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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Nintendo To Take On Apple With DSi App Store 165

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-could-merge-and-give-me-one-button-nintendogs dept.
Dave Allen writes "Despite Nintendo publicly claiming no direct competition with the iPhone or iPod Touch with its new DSi console, reports have been leaked about the Big N actively encouraging developers to begin work on small form gaming and non-gaming applications for the DSi's download service. This is the first step toward Nintendo putting together a direct App Store rival, and could be the marketing hook it's been desperately searching for to convince gamers to upgrade their DS." It seems only fair that since the iPhone is now a gaming platform, the DS is becoming a PDA. And, if the only difference between them is a 3G wireless connection, the rivalry can only get more fierce.
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Nintendo To Take On Apple With DSi App Store

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  • Only difference? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crock23A (1124275) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:31PM (#27257433)
    How about Dual Screens, Dual Cameras, expandable memory, clamshell design. Not to mention the thing plays DS GAMES!
    • by node 3 (115640)

      How about Dual Screens, Dual Cameras, expandable memory, clamshell design. Not to mention the thing plays DS GAMES!

      How about multi-touch, iPhone OS, GPS, accelerometer. Not to mention full iPod functionality!

    • Add dual Sim card too.

      Just recently I changed jobs and was provided a work phone. Carrying two phones around is a pain in the backside, and I'd love for a good quality dual-sim smartphone, that doesn't look like a cheap piece of junk.

  • Donnie, you're out of your element!
  • But... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joehonkie (665142) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:32PM (#27257467) Homepage
    The DS has a totally different resolution, control structure, a minimal API set, and the big thing: no WWAN connectivity. It's just not even the same thing. It is much better at playing games, though.
    • by athakur999 (44340)

      The DSi has 802.11g connectivity, just not 3G like the iPhone. In that respect at least, it is competitive with the iPod Touch which also lacks 3G.

      Don't confuse the regular DS with the DSi.

    • I'm thinking that this is more in competition with the iPod Touch, rather than the iPhone.
      If you want to go with WWAN though, the iPhone also has something that the DSi doesn't have: a monthly fee.
      • I'm thinking that this is more in competition with the iPod Touch, rather than the iPhone.

        It doesn't matter. The iPhone & iPod Touch can use almost all the same software, so developers get a two-for one deal. The DSi won't have the same installed base as the DS, so iPhone + iPod Touch > DSi.

        • What are you smoking? The DSi can use ALL of the same software as the DS/DSLite, so DS/DSL/DSi>>>iPhone+iPod Touch. Nintendo just passed the 100 million point with the DS.
          • The DSi can use ALL of the same software as the DS/DSLite, so DS/DSL/DSi

            That is true, but equally true is the fact that you can't download games for your DS/DS Lite, so those consoles aren't competing with the iPhone & iPod Touch in that sense. Don't get me wrong, I own both a DS & a Touch, and enjoy them both for different reasons.

    • by tepples (727027)

      The DS has a totally different [...] control structure

      The DS has a touch screen, like the iPod Touch, even though it has a D-pad and buttons instead of an accelerometer.

      and the big thing: no WWAN connectivity.

      Neither has the iPod Touch.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        The DS has a touch screen, like the iPod Touch

        It may have a touch screen, but the touch screen is nothing like the iPod touch.

        • Re:But... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Zerth (26112) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @02:04PM (#27258959)

          The DS has a touch screen, like the iPod Touch

          It may have a touch screen, but the touch screen is nothing like the iPod touch.

          .
          True, you can use a DS with gloves or a stylus when it is cold out.

          • by mgblst (80109)

            Really? That is good, but I am pretty sure it doesn't do multitouch, which can be very handy on a device like iPhone/Touch.

  • If Nintendo doesn't intend to compete directly with Apple then why jump on the bandwagon with the "i" addition? I know it's trendy on everything from the iRobot to the i-Dog but in my opinion they show their hand with the name.
    • by jmauro (32523)

      Because they already used Virtual Boy to much success so they're kind of limited on the names they left to use.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All right, all right, I'm thinking I'm starting to get this.

