How Nintendo Helped Microsoft

Earlier this week Microsoft shared that the XBOX 360 had the biggest sales week in the history of Xbox, selling more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday. That is a lot of consoles, in a market where the XBOX has significant penetration already. So the question is who bought nearly 1 million XBOX consoles in one week?

Now this is purely speculation since we don’t have specific demographic information, but my intuition is to say they were mostly Wii up-graders. The Wii has dominated the last few Christmas seasons and has exposed many families to gaming who were not hard-core gamers, which is the audience for the XBOX 360 and PS3. Nintendo’s more casual gaming style with the Wii and allure to families as well as children helped grow the market for console gaming. As families became interested in a more graphically rich gaming experience, and their kids who grew up on the Wii got older and now wanted a more immersive gaming experience, the time of the XBOX 360 arrived.

The Kinect helped also selling more than 750,000 Kinect sensors in the same week, an incredibly high attach rate. This is further indication to lead me to believe that many families in the US are upgrading from their Wii to the XBOX 360.

The Wii did a wonderful job making gaming less threatening. It was exactly the market Nintendo targeted. That in return grew the market by bringing families who had children too young for an XBOX or PS3 or were to intimidated by the complex controller. Now it appears the XBOX 360 and Kinect sensor are the perfect step up from the Wii.

It will be interesting to see how Nintendo positions the Wii U in light of some of these recent market advances.

Related: The Wii U is interesting, but how unique is it?

The Wii U is Interesting, But How Unique is it?

The Wii U is addressing the question of how a secondary smaller screen could be used in conjunction with a larger screen to play interactive games. This is a very good question, one that I have thought about for the better part of 10 years. Sony made some interesting attempts at this concept with their PSP and its connection to the PS3.

The big picture concept is that many games could benefit from the addition of a second screen allowing a player to utilize as a part of the game experience. An example would be with a racing game, being able to use the second screen to view your rear view mirror. Or during a game like Splinter Cell having the ability to use the second screen for your gadgets that let you see under doors or stick video cameras to the wall.
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