Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
December 13th, 2006

Innovation Wins at the Cash Register

In a post two days ago I suggested that the Wii Video Game console from Nintendo was the clear winner in the new console competition with Sony’s PlayStation 3.  I based this on the fact that the Wii was an innovative product that both opened up the gaming space to new participants and was highly desired by experienced gamers.

Since that post I have come across sales numbers that emphatically point to the fact that consumers have embraced the new, innovative vision of the Wii.  The PlayStation debuted on November 17 and the Wii on November 19 and the November sales figures for the PlayStation were 197,000 while the Wii sold 476,000.  Of course the lower price point of the Wii helped in these numbers, but the buzz has not been about price, but about the radical new and innovative approach the Wii has taken, described in the earlier post.

A new product in a competitive marketplace that is completely innovative wins.  When the price point for this innovative product is lower than the price for the competition, it wins big.  As mentioned in the earlier post, innovation in such an influential field as video gaming will inevitably flow into other areas of our lives in the near future, and that is a very good thing.

It is sad to see Sony on the back slope of the innovation curve. It was Sony of course that created the ‘personal music player’ market with the release of the Walkman in 1979.  Where were they when Steve Jobs created and launched the iPod?  Where were they this past year while Nintendo was creating the Wii?  Sony won the day in the 1970s and 1980s due to their innovative technology.  Now the torch has passed to Apple and Nintendo.  I hope Sony finds their innovation soul again soon.  I suggest to all technology companies to keep the words of Bob Dylan up on their whiteboards while brainstorming:  “Those not busy being born are busy dying”.


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