Don’t Forget the Wii

With all the talk about the iPad and the iPhone, it is easy to forget another technology device that shook up the established markets just a few short years ago. An article I recently read reminded me of this fact. The Wii, rather than catering to the traditional “gamer”, created a device that would appeal to the mainstream. Similar to the way so-called experts downplayed the iPhone and are downplaying the iPad, many gamers chided the Wii’s relatively weaker graphic capabilities and simplified controllers. Of course, their viewpoints were narrowly focused and didn’t take into account that the Wii would redefine the gaming market. The rules of the Old World don’t apply in the New World. The following quote from the article, “Is casual gaming destroying the traditional gaming market?”, sums this up:

The big videogame console makers and developers catered to performance-oriented customers who demanded more and better and who were repeat buyers. Then in 2006, Nintendo’s inexpensive Wii console came along, emphasizing accessible game play over elaborate scripts and point harvesting. So far, Nintendo has sold 28 million units of the Wii in the U.S., while Microsoft (MSFT) has sold just 19.4 million Xbox 360s and Sony (SNE) 11.7 million Playstation 3s—despite both launching before the Wii.

The parallels between the Wii and the iPhone (and it seems with the iPad) are almost eerie. New World technology shakes up the Old World markets and most of the people who are experts in the Old World seem completely caught off guard.

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