Capcom Thinks People Are Leaving Handhelds For Smartphones

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]