      Nintendo comes up with the name "Wii" for their new console. They do this to make something unique and not-bandwagon-jumpy so as to make themselves distinct. It is met with no end of bitching and moaning from the get-off-my-lawn gaming elite, who want their D-pads D-paddy, their control sticks sticky, and their console names a reaffirmation of their egos. And when I say "no end of bitching and moaning", I mean it; to this day, every time the nam

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Golddess (1361003)

        All right, all right, I'm thinking I'm starting to get this.

        Nintendo comes up with the name "Wii" for their new console. They do this to make something unique and not-bandwagon-jumpy so as to make themselves distinct. It is met with no end of bitching and moaning from the get-off-my-lawn gaming elite, who want their D-pads D-paddy, their control sticks sticky, and their console names a reaffirmation of their egos. And when I say "no end of bitching and moaning", I mean it; to this day, every time the name is mentioned in a Slashdot comment, at least two or three oh-so-clevar l33t gamerzzzz start making genitalia references, "lol".

        So Nintendo names their upgraded DS the "DSi". And what shows up in a few scant Slashdot posts, right near the top? Someone bitching and moaning that Nintendo has jumped on a bandwagon. Waah, waah, waah.

        (Emphasis mine)

        Please forgive me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chyeld (713439)

      Wii? DSi? Sounds like a combination of the DS and Wii names to represent this has pulled feature ideas from the Wii generation.

      What did you want them to call it? The DS Lite Plus?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by TTURabble (1164837)
        The DS Lite Plus Single Core 2 Duo?
      • What did you want them to call it? The DS Lite Plus?

        What about the "DS Liter"?

        Though I doubt that would sell in America... they'd have to call it the "DS Two-and-a-bit Pints" there instead.

    • by xenolion (1371363)

      If Nintendo doesn't intend to compete directly with Apple then why jump on the bandwagon with the "i" addition? I know it's trendy on everything from the iRobot to the i-Dog but in my opinion they show their hand with the name.

      interactive, internet, improvement take your pick apple didn't create the letter "i" hell i bet you think DS means dual screen too Flame away.

      • by relikx (1266746)
        They didn't create it but they successfully marketed it and made it synonymous with "tech" when attached to another name/brand. My comment was only in response to the start of TFA where it painted the picture Nintendo wanted to pretend Apple doesn't exist. To that point, using the flavor of the month i seems a little silly - there's really no point to flame because you are flame retardant.
  • Really bad summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:37PM (#27257563)

    How does providing a download service for DSi "directly compete" with Apple's Appstore (to paraphrase the summary)? If you own an iPhone, you won't be able to access the DS store, and if you own a DSi you won't be able to access the iPhone Appstore, so how is that competition?

    People won't be choosing between iPhone or DSi. They are completely different devices.

    • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @01:27PM (#27258331) Journal

      People won't be choosing between iPhone or DSi. They are completely different devices.

      I own a DS Lite & an iPod Touch. If I had a DSi, there might be times when I'd buy downloads for it instead of my iPod Touch, hence there would be competition.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly! Just how when I buy cereal it's competing with parking meters which are competing with movie tickets that are also competing with ikea furniture!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by XxtraLarGe (551297)

          Exactly! Just how when I buy cereal it's competing with parking meters which are competing with movie tickets that are also competing with ikea furniture!

          I know you were trying to be funny, but you were accidentally correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition#Economics_and_business [wikipedia.org]

          Whereas cereal, parking meters, movie tickets & Ikea furniture are budget competition, the DSi & iPhone/iPod Touch are direct competition in the space of downloadable games.

    • People won't be choosing between iPhone or DSi. They are completely different devices.

      Well, in a general sense and spirit, I agree with you. But I would like to point out one small thing: I sometimes get an itch to buy a game for my iPod Touch. If I had the equivalent of the App store on my DS, I'd look at it first. In that sense, even though we're not talking about an event that happens often, it is technically competition. I like my portable devices, and I like the idea of having more games on them. I've been itching to get a Pandora device, for example, just so I could explore that

  • SDK? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viking Coder (102287) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:45PM (#27257673)

    So, will there be SDKs for download?

    Are there already SDKs for download, and I just didn't know about them?

    • Re:SDK? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AndrewNeo (979708) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:49PM (#27257727) Homepage
      Mod parent up. You'll probably still have to be a Registered Nintendo Developer (aka thousands of dollars) to develop for the DSi store.
      • Re:SDK? (Score:5, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday March 19, 2009 @01:08PM (#27258031) Homepage Journal

        ~$2,000 last I checked. The price isn't the problem, it's getting into the program that's the problem.

