American media company and publisher of BusinessWeek, Forbes, has published an article in which it speculates on the effect iPhone and iPod touch games could have on the DS's handheld reign should they prove successful.
Forbes predicts Apple is going to launch the App Store in the US next week, which will then allow outside developers to sell iPhone and iPod touch applications. Once launched, the article argues Apple could prove a formidable adversary for DS.
The basis for this thinking is that the Apple hardware incorporates the two popular features of Nintendo's consoles: the DS's touchscreen interface and Wii's motion-sensing accelerometers.
If you're thinking as we are, this hardly seems conclusive evidence that Apple will impact significantly on Nintendo's two current consoles, both of which have sold in massive numbers worldwide over the past four years. It comes down to games, after all.
But Forbes does make the point that the ability for Apple's users to download software to the iPhone wirelessly could be a big selling point for developers. There's also the consideration that the iPod's already huge installed base and many of those users' familiarity with the iTunes Store should make the task of getting people to buy these games considerably easier.
With over 70 million DS consoles sold and a reputation for making the best demographic-spanning games in the world, we doubt Nintendo is overly concerned. But we'll be watching how Apple's digital games distribution performs with interest. If it proves a success, surely console makers will be forced down that avenue sooner than they might have originally wanted, which is certainly going to be good news for gamers.