Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, OLENICK, Michael
Nintendo languished in last place during the console wars of the early aughts, with game industry analysts suggesting the Kyoto-based firm exit the gaming console market altogether. Instead, Nintendo used blue ocean strategy to redefine market boundaries creating the bestselling videogame console ever, the Nintendo Wii. Targeting noncustomers, the Wii outsold Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox combined until a new massively disruptive technology was introduced, smartphones and tablets. Mobile technology targeted the same noncustomers, offering easy-to-understand games and controls, and Wii sales suffered. Nintendo initially responded by introducing their own tablet-like console, the Wii U, a poor copy of the tablet experience that proved a dismal failure. Stepping back, Nintendo again used blue ocean strategy to value innovate the Nintendo Switch, the only console to outpace the Wii in sales. Nintendo also value innovated by moving into adjacent markets, working with businesses they held a minority stake in to release the wildly popular Pokémon Go and other mobile games.