Nintendo: Horizontal Differentiation in an Oligopoly

In: Business and Management

Submitted By MalenaT
Words 2468
Pages 10
Gregory Passani Economics 106T Professor Board December 2, 2010

Nintendo: Horizontal Differentiation in an Oligopoly
“The game has changed, ... and the way the game is played has to be changed.”
—Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo Co. Ltd (Malstrom) Nintendo has been a major player in the technology and gaming industry ever since entering into electronics in 1970. While for years it dominated the market for virtual gaming, a rise in competition within the industry presented serious challenges for the company. After struggling for the first five years of the new millennia, Nintendo made an exceptional comeback with its innovative products, the Wii and the DS, that shook the market and brought in a whole new set of customers. Their new strategy was so successful it allowed the company to be ranked the second most valuable Japanese firm after Toyota in 2007 (Farhoomand 6 ). Despite its recent success, Nintendo must look ahead and act strategically as its competitors begin to adapt to the new market trends.

Market Background
The Birth of Gaming The electronic gaming industry began with a few very basic games in the 1970s. At first, they appeared in the form of coin-operated machines in public places, with games like Pac Man and Donkey Kong before moving to home entertainment with hits like Atari’s Pong (Vaughan 13). A major shift in the quality of in-home gaming came with Nintendo’s release of Famicon in Japan and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States in 1983 and 1985 respectively. The company also led the handheld gaming industry with its release of the Gameboy in 1989. With the high quality of the NES, Nintendo held a virtual monopoly in the gaming console industry for five

Passani years until the Sega Genesis was released in 1990. While the Genesis challenged Nintendo’s elite status for a brief period, Nintendo successfully…...

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