Nintendo Co., Ltd is a multinational public listed company but privately held that develops, manufactures ,and auction home entertainment products (Reuters).The company is currently the one dominating the handheld console market with its Nintendo DS as well as its preceding incarnations of its best-selling Game Boy handheld (Nintendo). Nintendo Company was Founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi ,a Japanese man in the year 1889 (Ben, 2011) .The current president of Nintendo however is Satoru Iwata. The company is based in Kyoto, Japan (Marketwatch, 2012) and has a large number of employees both hardware and software based people, this includes programmers ,business people and thinkers . The name of the company is derived from a Japanese proverb, when translated in English language means “Leave luck to heaven” (Dominic, p. 1). Nintendo company is widely acknowledged for making video games (Ben, 2011) and is considered as one of the most successful gaming industry worldwide (Dominic, p. 1) . The company has branches in America and Europe with Japan being the leading market (Nicole, Jann, & Kelsey, 2005). and operates in more than 26 sub branches and five associated companies. The company’s branches consist of the Nintendo of America Inc., Nintendo of Canada Ltd., Nintendo of Europe GmbH, Nintendo France S.A.R and along with others. Products Nintendo offers include but are not limited to :- leisure machine such as portable and console game like the Wii , Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSi as well as the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Entertainment System(NES), Nintendo 64 till the latest product the Wii U (Nintendo, 2012).
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1.2. Reason For Choosing Nintendo :
The company is considered as a technology-based venture as it produces high technology games, uses 3D gaming technology as in the case of the Nintendo 3DS systems , graphics, digital images and so forth. The company has revolutionize the gaming world by changing the way video games is perceived today (Sebastian, 2008). The reason for which the company has been chosen was not limited to the creativity and innovation they emphasize on their products which grabs attention nor for their console being user-friendly , portable making it easy to use , but also due to the fact that the company offers a brilliant example of one that has been able to stand on difficult moments, face failure at some point and succeeded in a market dominated by larger competitors (Sony and Microsoft) by continuously innovating and improving their products.
2. Nintendo Company (An Overview) :
2.1.History of Nintendo:
The Company started as a manufacturer of Hanafuda  playing card in the town of Kyoto , due to its popularity at the time the company expanded all over Japan (Dominic, p. 2). During World War II, meanwhile the Japan economy was distraught , the demand for playing cards however decreased slightly and thrived in the years that followed the war. In the year 1949, Nintendo welcomed its new president Hiroshi Yamauchi who tried to modernize the company by developing plastic playing cards earning its place as the largest playing card company in Japan at the time (Fukuine). In 1959, Nintendo and Disney signed an agreements that allows Nintendo to print their card with Disney cartoon on it and by the year 1962, Nintendo went out public. Due to the success of their cards, and huge sales , the company extended its branches all over the world (Minami-ku) . The company later made an attempt for other business like clothing ,taxi service ,TV network, food company and toy-making company but only the toy-making company turned out to be the successful while the rest of the buisness experiment led to major failures. The toy-making company experienced success in the late 190’s when Gunpei Yokoi a developer at Nintendo designed an extending arm toy “The Ultra-hand”. The creativity nature of Gunpei led to future release such as the baseball throwing machine and other related products (Manali) . Nintendo later turned into the video market which in later years proved to be their most profitable decision (Wikia). Nintendo’s first global large scale success came in the year 1981 with the release of the arcade game Donkey Kong. This game provided colorful graphics, Disney cartoon figures and had multiple levels where by players had to jump over barrels, ride elevators and many others. The goal of the game was to save a princess from obstinate gorilla, the game was alluring and the story attracted people. Alongside the release of the arcade Donkey Kong, was Mario Bros which allowed players to kick enemies using the game display established Nintendo’s place firmly in the video game industry. In 1985, Nintendo began to advertize their console in America and other parts of the world beneath the name of Nintendo Entertainment System(NES). In 1989, Nintendo introduced the first portable by hand game system , the Game Boy and its successive iterations mainly the Game Boy Color, Pocket, Light and other. The years that followed introduced the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System(SNES) in America alongside with ” Super Mario Bros”, ” The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past ” and more for use with the SNES (Eric, 1999) which was a huge success . Moreover Nintendo began losing it grounds to their competitors mainly Sony and Microsoft when Sony released its play station console in 1991 (Dominic, p. 2). This however let them to the launch the Nintendo N64 ,with a 64-bit home video game system by the year 1996 which led to huge sales and it’s come-back featuring the adaptation of the previous arcade game and enhancing the game features (Eric, 1999). In the years that followed, Nintendo products gained popularity while others were failures or criticized. In 2001, Nintendo introduced the WII, a home video game console which target people of all age group and gender as it is easy to use and attractive. It was a year later that Satoru Iwata succeeded Hiroshi as President (Manali). Nintendo further launched the Nintendo DS devices in 2004 followed by the Nintendo DS I the most recent the Nintendo 3DS version enabling players to play virtually on 3D platforms without the need of any glasses, the release of the 3DS was on 2011 and drifted a huge success (Yahoo). With the release of the latter products, Nintendo earned worldwide reputation (Manali). The latest Nintendo product is an incarnation of the Wii namely the Wii U which launch date is settled on the 17 November 2012 . The picture below summarizes the key historical dates of the Nintendo company .
2.2. Success Factors Nintendo :
The key to Nintendo success is the incorporation of the hardware and software needed to develop their products .Meanwhile different factors exists that makes the Company successful, three out of all are discussed as follows :
2.2.1. Good Working Environment :
A Good working environment is one in which the employees and the entrepreneur/president of the company entertain a good and stable relationships .The employees are happy about their work and are encouraged to work harder. The entrepreneur/leader encourages employees to speak freely and express their ideas without restrictions. This motivates employees to be open-minded ,express their creativity and work harder towards the achievements of the same goal.
