While Microsoft and Sony both iterate on proven designs for traditional video game systems, Nintendo (which has been loosing ground in recent years) decided to innovate. Some say it’s a gamble, but Nintendo needed to do something – or it was going to be left behind by hard core gamers.
What am I talking about? The Wii, and what’s so innovative about the Wii? A number of things.
- Interaction Design:
By developing a more natural way to interact with games, Nintendo has moved us from a joystick to a more virtual space – from playing to experiencing
- Network Lifestyle:
Finally, with WiiConnect24 the Wii has a constant connection to the outside world – where the network can automatically download new pieces to games, or download any Nintendo game from decades past on demand.
- Product Design:
By realizing most people want ascetically pleasing unobtrusive devices in their homes (Apple vs. Dell), Nintendo bucks the trend to have huge, loud, machines sitting next to the TV and provides a stark white device that’s “Approximately the size of three stacked DVD cases”.
- Emotional Connection:
The more you interact with something, the greater you have a emotional connection with it. The iPod is something you can carry around, move the wheel, and it produces music that makes you “feel” – what about a controller you bend and move with, swing and jump with? This experience creates a connection.
- Creating a New Category:
Nintendo has decided to go after non-gamers. By creating a new category, (games for non-gamers) they’ve once again become the leader, and are not directly competing with Sony or Microsoft
- Digital Library:
The promise of 20 years worth of television shows on demand, a jukebox with every recording in human history? Not yet, but with Wii you get a huge selection of past games, that can bring back the nostalgia of your youth with a press of a button. Do you remember the first time you played Mario?
As you can tell I’m excited about the Wii, and it’s only the first day. They’ve released a video that does a good job at showing the capabilities of the Wii, not just the graphics, but the interactions with the people playing the games. I can’t wait to read more and try a hands-on experience soon.