April 4, 2011

Nintendo Wii

Looking at the past 15 years in video game history, it would have been difficult to predict that Nintendo would make it into the top 10 of the 2008 Business Week/ BCG Most Innovative Companies. This ranking, led by Apple and Google, finds Nintendo in the 7th spot. How did the company get back in shape after so many years of being a mere follower in the console arena?

Nintendo identified a new market of buyers and users, many of whom had never considered gaming. To attract this new segment of noncustomers, Nintendo designed the Wii, a console which appealed to a far greater segment of users than conventional gaming, even going beyond the “regular” target age groups. This gave the game a whole new dimension of buyers, enabling Nintendo to effectively tap into the “casual gamers” category - reaching far beyond “hard-core gamers”.

Nintendo regained market share with a vengeance and spun the industry on its head with its new, holistic videogame approach. By redesigning the console and simplifying the experience, Nintendo was able to attract a mass of casual gamers. Gaming became a social experience to be enjoyed with families and friends of all ages – thus attracting a new group of older players who found the game and console easy to use, easy to play and fun!

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Source: Extracts from the book Blue Ocean Strategy. (c) Kim & Mauborgne, 2015. Boston. Harvard Business School Publishing