The WiiMote Clone Saga
Satoru Iwata (head of Nintendo) recently held a talk for an investment audience and he mentioned the much-rumoured Xbox 360 Wiimote (in case you haven’t heard, you can read more about it here). He stated that on its’ own, this type of controller is at best a gimmick and that what is really needed is innovation. He then went on to say that as long as Nintendo do this earlier than the competition, they will keep making money.
“What matters to us is whether or not we can continue to constantly create and offer new surprises one after another. If we can, then (other company’s attempt to launch Wii Remote-like controller) should not be a big threat.
The efforts in this field to try to appeal to a wide variety of customers are something in which we saw potential early on.”
So, from the horses mouth as it were, Nintendo clearly knew that they were on to a winner, and understood that from early on to be a success, the Nintendo Wii had to have a very broad appeal. This has been borne out with such products as Wii Sports, something that everyone can play whether they are 8 or 80.
I’ve no doubt that what Iwata is saying is true – but I’m also convinced that Nintendo needs to keep following their own advice. I’m not about to go and buy a Nintendo Wii – what can it offer me when it doesn’t have GTA 4, Rainbow Six, Gears of War, Resident Evil 5 and so forth? I’m still a hardcore gamer at heart – or a traditionalist if you will. If Sony or Microsoft can combine the best of both worlds then perhaps the Nintendo monopoly will be broken. In the meantime, I’m off to play Devil May Cry 4…