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Nintendo dismisses threat from mobile gaming

UK boss Yarnton says iPhone et al need to prove money-making credentials

Nintendo has dismissed the threat to its business from mobile gaming - claiming that its content is "far in advance" of phone-based rivals.

Speaking on the BBC's On The Money programme yesterday, UK Nintendo chief David Yarnton questioned the fiscal returns on offer for developers from iPhone and other game-playing mobiles.

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When asked about the threat mobile gaming posed to Nintendo, Yarnton said: "It's like comparing oranges and apples.

"The content we provide on our handheld gaming is far in advance of what you can pick up for a five minute, ten-minute fix on a mobile phone.

"To some extent, you've seen there have been games [on mobiles] for ages and ages. In our industry there's always been talk about apps and things coming on... I think it's grown and there's so many of them, but the actual business model is yet to be proven to some extent.

"I know a lot of software developers, when they look at their sales on the mobile phone side [they see] it's probably at this stage very marginal."

Yarnton was then asked if gamers were set to move to PC from consoles. (Nope, we don't know where they got that from either.)

However, Yarnton revealed that Nintendo will continue to target non-gamers with Wii - which helps explain the £500,000 Nintendo reportedly paid Dame Helen Mirren to appear in its ads this Christmas.

Yarnton commented: "I don't think the numbers actually show that... over a third of households in the UK own a Wii console... I mean you've got early adopters in any sort of industry and they will buy in early.

"But there is still more people that don't own consoles than there are that do - and that's to some extent where we're looking to expand."

Nintendo has suffered from a significant drop in Wii and DS sales this year.

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has admitted that the firm's platform business could be "in trouble" if the Wii doesn't perform well this Q4.

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