Saturday, April 28, 2007


Here's a noodle-scratcher. You're a maker of video game consoles and you've recently released your new machine that's taking the world by storm and outperforming all expectations. But over at a major computer gaming magazine, someone's suggesting your success is bad for the industry.

PCWorld's Matt Peckham wrote yesterday contemplating if Nintendo's Wii astonishing popularity is bad for the gaming industry. While acknowledging that the economic pie grows "slightly" more, it ultimately results in "smaller slices for everyone."

If Peckham's talking about Nintendo's competitors then of course he's right. If Nintendo's attracting Microsoft's and Sony's customers, then the Wii isn't too great for them. A bigger slice for Nintendo, smaller for a handful of other firms.

But if he's referring to the industry as a whole--which must include its customers--then one has to wonder what's going through his mind. Of course the Wii's success is good for the industry. It's raising standards in a way no one has seen in recent memory. It's drawing new people to the gaming world, securing the industry's survival. It's enriching the lives of consumers all over the world. Nintendo may be picking up it's competitor's profits but it's doing so only because so many people want to join the Wii revolution. It may be bad for competitors but it's good for everyone else.

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