Monday, February 26, 2007

wii winning the video-game battle

It's still a little early to tell but Nintendo's Wii seems poised to win the battle of the video-game consoles. According to the Financial Times (reg. req.), it "has soared past Microsoft's Xbox 360 in sales and opened a huge lead over Sony's premium-priced rival, the Playstation 3".
Still according to the article, a Merryl Linch analyst predicts that, "by the year 2011, almost a third of the Japanese households, and almost 30 percent of all US households will own a Wii". That's huge! If we take into consideration only the households with children, that percentage would increase considerably.
Wii's success is a great example of non-linear thinking, of winning the battle by playing a whole different game.
On Wii's website, there's a very interesting interview series with the team that created and developed the console. Hosted by Nintendo's president, Mr. Satoru Iwata, it gives a glimpse on the approach the team chose for the project. See this statement from Mr. Takeda, who led the project:
"...if we had followed the existing Roadmaps we would have aimed to make it “faster and flashier.” In other words, we would have tried to improve the speed at which it displays stunning graphics. But we could not help but ask ourselves, “How big an impact would that direction really have on our customers?” During development, we came to realize the sheer inefficiency of this path when we compared the hardships and costs of development against any new experiences that might be had by our customers... After speaking with Nintendo's development partners, I became keenly aware of the fact that there is no end to the desire of those who just want more. Give them one, they ask for two. Give them two, and next time they will ask for five instead of three. Then they want ten, thirty, a hundred, their desire growing exponentially. Giving in to this will lead us nowhere in the end..."
As I said in the beginning, the battle is still in its early stage, so let's see how it develops, but according to Credit Suisse analyst Jay Defibaugh “there has always been a strong concern that the Wii was gimmicky...but each passing month assuages that.”


Lewis, Leo (2007). Nintendo's Wii Outsells Rival Consoles. Financial Times. February 21, 2007.

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