andy payne no watermark -

Sony and Nintendo would do better if they stopped making hardware and instead made games for iPhone and Android, according to Andy Payne - managing director of The Mastertronic Group.

Payne was speaking as part of a roundtable discussion at the close of yesterday's Develop in Liverpool conference. Halfway through the session, a member of the audience asked how long it would be before Sony and Nintendo realised that platform exclusivity was holding back their first-party titles from wider success.

"I think it's already happening," replied Payne. "I think it would be a massive relief to both Sony and Nintendo to become content-only. Right now, they might not even know it. You know that thing where you take drugs and you think it's the best thing in the world? Then you get off them and go, 'What was I doing?'"

Understandably, this last comment got a good laugh from the audience, at which point Payne added that he wasn't speaking from experience.

"To answer your question: Imagine any Mario or Zelda property being on the iPhone or an Android phone. They'd get £10 or £15 for it, because people would want to pay to have it on their phone. They would. And that would be amazing. And Sony's content is amazing. I mean, Uncharted... it's just brilliant!

"I'm not knocking those guys, because they really do make fantastic games. And when we kind of get that bit over, wouldn't it be refreshing to have Nintendo really making stuff for the iPhone, Android, and all the other stuff that's around?"

Payne's comments drew immediate support from Phil Gaskell, creative director at RebelPlay.

"I completely agree," he said "It's happening already. Their strength is in their brand and their content."

Earlier in the same discussion, Payne criticised the three major platform holders for their approach to production fees, arguing that lowered costs would result in a lower price tag for games, and an increase in sales.

"Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft [are] dinosaurs, because they're using these old-fashioned business models where you have to pay a royalty, tribute, tax - whatever you want to call it, it's quite a lot of Euros per unit, fixed, [based on] what you order as a publisher, not what you sell.

"If that was to come down, if those companies were to shave those right down to something more acceptable - let's say it's €1 to manufacture it, where the real cost is €0.20 - then that would put games into the hands of consumers, at retail, at circa £20. You'd have more people buying games, less of a second-hand market, probably a bit less piracy, and that market might carry on for a bit longer." Analysis

Would the likes of Uncharted 3 and Skyward Sword be as much fun to play if they were on an iPhone? Personally, I'm not convinced.

Nintendo's first party games are invariably built around their hardware, and their controllers in particular. It's hard to see how something as complex as Super Mario Galaxy could work on touchscreen alone. You could tailor the gameplay to match the platform, but wouldn't that limit what Nintendo could produce?

It's hard to find fault with Payne's argument about production fees, however. I'd wager that most of us would buy more games if they only cost £20 at launch.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

RedAce9000's Avatar


i think that your crazy, if Sony and Nintendo stop making consoles they would lose their share in the console market (tho Nintendo could drop out and just stick with handheld gaming, they rock at that) and thats where they make most of their money, as lots of other third-party companies put their games on the PS3 and Wii or 3DS, but....instead of them stop making consoles, they should both combine and make a Nintendo PS4 with every game from both companies, they would dominate the console and game market by far, but that will never happen, but i can only prey
Posted 20:00 on 26 November 2011
Helgar1's Avatar


Apple should make a console!
Posted 17:56 on 26 November 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ MaddoggWolfie

Hi, Wolfie. You must be new to the internet. In this place, people go to ridiculous lengths to avoid being even remotely positive about Nintendo. I love how the fact that Nintendo makes profit on every console sold is utterly ignored in all these predictions. I'm no mathematician, but I reckon that particular revenue stream is a tad more tempting than handing up to 70% of the proceeds from every sale over to Apple.

So, there we have it. Andy Payne is now the new Michael Pachter, whereas Neon Kelly simply hits every nail on the head by stating that more people would buy games at £20. HOW THE HELL DO THESE PEOPLE GET PAID?
Posted 23:53 on 25 November 2011

pblive@ FantasyMeister

Except the thousands that don't have fast enough Internet or have a metered limited Internet. Wouldn't work on the move either.
Posted 23:25 on 25 November 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ robotboys

I agree, it worked for SEGA so why not? I've never played a Zelda game simply because none of my consoles could run them.

Forget about hardware, just release everything into the cloud gaming space so that everyone can access them from anywhere with anything at any time. Surely the savings in R&D, manufacture and shipping would make it worth it?

Competition (and cost) would then switch from users having to upgrade their hardware to the cloud gaming services (like OnLive, Gaikai, Playcast etc., there are only 8 or so currently) having to provide the best service and catalogues.

Everyone wins!
Posted 23:13 on 25 November 2011
MaddoggWolfie's Avatar


Maybe a little research either way maybe needed before making comments like this. Nintendo's in house games like Mario Kart, Pokemon, Prof Layton, Brain Training and Zelda have all sold in excess of 20 million units on the handhelds. 20 million times £20+ versus 10 million or so Ios downloads at £5.

Why are all these reports at the min all doom and gloom for consoles? The 3ds is selling BETTER than the DS did at the same point of its life! Thats a fact now use them every once in a while.
Posted 21:15 on 25 November 2011
h2dahizo's Avatar


Hey, Microsoft should stop making OS's and Apple stop making macbooks...
Doom, Doom, Doom... that seems to be the underlying message from all of the Video game sites..
Posted 19:31 on 25 November 2011


@Neon - Interesting article, but it seems obvious that Andy Payne was talking in the context of the handheld market, not the home console market, otherwise he would have mentioned Microsoft.
Posted 16:42 on 25 November 2011

pblive@ BC_Animus

Someone hasn't played an iPhone game in a while, it seems. ;)

Very rarely do you need new firmware to play a game and it's only the major firmware upgrades that you'd need it for, all of which would be automatically updated on your phone over wifi anyway, just as with 3DS and PSP and probably Vita.

