OPINION: Will Nintendo’s reliable focus on quality translate into sales?

I bumped into an analyst friend on the train home the other day.Conversation about industry matters turned, as you expect, to the Wii U.

We both confessed a little bemusement at Nintendo’s take on a next-gen machine – but neither of us were willing to condemn it.

Never write Nintendo off. That’s what people often say in this business. Why?

Speak to any Nintendo staff about the growth of rival forms of entertainment, and they shrug them off.

‘So what?’ Nintendo’s business is Nintendo’s business. Not Apple’s, or Mind Candy’s, or LEGO’s.

I’ve gone into interviews at its Windsor HQ ready to insist answers to why Nintendo has done nothing about the things disrupting its business… and left convinced its team know what they doing.

This might not necessarily feel like a week that heralds the start of a new hardware generation.

Maybe the launch excitement has felt a bit muted.

And it is certainly unlikely that there will be enough units to go around this weekend.

But there really is no other company in games with such confident belief in its vision, even in the face of pressure from growth areas like cheap apps and free games.

Wii U is a curious machine. It’s another instance of Nintendo doing something different to what the world thinks it should be doing. It’s another attempt to add excitement to the living room. And it seems to be a device born of gut instinct with an emphasis on quality ideas and execution.

It’s too early to say if the world has changed around Nintendo, but you can’t fault Nintendo’s attempt to change the world itself.

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