Namco boss, Neil Young (not the singer mind,) has expressed his deep concern and lack of faith in the upcoming handhelds from Sony and Nintendo.
When comparing handheld consoles to the gaming experiences provided by smart phones, Young said that “I think they are hurt; I think they’re clearly hurt. I think PSP is done and the new [NGP] is dead on arrival. It’s really difficult to compete with an app store that has hundreds of thousands of applications and a wide range of options where the average price paid is around $1.20 and there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of free applications that are really high quality. So I just don’t think Sony’s going to be able to compete with that.”
When countered with the fact that the NGP will supposedly be able to produce an experience akin to the PS3, Young responded by saying “it’s not a PS3 quality experience… And in terms of getting broad adoption, having great processing power is not necessarily a prerequisite for great adoption in the marketplace. You need a range of things and what I think the iPod Touch and iPhone have been able to do is offer people swiss army knife type functionality for a device that plays games really well. It’s not like it’s crap at playing games – it’s pretty good at playing games and it can do a whole bunch of other things as well.”
Young was more positive about the 3DS on account of Nintendo’s strong franchises, claiming that “Nintendo will likely be competitive. My personal opinion is that the 3D piece of the puzzle is kind of gimmicky. But Nintendo has great franchises and there are tens of millions of people who want to participate in those franchises, so that always helps… But the real question is the degree to which there’s a third-party community.”
Mobile phone gaming is certainly becoming more popular these days, but there is definitely still room for the innovations being made by Nintendo and Sony in the handheld gaming market.
Thanks to Industry gamers for the info.