Skip to main content

Sony: Apple Devices Aren't a Threat

There's no question that Sony and Nintendo are feeling the heat from Apple. Both companies have taken cues from Apple's success with the Apps Store by providing similar small-sized games for their handheld gaming platforms--minis on the Sony PSP and DSiware on the Nintendo DSi (and let's not forget Wiiware on the Nintendo Wii). Recent numbers also indicate that Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have already surpassed the PSP in the mobile gaming sector here in the States, and have almost caught up with Nintendo's DS line.

But Sony's president of Networked Products & Services Group Kazuo Hirai implied that Apple isn't a threat to its game business. "It’s something that will lead to broadening the customer base of the overall game industry," Hirai told Bloomberg in an interview. "People who had never played a game before may enjoy it on their iPhone or Android cell phone and may want to play more at their home."

A good example would be Gameloft's Dungeon Hunter, a Diablo-like action/RPG that offers impressive graphics, heavy character customization, and classic hack-n-slash gameplay. The "app" has been such a hit for Gameloft that an HD version is currently in the works for the PlayStation 3. Apparently this version is a complete overhaul, and will offer co-op multiplayer both online and offline.

Just last week Apple launched its gaming service called Game Center for most iOS 4.1-compatible devices, adopting a simplified Xbox Live / PlayStation Network type structure. Apple gamers can add friends, view achievements, and participate in leaderboards, however there's no true socialization as seen with the console-based networks. Nintendo offers a similar service for the Wii and DSi, providing worldwide matchmaking, leaderboards, and more.

So should Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft worry about Apple? Probably not. All three have strong foundations in the gaming industry both in the living room and on the go. Certainly Apple has turned up the heat, however the big three also know how to play the game. If anything, Apple compliments the handheld gaming industry with innovation that ultimately benefits the gamer.

  • xpax
    "Apple gamers can add friends"

    Hilarious! We all know Apple users ain't got no friends. :P
  • aleccj1
    And this is news... How? We all already knew this, Tom's!
  • Sony and Nintendo's customer base is less likely to abandon them. There are not very many hardcore gamers that game on an iPod or will ever switch to an iPod as a primary gamins console whereas Apple is loosing a ton of people to Droid, Galaxy, G1 and the like. As Apple looses it's customers, so does it loose the casual gamers...
  • robochump
    Sony is kidding themselves. I for one am happy to once again see US electronics companies being innovative again! Go Apple!!!! I hope more US companies become innovative and not follow Apple by making similar devices.
  • braneman
    apple is a fad, not much else to say here, once they stop being a fad people will realize most of their strategy is a placebo.
  • seriousazn
    If anything, Apple compliments the handheld gaming industry with innovation that ultimately benefits the gamer.
  • Strider-Hiryu_79
    Yah the day apple takes over the gaming industry and dominates not just the console trio(sony, ms, nintendo) and PC gaming industry is the day pigs fly.

    So far MAC ported PC games run like crap even with powerful hardware. Compare orange box on mac vs pc/360/ps3 for example. Fail

    I'm sure the gaming review(especially those that are zombified and/or paid by apple) community is just on the verge of declaring the "angry bird" app as game of the year compared to the other stellar games out this year.

    Keep hoping apple fans. It ain't happening.
  • sactownbwoy
    I don't understand the fascination with gaming on the i-devices. They are good for about 2 min then I am bored and ready to play a real game with real controls be it pc or console. I have had an iphone/ipod touch/ipad and sold all of them because they are garbage.

    If I want to game on the go I pick up my PSP, where I can play real games that have some substance to them.
  • falchard
    I am surprised Sony could keep their composure when asked such a rediculous question.
  • leon2006
    The message is the contrary