your PSP Go?"

    On store shelves. It was a bad idea from the beginning.

  • Anonymous

    It seems odd for him to lump casual and hardcore into the same group. Of course they own a phone, they need one, it doesn't necessarily mean they've switched gaming platforms. My television is capable of tuning into radio stations but it's not my main source of music.

    • Adams Immersive

      I think he means both groups ARE gaming on the same device now. I certainly observe that being true among my friends. (And remember, hard core gamers are less likely to “switch”—they’ll gladly collect multiple devices if they want. Black-and-white cold-turkey “switching” isn’t necessary to make iOS a great casual-plus-hardcore gamers’ platform.)

  • Akira 01

    "Look, the Nintendo DS is huge,"

    Today no:
    In 3 month:
    Sony:
    - 1 million PSP

    Nintendo:
    - 5 millions DS

    Apple:
    - 14 millions iPhones + 6 millions iPod Touch

    20 millions, THAT is HUGE (70% users are players)

    The BIG market IS in smartphone, not Handhelds...

    How many Handhelds today:
    60 millions PSP
    150 millions DS

    How Many iOS devices today:
    160 millions (iPod Touch+ iPhone+ iPad)

    In 3 month there will be 190 millions, in 6 months, this number will be on top of ALL the other Handheld market...

    I repeat, the BIG BIG market is no longer in Handheld devices. Capcom is true...

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1089737288 Wim Lauryssen

      That argument is flawed. If I decide to download and play 5 minutes of Doodle Jump, it doesn't mean that my next game will be Resident Evil or Final Fantasy. Just like most people who played a casual game of "Snake" on their Nokia phones didn't play anything other than that and maybe one of those free online Tetris clones.

      I'm not even going to get into those calulations.

      • Akira01

        If i decide to play 5 minutes to Nintendogs, it doesn't mean that my next game will be resident Evil or final Fantasy.
        A lot of DS players are CASUAL today, as on the iOS platform...
        There are casual and hardcore players todays on iOS, as other handhelds devices. Look at the forums on this site...

      • Sebastian

        Yeah but the margin on Nintendogs compared to Doodle Jump is about 40:1

      • Akira01

        I don't think.
        Nintendogs is a card game, Nintendo must pay for transport, Stock, etc...
        At the end, the margin is about 20:1.

        And this:
        Doodle Jump: 6 millions
        It's better to sell a game for one buck to 6 millions players or more than selling 400 000 or less (often less) for 40 dollars. 'cause when you take charges, your 16 million dollars became 8 millions (often less).

      • Sebastian

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#Nintendo_DS

        23.26 MILLION (!)

        You just took a bunch of dice and rolled those numbers, right? I compared the top selling iOS game (Angry Birds) with the 2nd most selling DS game (Nintendogs) and you just throw in 400 000 or less. Nice.

      • Anonymous

        From all Nintendo dogs games 23.26 millions + it sold that much in 6 years while other app store games only 1-2 years...

      • Sebastian

        OH MY GOD.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendogs#Sales_information

        Nintendogs sold 6 Million copies within a year.

        Do your god damn research people and while you're at it pull the head out of your collective asses.

      • http://twitter.com/DamathaStudios Damatha Studios

        The numbers I know are 50 million downloads. There are free versions and updates counted I'm affraid. If not, they would say "50 million apps sold".

    • Tkun

      How many of those iPhones and iPod Touches are unique owners, and not simply people who upgraded to a new device or replaced a broken device?

      • Anonymous

        Likewise those who buy a DS, then the newer DS, then one in a different colour, etc.?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hellioz-Dogol/100001254343956 Hellioz Dogol

        Not many

      • Akira01

        "Not many"

        How do you know that ?
        You think really that the first buyer of DS are always on the first DS ?
        What a troll...

      • Anon

        You have obviously never owned anyhting other than an Apple device. Nor do you know what "Troll" means.

    • http://twitter.com/Dd3m Chris Flores

      How many iOS device owners do you know even play games on them? Ok, that number's quite big I guess.
      How many of them are willing to play FPS/RPG on them? Slightly smaller.
      How many of them are interested enough to check sites like TouchArcade daily? Yeah, even smaller.

      iPhones are also phones you know, which I'd imagine is the main reason why people got iPhones (or Droids, or other smartphones).

      • Akira01

        How many DS owners do you know even play more than one game ?
        How many of them are willing to play FPS/RPG ? Slightly smaller

        Etc, etc...
        Same thing today....really...

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Awesome.

  • Swizzler

    Capcom and a lot of other big companies usually come up with rubbish like this all the time, it's marketing to help spark confidence that 'anything' they are doing on smartphones is going be the 'best' thing ' evah ' ! Nothing will change, they will still target all the usual channels, after all, and profit is good at the end of the day, so it's nice to at least pretend that you are doing something worthwhile for each platform, and that your not just being seen as a publisher / developer who doesn't quite believe in the platform, but will develop for it anyway....

    • Anonymous

      Give me Monster Hunter Portable, and we have a deal.

