Neil Young (Ngmoco's CEO, not the alt-rock legend) has suggested that smartphones and the mobile platforms provided by Apple and Google are slowly chipping away at the dedicated handheld market.
"I think that Apple has done a number on Sony, and Apple and Android are now doing a number on Nintendo," said Young. "What they're really doing is defeating the Nintendo hardware machine."
Young's view is that the premium prices of software on dedicated handheld are becoming harder and harder to justify, from a consumer perspective, and that it's only Nintendo's "killer franchises" that are saving the company from a collapsing ecosystem.
"The ecosystem that they've created, it's just really difficult to justify spending $30 on a game that is anything other than a Mario, a Zelda, a Pokemon," he said. "I think that ultimately their ecosystem starts to fall apart."
But man, they've got some killer franchises," he said, laughing. "You wouldn't want to go up against Zelda and Mario and Pokemon and Kirby every day of the week."
We'll be chatting about handheld consoles and their future in this week's PWNCAST on Sunday. [Gamasutra]