Technology in the current economy receives a mixture of support and resistance from customers. Some organizations try to please some of the customers within a market niche and others try to grab a wider base of customers. The Nintendo Company is a company that continues to hold a share in their market and maintaining their advantage has been a fight with different companies’ spanning generations of gamers. When larger, stronger, and more innovative companies put their names in the market of electronic gaming devices, Nintendo literally “stood up” to their competitors to maintain a share of the market. The technological push toward the Internet and Internet connectivity offers support, additional options for gamers, who can play against people around the world, and a broader consumer market. With the introduction of the Nintendo Wii, the company was true to the competitive spirit of innovation, social responsibility, and entertainment. Introducing the product, adding value to their products, supporting their customers, and building new technological partnerships Nintendo set the bar for the other companies in the gaming market.
Introducing the New Product
The Nintendo Company was slow to produce, this game system for everyone with demand exceeding the supply for the system. The Wii system went to market as a product for everyone. In an initial statement from the Nintendo Company the message to the consumers is, “Wii will break down that wall that separates videogame players from everybody else” (Orry, 2006, para. 1). Offering a game system to people who would not normally play games is not an easy task. The Wii game is more of a doing the activities in a game than controlling the activities in a game, this brings more than just video game players interests. Other consumers who do not place interest in sitting on the couch for hours to reach a virtual goal were now wondering what a game of interaction is like, as well. Demonstrating the Wii system on television and through multimedia Internet channels was helpful in the introduction of the Wii system to reach the interactive audience. “A multimedia system can show text, video, and audio images on a single computer screen at one time” (Regan & O'Connor, 2002, p. 104). Expanding their customer base in the way of pricing was part of the strategy for the Wii system, which is lower in price than the competition. This strategy to reach a larger customer base through technology, so far is paying off for the Nintendo Company.
Proving the Technology
The Nintendo Company that has been producing gaming technology since 1985 can rely on a reputation, but the saying, “seeing is believing,” for the Wii customers still remains true. The development stages of the Wii system, the Nintendo Company shows no signs of leaking information on the new product, referring to the new system as the Revolution. After the system information is available Nintendo sends out plenty of test systems for those who can spread the word. An article by David M. Ewalt from Forbes.com gives details about a Wii product he receives from the Nintendo Company prior to the release date. “There's no sequence of arcane button combinations required to throw a baseball: You just wind up and mime an actual throw. Suddenly, videogames are fun for everyone--old or young, male or female, regardless of prior gaming experience” (Ewalt, 2006, para. 8). The previous product the Nintendo DS was attractive to non-gamers, which purposefully led the technology choices of the Wii system. Adding motion-sensitive remote controllers to the mix for the Wii system, the Nintendo Company put the action back into games even if they were virtual games. The best way for customers who bought the Wii to see the technology was to play the game Wii sports, which came with the Wii game console.
Nintendo uses various approaches for supporting the Wii system, some new technologies for gaming systems some older support options.Nintendo also offers online support through their web page, help with how to connect the Wii, how to connect the Wii to the Internet, and troubleshooting options (Nintendo, 2011). Part of supporting the Wii game console is giving the game creators a decent game platform to develop entertaining games for the masses. Without other companies designing their games to play compatibly on the Wii system the system itself would fail. Game designing companies are in the market as well to make profits. The Nintendo company has to draw the interest of the outside game designers and developers, which they did. The users of the Wii are not employees typical of the technology implementation, training, and support; but the statement, “Give trainees choices among different training delivery methods The users of the Wii are not employees typical of the technology implementation, training, and support; but the statement, “provide IT trainees with the flexibility to choose among different IT training delivery methods” (Information Technology Training: Practices of Leading Private-Sector Companies: GAO-03-390, 2003, p. 13), fits the situation of providing support of to a consumer with different preferences. The use of Internet connectivity is also supportive because of the, “collaboration technology, a technology designed to assist two or more people to work together at the same place and time or at different places or different times” (Brown, Dennis & Venkatesh, 2010, p. 11). Collaboration between individuals can be a powerful form of support for technology explanation, discussion, and teamwork is a possible achievement in collaboration.
The Nintendo Company seeing the success of an Internet capable device from the DS experience choose to offer this option with the Wii system, earning new customers and new partnerships. The Internet capable Wii gaming system is an opportunity for e-commerce to reach out to the gaming population. A company, The Netflix Company has seen benefits from partnerships with the game console companies in connection with the game console Internet capabilities. The Wii system is the last of the big name game consoles producers to partner with the Netflix Company in developing a link between Netflix customers and Wii system customers. At first the Netflix Company had to produce a disk to use with the Wii system to stream movies families could watch instantly. Currently one can just go to the Wii shop channel and download the necessary software to stream instantly movies from the Netflix Company. Not only is the Wii system experiencing new customers but also existing customers’ experiences are better because of the technology partnership. The new customers of the Wii system may decide to expand their entertainment experience probing deeper into the technological opportunities of the market. Customers the Netflix Company could not reach and customers the Nintendo Company could not reach are closer to each company through the other. The Nintendo Company is part of “a movement by makers of game consoles to broaden their appeal by positioning them as a bridge between the living room television and a wider world of online multimedia” (Stone, 2010, p. B3). Both the Netflix Company and the Nintendo Company were making positive comments about the partnership. Streaming movies costs the Netflix Company 12% of the costs to mail the movies to their customers and hopes this partnership is a push toward customers streaming their movies instead of receiving them in the mail. The Nintendo Company statement is to gamers that they are willing to give customers the entertainment they want from the Wii system.
Companies that strive to introduce a new product, add value to their product, support their customers, and build new technological partnerships can find a prosperous future in their market. Companies can establish a reputation for producing high quality technological products but this does not mean these companies are safe from customer scrutiny. The Nintendo Company’s struggles with other game console companies prior to the release of the Wii system were hurtful to establishing positive expectations in customers. Establishing the Wii system in the new game console market was slow. The Nintendo Company’s design was true to their market the entertainment market. Also by bundling technologies into the game console, additional technological partnerships were made available. Adding additional technologies to the Wii system the Nintendo Company is increasing the support capabilities for consumers and increasing support options with design. By partnering with the Netflix Company an entertainment company could maintain the family entertainment theme and add value to their product. People born before the gaming revolution are now sharing their experiences of playing games on the Wii with their children and some even their grandchildren.
Brown, S. A., Dennis, A. R., & Venkatesh, V. (2010). Predicting Collaboration Technology Use: Integrating Technology Adoption and Collaboration Research. Journal of Management Information Systems, 27(2), 9-53. doi:10.2753/MIS0742-1222270201
Ewalt, D. M. (2006, November 13). Nintendo's Wii Is A Revolution. Message posted to http://www.forbes.com/2006/11/13/wii-review-ps3-tech-media-cx_de_1113wii.html
Information Technology Training: Practices of Leading Private-Sector Companies: GAO-03-390. (2003). GAO Reports, 1. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Nintendo. (2011). Support Nintendo.com. Retrieved from http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/
Orry, T. (2006, April 27). Revolution Named Wii. Message posted to http://www.videogamer.com/news/revolution_named_wii.html
Stone, B. (2010, January 13). Nintendo Wii to Add Netflix Service for Streaming Video. The New York Times, p. B3.