Having good sportsmanship is always a positive thing--that's why you always see pro basketball, football, and every other type of ball player slapping each other's asses, shaking hands, giving congratulatory hugs after a well-played game. It helps losers not to be so sore, or winners to not be complete shitheads. But in the world of business it's a bit different. You don't typically see the heads of major corporations complimenting and rooting for competing companies.
But today, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said that he hopes Nintendo's Wii U is successful. An odd statement to get from a direct competitor. But was Yoshida giving his competitor a sportsmanlike pat on the toosh, or does the sentiment come from some diabolical scheme to boost Sony ahead?
I can see where Yoshida's encouraging statements are coming from. In business, you're always looking out for yourself. If Nintendo and Sony continue the last-gen's trend of having different demographics as their target audiences, Nintendo's success would do nothing but help PlayStation. Which is to say, Nintendo has traditionally held the role of gateway company. And if they aren't filling that role, then Sony would have to spend more money on doing it themselves. Seriously, why spend your money on expanding a market when someone else will do it for you.
The more gamers Nintendo pulls in, the more potential customers Sony will have access to. Yoshida is really just banking on a strategy that takes advantage of his competitor's success, because he sure as hell doesn't what to put in the effort (and dolla bills ya'll) to do it.
But for Yoshida, it goes beyond just bringing new people into the fold. He also said that Yoshida stated that Nintendo does a great job of bringing new gamers into the market, and Nintendo keeps people away from being dedicated mobile and tablet gamers. He goes on to say that Nintendo should also focus on the "family market" rather than the core. Put those two statements together and what do you get? Yup, a console-gamer training ground using Nintendo products. Essentially, once new gaming consumers are hooked on the button-pressing and joystick-twiddling, Sony wants to snatch up all those potential customers.
It's a funny coincidence that Yoshida came out with this statement, being that this was the week we saw the PS4 launch and Nintendo doing its own thing by having a dedicated 3DS Nintendo Direct on the same day (opens in new tab). It almost seems that the two companies are on the same page. With the Nintendo Direct kicking off only a few short hours after PS4 reviews (opens in new tab) started flooding the interwebs, Nintendo made one clear statement: It doesn't care about the console wars. Now, Sony is also saying they are playing a totally different ballgame than Nintendo. So, it seems there is a real reason why Sony wants Nintendo to succeed. There can be no competition if the two sides aren't playing the same game.