        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          Compared to Apple's ~$100 yearly fee, $2000 is already a problem in itself. Even if you have to buy a $600 Mac mini in the first year, that's still $1300 cheaper for the first year and $1900 cheaper for every year after that.

          • Re:SDK? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Thursday March 19, 2009 @01:22PM (#27258257)

            On the other hand Big N has understood something that Apple doesn't seem to get yet.

            Quanity does not beat quailty.

            How many complaints have we heard lately over the level of dreck in the iPhone App store? About how hard it is to find the diamond in the rough, or how long it takes to get an app approved unless you are a big name and able to talk Apple into fast tracking the approvals?

            How many complaints have you heard about the same for the WiiWare store? I'm going to bet you that it's far fewer.

            • by MobyDisk (75490)

              I have not heard that. I've heard the opposite: That good apps can't get in because apple polices things too much.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by andrewd18 (989408)

              Quanity does not beat quailty.

              And quality trumps all!

            • It is positively loaded with shovelware. And before I get marked troll, look at my name.
              • by Chyeld (713439)

                Yes, I have. I've also put some bucks down on WiiWare. There is an issue with shovelware when it comes to the 'real' games. And there are a few WiiWare games that I wouldn't consider worth buying at the price point they are currently at, but over all, I don't find it hard to find something worth buying/playing when I visit the Shopping Channel with cash to spend.

            • by mgblst (80109)

              Ha, funny stuff.

              How many complaints have we heard lately over the level of dreck in the iPhone App store?

              Not that often, maybe once with the i am rich app. It is very easy to avoid the rubbish. There is a review and rating system, and there are top 10/25/100 lists all over the place, including on the iPhone/Touch itself.

              About how hard it is to find the diamond in the rough

              Easy, as I already said. Can't your read?

              or how long it takes to get an app approved unless you are a big name and able to talk Apple int

              • Not that often, maybe once with the i am rich app. It is very easy to avoid the rubbish.

                [snip]

                I takes me a week to get my crappy, small time apps published.

                You just contradicted yourself sir, by saying that you don't encounter crappy applications frequently yet can get them listed within a week. One of those is incorrect, unless you rely on other users voting for top 100 lists to find good applications in which case other people have to dredge through the rubbish to find the sapphires.

                You apparently missed his point entirely while rushing to defend Apple. It's because you can push your "crappy, small time" applications past Apple's quality vetting that there

          • Sort of. The price is for the development equipment + software + ongoing support. (The latter of which I believe includes regular publications from Nintendo on the latest ways to make the best use of the hardware.) It's still more expensive than iPhone development, but not really enough to make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

            The bigger issue is that Nintendo picks and chooses who can be in the program. Which limits WiiWare and DSiWare to established developers rather than Joe Blow.

        • by tepples (727027)
          So how should an ex-hobbyist developer afford, say, the $1,000 per month for an office? Should he try to turn a profit on apps for Windows first and then put that money toward getting into the program?
          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Nobody's going to pay for your crappy tetris knockoffs anyway, derrick.

            • by tepples (727027)

              Nobody's going to pay for your crappy tetris knockoffs anyway

              Who said anything about Lockjaw? Let me rephrase:

              So how should an ex-hobbyist developer who plans to develop applications other than falling block video games afford, say, the $1,000 per month for an office? Should he try to turn a profit on apps for Windows first and then put that money toward getting into the program?

  • Rival? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Aladrin (926209)

    How can you be a rival when you don't even play on the same field?

    It's ludicrous to think that Nintendo and Apple are rivals for downloadable apps.

  • by GameGod0 (680382) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:55PM (#27257831)
    Nintendo's online game store is probably going to be a precursor to a full-blown AAA-title download store for them. They're not interested in making the DS into a PDA, they're interested in cutting out Walmart as a middle-man.

    (You don't have to look very far to see how digital distribution is changing the gaming market. Eg. XBox Live Arcade, Steam, D2D, etc. Nintendo wants a piece of the sweet sweet pie that Valve cooked with Steam.)
    • by jadin (65295)

      Nintendo wants a piece of the sweet sweet pie that Valve cooked with Steam.

