close this bookVolume 1: No. 28
View the documentNews -- software industry
View the documentNews -- copyright on compilations
View the documentNews -- Japanese venture capital
View the documentNews -- Nintendo
View the documentNews -- job opportunities
View the documentComputists -- Hong Zhang, Kevin Thompson, John McInerney
View the documentThree of our new members have told me a bit about themselves
View the documentDiscussion -- DP careers
View the documentDiscussion -- MIS consulting
View the documentDiscussion -- novelty and whimsy

Have you considered working for Nintendo of America Inc.? This company has CPUs in more than 1/3 of U.S. homes. Its recent Super Mario Brothers 3 game brought in $430M, and they've just introduced a 16-bit system with 128K RAM and 64K video RAM. Animated characters can now be 128x128 on a 512x448 screen, with 32,768 colors available. Nintendo has only produced trivial games so far, but look at the trend: Nintendo's John Madden Football, from Electronic Arts (San Mateo, CA), displays detailed characters, lets you move the camera view around the field, has a full roster of 28 NFL teams, and lets you program the teams under varying weather conditions. The company has also been developing games and information/investment services for telecommunications access. [Mike Langberg, SJ Mercury, 9/15.]

Nintendo's real power is not in technology, but in marketing. This company knows how to relate to individual customers. Its magazine, Nintendo Power, has received as many as 47,000 letters per month -- each personally answered. Paid circulation is over two million, with a 70% renewal rate [very high]. Their 900- number information line is called by 10,000 kids per week. (Prior to starting the magazine, their help line was getting 120,000 calls per week.) Calls and returned questionnaires are logged in a database of over 5 million names used to develop advertising, products, and sales forecasts. Such responsiveness, unmatched in any industry, works: 1990 sales were projected at $4.1B, and customer loyalty is very high. [Stan Rapp and Tom Collins, The Great Marketing Turnaround: The Age of the Individual -- and How to Profit from It, Prentice Hall, 1990.] So if anyone would fund data-mining research, wouldn't it be Nintendo?