  • Mystic_x

    Trick is that lots of people are switching to gaming on phones and tablet-computers (Well ok, iPads :P ) because the games for them are something else than "Call of duty: the yearly edition" and other such franchise-milk-ware, so i think the big companies are seeing it wrong, so if all they're going to do is produce half-baked ports of the aforementioned franchise-games, they'll be in for a shock...

  • St. McDuck

    I dabble in iphone games, but I won't take them seriously until I get a directional pad and buttons. Some genres, platformers in particular, are awful with touch screen controls and THAT is what's keeping me off that bandwagon.

  • http://twitter.com/ForyourPeteDodd famousmortimer

    I love my iphone and ipad, but yes, my PSP go *IS* in my pocket.

    • Anonymous

      You must own big pants to fit it in a pocket nicely.

      • Travis Tameirao

        Ouch....

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    If Capcom really were serious about iOS gaming, then they would put more professional teams with larger budgets on the platform. Their iOS output to date has been truly abysmal and shows that contrary to what they may say, they still think of it as a sideline at best.

  • Jeffd

    Capcom isn't exactly blowing smoke. I once considered getting a psp for some type of portable gaming, but ever since getting my iPod I haunt regretted passing up the psp. As for the ds, as a major gamer I never liked the ds. Most of the games really are bad, look like crap (no texture smoothing harkens back to the ps1 era), and it dosnt do much else. Also dispite the 3ds effect, it dosnt seem to have the polypower of current generation iOS.

  • http://twitter.com/squidlaser laosquid

    Smartphone gaming is attractive on price. Why pay for 3DS games when you can have fun with a free or $2.99 game from an appstore? Parents are probably sick of forking out top dollar on premium games.

  • CyphaD1v1n3

    ::sigh:: I get so sick of overzealous consumers and video game companies attesting that cell phones/smartphones are replacing traditional handhelds. I'm what Capcom would put in the "hardcore" demographic and I'll tell you, whenever I want to play a REAL game with substance that's dripping with professionalism, I pick up my DS or PSP.

    I do have an iPod touch (3G) and have purchased games for it so I'm not saying the iOS platform doesn't have the potential because it does (well, anything has potential - doesn't mean it'll cash in on it to be successful). However, platformers, shooters, and just about anything else requiring precision is either terrible or noticeably lacking in terms of wonky, shoddy controls.

    And lastly: not only will I not take iOS as a TRUE gaming platform seriously until something happens with the all-touchscreen controls, but current smartphone batteries simply can't handle games like a true dedicated gaming handheld can. Examples: Infinity Blade, Rage HD, CoD Zombies, Aragon HD, Splinter Cell Conviction, and many other 3D games MURDER an iPhone which is running the iOS operating system, connected to the cellular network, 3G network, multitasking apps, and in terms of games having to output info to all those pixels and then do 2D/3D calculus, geometry, and matrix transformations to run the games too?

    I'm not into this whole "Smartphones are the Future" nonsense going on these days. When smartphones start making phones that are capable of truly playing games instead of shoehorning them into smartphone designs, then I'll listen. In my opinion, Sony's PlayStation Phone whether successful or complete bust is the first step. iPhone is NOT.

    • Anonymous

      Well Infinity Blade lasts 4+ hours on my iPhone 4, with all the other stuff going on, and up to 7+ hours if playing at a wifi area with 0 phone calls. It's really not as bad as you think. Just buy some more iPod chargers around and you would never have to worry about battery.

  • Ecco6t9

    I've got to agree, I know ever since I got my iPhone my DSiXL and Game Boy Micro have become portable consoles that I use at home.

    However there are still a number of games that do play better with actual buttons and a control pad.

  • Dynamite_Matsuri

    Although smart phones have come a ways in terms of offerings on the iOS market, NOTHING compares to the dedicated talent that is currently in line with the traditional handheld marketplace. This is incredibly evident in the fact that Gameloft is the single developer/publisher recognizing this void and attempting to fill in that niche with their clones. No disrespect to them, but they can work on as many iterations of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Uncharted and Modern Warfare clones as they want, the end result is that none of these titles will ever hold a candle to the offerings that will come from Nintendo, Square-Enix, Naughty Dog, Infinity Ward/Activision et al. on the coming handhelds.

    Currently, the iOS marketplace carries huge potential, but its price disruptive tactics are also a double edged blade. Fully realized games carry a large budget that need to be offset by appropriate pricing. iOS has established a marketplace where your average reviewer gripes about paying $2 for an experience that lasts 2 hours and is in constant want of a never ending string of free updates as if they were entitled to them. Nintendo came to two important realizations, that graphics were quickly reaching a saturation point, and that the game playing demographic was in fact shrinking. This is evidenced by the fact that Crysis, a game that launched 3 years ago, is still the most graphically impressive game on the market. The assets that need to be created in order to sate the average gamer's lust for more have become prohibitively expensive, and the average gamer who supported the original big 3 grew up in the 80's/90's is getting older and for him/her gaming has become less of a priority due to familial/job related responsibilities and living expenses. Nintendo realized that and tried to create a whole new segment of game fans in the market place whilst retaining its core fans.

