Nintendo will win console war by thinking ‘different,’ not ‘better’

Advertising Age examines what really makes Nintendo tick lately, namely differentiation. The crux of the article suggests that different thinking wins consumer hearts, not better technology or even better products. DS is an excellent example of this. The machine power is extremely dated; graphics, processor, even the touch screen. But the approach and application to handheld gaming is very different. It makes the experience feel fresh and new. The result? Millions of people have gobbled up the portable and continue to do so. It is arguably the hottest selling system out right now followed closely by Nintendo’s Wii.

The same concept applies for Wii. The thing couldn’t render hi-res graphics to save its life. It’s lo-fi, low-def (LD), and a scrappy little booger. But it’s also got some fresh games that people are excited about. Nintendo has created a new category of gaming; a world in which motion-controls are imperative to the gameplay experience. People get excited about a different experience. Though don’t care for more of the same when presented with a more enticing offer. “But Nintendo isn’t doing that much different!” you say. Perhaps not, but perception says they are, and people don’t buy reality. They buy perception. Nintendo’s message and marketing are doing one heck of a job right now. From the article: “Prediction: Nintendo’s Wii will wind up outselling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined” thanks to thinking “different,” not “better.”