Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wii can learn something from Nintendo...

If you live in the U.S. (or nearly anywhere for that matter) and follow the consumer tech market even at a glance, you surely could not have missed all the goings on surrounding Sony's and Nintendo's recent release of new gaming consoles, the PS3 and Wii, respectively.  What is interesting is while all the crazy hoopla seemed to focus on Sony's frontal assault on Microsofts XBox 360, Nintendo [relatively speaking] quietly introduces the Wii, a much lower priced, less featured, not-nearly-as-good graphics, gaming system. 

On paper, the Wii, is a huge “why bother.”  However on further examination, there is some interesting genius at work here.  Sony and Microsoft are bent on being #1, owning the living room, and being a vehicle for all entertainment and media.  Gaming is beginning to take a back seat.  Nintendo, however, is emerging as being the one player in the console gaming market that clearly knows where it's bread is buttered.  They do gaming consoles, handheld game platforms, and have a much larger library of Nintendo produced games.  That's it.  They're not out to “be the do-all end-all media device.”  It is also worth noting that Nintendo seems to be the only one of the three that is actually very profitable (in the console gaming business).

What prompted this post was that I came across this interesting article in The New Yorker magazine.  What really struck me was this:

“A recent survey of the evidence on market share by J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green found that companies that adopt what they call 'competitor-oriented objectives' actually end up hurting their own profitability. In other words, the more a company focusses on beating its competitors, rather than on the bottom line, the worse it is likely to do.”

I guess the way I'm going to somehow tie all of this back to CodeGear is to say that, as a much smaller company with a single-minded focus we should really take a few notes here.  We must make sure we focus on what we're purporting to be all about.  We're going to have to have “developer-oriented objectives“, and not “competitor-oriented objectives.”  By doing that, I have little doubt that we can thrive and have a profound impact on the lives of developers.

To steal a line from the Nintendo Wii TV commercials, “CodeGear wants to play.”