New book about Nintendo calls Wii “greatest comeback” in video games

Hopefully the writing is better than this crummy cover design

When Nintendo released the Wii home console in November 2006, it changed the face of global gaming forever. Sony and Microsoft, whom many expected to dominate the market, were caught unawares by the launch of Nintendo’s revolutionary product. But rarely has the story been told of this elusive, low-profile family company. How did this struggling company, faced with an existential crisis both in leadership and product in the last decade, manage such a dramatic comeback?

Daniel Sloan uncovers its tale in the newly published, “Playing to Wiin: Nintendo and the Video Game Industry’s Greatest Comeback.” In this book, he details the key succession issue for Nintendo, the development of the DS and Wii mega-hit consoles and the creation of remarkable new gaming software ”“ all these factors combined to expand the gaming population and propel Nintendo to the industry’s peak.

The book focuses on the way unorthodox business decisions ”“ by Hiroshi Yamauchi in choosing his successor, and by Satoru Iwata and others in charting 21st century direction ”“ returned to Nintendo, at least for a time, the mantle of the world’s greatest video game company. Comments from key management and designers, as well as from analysts and historians who have followed Nintendo over the years, offer added insight to the strategic decisions that have let Nintendo remain a company of consequence.

“Playing to Wiin is the story of a company in an existential crisis that not only found its way but regained the mantle of industry leader,” said the author. “With new hit product and games, as well as a new definition and demographics for the entertainment field, the Kyoto giant reached heights and wealth that all three generations of its past leadership could only have dreamed of.”

Daniel Sloan was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1963. He studied English literature at the University of Virginia and received a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 1991. He has worked in financial journalism for Reuters for more than 15 years, and his text and video reports have appeared in numerous global publications as well as in programs from international broadcasters, including CNN, CNBC, BBC, and CCTV. He is a frequent commentator for a variety of domestic broadcasters, a university lecturer, and a former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. He and his family live in Chiba Prefecture outside Tokyo.

See also: Game over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry by David Sheff