The Washington Post

Apple or Nintendo: Who’s the week’s biggest innovator?

Steve Jobs announces the iCloud service at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. (BECK DIEFENBACH/REUTERS)

Apple and Nintendo both made big, bold announcements this week. But who’s the bigger innovator: Apple with its iCloud? Or Nintendo and the Wii U?

The companies are coming from two completely different directions, and that highlights two reasons why businesses make big moves.

Take Apple: It is by no means the first company to push into the cloud, but what was striking about chief executive Steve Job’s announcement is his emphasis that the old rules, and the days of the PC, are gone. At the top of its game, Apple is moving away from the Mac, the foundation of the company’s soaring success.

For Nintendo, however, the Wii U is the sign of a company trying to ward off the sharks. Nintendo has had great success with the Wii, but that ride is coming to an end . The Wii U tablet controller is an effort to recapture the “ahh” moment that Nintendo hit with the original Wii and motion gaming.

It is also an attempt by Nintendo to break out of its niche and combat losses its seem from smartphone gaming. Nintendo’s games traditionally have been geared toward casual and family gamers, but now it’s trying to target hardcore gamers as well. The titles the company previewed at its announcement were carefully selected to convey that idea. In fact, the presentation even used footage from the PS3 and the Xbox.

Both companies are taking a risk with their business models, but Apple is in the more comfortable position. Is it riskier to try to change the game from the top? Or to try something new when you’re looking for solid ground?

Let us know what you think: This week’s biggest innovator — Apple or Nintendo ?

Related stories:

WWDC 2011: iCloud, iOS 5, Lion and Apple CEO Steve Jobs

E3 2011: Nintendo Wii 2 is called the Wii U, with ‘innovative’ tablet controller

PHOTOS: Game On at E3

PHOTOS: Apple hits and misses over the years

Get the latest news on innovation

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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