It happens. Sometimes you wake up one day to find that your crown and scepter have been taken by a younger, richer or more visionary competitor. When this occurs, you have a choice – fold and crawl away, or re-invent your brand and fight back. All of these companies have seen their competition overtake them in one way or another, and are choosing to do the latter – whether in vain or not.

IN PICTURES: Top 10 Green Industries

They Like to Move It
When Nintendo's announced its Wii console's motion sensor capabilities, the news was received with both excitement and apprehension. Fans of the company saw the technology as a fun and unique advancement in gaming, which would simplify the experience so as to allow for a broader audience to play along. And the company ran with that praise, licensing numerous games that were geared at casual gamers of all ages – from cooking simulators to brain teasers and party games that took full advantage of the Wii controller.

Critics of the company disregarded the controller as a gimmick that encouraged a dumbed-down gaming experienced and reinforced the Japanese game-maker's position as "childish". It also brought back vivid memories of the company's failed "PowerGlove" accessory, which was launched in 1989 and used similar technology. The Power Glove is considered one of the gaming industry's biggest failures, and is the punchline for many gaming-related jokes.

Regardless, Nintendo's Wii system took a quick lead in what is known as the console wars between Nintendo, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3. Launching just before Christmas in 2006, the Wii has sold over 73 million units worldwide to date.

With the Wii's success, the doors were opened for Microsoft and Sony to join the pack. Microsoft will release its long-awaited Kinect addition to its Xbox 360 console in November of this year. Kinect will feature a full motion-sensing camera that will reportedly eliminate the need for controllers altogether, and is scheduled for an introductory retail price of $149 in the States.

Sony's PlayStation Move hasn't been receiving the same amount of buzz as Kinect has, but resembles the functionality of the Wii much more closely. Also using a camera and motion sensor technology, PlayStation Move is booked for launch in September of this year.

Of course, Nintendo isn't taking this newfound competition lightly. Last year, it launched its MotionPlus add-on to the Wii, which the company says increases accuracy of the Wii controller. (To learn more, see Power Up Your Portfolio With Video Game Socks.)

Make It a Blockbuster Year
Remember the days when you'd pick up a DVD from the local Blockbuster, forget to watch it for a week, then brave an F4 tornado just to avoid a $2 late fee? Well, strap in, grandpa, 'cause Blockbuster's working its way back into the market – one teenage employee at a time.

Thanks to Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX) and On-Demand programming, Blockbuster's brick-and-mortar model fell out of favor with consumers in the mid-2000s. Though, the company did attempt to compete with the market leader, Netflix, by offering online DVD rentals through its "Total Access" program. Total Access allowed users to rent movies online, receive them by mail and return them at retail locations. But most Blockbuster franchises refused to honor this plan – and both the late fees and the lawsuits began to grow. Even the franchised locations got in on the act, claiming that the Total Access program undercut the franchise agreements that were initially made.

Though Blockbuster is far from re-claiming the crown from its virtual and warehouse competitors, the company is expanding its demographic by offering Blockbuster By Mail subscriptions to all those who haven't already moved on.

Don't Just Stare At It - Touch It
The Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) Kindle is the undisputed king of the e-reader world. With quick downloads and a huge library of books available through, that's a given. And since the company recently reported that e-books are outselling hard-copy books for the first time in history, the literature giant has absolutely nothing to fear … oh, except Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Sharp and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS).

Mainly, this is because those companies have also stepped into the e-reader market with touch-screen devices – a feature not available on Amazon's Kindle.

Barnes & Noble's Nook, released in November, 2009, features color touch screen capabilities much like an Apple iPhone. And in January, 2010, the device won the "Best New Gadget" award at the annual Crunchies. (Beware of new gadgets, they're not always the ones worth buying. For more, read Why You Shouldn't Buy New Tech Toys.)

Apple's iPad, while not technically just an e-reader, is also providing some worthy competition for the Kindle. As most Apple products do, the iPad filled Apple stores with anxious consumers nationwide, largely thanks to its full-sized, bright touch screen.

Even Sharp is jumping into the e-reader game, when it releases two different models later this year – both using touch-screen technology.

Naturally, this has caused a case of finger envy for Amazon, and the company is reportedly releasing a touch screen version of the Kindle this year. A few months ago, Amazon purchased a company specializing in touch screen technology called ... wait for it ... Touchco. While the company recently lowered the price and screen size, and raised the contrast and speed of its current Kindle model, it's still expected that the touch version will be available within the next few months.

The Hare and the Hare
Some companies find themselves playing catch-up out of bad luck – some out of bad decisions, and some for lack of foresight. But the perseverance, even if nothing else, should be admired in all of these cases. (For more, see The Best Time To Buy An iPad.)

Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: Billionaire Pledges and Other Positive Press.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The History of Stock Exchanges

    Stock exchanges began with countries who sailed east in the 1600s, braving pirates and bad weather to find goods they could trade back home.
  2. Economics

    How Warren Buffett Made Berkshire A Winner

    Berkshire Fine Spinning Associated and Hathaway Manufacturing Company merged in 1955 to form Berkshire Hathaway.
  3. Products and Investments

    Why MLPs May Be a Thing of the Past

    Do rising rates as well as lower oil prices mean a bleak future for master limited partnerships?
  4. Professionals

    7 Careers That No Longer Exist

    Learn how technology and innovation has led to the near-extinction and elimination of seven careers that once employed hundreds of thousands of people.
  5. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  6. Investing News

    Betamax, International Symbol Of Bad Marketing, Is Finally Dead (SNE)

    Sony Betamax is the business textbook case study of a company's spectacular oversight in assessing consumer demand. Now, Sony is finallly discontinuing it.
  7. Personal Finance

    The Story of Uber: How a Snowy Night in Paris Created a $70 Billion Behemoth

    Uber's journey to become the world's most highly valued private startup.
  8. Investing

    Famous Chains That Began As Mom-And-Pop Stores

    Even the largest chains in the world started with a single location. Here are examples of famous brands that have humble beginnings as mom-and-pop stores.
  9. Investing

    3 Iconic Automakers That No Longer Exist

    Learn more about the history of the automobile industry and discover several well-known automakers that are no longer in existence.
  10. Investing

    5 Iconic Airlines That No Longer Exist

    Learn the stories behind the disappearance of a number of formerly iconic airlines that no longer exist following financial difficulties or other problems.
  1. How did Enron use off-balance-sheet items to hide huge debts and toxic assets?

    Prior to its infamous accounting scandals and collapse, Enron used off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to hide ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where did the term 'Nostro' account come from?

    The term "nostro" is Italian in origin. It means "our" or "ours." In accounting and finance, nostro accounts are often differentiated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index be used to determine competitive balance in professional ...

    Although the measurement and analysis of a company's key performance indicators (KPIs) vary by company, it is important to ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is operations management theory and how can it help a business?

    Operations management is concerned with controlling the production process and business operations in the most efficient ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is Apple's current mission statement and how does it differ from Steve Job's ...

    Apple's current mission statement is "Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do notaries reduce asymmetric information risk?

    A notary acts as an intermediary who can help mitigate the problems caused by asymmetric information in economic transactions. ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  6. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
Trading Center