      It was cake. And it was a lie.

  • by GameGod0 (680382) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:57PM (#27257873)
    ... unless you believe all the hyperbole that comes out of Apple's marketing department.

    The iPhone is a gaming platform as much as my Tamagotchi is a gaming platform (when compared to a DS). We're talking casual, short games vs. full blown DS games, there's no comparison here.
    • The difference is that the market for two types of games(casual, short vs. full blown) have a lot of overlap. There are genres that I enjoy, such as tower games, but not to the point where I am willing to buy a full game, however I plunked down $7.99 for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for my iPhone. However, genres and games I really do enjoy I want a much more engrossing experience and am willing to pay for such, for example Zelda games. Nintendo, by currently only catering to the full blown part of t
    • by node 3 (115640)

      ... unless you believe all the hyperbole that comes out of Apple's marketing department.

      The iPhone isn't primarily a gaming platform, like the DS, Wii, PS3, etc, are. It's primarily half-phone, half-portable computer, and half-iPod (yes, I know).

      Focussing on the computer 'half', it plays games very, very well. Just because it's not primarily a gaming platform, doesn't mean it's not a gaming platform. Even a cursory glance at the games section of the App store will demonstrate that it has a very viable gaming ecosystem.

      Now that there's a dock connection API and a bluetooth API, expect to see d

  • The way I see it, another App store that is on another platform is not really a direct rival to Apple's iTunes App store for iPhone/iPod touch. They're not REALLY stealing any sales from Apple's store, as the Apple users will still continue to have to use the iTunes app store to buy stuff for their iPhones/iPod touch.

    Now, if someone was to open an app store that was able to sync and install onto the iPhone, THAT would be a rival. Yes, at the moment that would require Apple certifying the application to be able to sync to the iPhone, and configuring the iPhone to allow such a store to sync onto it, which we all know would probably be as likely to happen as seeing Halley's comet next month near Earth.

    Maybe, in the future, all these stores will coalesce into one big store, or use an open framework so that each store can sync onto any device... but for now, they are not really competition of each other so long as each store retains sole rights over its respective device.

  • They've seen how easy it is to make money on CSI knock offs. Now we know why Grissom left the CSI series, it's only a matter of time before we're watching Law and Order:The Mushroom Kingdom.

  • Despite claims? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @01:29PM (#27258367)

    DESPITE claims? That implies that it goes against their complains of not being "direct competition." The DSi is still not going to be a phone or an mp3 player, which are what the iPhone and iPod are, respectively. So it's still true, this isn't direct competition. Oh no, a small hand-held PDA-like device that plays games and can connect to the internet. Apple is doomed. Nintendo is lying by claiming they aren't directly competing with Apple...

    • by Jonny_eh (765306)

      Actually, the DSi will be an mp3 player: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2331546,00.asp [extremetech.com]
      It will also take pictures with the built in camera. It's definitely adding capabilities beyond playing video games. I wouldn't be surprised if apps came out for playing videos down the road.

    • Maybe that will change when the first devs start selling a PC-synchronising mp3 player app, and a VOIP app.

      I think it's quite likely that the two device categories will have completely converged by the time Nintendo releases the next generation of handhelds.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @01:36PM (#27258467)
    Nintendo have been trumpeting the DSi Store as a WiiWare equivalent for the DS for ages, I don't see why someone would "leak" the fact that they're - gasp - getting people to develop games for it.
  • by Nephroth (586753) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @05:50PM (#27262161)
    This is a minor gripe of mine, media doesn't really understand technology so they get some rough approximation of how things work and run with it

    The DS plays games, the iPhone can play games, they are both immensely popular and have touch screens, therefore they must be competitive products.

    If you look, you'll find similarly misinformed articles that act as though the iPhone was the first device to have a touch screen, or the first to have an application portal, or the first to play games. Misunderstandings like this are all over the internet and are a clear example of news outlets attempting to get some manner of readership by simply talking about something popular. It doesn't do justice to the devices in question, and it helps to perpetuate the general level of misinformation that most people have about devices that are rapidly becoming an important part of their lives.
  • So it's Apple Computers that invented the online store? Wow, Jobs is really a visionary!

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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