Just ask!

Market research – valued opinions of experts or a detour in reaching the customer? Nintendo uber-desinger and Japanese half-god Shigeru Miyamoto seems to have decided for himself: He doesn't care if consulting the research authorities makes three plus three more likely to be six. Instead he directly turns to the wisdom/ memories of the masses. On Yahoo answers he's asking the (ex-)Nintendo players (and therefore pretty much anyone born after 1980): "How old were you when you first heard the term, 'Nintendo', and what does the name mean to you now?" Expect your feelings and childhood memories to be exploited for the next Wii-Title! On a similar note: Sony decided to open the communication channels. Also going the direct way, they give the slashdot community the opportunity to ask Phil Harrison, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, some tough questions. People can post them on a board and the highest-rated comments will be passed on to Phil. A neat idea and a good protection mechanism as the following exchange of thoughts shows:

"If I were interested in picking up a new console, for the sole purpose of gaming, and was deciding between the PS3, Wii, and XBox360, what incentives would I have to invest in the PS3?"

"Frankly, your question was rather soft and almost looks like an astroturf. You might as well have asked 'Please praise your system and tell us how good it is'."

This promises to be interesting. I wonder how Phil's PR skills will guide him through this cruel maze of questions.