Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently announced there would be no price cuts coming for the companies game systems, the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS.
When Nintendo announced the existence of the Wii a few years ago, terms like “blue ocean” and “innovative” were thrown around. Since the game console’s launch, the Wii has become a huge success, appealing to both Nintendo fanboys and to casual-gamer families.
Nintendo is playing by its own rules and profiting well. But I think the company has alienated the hardcore fans and followers of the industry. By not lowering the price of the Wii, the company is breaking the usual practice of incremental pricedrops that occur across the lifetime of a console. These pricedrops usually increase sales and make a system more widely adopted. And while it is true that Nintendo’s sales do not need increasing and have already found mainstream adoption rates, this move bothers many hardcore fans who were waiting for a pricedrop to increase the value of the Wii.
To many gamers the Wii is something of a mixed-bag. Though the motion controls provide a novel experience, there aren’t that many non-casual games for it. And most of the well-reviewed games are from Nintendo, sequels to long-established franchises like Super Mario or Legend of Zelda. But there are gamers who aren’t fans of those venerable games who see only a small value in owning a system with a lack of diverse games. I am an owner of a Wii and am beginning to feel that way myself.
Would you consider Nintendo’s mainstream strategy successful, despite the indifference of many gaming enthusiasts?