If you ask an American or Japanese middle-aged man what he likes doing the most when spending time with his family, what do you think he would answer? Barbecue? Picnics? Camping? Fishing? Maybe...but it is also very likely that he would say "playing videogame".
Something that was very unlikely some years ago, is now part of family routines: family gatherings for playing videogame. That all started because of a sales phenomenon: Nintendo Wii.
Nintendo reinvented the videogame approach by stepping back in technology and reinventing interactivity.
They thought that the main objective of videogame had been forgotten long time ago: fun! Lately, videogames have been more and more complex and demanded the player to memorise tons of sequences of keys and to use several commands at the same time, what used to scare women and older people.
What did Nintendo do that was so revolutionary? They invented a movement sensitive controller that is totally intuitive, and the player does not need to study commands and techniques before playing. It raised interactivity remarkably and improved interaction among players. For example: Instead of memorising a list of commands to make moves in fight games, all you have got to do is move the controller accordingly and the move comes out. How simple and brilliant is that?
The result of this revolutionary approach is reflected in numbers: Only in the USA, 6.3 million Wii were sold, against 2.6 Playstation 3 (which leaded last videogame generation) and 4.6 million Xbox 360. In Japan, the phenomenon is the same: 3.6 million Wii, 1.2 million PS3 and 260 thousand Xbox 360. One quarter of japanese players has a Wii.
Although Nintendo increased Wii's production twice, every single unit that comes to an american store is sold. Due to that, "the Big N" has become the second biggest company in Japan (Toyota is the first).
Nintendo proves that videogames should focus more on fun and less on technology, trying to recall the times where games were simple, but thrilling. Who would say they are wrong?