Wii is a “niche gaming device,” says Sony’s Stringer

Monday, 14th July 2008 10:57 GMT By Mike

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has labelled Nintendo Wii nothing more than a “nice gaming device” – and an expensive one at that.

Speaking at the Allen & Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho last week, he said:

“I’ve played a Nintendo Wii. I don’t see it as a competitor. It’s more of an expensive niche game device. We’re selling a lot of PlayStation 3s now and it’s still the best way to buy a Blu-ray player.”

Thanks, Bloomberg.

By Mike Bowden



  1. wz

    Niche! With that attitude, Sony deserves to die.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. Psychotext

    They can keep saying it’s not a competitor… but while it’s hoovering up their casual userbase it will be.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. Blerk


    #3 7 years ago
  4. patlike

    The most ridiculous comment ever. I have no idea what was going through his head.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. deftangel

    It’s like 2006 all over again.

    #5 7 years ago
  6. Spiral

    I don’t know about anyone else, but this has me really hyped for Sony’s E3 conference. If this is anything to go by it’s going to be the stuff of legend.

    #6 7 years ago
  7. GordonR

    To be (slightly) fair to him, he’s talking at a media conference, and is apparently specifically talking about the PS3 as a multi-media everything-and-with-bells-on-it machine.

    Which is what the PS3 is supposed to be. (And therein, imho, lies the problem with it…) In that context, though, the Wii is a ‘niche games device’, in that it’s designed for games, and nothing else.

    But, yes, he still comes over as sounding like a bit of a nobber.

    #7 7 years ago
  8. XDamage

    Like those IGN editors said in their roundtable debate last night, Sony needs to “put up or shut up”. :D
    Anyways, I have no doubt they will actually “put up” this year.

    #8 7 years ago
  9. Blerk

    They’re certainly not going to shut up.

    #9 7 years ago
  10. DrDamn

    Yep. You need to look at the context of the point. Both Sony and MS are trying to get a set top box under every TV in the world. In that the Wii is a lot more focused on just games.

    As for expensive? In terms of tech yes it is. In terms of supply and demand obviously not.

    #10 7 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    The way I see it, as that Nintendo and Microsoft each have flipped sides of the same problem. Except that for Nintendo, it is no problem, because their machine is selling the big numbers.

    For Microsoft, being constrained to their niche (and, it is just that) is a problem. They can’t make a success on the level of Nintendo, in that space because they demonstrate, in the past that it’s clearly not their thing. They’re not able to get the message across, correctly; and when they do, they have their core audience rallying and concerned against changes to the offering and focus of Microsoft. Neither can it shake the shade of Xbox gen. 1, and what that stood for.

    Sony is best placed to pick up the support of the “Wii as a second console” crowd, as it continues to show aptitude for providing more of a comprehensive software offering, and the casual games receive good press, and feedback. Atm it comes across as a jack of all trades, but it’s console does have selling points that the 360 does not.
    If there is any real niche gaming device, as things stand, the Xbox 360 would have to accept that title.

    So, I agree with Stringer’s point about the Wii, but I don’t accept that the fact holds any negative connotation, for Nintendo. They picked a target, and have surprised many with the success that they’ve found. Maybe, with Nintendo, you have to flip the usual “core —> Mainstream” scenario about, as a reversal of traditional roles, to understand their strategy. Certainly, then it would be the third-parties that are driving the mainstream development of the platform; but perhaps, the platform holder will offer something to show what can be done.

    #11 7 years ago
  12. Tiger Walts

    Heh, the PS3 is obviously not selling well enough due to its games so they have to keep pimping the Blu-Ray.

    They should just rename it the Super-Blu-Ray-HD-Ohanditplaysgames-Station.

    #12 7 years ago
  13. Killerbee

    I appreciate the context he’s making this announcement into, but it’s still a misguided comment at best. Arrogant and ignorant at worst.

    Yes, PS3 is the best way to buy a blu-ray player right now, but if that’s your selling point, the Wii is irrelevant – it doesn’t even play DVDs!

    If you’re looking at the Wii as a competitor (which he says he’s not, but then goes on the compare the PS3 with it anyway… so Sony must think it is competing in some way – which, of course, it is) then it’s all about the games. And right now the Wii and its games are appealing to a wider and larger market than the PS3 is. “Niche” is just nonsense – it’s more mass market than gaming has ever been before.

    Plus relative value for money isn’t the issue for casual gamers. They’re not looking at the PS3 and saying “£120 more expensive, but it is a great value Blu-ray player!”; they’re thinking: “Games! Tennis! Fitness Board! £120 CHEAPER!!!” and then obviously buying the Wii.

    #13 7 years ago
  14. Blerk

    … and blowing most of that saved £120 on a balance board. :-D

    #14 7 years ago
  15. Killerbee

    Heh. Very true, but then Nintendo have proven themselves masters at selling peripheral + game and making that look like incredible good value.

    I’ve no idea how I thought the Wii Zapper was a good buy – Crossbow Training has been on once since I got it and I’ve only played Resi: Umbrella Chronicles a couple of times – but for some reason £19.99 for a bit of plastic and a shite game that I completed in about 45 minutes seemed to shout “ZOMG! Tremendous good value!” at me from the shelves of WHSmith.

    Maybe I’m just weak?

    #15 7 years ago
  16. Blerk

    I’m saying nothing! :-D

    #16 7 years ago
  17. Tonka

    Wii focused on game? OK, compared to the PS3 and 360. But there are the News, Internet, Weather, Voting, Paperdoll and TV guide channels.

    Next Nintendo machine will come with a TV tuner so that you do all your TVing through it.

    #17 7 years ago
  18. RevolutionBlues

    The Wii is expensive. Nearly 200 quid (i.e. 65% of the cost of a PS3) for ten year old technology and – for many – they have just one game. Add just a hundred quid and you can have HD gaming, Blu-ray/DVD, media hub, internet, PSN, 40GB of storage…….

    The PS3 is cheap in comparison you morons.

    #18 7 years ago
  19. Shatner

    I don’t regard the Wii as being all that cheap for what it offers.

    Let’s not forget that when the name “Wii” was announced, Nintendo went to considerable lengths to justify it – explaining it was a statement of how people would play it together and how it would be an inclusive style of playing.

    Then they purposefully ship the bugger with only one controller.

    In my opinion, for what the Wii offers compared to other consoles on the market in 2008, it doesn’t represent that much bang for the buck and Nintendo are pretty happy about showing how much profit they’re making and equally happy to talk about how they won’t be lowering the retail price anytime soon.

    And, as GordonR pointed out, the comments make a lot more sense when you apply the context that they were said against.

    Did the pitchforks get raised quite so quickly when Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg made comments the other week that once Wii owners wanted a more serious console they would inevitably choose the 360?

    In other news: I actually switched my Wii on this weekend!

    #19 7 years ago
  20. Blerk

    I don’t disagree with the statement that the Wii is expensive for what it is, especially once you factor in the extra controllers and such.

    But it is rather amusing for Sony to say it when their machine is still the most expensive on the market and is only just beginning to approach (but still not quite reaching) a reasonable price.

    #20 7 years ago

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