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Nintendo Gets It: Innovate to Survive

Check out this video (it’s also in my Videos section). It’s a (rather disturbing) montage of 50 kids that freak out about getting a Wii for Christmas. If there were ever any proof that Nintendo understands product development for their market, this is it. Yes, Nintendo definitely gets it.

Nintendo WiiOver twenty years ago Nintendo launched their NES. I still remember the day I went into Albertson’s and bought a NES for about $100. I was 8 years old then and purchasing that Nintendo represented the beginning of life-long affection for video games. Then competition, e.g. Sega, Playstation and Microsoft, dove into the market and began gobbling up market share. So Nintendo did what it’s always done best: innovate. Rather than tweak their latest console (N64 or Cube) and launch a system that targets the same market as their competitors, they re-evaluated their market position. The younger market was identified as a relatively untapped, yet profitable segment for hardcore gaming so they redesigned their product using a unique technology that appealed to the market.

Did it work? Absolutely. Why else would kids’ heads start to spin when they get one for Christmas?

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2 Responses

  1. I am a gamer at heart as well. I was surprised to find the number of older online players of games such as redstone and world of warcraft. I was listening to an NPR story over role playing games. One important point raised, is the number of people who use online games as a means to escape reality. I certainly use it for this purpose. Whats interesting to note is the psychological and social patterns displayed when one plays games, we take risks, we buy items, we socialize and fight for causes. I see this as valuable market data and a means to test ideas and even products (within the game). This could be a venue for data mining of information in a friendly game environment.

    Thanks Jacob, you are getting my wheels spinning as well

  2. Good point. It’d be interesting to see the actual profile of that platform. Data mining within a hardcore game, for example, is provocative thought.

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