Nintendo is the current king of motion control. No matter what you think of the Wii, it is the best and biggest success for motion controlled gaming. It came onto the scene and captured the imaginations, wallets, and purses of millions of people. But can Nintendo sit on their waggling laurels for much longer? Sony’s motion control and Microsoft’s Natal are warning shots to the Wii; now Nintendo has to decide how to respond.
One route is to completely ignore the motion control competition and keep doing what has been working. This seems crazy but could work for many of the consumers Nintendo has attracted. Those of us who check gaming sites everyday know that Sony’s motion control, if it works, looks one to one and the power behind the PS3 could push the tech far past the Wii. The hardcore also know that Microsoft’s Natal is taking motion control one step further and, again if it works, could create games where interface in near invisible. But will many of the people who bought a Wii and only play Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Play, etc. know any of that? Probably not. Some might not even know about the 360 or PS3. There are many older people who still call every console and every game simply “Nintendo.” These very casual gamers will stick with Nintendo and the Wii because that is the name they know and that is the console their friends have told them about.
What if the new motion controls do get exposure though. More importantly, does Nintendo think that they could steal this new gaming audience? Nintendo would need to start to compete with Microsoft and Sony again. Nintendo has been able to sell the Wii away from much direct competition from the other two companies. The experiences are so different that there is not much overlap. With Microsoft and Sony diving into Nintendo’s pool however, Nintendo may have to start some direct competition. Will that produce a Wii HD or a better online offering from the company? No one can predict Nintendo at this point. They might have another game changing surprise up their sleeve or they may have nothing. Whatever happens, it is good that there will be competition in motion controls so the companies push the tech forward. Experience shows, however, people should never count Nintendo out of the fight.