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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The Wii

In May 2006, Nintendo unveiled the new console and the much talked about wireless controller at the E3 conference in Los Angeles. At the conference, Nintendo announced that its new console would be called 'Wii'. It also gave a 150-word explanation as to why it had chosen the name. Nintendo said that the name was in accordance with its philosophy of creating a gaming world without boundaries, attracting new gamers, and making a fun product for everyone. Nintendo's press release explained, "Wii sounds like "we," which emphasizes this console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii." The unique spelling was also expected to be easy to search on the Internet as well as to serve as a trademark...


Even though the Wii had a lot going for it, concerns about its eventual success remained. With the PS3 launch, gamers would now be able to experience true high-definition images and sound on their games, in comparison to which the Wii games would look primitive. Some analysts felt that even casual gamers would find the graphics power of the Wii disappointing in comparison to the other consoles. The unique gameplay of the Wii also had the potential to cause its downfall. Some analysts felt that playing games with the Wii Remote could become repetitive and tiring over time...


With more and more households willing to buy more than one game console, the Nintendo Wii stood a fair chance of being included in Christmas and other holiday shopping lists, because of its low price (compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360) and unique interface. Analysts felt that customers would choose between the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but were highly unlikely to buy both, mainly because of their high price and similar features. Not surprisingly, Microsoft officials believed that customers would prefer the Xbox 360. "People are going to buy two (machines.) They're going to buy an Xbox and they're going to buy a Wii ... for the price of one PS3...


Exhibit I: Cumulative Sales of Nintendo Products
Exhibit II: History of Video Game Consoles
Exhibit III: Nintendo - Five Year Financial Summary
Exhibit IV: A Screenshot - The Wii Sports (Tennis) Game
Exhibit V: Some Wii Games
Exhibit VI: Some Statistics on the US Games Industry
Exhibit VII: Comparison of the Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox 360
Exhibit VIII: Nintendo Wii with the Wii Remote, the Ps3, and the Xbox 360

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