Harrison: Iwata "wrong" on casual games

Social networks "here to stay".

Former president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Phil Harrison reckons Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata's anti social game stance "is wrong".

Iwata's thinly veiled Game Developers Conference attack on Apple blamed the sheer quantity of cheap and often free titles on app stores on the lowering value of games.

Harrison, who is co-founder of London Venture Partners and one of the primary forces behind Finnish made browser based co-op role-playing game Gunshine, disagrees.

"Iwata-san has done an incredible job rebuilding Nintendo over the last few years," Harrison told IndustryGamers. "He is a great leader of that company, but in this particular case he is wrong.

"He is mistaken if [he thinks] this is some kind of fad that will go away. Social networks, as a way of powering our game and entertainment choices, is here to stay."

Iwata's unusually strong keynote turned heads at GDC. Nintendo, a famously conservative and secretive company, has in the past done its best not to criticise competitors in public.

It seemed fitting that, an hour after Iwata's presentation began, Apple announced the iPad 2 with its own press conference.

"I thought it was fascinating that pretty much simultaneously with Iwata-san talking about Nintendo, in a hall across the street Steve Jobs is talking about the iPad 2, which got massive pickup and global coverage," Harrison continued.

"Some people are talking about 50 to 80 million 'smartpads' being sold a year for the foreseeable future. It's going to create an enormous market, dwarfing every other market."

Yesterday Angry Birds maker Rovio hit the headlines for claiming consoles games are "dying".

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