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November 2006


Tate Linden

There's always room for different.

Over the last two decades all of the game control systems have become more like each other rather than less like each other. One piece, rounded, thumb sticks, triggers, buttons...

Nintendo is the first company to say they're not playing that game. Different color, two pieces, motion sensitivity...

Though I don't think the name is that strong, the product idea is here at a time that people will be receptive to it.


Nintendo has done a wonderful job repositionig it's product, you see,
Nintendo's Wii is basically a GameCube (previous console) with a new controller and a face lift. How about that? =)

Scott Weisbrod

Hey Laura,

I was inspired after reading your post and leaving a comment. I put together a quick strategy canvas for Nintendo over at my blog:


It's generated a lot of interest this afternoon from a couple of gaming blogs (not the typical blogs that link to me!).

Thanks for the inspiration!



Minds don't change. But Nintendo already has the perception of being the kid brand with the success of the gameboy. So as PlayStation pushes towards the more serious gamer with its price tag and new complex game system I think the mind is open for Nintendo to move in again. As categories mature, more divergence happens creating opportunities for new brands.

We do like the Blue Ocean Strategy concept. You outlined the case nicely Scott. It is always best to be the opposite of the competition and be first in a new category. Copying the competition is not a good strategy.

Scott Weisbrod

Hi Laura,

Are you familiar with strategy mapping as discussed in the book "Blue Ocean Strategy"?

What Nintendo has done here has taken a look at the competition; identified the points of competition that companies typically compete on and then commited to the following four activities:

1) Reduce reliance on a point of competition (e.g., high processing speed, price)

2) Eliminate points of competition (e.g., standard method of gameplay controls)

3) Raise points of competition(e.g. backwards compatibility, focus on family values with parental controls)

4) Create a new element that nobody in the market currently competes on (e.g., new method for gameplay, new gaming controls, connectivity with the DS handheld)

Some of the examples above are better than others, but you get the idea.

Thanks for the great post.


Vincenzo Ragone

Hi Laura!

I agree with your opinion about the need to doing the opposite. But as you used to say, "minds don't change". I believe that Nintendo should have done this change of strategy before, immediatelly when Playstation success arose.
Now it's too late, Playstation is the "cool brand", Xbox is "the alternative". Maybe there no place for number three. The game is over for Nintendo.

Juan Manuel Tapiola

The name "Wii" is very hard to grasp and pronounce in Spanish.


Thanks William!

I agree the lower pricing strategy is also part of being the opposite. The Nintendo will be almost half the cost of the new PlayStation.

And the name is great although not perfect. Of course few names are ever perfect. Some of the best I can think of are: Sony, Apple, iPod and Kleenex.

William Lozito


Enjoy your posts.

I agree with you that Nintendo is wise to "change the battlefield" for their new Wii product.

They may be augmenting this strategy with lower pricing too.

I also think Wii is a cool name, although not perfect. I have written about Wii extensviely in the last few months which may be of interest:

Thanks for the insighful post and blog.

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