    That's not to say that Apple couldn't follow suit, but the difference between Nintendo and Apple is that Nintendo is a long standing, proven commodity in the game's community. They have stood uncontested for decades, and have the talent, resources, knowledge and foresight to weather the storm. You can notice this in the cautious attitude that traditional console publishers such as EA and Capcom have taken in regards to the app store. They provide content, but they don't bring their A game (yes I'm aware of Dead Space mobile and yes, it's too early to call a verdict). It's just enough to have their foot in the door and keep an eye on how things play out. It's the same attitude that publishers have in regards to the Wii that have infuriated its fans - that of "testing the waters". If they ever do join the fray... unfortunately, I can see it playing out in the same manner that they have treated the Wii audience - they'll bring over their IPs, but significantly water down the experience whilst offering the full experience on Sony's/Nintendo's handhelds. I own an iPhone 4, I love the device, and I'm all for competition, but I will not support a diluted gameplay experience.

  • Ndwag13

    how about some monster hunter thanks?

  • GDSage

    Shock horror, a spin on the news.

    Capcom mobile =/= Capcom everyone knows and loves

    It's like saying whatever Gameloft states is the line of Ubisoft, they're two different entities.

    Anyway, if the statement really rang true throughout the actual company then the huge support for the 3DS is certainly at odds with it. Not to mention the existence of MH, one of Capcom's major IP's.

  • http://dendory.net Dendory

    I think this is pretty well known by now.. Still, we're talking going from casual games or things like DS or PSP to the iPhone. A 6 inch screen won't replace XBOX and hardcore PC gaming.

  • amat_24

    if so then when the hell are we gonna see a real megaman game on the ios??
    i've always wished that they'd continue the megaman maverick hunter x remake series. it would be awesome to have all the megaman x games in my pocket. porting any of the megaman battle network games wouldnt be a bad idea too :D

  • xyzzy

    This post has too much truth. Then the comments got me all confused

  • Dynamite_Matsuri

    Wow. Really guys? I posited a contrarian stance to the article in question supplemented by well thought out inductive reasoning and my post gets removed without any sufficient explanation or rationale behind it? What's the point of offering the ability to comment and seemingly foster discussion if the moderation here is so needlessly rigid as to only allow opinions that mirror the site's own? Talk about disappointing. I'll get my news elsewhere if this is how you treat your readers.

    • Travis Tameirao

      I didn't get to read your post, however, I think your prose for this argument is excellently conveyed.

  • http://www.aefing.com A.X. Ian

    Once you've tasted the App Store game prices and variety there is no way you could go back to the $40 games. If you want serious gaming there's Xbox and PS3.

    Nintendo DS family looks like something out of 90's.

    • http://twitter.com/DamathaStudios Damatha Studios

      till you play it and enjoy it's playability (mostly Nintendo games).
      Old and crappy hardware, but I still play (and learn from) many games today.

  • Isilel9

    So, where is the rest of the Ace Attorney series, Capcom? And Ghost Trick? IMHO, iOS gaming, great as it is, could stand some improvement where deeper/longer games are concerned.
    Buttons are only relevant for some genres - a lot of great portable games could work as well or better with touch controls. But it isn't going to happen without a premium shop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Sejnoha/563641348 Trevor Sejnoha

    I always carry my iPod, Cellular phone, and Nintendo DS around with me, so although the iPhone does have a LOT of great games that I pay regularly for a short break, (Diner Dash) the DS is still my favorite GAMING device. Nintendo's amazing 1st party games will not be beaten by any of my apps, but I still play both of them regularly.

  • http://johnwall-online.com/ John wall

    Playing on a phone is probably enough for causal gamers but for more hardcore gamers they still want to play on PSP / DS handhelds. So i dont think they will be replaced soon

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001668170011 Froggy Fanstudio

    Sweet Froggy -a new challenging puzzle game for iPhone http://goo.gl/Fu9Ue. If you like Cat Physics you will love this one too.

  • poopscoop

    great article...great comments...i agree with capcom...

    i've owned (at some point) all the current gen, popular systems and have gotten rid of all them at one or another...for me IOS gaming is where its at right now. this past year brought some great titles, cant wait to see what this year holds for IOS.

    even the idea of going to a physical store to buy games is not as enticing anymore...i like the pricing and accesability of the app store. digital download (for games) is the way things are headed.

    i do agree with the physical controls argument tho' ...touch controls are decent BUT for the more in-depth games...i'd prefer physical controls.

  • Ezekiel

    Hey man! what the hell is this! where's my comment?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cat-Astrophy/100000838113704 Cat Astrophy

    They aren't leaving handhelds. SSF4 3D is coming out for 3DS.

  • Ezekiel

    I demand no one leaves this post until my comment is found!

  • Fv

    akira1 you are a trolling shithead!

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    I really don't care if this is true or false. If this means that Capcom will put some hard work on iOS plataform, GREAT! Hoping to see more Phoenix Whight, and (who knows) maybe some update to the existent Resident Evil games to make me move while aiming just like Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D

  • Travis Tameirao

    Could we speculate on the possibility that perhaps in enough time the major gaming hand helds will also be smart phones? I'm sure there would be a lot to discuss in terms of hardware though.