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Nintendo Investors Annoyed With Lack of iOS Development

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 30 comments

Nintendo shareholders still aren't happy with the company's console-oriented focus.

During E3 2011 back in June, Nintendo revealed its upcoming Wii U console to the public. But investors didn't seem too keen on the idea of producing yet another gaming console, and market shares suddenly dropped to a five-year low. Investors were reportedly worried that Nintendo is putting too much focus on hardware and ignoring the industry shift over to social networking.

Less than a month later, reports emerged that Nintendo was possibly jumping into the smartphone sector with the launch of a Pokemon game for Apple's iOS platform. Nintendo shares jumped the most in almost four months, indicating that investors were excited about possible Nintendo games running on tablets and smartphones. Naturally Nintendo deflated the ballooning rumor, saying that it has no plans to stray away from its strategy to develop Nintendo games for Nintendo hardware.

"They just don’t get it," MF Global FXA Securities Ltd. said in a sales note that day. "Sell the stock, because a management once feted for creative out-of-box thinking have just shown how behind the times they are."

Ouch.

Now two months after the Wii U showing, investor opinion reportedly hasn't changed one bit. Backing up their mixed reactions stemming from the E3 2011 press event, investors still insist that Nintendo needs to focus on developing titles for Apple's iOS platform including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

"Smartphones are the new battlefield for the gaming industry," said Masamitsu Ohki, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co. who declined to identify his holdings. "Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform or develop something totally new [to avoid further alienating investors]."

According to Bloomberg, a spokesman at Nintendo declined to comment beyond statements made previously by Iwata -- no surprise there. But the company is reportedly betting on price cuts rather than succumb to the smartphone sector. As of Friday, the Nintendo 3DS will be reduced $80 from its original March launch price, knocked down from $249.99 to $169.99. Walmart and Target have already started selling the device at the reduced price.

And while the price cut may be an immediate quick fix, will it save the company in the long run? As Bloomberg points out, Apple profits are climbing and propelled by downloadable games like Angry Birds for more than 200 million iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices to date. Nintendo's quarter was so bad that it was forced to slash its profit forecast by 82-percent, down to a level not seen since 1985.

The last acquisition Nintendo made was back in 2007 when it purchased "Xenoblade" developer Monolith Software Inc. Investors seem to think the company needs to follow in the footsteps of Electronic Arts and Japan's DeNA Co. who purchased "Plants vs. Zombies" developer PopCap Games for 1.3 billion and "Rolando" developer Ngmoco for $400 million respectively.

Right now Nintendo is reportedly sitting on a mound of cash – more than $10 billion – despite its recent quarterly woes.

"Nintendo should aggressively make acquisitions or increase returns to its shareholders," said Ii, president of Tokyo-based Commons Asset Management Inc., which held 2,200 Nintendo shares as of February. "It’s management’s task to consider how to make use of the cash."

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    tranzz , August 12, 2011 7:51 AM
    Nintendo would be foolish to develop for apple products. A 30% tax on all gaming profits and helping propel their biggest rival more casy would be stupid. If they wanted to branch out android is a better bet. They would have a better position to negotiate temrs and google would likely jump at the opertunity to expand games for tablets and smartphones.
  • 14 Hide
    phatboe , August 12, 2011 7:59 AM
    This is exactly why you don't blindly follow the advice of an investment firm. Nintendo is doing the right thing by not developing for their rival's platform. If anything Nintendo should make a rival phone kind of like what Sony is doing or better yet license out a gaming platform that can be run on top of Android/WebOS/iOS/BBOS etc.
  • 10 Hide
    lancelot123 , August 12, 2011 9:15 AM
    People buy Nintendo stock and then complain that they aren't acting like a company that isn't Nintendo? Stupid people are stupid.
Other Comments
    Display all 30 comments.
  • 16 Hide
    tranzz , August 12, 2011 7:51 AM
    Nintendo would be foolish to develop for apple products. A 30% tax on all gaming profits and helping propel their biggest rival more casy would be stupid. If they wanted to branch out android is a better bet. They would have a better position to negotiate temrs and google would likely jump at the opertunity to expand games for tablets and smartphones.
  • 14 Hide
    phatboe , August 12, 2011 7:59 AM
    This is exactly why you don't blindly follow the advice of an investment firm. Nintendo is doing the right thing by not developing for their rival's platform. If anything Nintendo should make a rival phone kind of like what Sony is doing or better yet license out a gaming platform that can be run on top of Android/WebOS/iOS/BBOS etc.
  • 1 Hide
    phatboe , August 12, 2011 8:04 AM
    forget that last statement I am half sleep
  • 1 Hide
    BulkZerker , August 12, 2011 8:26 AM
    Quote:
    "Nintendo should aggressively make acquisitions or increase returns to its shareholders," said Ii, president of Tokyo-based Commons Asset Management Inc., which held 2,200 Nintendo shares as of February. "It’s management’s task to consider how to make use of the cash."


