Nintendo Wii: A 'Revolution' in Gaming?


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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR247
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Nintendo
Themes: Differentiation | New Product Development
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming
Countries : Worldwide

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

To widen the appeal of its console, Nintendo priced the Wii low and provided online capabilities, backward compatibility (with GameCube games), and several multimedia features.

The Wii generated a lot of buzz because of its unique design and gameplay, and this was expected to translate into good sales. The Wii, however, faced several challenges. Analysts were skeptical about whether Wii's unique gameplay would be reason enough for serious gamers to accept a technologically inferior product; especially when the competing consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360) boasted of cutting-edge graphics and HD capabilities. In addition, the fact that games developed for the Wii could not be replicated for PCs or competitor's consoles was expected to reduce the number of prospective game developers for the system, resulting in fewer game titles being available for the Wii.

Background Note

In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi (Fusajiro) founded Nintendo Koppai in Kyoto, Japan, to manufacture special hand-made playing cards called "Hanafuda."9 In 1907, the company started manufacturing ordinary playing cards. In 1929, Fusajiro retired and his son-in-law, Sekiryo Yamauchi (Sekiryo), became the company president.

At that time, the company was the largest manufacturer of playing cards in Japan. The company grew rapidly in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1949, Sekiryo was succeeded by his grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi (Yamauchi), as president. In 1951, the name of the company was changed to Nintendo Playing Cards Co. Ltd. In later years, Yamauchi modernized the card-making process. In 1959, the company entered into a deal with Walt Disney Company10 to produce cards with Disney characters, and these became quite popular. In 1962, Nintendo was listed on the Osaka and the Kyoto Stock Exchanges. In 1963, the name of the company was changed to Nintendo Co. Ltd. Yamauchi established a research and development department called "Games" in 1964...

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9] Bruce Horovitz, "Whole Foods Goes with the Wind,"USA Today, January 9, 2006.

10] Safeway Inc. was a major food and drugs Electricals and Electronicser in the US. As of December 31, 2005, the company operated 1,775 stores in the United States and Canada, and had revenues of $38.4 billion.

 

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