Nintendo Wii and Disruptive Technology

nintendo_wii_1While I can’t get access to the Nintendo article (being discussed here and here) and compare the steps they took to what we are trying to do with this site, I’ll offer my own opinion. Nintendo was not “truly” innovating, they simply created a gimmicky piece of hardware that mimicked many of the features current generation consoles had, but did a much better job of executing them. If disruptive technology simply means taking existing technologies and integrating them inĀ  slightly different and better way then Nintendo succeeded.

Nintendo nailed the way the brought the system to the market. They made people believe that they were offering something new and innovative. Meanwhile, Microsoft and Sony had far superior hardware platforms on which quality games would be delivered on. Nintendo went out of their way to make the Wii more intuitive and much easier to use than the competing platforms (PS3 and Xbox 360). The company that brought us classics like the genre-defining Mario games took a slightly different approach.

Five years ago I would have never guessed that people would enjoy waving around a white, plastic replica of a TV-remote in order to hit a virtual tennis ball or roll a virtual bowling ball. That’s not what gaming was about then. Most games after 2000 were taking and reusing the same concepts and storylines and layering better and better looking graphics on top. People were hesitant to invest in new intellectual property. The sequel after sequel cycle was growing tiresome. Then Nintendo came along and changed people’s perception on gaming. No longer is the player constricted to a pad with a couple joysticks and several buttons, but gaming becomes a “full-body” experience. That was their selling point.

After owning the Wii for several months I decided that it was really the “experience” that Nintendo was trying to sell me as opposed to having any decent games on their platform. In the end the graphic processing power, and networking features on the Wii were far inferior to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. That much was clear. On a final note I don’t think that Nintendo’s choice to restrict online gaming has been doing them any good.

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