Nintendo: Michael Pachter Speaks Out Against Nintendo President

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has spoken out against Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s comments on mobile gaming services providing a less rewarding and immersive experience than traditional console games.

“I think that Nintendo is right that mobile and social games generally provide a less immersive and less rewarding experience than most console and handheld games. However, when compared on a price-to-value ratio, mobile and social games are a bargain, and they allow access by many people who may otherwise not be inclined to purchase console or handheld games. Obviously, anyone with a cell phone or a PC can access mobile or social games, while access to handheld or console games requires the purchase of a console or portable gaming device. The dedicated purchaser of gaming devices is Nintendo’s core customer, but there is a lot of overlap with PC owners and mobile phone users, and when a young person spends time playing a mobile game or an older person spends time playing a social game, there is less time to play a Wii or DS game (or any other type of game, for that matter).”

“As a parent of 11 year-old twin girls, I see this first hand, as my kids each have a cell phone, and we have both an iPad and a Galaxy Tab in the house, along with every current gaming device. My kids spend more time playing mobile and iPad games than they do playing console and handheld device games, and that’s a departure over the past two or three years. I think that the all-in cost of mobile and social gaming is sufficiently low to pose a threat to Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld area, although they will certainly survive and thrive with their superior product offering. They just won’t sell quite as much software as in the past, since consumers have so many other choices that present a fair price-to-value proposition.”

“I’m not sure that Nintendo can do much to stave off competition from mobile and social games; I view Mr. Iwata’s presentation to game developers at GDC last month as analogous to a record company president speaking to recording artists 10 years ago and lamenting that Apple’s iTunes store would lead to their demise, as it cheapened the value proposition of music CDs by offering $1 downloads. This would have been a true statement at the time (to my knowledge, it didn’t actually happen), but such a plea wouldn’t have had any impact on Apple at all. Like the music analogy, Mr. Iwata’s plea to developers won’t stop Apple, and the success stories of developers like Rovio and Zeptolab will encourage further development by people hoping to launch the next Angry Birds or Cut the Rope.”

– Michael Pachter, industry analyst



  1. Bullcrap! None of those social-network games can offer half of the gaming experience games like the Mario saga, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania, Megaman and others can deliver. Those internet and mobile games are good when you want to kill some time on a waiting room, but they get old easily

  2. All I know is I haven’t touched my DS or Wii in months but I use my iPhone every day – which includes playing games.

    For someone who doesn’t always have time to sit down and play an immersive “serious” game, lighter casual games provide my fix.

  3. Well what can I say? It’s pachter. So you know the truth is the opposite of what comes out of his mouth

  4. wow… he says something that makes sense for once. 1/20th of the experience for 1/60th of the price, thats the logic here and it makes sense. dont talk about cheapening the marketplace; is wii carnival games anything more than a glorified ipod app? weve been getting crappy underfunded nintendo games for years. quality and quantity can exist side by side… continue making mario AND face raiders. :p

  5. i doubt he has all that shit he said aside from a cell phone. i doubt he has anything. he’s probably not even married, but this is the one article i won’t rage about. i’m fairly concerned over the rise iphone/social networking games.

  6. He can blah blah blah about mobile games all he wants, truth of the matter is people only play them because they’re bored and mobile games on their phone are convenient. That is no great achievement. It simply speaks volumes about our willingness to shell out a few dollars to stave off boredom. Winning by default isn’t winning at all. I’d still rather drag around my DS than drain my cell phone battery wasting it on a shallow gaming experience. I’m not so bored that I’ll give credence to a flash in the pan industry of convenience.

  7. Does it change anything that I still use CD’s, and never bought a single iTunes song? CD’s are much more bargain per song, and you can just copy them onto your iPod when you get home.

    On-subject, the best way for Nintendo to beat smart phone video games is to better their download shops. The problem isn’t in Nintendo’s first-party offerings (Pokemon, for example, has already offered me dozens of hours. More than the 3-4 hours the frustration-filled Angry Birds got me); rather it’s in the fact that games on the App Store are much cheaper than their DSiWare, or full DS game equivalents. For example, I got SFIV for $1, and I don’t see the $40 purchase on the 3DS as worth it, even though it’s vastly superior. It just isn’t 40 times better; it’s not even 2 times better. That price to value relationship is the problem.

    A better example would be GTA: Chinatown Wars. It sells for $35 on the DS (and $40 on the PSP) yet it sells for $10 on the iPod, with PSP graphics and the DS touchscreen. Best of both worlds, for literally a margin of the original cost.

    Plus App Store games are on sale a lot of the time. GTA was for $5 a few weeks ago, and the aforementioned SFIV is usually $10.

  8. Patcher got it wrong, because games cannot be compared with music, as companies doesn’t make money by making gaming concerts, besides the production cost are greatly superior. Besides Patcher was the one that was saying that call of duty should charge a monthly fee for the online

  9. The only difference in their thoughts are that Pachter works for a different COMPANY. Of course he’s going to say the Miyamoto has it all wrong.

  10. I don’t think half the people read the article. He says mobile games aren’t as deep and immersive as consoles and that people will end up buying less because of over saturation, price and ease. I find the title of the article a bit misleading. He’s not saying nintendo is evil or anything remotely like that

    Basically 5 years ago 90% of the people would of bought a handheld console to play on trips or for a distraction. Now probably half of the purchases made on a whim will be made to just play a game on their phone because it’s already on them

    If I was going on a trip I could totally see myself leaving my ds at home and just taking my iphone. And I am a gamer

  11. Anybody who is satisfied with petty “iPhone” games, clearly isn’t concerened with quality.

    1. Just…. no. There are tons of DS, PSP, and other system ports to iPhone, not to mention huge, immersive experiences such as Aralon, Zenonia (2), and the like. It isn’t that there isn’t quality, it’s just there’s so little.

  12. Stopped reading at the part where he says his 11-year old girls have their own cellphones.

    Seriously, MNN, why do you keep quoting this clown?

  13. Right, I’m sure DS ports work great on an iPhone. All touch screen and no buttons. What fun!

  14. Look i KINDA agree with Patcher, i mean he’s right the iphone games and stuff aren’t as immersive but much cheaper and the store was easier to browse compared to wii and dsi. But the quality of the 3ds and ds games are much better, but way more expensive. I broke my Ipod touch and it avoided the warrenty so i can’t use it. When i go on a trip i take my ds cause battery is better and now the 3DS can hold music and soon to be 3d movies. Also some games can only be gotten on the ds. In my opinion the 3ds is better but i see patchers side to his reasons. but the 3ds will be AMAZING and same with it’s games, i never saw a 3d i pod app, or a Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time app, or even a Pilot Wings resort etc. I’ve pre ordered a black 3ds and can’t wait for it! Also one quick question, I saw on google pictures of red 3DS, like the aqua blue except where it’s blue it’s red, are these real pics or Japan only stuff or viewer preferance and customization.

  15. not to be male chauvinist but he is talkaing about his daughters! most gamers are men… sorry girls, but that’s the truth… U.U

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