Skip to content

Iwata Says The Dedicated Handheld Market Isn’t Vanishing Or Shrinking

Despite the growing rise of smartphones and tablet devices, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata remains convinced that the dedicated gaming handheld market isn’t shrinking or vanishing. Iwata also went on to say that as long as the company can make compelling software for portable gaming machines that can’t be replicated by tablets or smartphones, then Nintendo will keep producing them.

“I think that if we are able to provide experiences on handheld devices that consumers cannot get on another device, then we will continue creating software and hardware going forward, and if it comes to a point when we’re not able to do that, I think, yeah, you will see portable handheld gaming devices go the way of the Dodo, I guess.”

“I think a lot of this discussion is based on the premise that the handheld gaming device market is shrinking or vanishing and I don’t think that is true and I’d like to address that,” he said. He turned to his MacBook Air as he began to cite some stats.

72 thoughts on “Iwata Says The Dedicated Handheld Market Isn’t Vanishing Or Shrinking”

  1. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

    So he basically said Nintendo will continue making handheld games until smartphones can replicate the experience, which includes proper buttons and analog sticks, that’s how I read it. That’s not a bad plan, but that replication including proper buttons and sticks is nearing reality, if it’s not already here.

    1. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

      I just want to add that I don’t necessarily agree with him, but he isn’t terribly wrong, I mean he has been the most successful CEO of Nintendo in terms of sold console units, so he has to know something to say something like this.

    2. lol and what? dedicated game devices guarantee nearly no lagg for pc or tablets you need to upgrade every year nearly….an dedicated game device stays like 5-6 years

      1. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

        I’m sorry? What did you say, that PC’s and tablets have no lag at all, and that you have to upgrade them every year, whereas dedicated gaming platfoms last for 5-6 years? I do not see what any of that has to do with the matter. And you don’t even have to upgrade your PC every year, and you especially don’t have to upgrade your tablet every year, what the hell are you talking about?

      2. hi there your wrong big time my macbook air has a 2.13 ghz duo core cpu 4 gb ram 256 gb flash drive flash drives good for 156 years 24/7 365 non stop soo i dont need upgrade until year 2222

    3. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

      nintendo handhelds will exist for ever .
      pokemon , zelda , mario etc etc . are better than any shite on a phone.
      their handhelds have the potential to be even more succesful than the DS.
      no doubt.
      the 3ds is already ahead of the ds sales after 1 year.
      so it is not in danger at ALL.

      1. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

        I know what you mean, Nintendo will keep doing it since they are loyal to what they do, but that doesn’t mean systems like the 3DS aren’t in any danger.
        Just because the 3DS is outselling the DS in the same timespan doesn’t mean much when society has evolved so far to achieve big objectives, like raising large amounts of money for a Kickstarter. Because of the Internet we’ve started to work more as a whole. Example, a famous YouTuber, like TotalHalibut (AKA TotalBiscuit.), makes a first impressions video on a new indie game on Steam, because of that it’s not out of reach to say that the game will sell a lot of copies. Now that wouldn’t be possible in a year like 2006, the Internet was still new to the mainstream at that time, so large numbers of people reaching out for a biog goal wasn’t as possible as today.
        And even if the smartphone market isn’t doing anything to the 3DS’s sales, there is still this thought among people that are easily manipulated by the media, that smartphones are killing handhelds. And just the fact that people think that way, has a negative effect on the consoles sales. Back when the DS was still Nintendo’s main hndheld, grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and children were fine playing the consoles, but nowadays they have their iPhones, their iPads to do just that, and that already is a sign that handhelds aren’t as needed for people like your grandpa, grandpa, mom, etc.. I generally believe that the 3DS is more of a hardcore console than the DS’s casual games like Scribblenauts, so it may be that hardcore gamers have picked the system up, instead of part of the casual audience.
        But that’s just my opinion, take it as you will. It seems like part of the text has been cut off from my view, I may repost this comment if that is the case.

