Early this morning Bloomberg ran a story regarding the latest Nintendo 3DS price drop fiasco from a side that you don't often hear from: Investors. As you may recall from the last episode of this mobile gaming financial soap opera, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has remained vigilant insisting that as long as he is in charge Nintendo will only be making games for its own line of hardware.
Investors don't agree, especially as Nintendo stocks dip to six-year lows. Specifically, Masamitsu Ohki, a fund manager for a Tokyo-based investment management company explains: “Smartphones are the new battlefield for the gaming industry, Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform or develop something totally new.”
The best example of how badly investors want the big N to get involved in smartphone gaming came in early July when we caught wind of a potential Pokemon game coming to the iPhone. This caused Nintendo stock to rocket up the most it had in four months, although gains were quickly lost when Nintendo announced that it was not involved with this Pokemon release.
On this news, Japanese investment firm MF Global FXA Securities Ltd. released a note explaining that “They just don’t get it,” urging investors to sell Nintendo stock "because a management once feted for creative out-of-box thinking have just shown how behind the times they are.” Other financial megaminds are insisting that Nintendo use its $10b cash stockpile to acquire companies to help them position themselves better in the changing face of mobile gaming.
It remains to be seen what if any effect the 3DS price drop will have both on player adoption rates as well as Nintendo stock prices. While the system itself may be cheaper, a lower price point doesn't change the fact that consumers as a whole have gone cold on 3D, one of the main selling points of the system. Similarly, the 3DS software library is still as bleak as it ever was, with no respite on the horizon until Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 hit this holiday season, which seems like forever compared to the fast-paced world of the App Store where great games are released on a daily basis.
Most, if not all of us at TouchArcade grew up on Nintendo platforms and likely wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the NES, the SNES, and the market that Nintendo essentially forged out of the video game crashes of the late 70's and early 80's. It's sad to see a company losing their way, and I'm honestly not entirely sure how Nintendo's dedicated portable gaming devices and $40 games can compete in a world flooded with capable smartphones in hundreds of millions of pockets and enough 99¢ (and free) content available to last a lifetime.
I think we all knew the days of the dedicated portable gaming device were numbered, but I'm not sure any of us expected this would come so soon.