    And then suddenly the housing market bubble pops and . . . oh wait, this is gaming. My bad, yea listen to the investors there's nothing that could possibly go wrong with buying out the flavor of the week on the casual 5 min to beat kinds of games. Those kinds of games are totally gonna stay around forever and no one will ever get bored with them and can totally sustain a failing market that was doing the exact same thing in 1985. I mean, the stock market will only crash once right? Right?
  • 10 Hide
    lancelot123 , August 12, 2011 9:15 AM
    People buy Nintendo stock and then complain that they aren't acting like a company that isn't Nintendo? Stupid people are stupid.
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , August 12, 2011 9:35 AM
    An investor is out to make a quick buck and ride any and all the latest fads to the fullest.

    A CEO is out there molding a company into a living art form so to speak. He isn't gonna build it up for something that doesn't last for longer than 5 minutes, just to throw it away for something else...
  • 4 Hide
    rantoc , August 12, 2011 10:32 AM
    So the investors read the last Buzz letter and all of a sudden their investment should be all about the rival pretty much saying sorry we dont believe in our own products. Who are the real danger? The investors or the competition?
  • -5 Hide
    4745454b , August 12, 2011 10:46 AM
    I doubt anyone official from Nintendo will see this, but here it goes.

    1) Drop the Wii U. We don't want it, it will cost to much.
    2) Give us what we do want, and Wii +. Give us HDMI, enough power to run modern games, etc. Open it up to developers so we get more 3rd party titles.
    3) Admit that handheld consoles are done. We don't want to carry 5 devices with us. Limp along with the 3DS until you can get your smartphone gaming stuff setup. You don't need to develop for Apple, Droid is fine.
    4) ???
    5) Profit!
  • 5 Hide
    Azimuth01 , August 12, 2011 11:39 AM
    Dear Nintendo: I refer you to the following:

    Valve has revealed that it has no interest in cashing in on its unique position by going public - because it couldn't handle the interference from shareholders.

    -"All [companies that float] end up getting their customers changed," Valve's Erik Johnson told PC Gamer.

    -"Any bad decision I ever see out there is because somebody created this different customer that was whoever funds them, and not the consumer of the product."

    -Gabe Newell added: "You end up with a totally different set of decisions, and the person who's trying to design the experience is like' Okay, I guess we'll put Christopher Walken in our game."
  • 1 Hide
    shqtth , August 12, 2011 12:54 PM
    Gaming on a cell phone is stupid. You get to nuke your nuts, lose you hair etc while gaming for 4+ hours.

    Sometimes I had to stop gaming on my iphone becuase my cell phone was on Edge and it was sucking the life out of me.


    Oh ya, cell phones can only game for so long because they have crappy power problems.
    On my iphone usually around 2-3 hours and I need to change my phone.


    When I use my DS, I can game for hours ans hours !.
  • -4 Hide
    dimar , August 12, 2011 12:58 PM
    If they release a smart phone 2Ghz Quad-Core using latest greatest GPU with Android OS, using high quality controller and 4.5" screen..... I guess I'd get one.
  • -2 Hide
    shqtth , August 12, 2011 12:58 PM
    If nintendo develops for the iOS which is a big mistake, they should make a crappy limited game for it. So enough so people can get there jolly.


    Also iOS games sell for way less ($1-9) compared to $20-$50 for a DS game, so there is no where near the same budget to develop a good game. No one will buy a $20 iphone game. Everyone that games on smartphones are cheap. I really don't know how anyone could make money making iOS games when the sell for so cheap, even if demand is high, and the fact Apply takes its apple tax, that leaves developers with next to nothing.







