Less than three years ago, Nintendo, the venerable video game company, was looking like a fading icon.
With archrival Sony's PlayStation 2 game console leaving Nintendo's Game Cube in the dust, the company was in the midst of losing a second straight round in the video console wars. And Sony looked ready to replicate its success in the handheld arena, long Nintendo's strong suit. Though Nintendo planned to counter with a new handheld of its own, few gave its relatively dim-screened, underpowered DS much of a chance against Sony's powerful, multimedia PlayStation Portable (PSP).
Fast forward a few years, and things look a lot different. Sales of Nintendo's DS have trounced those of the PSP, thanks in part to Nintendo's focus on quirky, fun-to-play games for the machine.
The company is using a similar formula with its new Wii console - and seeing similar success thus far. The machine, which includes a unique, motion-sensing controller, has outsold Sony's new PlayStation 3 ever since they both launched last year, and Wii sales even topped Microsoft's Xbox 360 in January.