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Will “Wii” lose the battle or we will see a newer version of “Wii”???

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Nintendo Wii was launched in 2006 when the company was facing rough times in since the early 2000s. Soon after its launch it gained huge popularity amongst not only gaming community but widened audience on a whole.

Wii was a new console with unique gameplay, instead of going in for a console with advanced graphics and superior processing power (unlike its competitors Sony & Microsoft) Nintendo preferred to tread the unusual path.

Nintendo launched Wii, a video game console which came with a unique wireless controller called Wii Remote. The Wii made its debut in a highly charged gaming market. Sony had launched the Playstation 3 (PS3), a game console with a Blu-ray6 player just 2 days prior to Wii launch on Nov. 17th 2006; Microsoft’s game console, the Xbox 360, had been launched in November 2005 and had sold around five million units by June 2006. Nintendo, which started out as a manufacturer of playing cards in Japan, had gradually shifted to making toys and video games. It was in the 1980s that it launched its first game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which went on to become a huge success.

In the early 2000s, Nintendo’s fortunes in the game console market had seen a gradual decline. The sales of Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox far outpaced that of the Nintendo GameCube.

With Nintendo’s market share falling, industry observers expected it to exit the game console industry & leave the field. Nintendo proved everyone wrong. In 2004, it announced that it had begun work on developing a new console. A few months into the development, Nintendo realized that the continuous technological up-gradation in each succeeding generation of consoles was increasing hardware costs but discouraging innovation in the games industry. Therefore it decided to develop a console that would offer gamers unique gameplay, even though it would not have the latest processor or graphics. For this purpose, it designed a completely new console called the Wii with a unique controller. Apart from the usual gamers, Nintendo wanted to attract casual gamers and people who had never played video games before, so it has defined its target market different from the competitors.

To widen the appeal of its console, Nintendo priced the Wii low and provided online capabilities, backward compatibility (with GameCube games), and several multimedia features.

The Wii generated a lot of buzz, and this was expected to translate into good sales. The Wii, however, faced several challenges. As it is, Nintendo’s console sales declined with the release of every new generation of consoles.

Analysts were sceptical about whether Wii’s unique gameplay would be reason enough for serious gamers to accept a technologically inferior product; especially when the competing consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360) boasted of cutting-edge graphics and HD capabilities.

Nintendo, however, soldiered on. With parameters such as innovation, disruption & wider audience, In May 2006, Nintendo unveiled the new console and the much talked about wireless controller at the E3 conference in Los Angeles. At the conference, Nintendo announced that its new console would be called ‘Wii’. Nintendo decided to don the blue ocean strategy & said that the name was in accordance with its philosophy of creating a gaming world without boundaries, attracting new gamers, and making a fun product for everyone. Nintendo’s press release explained, "Wii sounds like "we," which emphasizes this console is for everyone.

The unique gameplay of the Wii brought Nintendo back (with a bang) in the gaming console industry.

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Wii sales outpaced Microsoft’s & Sony’s gaming consoles by a huge margin then, Nintendo was back in the market with vengeance. That was 2007-2008.

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Come 2010, Sales of the once super hot gaming console are flat to down for last year or so, and Nintendo is looking at its smallest annual profit in six years. It’s time for Nintendo to create disruptive innovation again and develop a newer version of Wii.

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And while it used to beat the Microsoft Xbox handily on a monthly basis, the Wii lost the sales battle in November by a narrow margin. Microsoft’s Kinect is spurring sales.

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If Nintendo allows same situation to continue the Wii will soon become eye sore, but looking at history I believe Nintendo’s research team is definitely chalking out a strategy to introduce something new in the market & regain its place.

Well I’m definitely looking forward to a newer version (playing games on Wii is fun), which I believe will be far more exciting, what do you people think??

Thoughts Welcome!!

  1. Charu says

    Thanks for the contribution Amit, quite informative.

  2. Trix says

    The Wii 2 is nothing compared to the Move.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IouhLjSrYNk

    1. Amit Bhide says

      This is exactly what i said.. Wii 2 needs to make a huge move to get that required boost. I have compared wii to move not wii2.

  3. Amit Bhide says

    Nice one Charu..

    Nintendo is well aware that they cannot extend the current wii too much. The fact that they are struggling to innovate is clearly evident from one thing that they have not been able to bring a single new model for more than 5 years.!
    With the launch of Kinect and ps3 motion controller, Wii will definately have to come up with a huge one in Wii2.
    I am surprised you failed to mention the ps3 motion coz it is 10 times more accurate than wii motion plus! where as kinect works on gestures, there are really a limited no of games that work on kinect. So currently PS3 is the best box to have! Sony must definately work on the pricing to boost the sale of its boxes which microsoft has brilliantly done.

    So till the time the Wii 2 is launched, (lets hope it is some futurist version)
    lets stick to our old faithful wii!!

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