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Nintendo and Sony watching iPhone

But neither's admitting concern.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nintendo and Sony are both watching Apple's iPhone closely to see how it does as a gaming device.

Speaking to MTV Multiplayer at E3, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime said, "We certainly monitor it." John Koller, PSP's senior marketing manager, admitted Sony was "looking at it intently".

However, neither executive said it worried them too much as a competitor. Fils-Aime pointed to the Nintendo DS' massive installed base, adding: "We'll see what happens with the iPhone but it is not something that will make us change our direction."

Meanwhile, Koller argued that consumers approach iPhone and PSP for different reasons - iPhone as a phone primarily and PSP as an entertainment device. "I think indirectly it's a competitor, but it's indirectly just like the Zune is and the DS is to a degree because it doesn't offer everything that the PSP does," he said.

"Most analysts that we talk to say that the competition for iPhone is actually against DS and that type of gameplay," Koller added.

With the launch of the iTunes App Store, Apple's touch-screen phone has become a more interesting playground for game developers - with 36 games available to compete for your digital download money. Of those, Bomberman Touch, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, de Blob and Super Monkey Ball are probably the more interesting, with a lot of puzzle, gimmick and gambling products filling out the ranks.

It's also worth noting for those who only keep half an ear to this area of the ground that Square Enix's Song Summoner, released this month, is for previous generations of iPod and not the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Anyway, we've recently got our hands on an iPhone 3G with the intention of bringing you reviews of those and future titles, and letting you know how the handheld works out for gamers, so watch this space - or let us know if there's a particular game on the App Store that you're interested in. We'll also be taking a look at Song Summoner very soon.

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