Years ago, way back in 2011, Apple’s Steve Jobs held a press conference during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. As Jobs was showing off the iPad 2, Nintendo’s then-CEO Satoru Iwata was giving a keynote speech at the GDC. The overlap was no accident, as Apple felt competitive with Nintendo in the nascent days of the mobile games business.
Eight years later, the competition between these frenemies is even sharper. If you look at these companies in the light of the day, they don’t seem to compete with each other, as Apple makes smartphones and tablets and Macs, while Nintendo makes consoles and games. But in the shadows, it feels like they are at war. The games business is very important to both of them, and the impending launch of the Apple Arcade game subscription business at just $4.99 a month is a pretty big clue that the two companies have real competition between them.