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Revolution: The Story of Wii

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http://www.computerandvideogames.com/378029/features/revolution-the-story-of-wii/?page=1#top_banner

Long read, but a good one. Most of it is stuff we knew, but there are a few myths dispelled, and it's nice to hear from George Harrison again.



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Currently reading this. Excellent article. Some bits I just wanted to point out to those who followed my chat with Rol in the Ubi debate:

"At the time, Nintendo wasn't doing well at all," Quinn says. "It was rich, but it wasn't generating any good business. There were rumours about the chairman stepping down and other things, so we felt Sony would be a better potential partner for us."

If the cube had similar sales trends to the xbox, why would he have that perception? I think there was a stigma, and I'm bent on understanding why.

"The games industry tends to adopt ant-like business behaviours. One company's direction will often decide another's. If a publisher starts selling season passes for DLC, and it becomes a success, eventually all of them do. If one joins Steam, all join Steam. It's not so much about indecision as it is about hedging bets."

There's more!
"By 2003, executives at Nintendo began to notice how certain industry patterns were pointing to a grave outcome for the GameCube.

 

Aside from Virtual Boy, the GameCube was Nintendo's worst selling home console everFirstly, the retailer Dixons - the biggest UK seller of console hardware at the time - announced on March 10 of that year that it would no longer stock GameCube systemsdue to soft demand. It meant the system would not appear in subsidiary stores such as Currys and PC World.

 

Eight days later, Argos announced it too would pull support. At a time when brick and mortar retailers were a dominant force, the announcements proved to be catastrophic for Nintendo. Not only would the company sell less consoles, but the entire industry was signalled a new path to tread.

Two months later, publisher Acclaim said it would no longer support GameCube. By September, the CEO of Eidos declared the GameCube a "declining business" and said he would cease publishing on the platform too. Other retailers shifted the consoles at rock-bottom prices to free shelf space for Xboxes and PS2s."



You guys can read my take on this in the "Official Nintendo News Thread"...

And yes, you can bet there was stigma (more than one actually) against Nintendo in those days was one of the variables that led to this thinking...



 And proud member of the Mega Mario Movement!

Great article.   A lot of interesting things I never knew.  Gotta wonder if the Wii U can pull of the same thing.  I kind of doubt it :(.  Then again, I didn't see the Wii becoming what it was either.



The gaming industry didn't do itself any favors with their herd mentality. Development costs are only going up, but the market is collapsing around them. Only the strongest will survive from now on, so goodbye, THQ.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

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In the middle of the article they link to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4UmHKTX9H4
I've never heard this remix before. It's literally a 10 second loop played over and over again but it's not getting old...!!!

I still remember in '06 (9th grade for me), our history class participated in a mock stock market online for several months. I destroyed everyone because I put all my stocks in Nintendo after seeing the success of DS and the announcement of the Wii. Those were the days...



There are one hundred and one things to consider.

The cube didn't sell on the same level as the xbox in the west (EU and US). Here are the values:

PosPlatformNorth AmericaEuropeJapanRest of WorldGlobal
1 Xbox (XB) 15.77 7.17 0.53 1.18 24.65
2 GameCube (GC) 12.55 4.44 4.04 0.71 21.74

3m more in both the US and EU, for a total of 6m more units of xbox sold in the west (that's 50% of the cube's total sales in the west).

Similarly, less software:

PosPlatformNorth AmericaEuropeJapanRest of WorldGlobal
12 Xbox (XB) 191.80 65.95 3.88 9.83 271.46
14 GameCube (GC) 135.02 40.00 27.54 6.05 208.61

Xbox sold about 150% times cube's sales in the west.

Japan was Sony's turf so Nintendo's edge there didn't matter much, even less to western devs.

Then, the idea of the cube being sold at very low margin for retailers boosting these sales numbers is grim. "Other retailers shifted the consoles at rock-bottom prices to free shelf space for Xboxes and PS2s."

 

There's so much going on here.

@OP. The Wii was a phenomenon, it's all bringing back to memory, I'm upset I'm forgetting all of this. "Harrison, now a full-time consultant for start-up businesses, believes Nintendo's natural response to anxiety is invention."  "Let's we forget" really is a powerful phrase. The stigma was very strong against Nintendo, and I personally felt the anxiety even as a fan. This is a telling bit:

"Meanwhile, developers and games enthusiasts were discussing the creative possibilities that motion control could bring to games.

It was a rare moment when all the planets had aligned for Nintendo. People were excited about the launch line-up, but even more enthused by the kind of games they imagined could appear on the new console."

I think we all had big visions of what the new idea we were shown could offer, especially with videos like these:

I think this video goes to show how much Nintendo and 3rd parties dropped the ball on the whole potential of Wii's innovation, and it's really too bad. Plaguing the Wii with cheesy artstyles for the more casual games was not necessary. A cool cooking simulator would have been awesome. It never happened. :(



Personally I never felt that Nintendo truly believed in the Wiimote/Revolution concept. When they launched the console they intended to sell it for $199 and they included nothing but old technology which had been repurposed. Had they actually believed the Wii was going to sell a significant quantity they would have IMO included more up to date hardware such as a more modern IBM CPU and Radeon graphics chip. They invested relatively nothing into the console compared to pretty much any other console ever released and yet this article claims that they believed in the technology?



Tease.

Squilliam said:
Personally I never felt that Nintendo truly believed in the Wiimote/Revolution concept. When they launched the console they intended to sell it for $199 and they included nothing but old technology which had been repurposed. Had they actually believed the Wii was going to sell a significant quantity they would have IMO included more up to date hardware such as a more modern IBM CPU and Radeon graphics chip. They invested relatively nothing into the console compared to pretty much any other console ever released and yet this article claims that they believed in the technology?

They staked their home console market on it. Unlike with the DS, where their uncertainty at its success was apparent from before launch ("third pillar," "not the successor to Gameboy") Nintendo never once demonstrated any ambivalence towards the Wii. You believe that the system's lack of horsepower indicates they were not seriously invested in the Wiimote. I submit it shows they were confident the Wiimote alone could turn a Gamecube into a sales juggernaut.



Squilliam said:
Personally I never felt that Nintendo truly believed in the Wiimote/Revolution concept. When they launched the console they intended to sell it for $199 and they included nothing but old technology which had been repurposed. Had they actually believed the Wii was going to sell a significant quantity they would have IMO included more up to date hardware such as a more modern IBM CPU and Radeon graphics chip. They invested relatively nothing into the console compared to pretty much any other console ever released and yet this article claims that they believed in the technology?

I beleive there was quote from Iwata supporting this, smth like he beleived in Wii, but didn't exepct it to sell that fast and in such volumes. But it'd better to check with Nintendo hardware forecast at the time if any.

I do think as well that on the one hand they were trying to play safe by lowering hardware devlopments costs, increasing profit margin from every unit sold and even maybe reducing software developments costs - if smth will go wrong business will survive at least, but on other hand it's still was desperate move, that did wonders. People sure did beleive Nintendo were desperate when Wiimote was first shown to the public, I clearly remember this :D