Nintendo Frowns On (Most) Cheap iPhone Games

Nintendo would love for us to keep paying $40 or so for portable games. Never mind that 99-cent stuff on iPhone. Those games are a threat to Nintendo? Well, they're a "risk," Nintendo says.

"I actually think one of the biggest risks today in our gaming industry are these inexpensive games that are, candidly, disposable from a consumer standpoint," Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime told Game Trailer TV host Geoff Keighley in the Spike TV series' latest episode. File-Aime was on the show to promote the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's next portable gaming machine, which launches next month in America.

Fils-Aime wouldn't call $1 iPhone staple Angry Birds disposable. He called that one "under-priced." But, he said, these cheap games create a "mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be $2." He said that 3DS launch-window submarine game Steel Diver, on the other hand, is a "full-fledged" game that will be worth its $40 or so asking price.

Nintendo has sold some superb small downloadable games on its DSi system for $5 or less. But those aren't the kind of games Nintendo is currently promoting for its next system. Nintendo is pushing full-priced store-bought games like Nintendogs + Cats and Pilotwings Resort. Of a lot of those cheap iPhone games, Fils-Aime cracked: "I actually think some of those games are overpriced for one or two dollars, but that's a whole different story."

Nintendo's mocked bad, cheap iPhone games. Sony did so before them. Are those games so bad for gamers? Do they set expectations for game prices so low that we'll refuse to pay for more expensive, grander games to be made? Or are those cheap games only a problem for the companies that prefer to sell video games for $40 and up. We shall see.

Nintendo 3DS Preview Special - February 4, 2011 [GTTV]