Nintendo, provide a good working environment , the employees feels like they all belong to the same family as most of them have been working under Nintendo name for many years (Ben, 2011). Employees are encouraged to take decisions, and speak-up their ideas, share their knowledge, by doing so, Nintendo keeps the most talented employees as was the case with Gunpei Yokoi, the maintenance engineer working at Nintendo who had the idea to design the ” Ultra Hand” product and was given full support by the company president to design the product which later proved to be successful in the late 1970s (Manali). The creative nature of Gunpei in the years that follows beneficiated Nintendo company as the product designated under his whelm let to huge sales. Other than Gunpei, Nintendo has talented employees like who worked together all as a whole.
2.2.2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) :
CRM describes the way an enterprise interacts with its customers. It is a strategic issue that the company undertakes to make sure they handle customer’s interactions and provide better way to respond to customers requests or through their strategy , target what the customers need (Wendy).
Nintendo uses Disney cartoons figures as stated earlier. This grabs children attention and encourage them to afford a Nintendo product. They target their customers at an earlier age and their games are kid-friendly and educative gaining them popularity parents.
For Nintendo , Expanding the gaming industry’s customer was their vision. They wanted to attract more people , people that are not usually used to play video games. The company were the first to target players from all age groups and gender not just the normal age 5-22 but rather 3-120 . Unlike Sony and Microsoft , Nintendo did not try to impress their customers by adding more technical features on their products, rather than doing that, they continuously search for a way to adapt to their customers needs and make radical innovation. They fit their products to best benefit their customers and this is one of the most important success factor the company has.
Nintendo provide a discussion forum for their product in their website . The forum is open and is accessed by all Nintendo fans as well as potential consumers . People can interact with each other discussing their experience with the Nintendo product they own or think of purchasing , the product they liked the most , dislike, what they think could be done to improve on any of the Nintendo product, or just stipulate their expectation. Nintendo later uses this information as a step forward to adapt the need of their customers to their product. This maintains a firm relationship between Nintendo and their customers and show’s how much they care about their needs .
Nintendo also provides reasonable prices for their products as compared to their competitors. they make sure the common people will gain or benefit from their products thereby increasing their own profit (Nicole, Jann, & Kelsey, 2005, p. 14). They have incorporated a free game with each Wii unit with a price of $250 that surely was not comparable as the playstation3 of Sony with a price of $350 by the time (Brian, 2012).
With the venture of the Nintendo WII product, came the WII sport feature. Nintendo decided to launch WII sport trying to find a healthy way for people not to become obese by spending their whole time playing game, those who wants to loose weight or just normal people wanting to stay fit by doing sports without going out of their homes. They realized the adult population needed it, and requested it, so they launch the WII sport feature, which was easy to learn and to use, adapting itself to normal life. The product brought in a new sort of social and physical interactive entertainment in a new form that can be played with friends or family , The console did not only revolutionize the gaming industry by giving the market a product that suits their needs and desires but also helped Nintendo strengthen its place as a leader in the video industry.
2.2.3. Innovation and Technology :
It is important for an enterprise to identify the technology required for its buisness to keep growing as technology is changing in order to widen their audience and keep their target customers beneath (Marian, 2000).
When coming to technology and innovation issues, Nintendo moves as fast as technology changes occur. Since players often purchase the game they want based on the features that the console offers. Nintendo succeeded by adapting its console’s with the features and needs its target audience desires . From history Nintendo has been the leader of hardware design, they were the first to feature shoulder buttons on the controller for the Super Nintendo, they implement joystick first, enabling gamers to have a hold on their games and this rendered the games more interesting even to casual gamers (Joshoua, Randolf, & Bradley).
Nintendo has always been innovative continuously adding up new features on their existing product as well as creating a total new sort of product to target new audience.
At each steps forward, Nintendo continuously figured out a way to improve on their product by applying new technology as was the case for the Nintendo 3DS which opened up a new generation of gaming systems. Nintendo 3DS was the first game represented in 3D that was played without any glasses. Players would not need to bother themselves and could actually live the experience. This pretty much attracted interest, adding-up to the beautiful amazing graphics processing it offers.
Nintendo keenness to revisit old-fashioned technologies that many gamers thought outdated was one of the reason they are successful today. They did concentrate themselves on selecting the correct technologies that its target audience will apply, find it easy to use while having fun.
With the release of the wii, Nintendo showed to the world a new way to control a device through the use of the wii remote control. A new air for the gaming industry began.
Their way of integrating technology is just amazing, just like their latest product WII U Gamepad which has added a touch screen , a technology never used before in the video game world to control games. This relates that the games played on the Wii U will offer a player any way he wants to control the game . The gamer can choose to control the game using either buttons, knobs, Wii remote control or lately through the touch screen.
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3. Conclusion :
Nintendo would likely be the first game child-play ever . Throughout the years, it has faced huge failures and extremely strong competitors as Sony and Microsoft, though the Nintendo products cannot be comparable to those two due to the complicated hardware they use, and their technology advancement, Nintendo still stands as the number one in the Video game Industry for hand-held console. The Company brilliant working team, managerial process , relationship with their customers and continuous innovation has earned them along lasting position in the gaming industry. One cannot go without saying that Nintendo products has changed the way we look at video games today. They may not be tough in front of Sony and Microsoft but they are most inevitably the most creative. The value they offer with the technology that matches up the needs is what makes Nintendo an outstanding and successful company .
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