Nielsen: Your kid wants an iOS device for Christmas, don’t mess it up

Nielsen is out today with the results of a new study to gauge interest in buying mobile devices and gaming consoles leading into the holidays in the United States. Much like last year, Apple’s iOS devices remain among the highest ranking with kids ages 6 to 12, while the iPhone and iPad also get top spots in the 13+ category.

As you can see from Nielsen’s charts above and below, the full-sized, 9.7-inch iPad gets the top spot in both categories with 48 percent in the 6 to 12 age group (up from 44 percent last year) and 21 percent in the 13+ group. As for the iPad mini, it was less desirable among kids, coming in at 36 percent for kids ages 6 to 12, just behind the Nintendo Wii U and iPod touch in second and third positions.

Approximately half the children surveyed expressed interest in the full-sized iPad (up from 44% last year), and 36 percent in the new iPad Mini. The iPod Touch and iPhone are also coveted devices among these young consumers (36% and 33%, respectively).  Kids are also likely to ask for dedicated gaming hardware this holiday, with 39 percent excited to own Nintendo’s just-released console offering, Wii U, and 29 percent indicating they want a device from that company’s portable DS family.

While game consoles dominated the top spots when Apple devices didn’t, the 13+ age group showed interest in non-iPad tablets with 18 percent of the group interested in buying over the next 6 months. Mobile devices from Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung didn’t do as well, coming in at under 20 percent for both groups and 6 percent and under for the Surface: Read more

Japan-only Pokédex by Nintendo, WhatsApp Messenger, Walgreens, Kingdom Rush HD, and price drops

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

9to5Mac once again gathered the most noteworthy apps that announced news, launched, updated, or went on sale recently and added them in our usual roundup below.

Today’s selection includes a new Japan-only app by Nintendo, updates to popular games like Kingdom Rush HD, and notable iOS and Mac app price drops including big cuts by TomTom for its popular line of GPS apps. Keep checking back for more, though, as we continually update this list throughout the day.

New

1. Pokédex | 170 Yen (about $2.06 USD)

Japan-based Nintendo just released its first paid iOS app, called “Pokédex“, in its home country. According to EuroGamer, a version of the existing 3DS Pokédex app is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPhone in Japan’s App Store. The Pokédex app is initially Japan-only, but it comes with the full Pokémon encyclopedia, and users could purchase four additional monster packs for about $6.18 USD each. The paid app is not Nintendo’s sole iOS app, however, as the game developer also released a Japan-only free app, called “Pokémon Say Tap“, for a limited time last year.

Check out more below.

Read more

‘8-Bitty’ Nintendo-style iCade controller for iOS devices, coming soon for $25

ThinkGeek gave us a glimpse at an upcoming iCADE controller mimicking the classic Nintendo controller layout and decorated with a retro 8-bit themed graphics. The “8-Bitty” is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, connects over Bluetooth (two AAA batteries required), and is compatible with all iCADE supported games, including the Atari Classics collection. Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait until later this year when ThinkGeek starts selling them for $25. You can sign up now to be notified by email when it does become available.

You will also want to keep your eyes out for three new iCade models we recently told you about during CES 2012. One of which is the iCade Mobile ($79.99) that is iPhone and iPod touch compatible, and it allows you to dock your device for a PSP-like handheld experience. That model and updated iPad arcade cabinets are expected to launch in the coming months.

Read more

Flurry: iOS + Android destroy Nintendo + Sony in U.S. portable gaming revenues

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata declared Apple and iOS as the “enemy of the future” back in 2010. Not only was he right, according to new estimates for the U.S. portable game software by revenue from Flurry Analytics, 2011 seen Nintendo’s grip on the market slide even further as iOS and Android games triple their marketshare from 20% in 2009 to 60% during 2011.

The graphic above shows U.S. revenue for Flurry’s portable gaming category- a category that now includes Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, iOS, and Android. As you can see, iOS and Android have together taken the lead from Nintendo with 58% of revenues in comparison to last year’s 34%. In comparison, Nintendo DS held 57% during 2010, while dropping to just 36% in 2011. Total US revenue jumped from $2.7 billion in 2009 to $3.3 billion in 2011.

When comparing combined game revenues of the two veterans– Sony and Nintendo– with the combined revenues of the two new guys– Apple and Google– 2011 will be the first year where the emerging platforms dominate with iOS and Android estimated to take in $1.9 billion in comparison to the DS and PSP’s $1.4 billion. That accounts for a $200 million drop for Sony and Nintendo and $1.1 billion increase for iOS and Android from 2010. Perhaps investors were right to urge Nintendo to begin developing iOS titles.

As for Nintendo, the company who captured approximately two-thirds of the market in 2009 has seen their “enemy of the future” demote them to just a third of the market. Sony clearly has some catching up to do, but is hard at work on highly anticipated new handheld devices for 2012.
Read more

PlayStation Vita: Low battery life, expensive memory

Sony seems to be hampering its PlayStation Vita console right out of the gate according to a report today from Ars. What may have seemed like OK battery life before Apple’s iOS devices came on the scene, now seems downright paltry. Compare the iPad’s 10+ hours of usage to the Vita’s claimed stats, with the screen at the default brightness, Bluetooth turned off, and headphones used for audio:

  • Game: Approx. 3-5 hours
  • Video: Approx. 5 hours
  • Music (in stand-by mode): Approx. 9 hours

Even the diminutive and probably better-compared iPod touch (released a year ago) pretty much destroys that with 40 hours of music playback and 7 hours of video (right).

As for memory, the Vita has none built-in like iOS devices. But Sony (just being Sony) will offer a proprietary memory card format, instead of say just using SD or speedy SDXC cards that are about a buck a Gig. Prices?
Read more

Investors urge Nintendo to develop games for iPhone and iPad

Will Nintendo begin to produce titles for iOS devices? It’s a possibility if they take the advice of Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co, “Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform (smartphones) or develop something totally new.”

Bloomberg reports:

 “The rift highlights the dilemma President Satoru Iwata faces as consumers shun Nintendo devices to play games on iPhones, iPads and Facebook Inc.’s website. The flop of the 3DS debut prompted the company to cut prices 40 percent in Japan and 32 percent in the U.S., the first time the games developer has resorted to such a move within six months of a product’s debut.”

Historically Nintendo has made their stance clear on developing for platforms other than their own. President Satoru Iwata even went as far as saying the company would never develop for other platforms as long as he’s in charge. While their new 3DS handheld hasn’t received a great reception, investments Nintendo has made recently in the 3DS (competitor to Sony’s  Vita) portable device and Wii U makes it unlikely they will divert their attention to developing games for Apple devices anytime soon. This is especially true when talking about hallmark franchises like Mario and Donkey Kong. To provide these titles to iOS users would kill any incentive the company has to offer potential 3DS and Wii U customers.

That being said, the market opportunity is huge (just look how well Nintendo emulators do on jailbroken devices).  If the game-maker continues to lay eggs with its portable products, it might be forced to join up with Apple, or build a 3DS Android phone like Sony did with its Xperia Play.

At the very least Nintendo should build a generation-behind Emulator App like Atari’s Greatest hits.
Read more