New Yorker on Wii: third place ain’t so bad

Nexus of snobbery The New Yorker has a pretty bang-up article about why it doesn’t always blow to bring up the end. Columnist James Surowiecki makes the point that I’ve been trying to drill into the collective unconscious since this idiot “console war” first tumbled forth from the sticky womb of the early 90s: it doesn’t matter who wins. From the article, which employs novel journalistic techniques like “reason” and “evidence”:

“Nintendo’s success is not an anomaly, either. The business landscape of the past couple of decades is replete with companies that have flourished as third wheels, and with companies that have struggled to make money despite being No. 1 in their industries … a study of the performance of twenty major American companies over four decades found that the ones putting more emphasis on market share than on profit ended up with lower returns on investment; of the six companies that defined their goal exclusively as market share, four eventually went out of business.”

Nintendo’s had an extremely successful launch, selling load after load of their new console, and some people are still calling on the company to throw in the towel, go 3rd party, bow out of the console race. Hah, right. While fanboys argue over whose expensive hunk of electronics is better, Nintendo’s laughing all the way to the bank. They may be “losing the console war”, but they’re sitting on a mountain of cash. Not a bad trade in this day and age.

Dig the article in its entirety here.

Aaron Linde