Skip to main content

No phone for Nintendo, says president

nintendo_phone
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nintendo says it will not be joining the smartphone rat race like its gaming competitors, Sony and Microsoft. The news comes straight from the top, with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime telling CNN during an interview on Friday that the company has no plans to release a device with phone functionality.

“We have no desire to get into telephony,” Fils-Aime told CNN Friday. “We believe that we will earn our way into someone’s pocket without having to offer that (phone capability) as an additional factor.”

According to Nintendo’s head of software development Hideki Konno, the company hasn’t entirely ruled out the idea of, say, a “3DS Phone,” but says that the additional costs associated with producing a device that must connect to a cellular network have turned Nintendo off to the idea.

“It’s not that I’m uninterested,” Konno told CNN. “However, I look at the business model, and I see so many additional costs that come into play. Would we increase the price of the software itself? The distribution couldn’t be free.”

Some believe a Nintendo phone would be a perfect fit for the company, who says its recently released 3DS handheld gaming device outsold any other DS or GameBoy system in terms of first-day sales.

The move toward mobile 3D has already begun, with both LG and HTC having already created their own glasses-free 3D smartphones. Both of these devices incorporate the technology found in the 3DS.

Sony will soon release its Xperia Play smartphone, also known as the “PlayStation Phone.” The touchscreen smartphone makes the most of its mobile gaming capabilities, with a slide-out game controller in place of a physical keyboard.

Nintendo, on the other hand, rejects the idea that gaming and cell phones mix. “Phones are utilities,” Fils-Aime said. “Phones are not by definition entertainment devices.”

For the most part, customers seem to agree. According to a new study by comScore, only a quarter of US cell phone users play games on their device. (Why? We have no idea.) That’s up slightly from November 2010, when only 22.6 percent of mobile users played games on their handsets. At that pace, it would seem Nintendo has plenty of time to mull this one over before it misses the boat.

(Image via)

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
6 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 15
A green iPhone 15 lock screen.

The Apple iPhone 15 series was introduced last year and includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These are Apple's latest phones until the iPhone 16 series is announced this fall.

The iPhone 15 would typically be an excellent choice for users who don't require all the additional features of the iPhone 15 Pro series. However, there are several reasons why you should no longer consider this phone. Some of these reasons are related to the phone itself, while others are associated with where we are on Apple's iPhone release schedule.

Read more
Snapchat Planets: What’s the order, and what do they mean?
Snapchat Planets being shown on the Snapchat app on iPhone.

Snapchat is one of the most popular social/messaging apps around. We all know you can use it to send photos and videos to friends, watch their Stories, and follow content from other creators. But do you know about Snapchat Planets?

You may already be familiar with Snapchat Planets if you use Snapchat Plus. If you're not, it might be a reason to try out Snapchat's premium features. It is available through the Snapchat app on any mobile device, such as the Google Pixel 8 or iPhone 15.
What are Snapchat Planets?

Read more
The Mokibo Fusion 2.0 is unlike any iPad keyboard I’ve ever used
Mokibo Fusion 2.0 keyboard attached to iPad Pro.

As far as tablets go, keyboards fall in a rather weird class of accessories. For some, they are a must, while others don’t require anything more than taps, touch, and a bit of stylus action for both work and play. But that class also has its own schism. Can they live without a trackpad, or does their workflow make it to the finish line with a little assistance from touchscreen gestures?

But the rule isn’t universal. When you’ve got an iPad Pro in your hands, or even the significantly cheaper iPad Air with M-series silicon, you mean business. Or at least that was likely the intention when plunking over a thousand dollars on a tablet in hopes of getting some serious computing work done. For that kind of workflow, you need to get as close to a “real” keyboard -- one that offers at least a half-decent trackpad.

Read more