Scott Steinberg, the vice president of marketing in the Stateside branch of Sega Sammy has told Reuters that he doesn’t believe Nintendo’s Wii has the staying power required to keep them at the top of the mountain and predicts the machine’s runaway success may falter as early as this year. Furthermore, he showed confidence in Sony reclaiming its position of authority and believes the PlayStation 3 will see its company reign supreme once more while Nintendo flounders with a product that’s too shallow to live forever:
“I am a little concerned about the creative depth of the Wii pool. I’m not sure if they will top out in 2008 or 2007. The Wii will start to look really dated in a couple years when developers get more value from the 360 and learn more and more about the PlayStation 3”.
Steinberg does make some good points. It’s no secret that the Wii appears to have very little on the system worth buying. Even if there were, Nintendo seems to increasingly shy away from deep, involving gameplay in favor of pursuing the abstract ‘casual’ market and if Nintendo wish to alienate the true gamer and turn its system into a glorified toy, exactly how many minigame compilations and golf simulators can it sustain before even the mainstream market gets bored? The Wii, despite strong initial sales, is treading into ‘disposable’ territory right now.
“But how much value can developers and creative folks get out of this wrist motion two years from now, or 5 years from now, or 10 years from now? How can they design products that aren’t too derivative of what’s already out there?”
Hey, that’s exactly what I said. Scott and I, we’re on the same page. Brothers from the hood, yo. Nintendo is doing a dangerous thing in catering predominantly to what’s called the ‘casual’ market. Mainstream audiences are, by nature, fickle, easily bored and possessed of a fad mentality. Also, who’s to say that Wii Sports isn’t enough for most of these people? Why would they want to buy more sports games when they have everything they need for a party on one DVD? Mainstream customers aren’t gamers, they don’t require the latest software and they won’t have the inclination to amass huge collections. One game that lets them play tennis indoors is all they could need.
Nintendo may be laughing now, but it’s stopped dating dependable, loyal nerds and is now courting high school jocks. Those jocks will drop the Wii as soon as a hotter, younger cheerleader wiggles her ass in his direction. Meanwhile, the PS3 may very well, as Steinberg predicts, become the dominant machine once again. Only time will tell, but Steinberg says nothing that’s implausible.