Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ignore your customer

Sometimes you should ignore your customers. Sometimes your customers are, quite frankly, crazy, and listening to them will make you do things to your products which will turn off everyone else who buys from you. Which customers are the most dangerous to listen to? Ardent geeky fans.

Take this blog, joystiq. In typical geeky fan fashion, it's written by folks who are passionate about video games and passionate about technology. They love the XBox360 but wish it had more features, and love the PS3 but wish it was more powerful.

They are confused by the Nintendo Revolution (now renamed the "Wii"). It has less power than the other two platforms. It has a fewer buttons than the other two platforms. Yet, in some polls, it seems that people are looking forward to this new device even though it has less power, and fewer buttons.

To set some context, the video game console business is locked in a features war where different companies strive to create games and platforms that are more realistic, have faster graphics, etc. than the last. Nintendo has decided to quit this game and is focused on easier games that are quicker to learn and play. They've decided that graphics are fancy enough and are instead focusing on a controller that has fewer buttons but is sensitive to gestures, hoping to encourage innovative, simpler games for non-geeks.

Thankfully though, Sony has ridden to the game geeks rescue by adding gesture sensitivity to its controller. So the Sony controller now has 3 joysticks, 8 buttons PLUS gestural input, which is clearly superior to the Nintendo's single joystiq plus 4 buttons plus gestural input.

Moreover, Nintendo's use of gestural input isn't even that technologically innovative because Logitec put it in their mouse way back in 1999. So there.

Now that the cognitive dissonnace is over, the game geeks can get back to arguing over which platform can render more polygons more quickly.



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