Of course, the DS and PSP never have updated hardware versions...oh, hang on...

But about 80% of apps on the iPhone 4S run on the 3G, which is several generations old. That's like a 3DS game being backward compatible with a DS. iPhone 3GS can run quite a few games, the resolution isn't as good, but they still run. New devices have games that easily look better than a lot of handheld games out there as well.

Virtual analogue or digital controls are, admittedly. never going to be as good as physical ones, but that's why so many iPhone games use specific touchscreen controls. However, developers who know their stuff can make virtual controls work well (N.O.V.A., Modern Combat, Real Racing 2, Galaxy on Fire 2 to name but a few).

iPad and iPhone 4S can even let you play your games on the TV, wirelessly, with a different image on their screen than on the TV to enable things like radar or readouts.

That said. the original argument that Sony and Nintendo should stop making consoles (I'm assuming they meant handheld consoles, if you read the text it's all about handhelds, no where does it insinuate they should stop making home consoles) is strange because there are many ideas and quirks to the hardware that give the companies their unique games and also drive innovation and technology forward.
Posted 16:36 on 25 November 2011
robotboys's Avatar

robotboys@ MJTH

Sure. I like the idea of the Wii U, we'll see how it turns out.
Posted 16:18 on 25 November 2011
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ robotboys

Atleast the Wii U is coming out then right. Hopefully, rekindling some of Nintendo's old alienated audience!
Posted 16:00 on 25 November 2011
robotboys's Avatar

robotboys@ MJTH

I get why they branded the Wii the way they did, and I accept I'm not an example of their target audience these days, but for me the whole experience of using a Wii feels horribly patronising. Combine it with the SD output and other low-quality technical capabilities, using Nintendo hardware these days just alienates me instantly.
Posted 15:06 on 25 November 2011
dudester's Avatar


I disagree I think being a bit underpowered and not focused on being a hd monster actually was an advantage at the time especially with the family audience they tried to attract. At the time it wasn't given everyone had a hd tv etc. Take my family when upgrading to a v+ box with virgin none of them understood the need for a hdmi cable to take advantage of the hd channels available, my family not particularly tech savy and generally pretty average guess which console is in the living room.
Posted 14:43 on 25 November 2011
MJTH's Avatar


Imagine any Mario or Zelda property being on the iPhone or an Android phone.

Ok, Mario hmm:
"Wow mario is on my iphone sweet! I'm going buy this straight aw- WHAT! I NEED to BUY a new firmware update before I can play this, thats STUPID! Good thing I love this series so much.... Ok loading up, now lets start, touch screen d-pad, this might work... Why can't I jump properly, no I wasn't holding left still, why I can't ground pound properly! Touch screen d-pads SUCK! Ok, lets try the tilt controls.... To MUCH DEELLLAAAAYYY!!! *throw iphone out window in anger*...."

... Phew that was scary...

@Robotboys, Does it really matter how Nintendo brands their products? As long as you can still enjoy their games the same way as you always have, does it really matter if they are marketed for a family friendly audience. And beside its that family friendly audience that ends up paying for a good chunck of the creation of new games. And the interfaces are child friendly because when you were a child they were aimed at you, but now you are older they aren't aimed at you anymore. Nintendo hasn't really changed much, its just that you've grown older and they are still trying to appeal to children. Just be glad that alot of games are still great and appealing to you.

I do agree that the Wii specs are pretty poor compared to other consoles, but I doubt that they intended for there to be such a large gap when making the machine and throwing around ideas, but they were probably going for a cheaper manufacturing sales price. Atleast the machine doesn't suffer from build quality issues.
Posted 14:35 on 25 November 2011
BC_Animus's Avatar


Thing to consider is that right now these platforms are still very limited at this current stage in time, which means any games and such written for them would have to be as well.

Another problem is that iOS and Android are very fragmented platforms with very limited lifespans. Major updates for those comes very 6 months, with hardware every year. Software written for one often don't work on older versions due to major firmware or hardware changes.

Anyways I can kinda see what they were trying to suggest, but I personally completely disagree with them. In my opinion, one of the major strengths of having the multitude of different platforms around, and their own little range of exclusive games and franchises, is the diversity and the 'personality' (or soul if you will) that they bring to the market.

As for lowering costs for developers... well, mixed bag. Having a lower point of entry will indeed help developers get more of their products to the market - but it wouldn't change a thing. Fact remains - the bigger developers out there, or those with backing from major publishers will always end up with the more high profile games, and they will always have bigger resources to draw from.

Now I'm not putting down those lower profile cheaper produced games, but most of yous would agree I'm sure, that there are ALOT of rubbish out there on the Apple and Android Marketplace. Likewise I'm NOT saying that the more expansive a game is, the longer it took to make, the better it is.

Let me end my comment with this question: would you rather play a cheap throwaway app on your cellphone while being grobed by some creepy Japanese business man on a train, or would you rather sit infront of your TV or your PC in the comfort of your own home, playing Skyrim or Uncharted 3 or COD?
Posted 14:21 on 25 November 2011
View Full Site