Nintendo: "PS3 is like an SUV; Wii like a Hybrid"

Nintendo’s George Harrison was recently interviewed by, and when asked about how much of a threat he felt the PS3 and the XBox 360 posed to Nintendo, he replied with a car metaphor.

“Consider three 30-something suburbanites,” he began. Two people could be out buying rims for their SUVs, while another shops online to compare products for his hybrid. All three are car improvements, but their interests don’t necessarily overlap. That is how Nintendo sees the video game business right now, he concluded; “two companies are going one direction, and we’re headed another”.

Many people have speculated about how many of Nintendo’s sales have gone to first time gamers, or light gamers who only use their console sparingly and often for very few purposes and games. Nintendo continues to insist that it is primarily bringing new customers into the market because of their different approach to gaming, while critics often point to the low attatch ratio and apathetic customer base as signs that the Wii is a fad that will pass in the future.

Still, the car metaphor paints a pretty clear picture of how Nintendo sees themselves. Two competitors clunking along in cumbersome machines polishing their wheels, while Nintendo is simply trying to get the best mileage they can.