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The Motion Control Cascade

Motion control took the technological and gaming world by storm when the Nintendo Wii was first released in 2006.  Initially seen as a gimmick and wasn’t anything revolutionary, the Wii captivated children, adults, and elders with their simplistic remote control approach to their controller with motion control capability.  It was to usher in a new wave of people who played video games that were previously turned off  by the complexity of Xbox and Playstation controllers.  Once families experienced it at their friends’ houses and in stores, they immediately jumped on the bandwagon to also get Wiis, and soon the Wii was the must have item for 4 years.

Since then, the entire industry has been taken over by the idea of motion control with Microsoft introducing Kinect, and Sony introducing PlayStation Move, their own ideas on motion control.  The information cascade initiated by Nintendo had all consumers only buying their motion control technology.  For example, if a parent went to a store to choose between one video game system or the other, 9/10 parents would find themselves buying a Wii because they had heard of it and seen it in action elsewhere.  They made their purchasing decision based on what others had done and rather the information they themselves knew about the product.  Nintendo dominated the market for quite some time because of this, before Microsoft or Sony had brought out their own motion control.  When there was a decision to be made, the consumers would adopt this new technology from their private information and from others’ choices.  And because many people owned it and had online communications, it was a direct  benefit to new consumers to purchase the product so their Wii experience could connect them to their friends and family.

Nintendo herded their consumers into the world of motion control and their competitors were forced to follow suit.  Though many still perceive motion control as a gimmick, it is apparent that gimmick or not, people will buy the product if it catches on and if its popular.  There’s no kind of advertisement like the word of mouth.


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November 2011