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Konno: Nintendo 'Not Worried' About 3DS Competing With Mobile Game Prices

Konno: Nintendo 'Not Worried' About 3DS Competing With Mobile Game Prices

March 21, 2011 | By Staff

March 21, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Design

Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime have stated their opinions about the mobile and social gaming market -- the company wants to maintain games' "value" in the face of free to low-priced games.

Now in a new Gamasutra feature interview, 3DS project lead Hideki Konno suggested that Nintendo won't be releasing digital games on the handheld that drive prices down to the bottom, arguing that the strategy is in the interest of game makers.

"So now in terms of one dollar games, or free games, or whatever that is out there in the market, I mean, really, we're not going to be competing with that," Konno said.

"We're not going to try to match that; we're just going to continually strive to not just maintain, but increase, the quality of the entertainment that we're providing, and let it sort itself out. Again, we're not worried about competing at a price point level."

He said that viewpoint isn't exclusive to Nintendo, which sells retail 3DS games for about $40 each, and smaller-scale digital games for considerably less. "I believe that's more than likely Sony and Microsoft's opinion on that as well."

"Now of course as a customer, if somebody said to me, 'Hey, we've got Call of Duty on your portable device and it's only going to cost you 100 yen,' yeah, I'd be super stoked, really excited about that," he added.

"And I'd be really excited to see a great game at a really cheap price, but I just don't think that you could make a game that's immersive and as big as, let's say Call of Duty, or any other large title, and sell it at that price point; it's just not possible."

"The only way that you're going to get a game at that price point is if it's a limited version with limited levels or something," he said. "They're going to have to reduce it to sell at that price. So that other game -- because the content is valuable -- it's still going to be a viable product at a higher price point."

"If we went out and created one of our titles -- a big title for Nintendo -- and we decided to sell it at, like, say 100 yen, how many do we have to sell to get back our investment?" Konno questioned. "That number's insane. It's just incredible, right?"

"As a game developer I've put my heart into what I create, and I'm hoping that what I'm putting out there is something that people will be engaged by and entertained by," he said. "And as a consumer, I want the same thing. If I go and I see a game that interests me and I think I want to play it, I don't mind the fact that I have to pay a reasonable price for it."

"I'm not trying to say that I think games on cell phones are a bad thing; I'm not trying to say that they're worthless, or have no value at all. I'm just saying that they're just different."

For more from Konno on the creation of the 3DS, working with Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto and more fascinating background to the creation of the device, read the full Gamasutra feature.

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