    4. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

      is way ahead of what ever angry birds sold for $3 a piece.
      think about it . handheld games like mario and pokemon are by far the dominant force.
      if you like phone games you should be ashamed of yourself.

      1. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

        For one, Angry Birds has sold a ton of copies, a billion downloads to be exact, here’s the link:
        And 2., nowhere did I say I like phone games better, I made a objective comment on the matter, if you can’t take a neutral or negative stance on Nintendo then don’t bother replying to me, I’m just discussing the matter, if you have to be THAT fan and accuse me of something like hating then you have to grow up and learn how to have a civilized argument without your interests, likes and dislikes interfering with it.

        1. I just want to clarify for you, as many people seem to be missing this point. That one billion Angry Birds download mostly include the free versions. Yes they did sell a lot of paid versions, but most of the downloads were free.

        2. I absolutely no idea why angry birds sold so much. I’ve played it and got bored after 2 minutes on the other hand I played the first New super Mario bros ans i find the thing hard to put down once you start. People nowadays settling for mediocre entertainment

        3. A bilion, but it tallys everything up (even free android downloads) not much of an accomplishment now is it. Plus AB is one of the few games that has actualy had succes on the mobile platform. most Flop.

  2. Its not shrinking as such its not not growing as much. I doubt the 3DS will sell as much as the DS but it’ll selling a good amount, probably 80 mil. I mean just got mine today so, definitely not going anywhere :p

    1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

      it is actualy seling faster than the ds was in its first year.
      so actualy it looks like the 3ds could out sell the ds in 5 years time.
      160 million cough .

        1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

          it means it is likely to.
          as the price drops in the future and games like pokemon and others come out.
          we will see the 3ds sales sky rocket even further.
          pokemon 3ds will shift about 20 million 3ds’s world wide .
          not to mention NSMB2 is already doing this as we speak.
          give it some time buddy :).
          smash bros 3d = sky rocket , etc.

          1. Yeah i always forget about Pokemon xD that’ll sell a ton. Same with Snash Bros, then there Paper Mario, Castlevania and Luigis Mansion coming in Feb, so there should be a boom in sales there, unless everyone spent their money on a WiiU

        2. Have to agree with you on that one. I think since mobile gaming has come, 3DS wont sell as many units as the DS. Of course theres a chance im wrong but good chance im not as well.

            1. When you are playing on a tiny screen on your phone and can’t see the position of your bird behind your thumb whilst trying to get the perfect position, it is luck based.

              1. That isn’t the point, it’s your own fault. Saying the game is luck based for your “fault”, is stupid.

                Also, this doesn’t even apply to tablets. It isn’t only a smartphone game.

                1. It is the fault of the game if it is hard to even play on certain devices. I do not own a tablet, and I do not plan to. I do not know what it is like to play the game on tablets. But on smartphones, which I have played it on, I find it to be luck based. If you have a different opinion, I do not care, since I have no interest in it.

                  1. No, it is the fault of the user. You can’t see the screen with your gigantic finger? That’s a YOU issue; not the majority. Once again, every smartphone isn’t the same screen size.

                    You find it to be luck based. They keyword here is “you”. In reality, it isn’t. That is a fact.

      1. It is, but it is literally 10 times more expensive than the three iPhone versions put together included in the 3DS version. I will never pay $1 for Angry Birds, let alone $30.

  3. Dame right Iwata San, I will continue to support you as long as your company continues on producing good qualities systems and games.


    The 3DS is outselling the DS at the same point of both system’s lifespans. The DS came out before smartphones were mainstream. Iwata is correct. Even though mobile downloads make up the majority of handheld gaming purchases, they are having little to no effect to the dedicated handheld indsutry, no matter what the analysts and Nintendo haters say. There is room in the world for phones, the Vita and the 3DS, no matter what people say.

    1. Your point is…?

      Selling faster than a predecessor doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything in the grand scheme of things. The majority of those sales aren’t even in relevant western territories. So your argument is still flawed.

      Dedicated handhelds will inevitably die out. Whether you like it or not.

