November 28, 2006

Motion or motionless?

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As the buzz fog dissipates from the launch of the Wii and the PS3, we're left with storytelling from our collective Thanksgivings.

Just getting back from lunch with one of the application developers on my team, we shared our perspectives of the buzz fog. The Wii and PS3 launches seem to invoke a familiar story of The Tortoise and the Hare. While the PS3 garnered a huge spike in buzz with people being trampled and shot just to get their hands on it, their buzz could almost be seens as what killed off a potentially larger demand in the larger audience. PS3 spent so much time and effort to become the foaming on the mouths of gamers, that they also created an elitism that isolated themselves. From the general perspective, Sony spent their efforts promoting the cool games you could play, rather than showing user interaction with the product itself.

Alternatively, the Wii Launched two days after the PS3. Originally, many questioned why, as the buzz cloud was so large around the PS3 that the Wii would surely be swallowed up in the midst of the chaos. Now, post-Thanksgiving, it's clear that the Wii has garnered more offline Word-Of-Mouth than jokes about trytophan. Why? Nintendo made the smart choice in promoting "why they're different", as opposed to PS3's "why they're better". From the commercials, to the stories, the simple, somewhat dorky DDR-style of interaction made the Wii friendly to gamers and first-time-gamers alike. There was no buzz about getting trampled, only buzz about people breaking their TVs by playing with the Wii so much. The developer on my team was sharing stories of his grandparents playing boxing games over the weekend, and how his girlfriend broke two glasses and part of a table from getting so into it.

While the Wii almost appears as something straight out of the 80's in silliness, it has successfully made itself accessible by all audiences. While people are no longer asking about if they saw people getting trampled on the news for the PS3, they are, however, sharing their own personal stories about the Wii. To back up the Word-Of-Mouth and advertising techniques, the Wii out-sold the PS3 on the first day and continues to by a significant amount.

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