Are Apple and Google Killing Nintendo?

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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.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think about mobile gaming, the best profit models for software developers, and the future of consoles using the comments box below. You can also rate Nintendo in Motley Fool CAPS.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google and has written Apple puts. The Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy likes gaming but never plays around with disclosure.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 06, 2011, at 12:31 AM, techy46 wrote:

    I hope Apple and Google are winning it will get the gamers out of the bedrooms and basements into the reality of the sun and the world. Of course gaming while driving isn't goimng to be a good thing.

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