Has the fad surrounding Nintendo's Wii and DS consoles finally faded out? Namco Bandai's VP of sales, marketing and publishing Olivier Compte threw a one-two punch at the gaming company, tossing up a few surprising comments about the quality of both platforms and the state of both markets.
"It’s a tough market," Compte admitted in an interview. "DS is the most successful platform ever, but all my kids’ friends at school have a DS with an R4. They have 100 games for no money. So yes, the market has collapsed for the DS and Wii."
Naturally, that means less money in his pocket. Earlier in the interview, he refused to comment on Namco Bandai's performance in Europe, saying that the company is suffering from the market even though its reasonably close to earlier forecasts. It took a big hit in the wallet thanks to a sudden halt of Nintendo Wii and DS sales, costing the company money as it struggled to manage inventory at retail. Was this decline due to piracy, or the actual quality of games?
“We had a lot of product, and the average quality of a game on DS and Wii is very, very bad," he said. "So in the mind of the consumer today, to buy a DS or Wii game is to buy a game that isn’t very good."
Strangely enough, he also praised the Nintendo DS, saying that it was a "fantastic machine" and very easy to develop for. "It was possible for three kids in a garage to make a game for it," he added. But he also admitted his remorse for the platform, noting that piracy was indeed one of the forces behind the overall collapse of the DS market.
While that may be true, Apple may have some hand in its demise. The iPhone and iPod touch provide better graphics and touchscreen technology. Both Apple devices also provide more than just games, offering tools, video and audio media, and more. They're more diverse even when compared to the DSi. In the mobile market, Nintendo will seriously need to follow Apple's footsteps if it wants to keep its share of the market. Will the 3DS be able to take on Apple?
[Edited by Eric Wang]