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CASE STUDY: NintendoIn the early days of video games, gaming wasn’t exactly a social affair. Sure, you could spendhours playing the same game, but it was with two or three other players at most. And of course,the earliest consoles were great at video games, but there were no other social features built intoage overthem. Now, gaming has been completely transformed by online networks and social media. Thevideo game market is filled with smartphones, tablets, laptops, social networking Web sites, andother highly connected ways to play.Within this evolving marketplace-where success is seen by companies that emphasizemobility and multi-connectivity-Nintendo adapted a seemingly outdated strategy with the releaseof the Wii U, which focuses primarily on games. Instead of selling its new console as a multimediadevice that gives users a wide range of entertainment options and a high level of socialconnectivity, Nintendo is hoping to reestablish its competitive advantage by leaning on users’ loveof The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Metroid, and other first-partyfranchises. According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, this strategy is basedon the company’s belief that what consumers want is games, not all of the other trappings: “Whenyou talk to players and understand what they want, it can only be delivered through a dedicatedgaming device.” Early Wii U sales indicate otherwise, however. Only 64,000 Wii Us were sold inFebruary 2013, compared to 302,000 sales of Microsoft’s nearly ten-year-old Xbox 360 console.Jamin Warren, “Not Your Childhood’s Video-Game System, ” Fast Company, November 2012, 70-72; MattPeckham, “What’s Going On with Nintendo’s Wii U? ” TIME, March 15, 2013,hup:// (Accessed March 25, 2013).


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