      1. Total of 3DS’s sold in Japan as of 30th June 2012: 6.76 million
        Total of 3DS’s sold in other territories (majority of which are Western audiences) as of 30th June 2012: 12.23 million

        Please explain why you think the 3DS will die out, even though it is keeping up with, if not exceeding, a very similar handheld console released at a time without smartphones and tablets. I really want to hear this. Are tablets suddenly going to grow a d-pad and A and B buttons or something?

        1. I think you misunderstood what was said, I was implying as a single region, Japan had the most 3DS sales. Which it clearly does:

          The western territories are obviously behind, and OBVIOUSLY combined, they would exceed those figures.

          Also, why the FUCK are you putting words in my mouth? Where in the hell did I EVER say that the 3DS will die out to smartphones?

          Seriously do you have the reading comprehension of a toddler?

          1. If you don’t have the popular opinion of other “handhelds are going to die” people who think that tablets will kill it, what is going to kill handhelds? I have never seen a person say that handhelds are going to die for any other reason, so that is why I mentioned tablets. Please explain what you think is going to kill handhelds; I would find it actually quite interesting.
            The DS was significantly lagging in sales in America compared to Japan at this point in the system’s lifespan as well, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the best selling handheld ever, and it was extremely successful. The DS actually picked up in America and outsold the Japan sales from early 2008, same happen with the other regions put together, who is to say that this won’t happen again? So far the 3DS is following a very similar selling pattern to the DS, and if these trends continue, it American DS sales will outweigh the Japanese sales.

            1. I just gave you an answer in a previous reply of what is going to kill handhelds, you distorted what I said and for whatever fucking idiotic reason threw in the “3DS” in this equation. If you want to keep fishing for a non-existent second answer, go ahead. But you already got your answer.

              Next, once again. You are relying on guesswork. The 3DS isn’t even two years old yet, whereas the original DS family is 8 years old. Who’s to say it won’t happen again? Advancements in smartphone and mobile gaming will say so. If you think by less than that amount of years they wouldn’t have, you are lying to yourself.

              The only thing the 3DS has right now is physical controls. That’s the only thing, phones have smashed it in processing power, graphics, and virtually everything else non-gaming related. Now let’s say companies start adding physical controls to smartphones, what does it have over them? Nothing. The DS was in a market for years that was at the time, not under threat of smartphones. There is absolutely no particular way the 3DS will outsell that system’s family in today’s generation. Maybe if they handed them out for like $20 a pop. Otherwise, it isn’t going to happen.

              The “touch screen can’t replicate buttons” argument won’t keep working for the foreseeable decade. Sony has already done so. Come to think of it, the XPeria Play actually met “sales expectations” and was “selling well” according to them.

              1. 1. First you were saying that smartphones are not going to kill handhelds, and now you are saying they are? Please be consistent and please quote where you give a real reason why handhelds will die in your first two comments, I am simply not seeing it anywhere. And why did you bitch to me for bringing up phones and tablets when they were EXACTY what you were talking about?
                2. Putting buttons on smartphones and tablets suitable for gaming would be a big deviation from the current aesthetics, not to mention expensive and ultimately useless for many smartphone and tablet users. Such a change will not happen for ten years. If companies want to create additional hardware which drains batteries and gives a half ass version of button controls, (which they already have, but are only compatible with a small number of games), then they can be my guest. But even then, adding suitable buttons will make smart phones and tablets even less portable (unless they make screens smaller, which they won’t), less cosmetically good to look at, and less practical in shape. You have to remember that phones and tablets aren’t primarily intended for gaming, so manufactures are simply not going to put physical controls in any time soon.
                3. Try searching for Xperia Play sales on Google. There are NO ACTUAL FIGURES. I don’t know what the sales are, but I can tell you they sure aren’t close to the range of dedicated handhelds, otherwise Sony would be boasting about it to no end, and it would have revolutionised the handheld gaming industry already.

