Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made a point in recent keynotes to mention the fact that the iPhone and iPod touch are the world's best selling portable gaming devices, well ahead of longtime champion Nintendo. Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime has acknowledged the threat and sees Apple as a bigger problem for his company than either Microsoft or Sony.
While hardcore gamers generally prefer the higher-powered Xbox and PlayStation platforms, far more consumers have bought into the casual gaming approach enabled by Nintendo's Wii and DS. The high quality and easy-to-play-in-short-burst games available on Apple's handheld devices combined with their wireless capabilities have made them even more compelling than Nintendo's offerings.
At first unconcerned, Nintendo's anxiety gradually grew into Reggie Fils-Aime's admission.
So far, the Apple incursion into the gaming space has mostly hurt the DS, but that could soon change. The surge in popularity of the new generation Apple TV could end up taking a big bite out of the Wii. Since the Apple TV runs on iOS and has already been jailbroken, the expectation is that, before long, Apple will make an app market available for the set top device. When that happens, we are likely to see games running on it that could possibly feature Wii-style motion controls for use with the iPhone or iPod.