OK, Nintendo, you're two biggest competitors are on your tail once again. Sony, props for the Wiimote clone. (Alright, the depth tracking ball and mildly motion-sensitive camera are cool additions, but nobody can deny that it's a clone.) Microsoft, way to try bucking the trend, but seriously, Windows and Office pretty much confirm what everyone knew. Innovation is not your thing, making it bigger and more powerful is. But back to Nintendo.
Nintendo, you're faltering. A few years ago you showed the world this amazing new console you called the "Revolution". Then, ever the innovator, you figured that the West could get used to a Japanese-named console, and changed the name to the "Wii". This "Wii" became an instant hit, earned itself a household name, and for the first year or so, doubled Microsoft's more of the same 360, and Sony's overpriced more of the same PS3. Kids, adults, grandparents, and girls (who, at this point, were a severe minority in the world of video games) joined on board. You reached new demographics and the ticker rose.
Let's figure why the Wii became a hit.
1.) No longer a thumb-twiddling device, mom! -- The Wii got a great reputation early on as a way to get people off the couch. While it wasn't the miracle exercise device many were hoping for, it delivered a pretty revolutionary promise.
2.) Who doesn't love a rebel? -- In a generation where Sony and Microsoft pushed pixels and framerate in our faces, Nintendo bucked the trend and gave people something to spend their money on other than statistics.
3.) Great early game lineup. -- Ever important, no matter what innovation you have. Haven't we seen from the success of the Nintendo 64 and the Playstation 2 that impetus is the big driver of sales? Massive sales of titles like Wii Sports (made better because it was free), Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Mario Kart Wii, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl gave a great multiplayer experience to the Wii. Plus when Wii Fit came out, it seemed like Nintendo was finally delivering the exercise promise, and gave the Wii a second wind.
4.) Come aboard, everybody! -- As I mentioned before, the Wii delivered content to people who had never picked up a controller in their lives. Those new recruits to the world of video gaming pushed the Wii past that glass ceiling that Microsoft and Sony hit with the already gamers.
5.) Superb starting price. -- This ties back into the new demographics and the early impetus. The Playstation 3 opened with a price tag of a shocking $600. Microsoft made the Xbox 360 only a little less wallet-bitter with a standard Xbox opening at $400. At a cool $250, the Wii was, if not rock-bottom cheap, at least accessible. For $250, you can experiment in the world of video games. $600 is an investment.
So, what's wrong, Nintendo? You haven't released another stunner in a while, and the Wii charm is starting to slack. Now with the Kinect and Move, you've even lost your motion-sensitive edge! Also, what have you been doing with your price? I can pick up a PS3 for $250, down $350! An Xbox will only set me back $300, a nice $100 reduction! Yes, you are still the cheapest option, but it does seem stingy to drop only $50 in the many years the Wii has been out.
What do you need to do? Mobilize! Get together a game developer and your best talent (I know you have your geniuses up there) and develop another stellar title! You only have a few months before the Move and the Kinect get good lineups! If you can't drop prices, you need to increase demand!!
Get out there, Nintendo.