Thursday, November 02, 2006


So the WSJ (subscription required) ran a big front pager today on Nintendo's effort to fight the "video game console arms race" by ignoring the missile gap hype and concentrating on making core gameplay fun. While I've been beating the Nintendo is a disruptive company drum for a while, its nice to see them getting some press for concentrating on what really matters in an environment where games are too complex and expensive for the people that loved playing Ms. Pacman and Mario and have since moved on to other things.

I think it will be interesting to see whether non-gamers actually adopt the console - reaction has been a bit mixed... but I think the buzz will be big enough that a lot will give a try. Maybe not buy one for themselves, but not ignore their kids when they beg for one this Christmas... speaking of which...

Was in Target yesterday buying my 5th replacement power supply for my piece of shizzle Nokia phone, and couldn't help but notice the huge end cap that Target has up for its Wii display. Basically gave the Wii 1/2 of an aisle, at an intersection of another main aisle... and they have NO PRODUCT yet... pretty impressive, and the PS3 display could only be seen when you looked around the corner.

Let's see - Nintendo's going to have inventory, the channel makes more money from selling their product, and they're targeting non gamers, casual gamers, and hard-core gamers with a pretty unique proposition... at a price point thats 40% below the actual cost of buying a PS3 or Xbox 360 w/ controller. And - oh btw - we make money on every console we sell vs. losing a few hundred?

Net/net: I think Nintendo wins this game outright. The market has started to give them credit for dominating the handheld market, but doesn't really seem to give them their full due for the share that they're going to get in the console market.
  • Kids: buy 'em a Wii. They're already sold.
  • Hard-core gamers with $ (of which there are tons): 80+% say they'll by the Nintendo as a compliment to their PS3 or XBOX360. (Think I saw this on Joystiq a while back)
  • Parents: Intuitive games that I can play with my kids? Mario? Got it.
  • Non-gamers: Not quite sure they're going to get that audience yet... but with the DS Lite and Wii combo, they'll get a few.
And they're competition? Not sure that Xbox 360 and PS3 can come down after these guys? Too $$$ and too complicated. You can't reverse engineer cheap + simple into a complicated + expensive product. Anywho - I've been piping this tune for too long - but its stuck in my head like the RBI baseball music...

That being said - NTDOY.PK... dee-nee.