When it comes down to Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U, there is a HUGE elephant in the room that many gamers are relentless to let up on. Nintendo has not been marketing this thing to its full potential, resulting in a lower-than-low influx of sales world over. The huge aspect of this problem is the fact that Nintendo hasn’t had any major games released yet. Makes sense right? Nintendo themselves have even stated that part of their marketing problem was due to the fact that they had no games to advertise, so they have chosen not to advertise at all. While, in theory, this is understandable, it begs the question if Nintendo has any clue on how to market their system as a standalone device. The most recent example of a device being marketed sans games would be Microsoft’s commercial highlighting their upcoming console, the Xbox One. Though, in my opinion, the Xbox One will have a more than decent launch line up, this is proof that you don’t necessarily have to have killer apps to simply notify your target audience that your product exists. I’m going to go back in time a bit and pick out some of the things that Nintendo has done right to explain what the Wii U is and what they could do to televise or make notice of these features.
Trailers that already show the Wii U’s features
Anyone here remember E3 2011? I do. Remember when Nintendo first revealed the Wii U and that Ghost Recon Online was announced for it? It’s a shame that the Wii U version has been put on hold until further notice, but this fan trailer gives a perfect idea into how the Wii U Gamepad could be used in combat and strategic settings like one displayed below. Not only does it show uniqueness in game play, it emphasizes that the Wii U Gamepad has a mic built inside to help you and your teammates further coordinate your missions.
Many people are still failing to understand how the Wii U Gamepad could enhance their gaming experience. Because Nintendo hasn’t been touting about it, it’s easy to see why. The Zelda Wii U tech demo showed us how cinematic games would look without the HUD covering up most of the screen. While to some this seems like a very minuscule addition, it could aid in making your gaming experience more immersive. No HUD allows you feel that the experience is more than just a game; that you are actually a part of and experiencing the world that your character interacts with.
This trailer below showcases the Wii U’s most coveted features – off TV play and the new perspective the second screen can give you in game. When I first purchased my Wii U, the last thing I was excited about was that controller. While I thought it looked cool, I didn’t understand how playing games on it would differ from that of a standard controller, then, there was that moment when I experienced gaming without my television. I could not believe how relaxing and liberating it felt to play console titles lying down on my bed or away from my TV and living area. In this demo, off TV play is advertised to be something that is beneficial to families or for those of us who have our moments of laziness. If Nintendo is looking to reign in on the casual market again, they would be smart to flaunt this feature as one to be excited for. The added perspective of a second screen opens a window for new ways to play. Nintendo has all of the ammunition in the world to showcase the Wii U to the public as a viable platform, but for whatever reason, they are not using it. Imagine a revision of THIS being the commercial Nintendo airs on television to prove what is so novel about the Wii U:
This is a more than adequate advertisement without the need to show off any actual games as Nintendo has so adamantly explained. The trailer is very to the point and gives even the most casual of potential console owners an idea of what to expect after they unpackage the system. In spite of Nintendo’s reluctance to advertise a system with few games, videos like this DO give you a window into what the system is capable of sans Miiverse integration details. If they added a glimpse of the Miiverse application and all of the features that it inhibits, like broadening the way that we interact with games and the Wii U community, I highly doubt that people would have a hard time comprehending the concept. In fact, I think that it would pique more interest in the idea. Nintendo needs to prove that the Wii U Gamepad is a direct representation of what the Wii U can do and that it’s much different than the original Wii and Wiimote concept, while giving you an experience that is equally innovative.
Show proof that the games are coming
Since the Wii U launched, Nintendo has been hosting small scattered events around the globe, adding small adverts in the eShops, hosting Nintendo Directs, and while these are all great ideas, these tools only aid in bringing in small amounts of consumers from the little nooks and crannies of the gaming community. Most of who were already planning to purchase a Wii U at some point anyway. What Nintendo needs is a wide spread campaign that will cause fans and non-fans alike to be excited and intrigued about the Wii U and its capabilities.
In case you all have not seen the above video already, this is a sizzle reel that Nintendo UK put together of all of the upcoming titles/titles already available for the Wii U developed and published by Nintendo only. It features big games like Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros. 4, and the title that still remains nameless, Monolith Soft’s “Project X”. Videos like this are fantastic but, why aren’t these types of things being commercialized on television? Nobody can buy what they don’t know exists and those who saw this trailer on YouTube are already aware.
Hopefully once the games start rolling in, Nintendo will actually push the Wii U and lay off of the 3DS, which picked up tremendous momentum after an equally dry and quiet year and a half post launch. Nintendo’s Pikmin 3 commercial was a great start and hopefully they push all of the inventive things they added into The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD to the masses.
All in all, Nintendo’s biggest marketing failure is failing to realize their strengths and what features the Wii U has at this very moment that could arouse the interests of potential consumers. Instead of being gun shy about their quirkiness or how difficult they think it will be to explain their products, they should just roll with it. Westerners often complain that Nintendo is too “different” or too “Japanese”, but if they were smart they could utilize these “WTF” moments to their advantage….if they were smart.
How do you guys feel about the trailers in relation to how they could be used to educate people of the Wii U’s existence? Do the features in the Wii U have a shot at bringing in wide spread appeal? How do you think Nintendo should advertise this console?
Sound off in the comments below!