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The_Liquid_Laser said:

To put it more precisely it is actually handheld consoles in general that are a crappy product for crappy customers.  But disruptive products also improve over time and that is how they move upmarket.  The Switch is a handheld console moving upmarket.  That is when the disruption is really felt by the market.  The Gameboy created the market, and the handheld systems have steadily improved over time, but Switch is the handheld market invading the home market space.

Blue ocean, on the other hand, is a creation of a new uncontested space.  It is about avoiding competition by creating a new market or growing an existing one.  Nintendo did not create a new market with the Switch, because it isn't selling to a new type of customer.  It is true that the handheld market is currently uncontested space, but that is not from the Blue Ocean Strategy.  It is because Nintendo fought very hard with the 3DS and defeated Sony and the Vita red ocean style.  For example, they cut the price by $80 within the first year.  That is the sort of thing a red ocean product does to compete.  Nintendo was not following the Blue Ocean strategy with the 3DS, so much as they were simply creating a monopoly by defeating the competition.  Blue Ocean Strategy is about making the competition irrelevant.  That is not what Nintendo did.  They fought them and beat them and the 3DS wasn't terribly profitable as a result.  But now Nintendo has a monopoly on the handheld market with the Switch.  That still is not the Blue Ocean Strategy.

And when I talk about games I look at which ones seem to be appealing to unorthodox customers.  That gives an indication about how well the Switch as a whole is doing as a potential Blue Ocean product.  Some of Wii's biggest games were Wii Sports, Wii Fit and New Super Mario Bros., and the DS had Nintendogs, Brain Age and (also) New Super Mario Bros.  All of these games were appealing to new or underrepresented customers at the time.  Meanwhile Switch's best selling games are Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Mario Odyssey, Zelda, and soon Pokemon will join that top tier list.  All of these games are the type that appeal to core gamers.  None of the most popular games are trying to reach new or under-represented customers.  The closest game that actually does this is Ring Fit Adventure, which is not one of Switch's top tier games.

So Switch is not a blue ocean product, but not from want of trying.  Nintendo has been trying to follow this strategy with games I mentioned in my last post: Labo, 1-2 Switch, Arms, Pokemon Go and Ring Fit Adventure.  These games are not really exciting the market with the possible exception of the last one.  But Switch is still successful in spite of that.  It's success comes from it being a disruptive product rather than a blue ocean one.  It is the crappy handheld market that is moving up market and invading the space of the home console market.

You are really trying to put a square piece into a round hole.

Switch isn't a handheld console moving upmarket. It's home console gaming being made possible on the go, that's why people are paying $60 for games without batting an eye. Switch's first revision (Switch Lite) is moving downmarket. You keep saying things that are not only not supported by evidence, but actually contradicted by evidence. In the bigger picture you have Sony and Microsoft launching new consoles, so the gap between Switch and competing consoles is getting bigger, not smaller like it would if Switch was moving upmarket like you say.


Blue ocean strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.

Even if you denounce the uncontested space of portable consoles as blue ocean - which doesn't make sense because both creating (new) and capturing (seizing a known market that has been left by competitors) uncontested space qualify as blue ocean - that still leaves Switch with the value innovation of being able to play the same exact home console game on the go without the need to purchase additional hardware.

The 3DS wasn't a blue ocean product, that's correct. But that has no bearing on Switch being one. The video game industry was chanting that portable console gaming is dead, but Nintendo didn't listen to them. That was the industry trying to define market boundaries and industry structure.

As for your follow-up post where you say that PS5 and XSX will be seriously affected by Switch, such disruption won't work for the same reason that it ultimately didn't work for the Wii: AAA third party publishers won't put the same games on all consoles and they will also largely refrain from putting similar games on them. Something like Google Stadia and Sony/Microsoft's own streaming offers pose a bigger threat to Sony/Microsoft's console sales than Switch; but the biggest threat to the PS5 and XSX is general PC gaming.

Also, later peaks for PS and Xbox consoles doesn't mean that there was disruption, because disruption would have a permanent effect. Later peaks point to overpriced consoles in the early stage of a console cycle. The only country where you can reasonably expect Switch to be disruptive is Japan because there's notable overlap between Switch and PS as far as relevant games for the country are concerned.

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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments