This week’s blog is one on a topic I mentioned in class briefly. It is an older article, but I feel like it is a pretty important part of what Nintendo is doing and I happened to miss it. So it’s not quite current, but certainly relevant. The article can be found here: (http://allthingsd.com/20130123/nintendo-wii-u-virtual-console-performance-improvements-coming-this-spring/?KEYWORDS=nintendo). It basically summarized a presentation by Iwata, Nintendo’s president, that he gave near the end of January. Iwata basically apologized about the fact that there haven’t been any new Wii U games released in the past couple of months and that Nintendo is working on a lot of “quality” games and updates. The quality games they are talking about are remakes of old games like Zelda: The Wind Waker, or new games that are basically just extending a series of old games like Mario Kart. The other big announcement was that Nintendo will release two updates, one in Spring and one in Summer. The updates will make the Wii U run slightly faster and will allow gamers to download NES and Super NES games. One game a month from the NES or Super NES will be released at a huge discount of only 30 cents per game.
What I take from this announcement is two things: The first is that Nintendo is trying to utilize the customer responsiveness building block since they are basically compensating gamers for the lack of good games recently. The second thought I took away from this is that Nintendo is not utilizing the innovation building block. Nintendo has always used the innovation block predominately, but it looks like they are slowly slipping away from that. They are innovative with controllers and consoles, but not as drastically innovative as they were when they came out with motion controls. Also, the fact that they are releasing really old games and remakes of games instead of new titles makes me believe that, at least in the game category, they are not innovative at all. It appears that their main source of customers consists of die-hard fans that loved Nintendo and its games when it was in its prime. Nintendo has arguably the best classic games, but with a changing game industry (which I will discuss in response to a comment from last week’s blog), it appears that will not hold up forever.
Nintendo is essentially switching building blocks. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will work. The two go hand in hand in this industry. The customers want innovation, so if you are going for customer responsiveness, you need to be innovative. These classic games will only hold up for so long and continuing old popular series of games will become less and less popular. Sony and Microsoft have systems with many new games that turn into these great series of games, but when one becomes a series, there is a beginning of a new one. They are maintaining a cycle, not simply dwelling on the past and milking it for all it’s worth. Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh, but I really don’t want to see a great gaming company crumble. It would be terrible to see Nintendo turn into a company like Airborne Express. They were great and highly innovative for so long and then had to sell themselves.
By the way, do you want us to respond to your comments in the comment section of the blog you commented on, or address it in the next blog? I’m assuming a reply to the comment in the same blog is probably best rather than carrying it over to the next one.