                1. You know what? After what you said in that first paragraph, I’m no longer replying to you until you start FUCKING READING. Develop your comprehension skills, then ring me up. I’m not wasting my time with pure idiocy. I’m not reading that wall of fucking text, until you start reading mine. This bullshit will stop, and you will not distort what I’m saying.

                  1. Then stop being so cryptic and start saying what you mean. I’m glad this conversation is over, because I do not like talking to idiotic trolls like you who come to this site to purposely annoy the actual target audience, people who like Nintendo and want to talk about the latest news in polite and civilised manner without Nintendo haters filling the comments. Good say sir.

                    If anyone else is reading this, please quote where he says the reason why handhelds will fail in his first two comments of this thread. I simply do not see it. Either I am going insane, or this guy is just an idiot.

  5. I agree that the handheld gaming market isn’t going away anytime soon in a significant way, but to discount where tablets (and the software produced for them) will be in say 5 years is really being blind to the future of technology.

    I’ve had a nintendo handheld as long as they’ve been made, and i’ll still buy them as long as they’re made, but when i play some legit games created for tablets (like say Shadowgun for example not talking angry birds) i see that with increasing amounts of storage and power that tablet gaming can become a legitimate force in the future.

  6. When it becomes affordable to, I predict Nintendo will make their then current system’s controller also function as their portable device. Wii U’s Gamepad isn’t currently a threat to the 3DS due to the distance restriction, but I see a future system being Nintendo’s all-in-one package, including gaming on-the-go. Too, all content would then be shared between “platforms,” including the VC (no more Conse/Game Boy separation).

  7. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots

    Actually, I would suggest Nintendo to try and make their own gaming phone, not like the failed gaming phone Sony attempted. But make a smartphone, add all the usual smartphone stuff, like a browser, apps, and the eShop. Then you create an attachment which has all the buttons that the 3DS has or more, but package it with the phone. After that you promise games like a new 3D Mario game, a new 3D Zelda (Or 2D, we haven’t had those in a LOOONG time.), Metroid, etc. And you could potentially have an Apple killer, that is if it covers all the smartphone needs, as well as gamer needs, which shouldn’t be that hard to do the way I envision it.

  8. When tablets and smartphones can do what handhelds can now I they can simply make the handhelds do something new that smartphones and tablets won’t be able to.

  9. I will always by nintendo portable system over any mobile devices for gaming. You cannot go wrong ever. I have owned ipad 1 and 2, and sold them both, i primarily only used it as a sketchbook and portable tv. its didn’t justify cost, i use my droid phone which has a large screen and does more than an ipad daily but not for gaming. As for mobile consoles, I learned what happened when I strayed and bought a psp…it pretty much was never used and a paper weight. MY pink 3ds was my baby, and sadly traded it for th red 3ds xl and have to say it best gaming device I have used in years on just fun factor alone.. I know sony fan boys are going to bash this but the reality is..specs mean very little a end of the day..If its not fun its just not fun, graphically it doesn’t have to be amazing to be a great console or game. I will gift my red 3ds xl eventually when a pink releases one day. but until then I am rocking this thing out.
    This analyst is right on the money with his thoughts, but many of the response believe it is due to replicating the controller experience..its not that at all. mobile games just lack the depth that nintendo puts into it. there is a reason the game only cost 3 dollars or 99 cents.

  10. Hate to break it to you “handhelds will die off” people. Dedicated handhelds will not die off as long as there are people like me and many others who like them. And are loyal to them. Seriously I have an iPhone and I’ve only downloaded the free version of 5 games. My 3DS I have gladly spent 40 dollar each , many on the first day of release. So yeah they aren’t going anywhere

  11. Nintendo should make their own handheld that also acts as a smartphone. Doesn’t anyone think that a Nintendo smartphone would be FREAKING AWESOME!?

  12. I’m not looking forward to the day when this happens. Dedicated handheld gaminf devices are something special. Like Iwata said, the key to their success is creating experiences that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Leave luck to heaven.

  13. Pingback: Satoru Iwata asegura que el mercado de consolas portátiles no está desapareciando

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: