The reason for the success of Wii

When video games first began, there was this huge explosion of excitement. Everyone was interested and wanted to see “the next best thing.” There was no avoiding the presence of this interactive medium. You’d walk into your local restaurant, only to find huge line-ups for that next game of Donkey Kong, or Pac-Man. Video games were the new kids on the block. They were new, fresh, fun and exciting. In the early to mid 1980′s, the video game industry was experiencing a crash. Was it the beginning of the end? As it turns out, fortunately that was not the case.

A newcomer in the industry, Nintendo, was responsible for releasing the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), that essentially single-handily revived the entire industry. Although Nintendo is over a century old, video games in particular were a new venture for them, so there was a lot of skepticism. That skepticism was quickly silenced once they released their first game console, with the globally recognized game mascot, Super Mario Brothers. This one game alone was responsible for putting the industry back on the map. One of the reasons for the game’s huge success is not solely catered to the characters cute personality, but largely due to the fact that Super Mario Brothers, in and of itself, was a revolutionary game. There was nothing like it at the time. It was a whole new wave on interactivity, and thus a new generation of gamers were born. Back in the early days, there’s was one particular element that all games had in common: Ease of use.

Games were fairly easy to pick-up and play, and as a result, this allowed a large number of people that were interested in the medium to give it a try. As time went by, games naturally evolved. At the same time, as games started to evolve more, so did the complexity of playing them. Historically, all video games were presented in two-dimensions (2-D). In the mid-90′s though, we were introduced to games that now leaped to the third (3-D) dimension. As a result, a whole new dimension of complexity, if you will, tagged right along with it. Although games being in 3-D may have had some affect on the “ease-of-use” factor, a large part of games becoming too complex had to do with the natural progression of the game controllers. Essentially, the tools that gamers use to control what’s happening on-screen.

As a result of this, people that used to play and enjoy games, all of a sudden turned their backs on it. Not because they weren’t interested, but more because they simply couldn’t handle the difficulty levels that were now presented before them. If you do some research, you’ll find that this increase of difficulty was also reflected in the sales, or lack-of industry growth. The amount of people that used to play video games were all of a sudden decreasing. This put the industry in a sort of frenzy. There was one company though that really showed their concern – that company was Nintendo. It was around 2004 when Nintendo stated they felt the industry needed to change, and so procedures were taking place to make those changes happen. The result: Both the Nintendo DS and Wii.

You’d almost have to be living under a rock in order not to hear of those systems. Their success thus far is simply unprecedented. But why is that? The answer is actually quite simple – those two systems are really easy to use. In a way, they go back to the basics of when games could be played by anyone. The DS uses a touch-screen as it’s interface, and a stylus as it’s “controller.” Yet, this combination really works, and it’s evident by the sales reflected by the system. The Wii on the other hand is motion-based, with a controller that looks like a, get this, T.V. remote! Who doesn’t have and uses a T.V. remote? Nearly everyone does, and thus the reason why the Wii remote was developed the way it is. The Wii’s interface makes playing games easy again, looking no further then the latest sales generated by the system to prove this point. The brilliant thing that Nintendo did was use the latest technology, but in a way that simplifies the process so anybody can use it. In other words, cutting-edge technology that’s easy to use. Brilliant!

Industry analysis shows that after the release of Wii and DS, the industry started to expand again. People that once stopped playing games, started to play again. Even more importantly, people that never touched a game before, were all of a sudden getting involved. It seems now, that the industry as a whole, is working on expanding the market, reaching people of all ages and nationalities. A goal, where one day, people will look at video games as a legitimate form of entertainment – a medium that can proudly stand next to other forms of entertainment like movies and music. Rest assured, that day will come!

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