  • 2 Hide
    shqtth , August 12, 2011 1:03 PM
    Investors are invested in many companies at once, so they have no loyalty, and they do not care about how a company doesn't want to contribute to the success of its competitors.

    The investors in question probably own rotten apple stock, so they have an invested interest.

    Obviously these investors are not unbiased.
  • 0 Hide
    epdm2be , August 12, 2011 1:08 PM
    Nintendo should do the following.

    1) just be Nintendo. Develop for your own hardware (as long as you have it). NEVER develop for the competition, it will just eat your own marketshare.

    2) Don't be fooled into Android. Android is as open as bank vault. A crooked platform and aparantly a money stash for rival companies (like Microsoft who piggy back on every e.g. HTC device sold or Oracle or every jack-shit ashole company in the goddamn world).

    3) Just BE there. Don't dissapear, don't fade away amidst take-overs and other trouble. Just be calm, when you have success then save up the money for the bad times (they will come) and use your savings to keep afloat inbetween business-recessions. They come and go like the sun and the rain. Eventually ppl will come back. Once they realise that iOS is nothing more than a glorified mp3... euhm...sorry... AAC-player and that Android is a spiders-web into corporate turmoil.

    Both platforms are fashion platforms. Targetted to the wrong audience.

    E.g. iPhone is an ipod combined with a cell-phone. But iPod's are for youth unfortunatly the iPhone is so expensive that youth can't afford them so they end up in the hands of business-men. But iPhone is not designed with business-ppl in mind! Wrong product for the current market.

    The facts are this. The only smartphones with games in mind are currently the SE Xperia play and a long forgotten Nokia model from some distant past.

    Let's be honest, playing games on a touch screen just SUCKS!
  • -2 Hide
    rosen380 , August 12, 2011 1:43 PM
    "If they release a smart phone 2Ghz Quad-Core using latest greatest GPU with Android OS, using high quality controller and 4.5" screen."

    Compare the actual specs of a Wii to a typical smartphone and I think you'll find that the phone is already well beyond the Wii levels [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii#Technical_specifications]

    Most smartphones and tablets should have no problem handling games pretty much in the middle of a Wii and PS3





  • -2 Hide
    K2N hater , August 12, 2011 1:45 PM
    Since the iPad is a toy it's just plain logical that it would run games like a console.

    ...unless its hardware specs are too low to match a console.
  • -2 Hide
    zak_mckraken , August 12, 2011 2:06 PM
    I kind of agree with the investors. While I disagree that we don't need "yet another" console, the gaming industry is clearly going towards phones and tablets. It might just be a fad, but that's where the money is for now.

    Nintendo doesn't have to invest considerable time and money in this, they simply have to port their AAA titles from the NES to Gamecube era. Fast and easy money.
  • 2 Hide
    jacobdrj , August 12, 2011 2:22 PM
    Meh, I am happy with what Nintendo is doing. Focusing on innovative products rather than raw power. Microsoft's Kinect has supplanted this a bit, which I think is a good thing. But I don't need HD games. I need FUN games. Games that have creative stories and more creative game mechanics. I don't need another 3rd person shooter. Or even 1st person shooter. Part of the reason games like Super Metroid were so fun was the limitations and progression of fewer restrictions on movement provided by a 2d environment...
  • 1 Hide
    warmon6 , August 12, 2011 4:04 PM
    4745454bI doubt anyone official from Nintendo will see this, but here it goes.1) Drop the Wii U. We don't want it, it will cost to much.2) Give us what we do want, and Wii +. Give us HDMI, enough power to run modern games, etc. Open it up to developers so we get more 3rd party titles.3) Admit that handheld consoles are done. We don't want to carry 5 devices with us. Limp along with the 3DS until you can get your smartphone gaming stuff setup. You don't need to develop for Apple, Droid is fine.4) ???5) Profit!


    How can something cost too much when we dont even know what the official price will be? ;)  It could be $200. it could be $400. All we've heard in rumors is 300 to 350 range but nothing concrete.

  • -2 Hide
    11796pcs , August 12, 2011 4:05 PM
    Antone else feel like asking to Nintendo right now "what the hell are you even doing?"
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