The 7th Generation War...of Game Consoles

February 25, 2008

Nintendo managed to capture old and new fans with the unique aesthetic design and gimmick controller of the Nintendo Wii console. This is not enough. Unfortunately, for Nintendo the company has failed at one of the most important factors in brand management, supply management. Since the console’s release, Nintendo has underestimated consumer demand, which has given their competitors, Microsoft and Sony, time to tout their brand availability and superior graphics capabilities.

As the price gap between the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii shrink, Nintendo must sort out its distribution network to ensure that consumers can actually purchase their product. All the brand familiarity and favorability in the world is not going to help if a consumer can’t actually find the product on store shelves.

Along with sorting out the supply woes, Nintendo should also consider unbundling the sports game package that comes with the console in most regions. This package hikes up the console price by $40. Unbundling that package would maintain the $100 price advantage the Wii has over its competitors.

Die-hard Nintendo fans are willing to wait in line for a Wii console, however if the supply shortage isn’t sorted out this year, that leadership pedestal could easily go to Microsoft or Sony. It’s time for Nintendo to get their head in the game, before even their loyal followers dissent for always available Xbox 360’s or PlayStation 3’s.

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