Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nintendo Makes a Mistake

Managing a PR campaign, especially for an international product at a well-known company, can be a complicated thing that requires a lot of skill to pull off well. There are some basic principles, though, that even a novice should be aware of. Like this one: Thou shalt not stomp on your own message.

Well, Nintendo blew right past that one this week. Here they are, one week away from the launch of the DSi XL in the USA, busily sending out media kits and trying to amp up the press (and the public) about their new device (albeit in an oddly clumsy way, as this blog detailed last week)... when they announce an even newer, better DSi... tentatively called the 3Ds.

Yes, this technique, called the Osborne Effect, was demonstrated so well by the Osborne Computer company long ago... announce a better, spiffier version of the current computer you're selling, only this new one won't be out for 6 months. Then watch sales dry up as everyone saves their money for the new machine... so much so your company goes out of business.

Now, this won't happen to Nintendo, but I can hardly think of a better way to reduce sales of your new device than to announce, the week your new device is being released, that you have an even better version coming out at some unspecified point in the future... more details to be announced later.

Way to go, Nintendo. You must be so worried about the threat of the iPhone and iPad that you are frantically releasing info on products still in development, just to try and deflect attention away from Apple. Either that, or somebody at corporate HQ has made a very bad mistake. Time for a pinky sacrifice, I think.

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