Nintendo (OTC BB: NTODY.PK) president Satoru Iwata is tired of me playing Angry Birds and Words With Friends on my iPhone. He wishes you'd stop, too.
"I fear our business is dividing in a way that that threatens the continued employment of those of us who make games. Is maintaining high value games a top priority, or not?" The New York Times reports Iwata as saying during his keynote speech at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.
Iwata is right to be concerned. Not only did Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) schedule an iPad event at the same time as his speech, but industry researcher DFC Intelligence says the industry will grow to $70.1 billion by 2015, up 16% from 2009's $60.4 billion. Much of the growth is expected to come from newer areas such as online and mobile games.
Among mobile options, the iPhone and iPad ranks as the top threats to Nintendo's console gaming franchise. Devices based on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) fast-growing Android platform ranks a distant yet still-formidable second.
The allure of these platforms is that they're ever-present. Rather than wait for a console maker to refresh its line, mobile developers write to the Android and iOS, confident that the universe of prospective players will keep growing.
Mix in an expanding list of improving devices -- including Apple's new gyroscope-imbued iPad 2 -- and you've got a compelling case for developers to go mobile as often as they can. Either get on board or off the tracks, Mr. Iwata. There's no stopping this train.
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