Is Apple pulling a Nintendo?

August 23, 2006

Yes! First post!

At WWDC ’06, Steve Jobs revealed a somewhat underwhelming OS X Leapard, claiming that Apple is going to keep some of the super-secret features of X.5 “close to the vest” to prevent competitors (i.e. Microsoft) from “starting their photocopiers.” Is it just me, or does this eerily sound a lot like how Nintendo handled the release of its Wii remote?

Nintendo didn’t reveal any details about their new controller at E3 2005 and instead waited to unveil it atl the Tokyo Game Show 4 months later. What exactly factors in to a secretive company’s decision to reveal information? Some people have said that Nintendo let the cat out of the bag at TGS because it was the last chance to make a big bang in 2005. Possible, but I’m not totally sure. Maybe it was to get smaller developers excited more than anything else; some big developers presumably already had early development kits (I think… Could anybody check up on this? I still don’t have internet here in Japan, and the library computers block access to

As for Apple’s decision (not to release info), according to Gavin Shearer  Apple’s decision to keep certain features secret means that Cupertino believes Vista will be delayed. (Is there anyone who thinks that Vista will come out on time, or even ahead of schedule??) But still, Shearer’s article was a pretty interesting read, and I agree that Apple likely based most of its decision on what Microsoft is doing. But that probably is not the only basis for the delay. I highly doubt Nintendo based it’s revelation decisions solely on what it thought Sony was up to. There are other players in the game, such as game developers, and (let’s not forget) consumers. Consumer excitement is also a good thing too.

But suppose that Nintendo and Apple only based their decisions on what Big Blue Blood was doing.. Isn’t that still an interesting story? Suppose other questions came into play, such as how much time it takes to engineer/reverse-engineer something…whether patents will hold up… It’s kind of exciting, no?


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