Nintendo’s project lead on the 3DS has insisted that the company is not interested in making games sold as cheaply as those seen on many current platforms.
Hideki Konno highlighted the fact he believes the existence of free games is lowering the price of paid-for titles, creating a business model that’s primed to upset game developers.
"Let’s say that there’s a ton of other software out there that’s free, which forces you then to take your content which you want to sell for ten dollars and you have to lower it down to one dollar to be competitive," Konno said of Nintendo when speaking to Gamasutra. "It’s not a business model that’s going to make developers happy."
"In terms of one dollar games, or free games, or whatever that is out there in the market, I mean, really, we’re not going to be competing with that," he later added.
"We’re not going to try to match that; we’re just going to continually strive to not just maintain, but increase, the quality of the entertainment that we’re providing, and let it sort itself out. Again, we’re not worried about competing at a price point level."
Konno also pointed to Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata’s recent assertion that content has value, and suggested Sony and Microsoft may feel the same.
"I don’t think that’s just Nintendo," he said. "I believe that’s more than likely Sony and Microsoft’s opinion on that as well. Now of course as a customer, if somebody said to me, "Hey, we’ve got Call of Duty on your portable device and it’s only going to cost you 100 yen," yeah, I’d be super stoked, really excited about that.
"And I’d be really excited to see a great game at a really cheap price, but I just don’t think that you could make a game that’s immersive and as big as, let’s say Call of Duty, or any other large title, and sell it at that price point; it’s just not possible."
Konno’s comments are likely to generate interesting responce from the numerous developers who have made a successful business out of the various free and low priced games.