Wed, Jul 11th 2007 11:32am
While Sony and Microsoft duke it out with price cuts on the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360, Nintendo keeps chugging along in the background, with the Wii continuing to sell well despite still being hard to find at many retailers. A big part of the success of the Wii, and Nintendo overall, has been the company's focus on creating products and games that appeal to a wide audience, and don't rely on sheer processing and graphics power, but rather innovative and creative game play. This is the sort of strategy that EA's new CEO recently alluded to, when he said his company has become stagnant and caught in an endless loop of franchise title updates, and isn't doing enough to court casual gamers and other non-traditional market segments. Even more so than the Wii, Nintendo's DS portable console reflects its strength in this area. It started with things like Brain Age, which attracted an older demographic by blurring the line between learning and gaming, but now the DS is becoming a platform for reference materials and educational programs in Japanese schools. The DS is an attractive device for the schools because it's relatively inexpensive (compared to laptops), and it's easy to use, while its touchscreen and voice-recognition functionality provide a useful platform. Nintendo trumpets the fact that 60% of DS buyers don't consider themselves videogamers -- and it's by catering to this market that Nintendo is finding a lot of success, rather than by rolling out expensive, yet powerful, consoles that focus on complex, involved games.
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