Sunday, December 02, 2007

What Global Players Could Learn From Wii versus Vii

Last year, on September 14, 2006, Nintendo announced the release information (launch of the product at different dates in different locations) about the Wii, a device with new form of player interaction. Read about Wii's conception, creation, launch, reception etc, here.

Not long after the launch of the Wii, a reverse engineered clone appeared called Vii, that could capitalise on the market demand Nintendo could not fulfill. Whether or not Nintento is "PR-ing" stock shortages is another matter, read here.

This Nintendo Wii clone, also coined as Chintendo Wii was named 威力棒 (Wei1 Li2 Bang2) Vii, literally "Powerstick" Vii. Justin McElroy of Joystiq put it dryly: "See, it's like the Wii. But it is with a "V"." Read the Joystiq article "Wii is dead, long live the 'Vii'", here.

Imitatio, Emulatio

The Vii seems to have the ambition to improve upon the Wii, by providing bright coloured versions of the device and games, such as Happy Tennis with 'Hello Kitty' like figures, that might be better adapted to Chinese consumers' tastes.

November 8, 2007, Ludwig Kietzmann of Joystiq wrote about the first time the Vii games were caught on YouTube, see here. Now, there are much more videos, including No Way Vids! who is bashing the Vii using explicit language, see here.

Lessons learned

Global players, can take a look at Nintendo's experience:
  • Launch your product in every country at the same date;
  • If you build up a hype you have to be able to supply demand afterwards, to suck out the air for counterfeiters;
  • Listen to the market needs and keep improving and differentiating your product all the time;
  • Register trademarks, design rights and patents in countries where you can expect infringements (including China) and enforce infringements fiercely (including China).
UPDATE:  Only now (11 January 2009) I came across the following post of Rick Martin of CNET Asia's Little Red Blog that suggests that at least the inside of the consoles are very different: 'Nintendo's Wii versus China's Vii: it's what's inside that counts

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