Enter Nintendo… Nintendo started in 1889 specialised in making playing cards. Saw the potential of electronic games and secured the license to distribute the Odyssey in Japan in the 70’s. Starting making arcade and console games. 1981 Biggest hit was Donkey Kong created by young toy maker Shigeru Miyamoto. Made over $100 million in its first year of release.
Donkey Kong was different to many arcade games - it had a story and it had characters. Nintendo realised they could develop these characters as brands and incorporate them into differentproducts Donkey Kong One such product was the Nintendo Game & Watch – simple LCD handheld games Jump Man Game & Watch is a simple example of TECHNOLOGICAL CONVERGENCE - multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them. It can tell the time and play a game!!!
1985 Nintendo release the Nintendo Entertainment System – NES . The NES was huge success selling over 30 million units worldwide in 5 years One of the main reasons was Nintendo had their own ‘Killer App’ – JumpMan was now Mario, he had brother Luigi and he Myamoto creating an incredible side-scrolling platformer: Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo tightened their grip so much that by 1990 they own 85% of the games market. They achieved this by: Creating games that could only be played their system such as Metroid, Legend of Zelda and more Mario games. A game made by a console maker for their own machine is called a FIRST PARTY GAME – these are usually exclusive to that console. 2) Created scarcity – artificially created demand by holding back stock. 3) The NES system was a closed system – it had a lock out chip – so any other company had to have a license from Nintendo to make games for it. A game made by a company independent from the console manufacturer is called a THIRD PARTY GAME. 4) Freezing out the competition – threatening retailers with less stock if they sold alternative games systems.
1989 Nintendo tightened their grip on the market with release of the GameBoy The GameBoy appeals to wide demographic partly thanks to its own ‘Killer App’ - Tetris The GameBoy goes on to sell 450 million units in its various incarnations
Coming in to challenge Nintendo were another Japanese company… 1986Master System is released – relatively successful with ports of Sega’s Arcade titles - Outrun, Wonderboy Sega’s real success was the MegaDrive released in 1988 It was 16 bit - twice as powerful as the NES. Sold 29 million worldwide. Largely thanks to Sega’s own platforming cartoon hero - Sonic
So you had Nintendo vs Sega – Mario vs Sonic – it was CONSOLE WAR! How a fight between Mario and Sonic might look like
One of the reasons the MegaDrive was a success was that it was friendly to third-party companies: ✔ More companies means more games, more selection for the consumer ✔ The console manufacturer doesn’t have to create the content themselves
Third-party games aren’t necessarily exclusive to one console, they can turn up on other systems
One of the major third party developers was Electronic Arts Established by Trip Hawkins, EA was successful as it Treated the creative staff as the most important part of the company. Understood the power of licensed products especially in sports games 1983 Dr J vs Larry Bird 1989 John Madden Football 1993 FIFA International Soccer
An important of Media Ownership in videogames is acquiring licenses to use certain intellectual property, brands or celebrities in games – some examples: Activision have secured the rights to make James Bond games. Before that EA had the license. Sierra Entertainment got the rights for the Bourne books, not the films and couldn’t get Matt Damon’s permission to use his likeness EA have secured the license to use the player names and likenesses for the English Premiership for their FIFA games. The deal stop Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer using the official kits and team names.
1991 Nintendo countered Sega with the SNES – also a 16 bit machine with some amazing games such as Super Mario Kart and Capcom’sStreet Fighter 2. During this time the home computer market was still expanding with new models such as the Amiga and the Atari ST. With more sophisticate games such as Myst, Sim City and Doom. Amiga Atari ST
TYPICAL GAMERS NERD MAN-BABY Reclusive home computer weirdie Hyper-active fan of brightly coloured cartoon fun
SNES and the MegaDrive were still using cartridges which were limited in terms of storage CD could 320 times more information and carry video and audio files This is an example of how a new technology, in this case a change in media format, can have a dramatic change on an industry. 1992 Sega release the Mega CD – an add onto Mega Drive that could handle game with ‘full motion video’ such as Sewer Shark. The Mega CD wasn’t a huge success.
Nintendo knew the future would be with CD technology and so collaborated with Sony to create a disc-based games system. The system was to be called PlayStation but Nintendo pulled out of the deal. 1994 Sony continued with the PlayStation development, which went on to be the first machine to sell 100 million units. 1) It was a 32 bit machine, could handle 3D graphics, full motion video and looked like a leap forward. 2) It had Technological Convergence – it could play CDs – so it served more than one purpose. 3) Sony made high end electronic goods – TVs, cameras, walkmans – they new how to market it, make it desirable, make it cool. This appealed to a more mature market
PlayStation – bringing ‘cool’ to games. The CD technology meant there was enough memory to include a soundtrack of contemporary music WipeOut 2097 had music from The Prodigy, Future Sound of London and Underworld. Better graphics made for more sophisticated and interesting character such as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider Sony’s advertising was cool, quirky and edgy making PlayStation a cool brand to be associated with.
TYPICAL GAMERS EXTREME NERD MAN-BABY LADS Consumers that grew up with games, now 20+ with disposable income and into popular culture
2000 Sony release the PlayStation2 Further technological convergence as now the console didn’t just play games – It played CD, DVDs and could go online (a Network adapter was released in 2002). Sony’s plan was to make PlayStation the centre of all your home entertainment needs. 2001 Sony’s continued dominance scares Microsoft into entering the console market with the Xbox. It did everything the PS2 did but thanks to a huge built in hard drive it had better looking graphics and was much better online.
2010 Now we have Sony vs Microsoft with two cutting edge consoles with similar attributes VS Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 ✔ Play DVDs, (Blu-Ray PS3), browse the internet, play games online, download films/games/music, store digital data: photos etc
Hook up to cameras, amps, HD televisions, connect via wifi to home computers.
Nintendo – rather than competing directly with Microsoft and Sony for the same type of consumers Nintendo decided to ‘grow’ the market. Killer App – Brain Training 2004 DS released – touchscreen, innovative, cheap to design for. 2006Wii released – motion sensing controls, easy to use, cheap to design for. Killer App – Wii Fit