Nintendo is just like Apple

bit of a random rant. I see Nintendo basically being just like Apple in terms of its seemingly oddball strategy that everyone else thinks makes no sense.

Example, everyone faults Apple for the iPad and having no SD card slots, or direct USB connections or high quality camera etc etc, which apparently all the ‘other’ companies had. If you know the stories there you’ll know what I mean. the exact same was said for example about the Wii when it launched, it was underpowered, people poopooed it, suggesting that the ‘other’ guys truly had the latest and greatest hardware. People faulted Nintendo for marching to the beat of their own drum (like APple!) . With all those complaints, Wii ended up being the best selling hardware EVER basically. The critics don’t seem to understand the market whereas the people at Apple and Nintendo do. They both bet on stuff that didn’t seem correct to the critics and the tech journalists yet their products became the biggest in their categories.

Now console gaming is a smaller market so they Nintendo will never be the same size as Apple exactly. Apple is in a market that has JUST blown up within the last 5 years where everyone has to have a smart phone now so a massive market. I get that but the mantras of the companies seems to be the same. ‘we will do our own thing, we know our market better than the analysts’. And they have succeeded at that amazingly even though all the industry folk complained that there wasn’t enough technology in their products to compete with other products out there.

The thing that won in the end for both was the presentation and the change in how the customers interacted and experienced the hardware. It wasn’t about specs at that point, it was about which met the customers needs and did it in a way that they understood, could learn easily. The learning curve on those products was such that anyone could pick up a Wiimote or an iPod touch and figure it out quickly and start having fun. You can’t say the same about other products because they ended up being too complex with all the hardware included, or time wasn’t spent making the GUI user-friendly enough for non technical people for example.

Now both of these companies have  a LOT of money in the bank. I’m not suggesting Nintendo will continue to make tons of money, its trick and always a bet on what consumers will accept and gravitate towards. I can’t even presume to know whether I would be as good as them at creating products that people will actually purchase as normally I’d be the one asking for more / better specifications.

Its an exciting time now as well with Nintendo as they introduce the WiiU which has been totally knocked for being dead on arrival, the weakest next generation system and some suggesting its really only a current generation system. Its not the tech journalists in the world that end up dictating the success of hardware and I’m glad about that! We wouldn’t have the iPod or iPad or probably Apple as a company for example if the critics dictated the technology direction. Who is glad they don’t dictate that right?!


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