2009 will likely be remembered as a banner year for social and small publisher gaming. Outlets like Facebook and the iPhone gave independent game firms the perfect place to strut their stuff, and the success of both platforms has spread like wildfire. On the flipside, sales of traditional retail games from publishers like EA and Activision took a bit of a downturn.

Some analysts have suggested that the success of these new gaming frontiers was at least partly responsible for chipping away at the profits of conventional publishers. In a recent interview with Venture Beat, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway shares her thoughts on the impact made by new trends in gaming like the iPhone.

Dunaway never speaks ill of the blossoming platform, but claims that it hasn’t made much of an impact on Nintendo’s own business. “It is interesting that for all of the talk of competition from Apple last year, here in the U.S. we had our best year ever, selling 11.2 million units.”

While Cammie didn’t feel that Nintendo fell victim to Apple’s growth, she definitely saw the value of reasonably priced digital content not unlike that found on the iPhone. “We do think there is a great role for digital content, and that’s why we are so committed to WiiWare and DSiWare. One thing it does that is important is expose consumers to innovative titles that would never make it onto a retail shelf.”

Check out Venture Beat for the complete interview, including answers to the ever-present question “will we see Mario on Facebook?”