Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is Nintendo considering a Kindle-like wireless service?

Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoMoCo is in discussions for implementing 3G network technology in portable video game systems.

As reported in Gamasutra, NTT DoCoMo president Ryuji Yamada said "Video game makers know that in order for portable game machines to take the next step forward, they need wireless communication. We are discussing this with various players."

My bet is that Nintendo is at least one of those companies. A few months ago, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, said that the vendor had looked at wireless delivery models, such as Amazon Kindle.

Amazon, in partnership with telcos, provides free 3G access for customers to browse the online shop and purchase books.

Iwata has also said numerous times in the past that Nintendo has recognised it has a weak online structure. The company has also recently announced its 3DS console. I see this as no coincidence.

Of course, partnering with a telco to provide wireless services would require similar partnerships in other regions when the console is released.

As Gamasutra noted, the unannounced PSP2 is another prime candidate for partnership with NTT DoMoCo. The PSPGo was a sign of Sony’s future, despite selling poorly, and its successor would require a strong wireless platform to have a hope in the market.

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