In terms of gaming consoles, SONY play stations or Microsoft XBOXs are the ones people generally think straight away. Nobody expects and realizes the Wii is actually the big brother of the gaming console market worldwide now.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii are supposed to be in the same gaming console generation, but in terms of technology development and expectations from the gaming industries, Wii was the only console that stands out among the three. Both PS3 and Xbox 360 are able to provide realistic graphics and much improved audio systems, these features appealed to hard-core gamers specifically i.e. those who play on video games a lot. Figures suggest by 2009, Xbox 360 had 29.6 per cent of the market (29.68 million consoles sold worldwide), and PS3 had only 21.6 per cent of the market share (21.60 million consoles sold). Nintendo Wii had a whopper 48.8 per cent of the market with 48.95 million units sold worldwide, nearly doubled Xbox 360’s performance and was more than doubled of PS3’s sales. So what happened? Bad marketing implementation from Microsoft / Sony? Good market Strategy from Nintendo?
Xbox 360 and PS3 were really expensive when they first hit the shelves, retailed price for Xbox 360 was 399 Euros and PS3 was 599 Euros. In 2006 November, a firm specializing in market intelligence named iSuppli did a research and has revealed that on average, Microsoft was losing $120 per console sold and Sony was losing from $240 to $300 per PS3 sold. People might argue that the way gaming industries earn profits by selling games, but apart from the very few distinctive games such as Halo series for Microsoft, all most all games are available across the 3 consoles mentioned, so no one here are exactly in advantage over others.
The gaming experiences, no doubt by going on Xbox 360 and PS3 can be visually and auditory pleasing, in the other hand Wii’s graphics is roughly equivalent to the quality of the Gamecube. The highlight of Wii was the revolutionary way of gaming, the Wiimote has the motion sensing capabilites which allow players to interact with the digital world. Sony has developed the motion sensing style console back in the 2002, but had no opportunity to develop it into a real new business.
In advertisements and promotions, Nintendo Wii always involve the social aspects of gaming. For example, TV ads showed people having fun with the console alone or with friends and family, whereas in contrast most of the Microsoft and Sony only focus on how amazing the graphics are in games. In terms of promotion and the targeted segment of audiences, PS3 and Xbox 360 are aiming at young males mainly as their targeted customers (the most dominate sector of the gaming market). However Wii has been really flexible and Nintendo has worked really hard to ensure people will try on the console or at least go on it once. Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata said in 2007: ‘We want as many people as possible to touch and use a Wiimote’. I do agree with this marketing strategy by encouraging people from all demographics to try Wii, as apart from the visual, auditory…etc, customers are eager to feel, consumers generally touch objects in order to explore stimuli further. By implemented this market strategy, people from segments of the market that traditionally are not regarded as gamers are now equipped with Wii or a Nintendo DS (females and elderly people).
Here’s the question, since people nowadays are aware of what is going on around them, so the reason for Wii’s success is because people generally would like to be involved and to be part of something, and the Nintendo’s marketing implementation has fully adopted to the strategy thus has explored consumers’ satisfactions and need? Or is it because it is all technical issues where Wiis are just generally alot cheaper and Nintendo the brand is viewed as a friendly and popular brand?