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ngmoco: NGP, 3DS "clearly hurt" by App Store

iOS game variety and prices mean NGP is "dead on arrival" - Young

Ngmoco boss Neil Young has expressed concern that the new Sony and Nintendo handhelds may be in for a tough fight against newer mobile platforms such as the iPhone.

"I think they're clearly hurt," he said of Sony to Industry Gamers. "I think PSP is done and the new [NGP] is dead on arrival.

"It's really difficult to compete with an app store that has hundreds of thousands of applications and a wide range of options where the average price paid is around $1.20 and there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of free applications that are really high quality. So I just don't think Sony's going to be able to compete with that."

While he was clear that "it's not like it's crap at playing games – it's pretty good at playing games and it can do a whole bunch of other things as well," he felt the sheer versatility of Apple's mobile devices would keep them more appealing that a more dedicated gaming handheld.

He was more optimistic about Nintendo's 3DS, launched this weekend in Japan, claiming it was "likely to be competitive" but "the 3D piece of the puzzle is kind of gimmicky."

Nonetheless, "Nintendo has great franchises and there are tens of millions of people who want to participate in those franchises, so that always helps... But the real question is the degree to which there's a third-party community."

Ngmoco was recently bought by Japanese mobile giant DeNA, and plans to bring its Mobage social network for smartphones to the West.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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