Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wii U's Rough Marketing

The Wii U television advertising has begun, at least in the UK. The ad above (or, as they say across the pond, the 'advert')  is the first effort.

I felt like I was watching an infomercial; I kept waiting for the "act now and you get an extra controller free!" part. The controller apparently can reveal things that are hidden; perhaps it can find the excitement in the commercial, because I sure couldn't find it. The ability for someone to watch the TV while I play a game... that's really a major reason to buy this console?

It actually made games look like more work. I can't just look at the screen and press buttons, I have to hold the controller just so, while keeping my attention on the big screen, and then rapidly brush my hand across the top of the Gamepad to fire the ninja stars, while aiming at the onscreen target. Great, way to break me out of the sense I'm immersed in the game. Or I have to hold up the Gamepad and wave it all over the room to find stuff; my arms are going to get tired if I have to do that for hours. Fortunately I think the battery in the Gamepad only lasts for a couple of hours, so I guess that solves that little problem.

I think the Wii U has a rough marketing road ahead of it. The Wii was a smash hit, for two main reasons: It had a new controller and interface that was so easy to use Grandma could do it, and it was half the price of the competing consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360). Compare that to the Wii U: It's more expensive than the PS3 and the Xbox 360, the graphics aren't any better, and the controller is even more complicated. Hand the Gamepad to Grandma and see what she says... how many buttons are on this thing? Which screen do you look at when? Switching attention back and forth between the TV and the Gamepad not only breaks you out of the game's immersion, it's going to cause a headache.

I think fanboys will buy the initial units, but I think the sales curve will resemble the 3DS: Initial big sell-in, then it sits for months until Nintendo drops the price dramatically and some software that's really interesting finally comes out.


  1. Just because marketing planning is ineffective in many cases, does that mean it shouldn't be done at all? I say no. In fact, I say that smaller businesses must plan their marketing programs-map out what they need to accomplish and how they will do it-preferably prior to the start of their business year. They need to step back and think creatively about how to use marketing most cost-effectively to meet business objectives, and how marketing can help them gain or retain competitive advantage.

  2. Fortunately I think the battery in the Gamepad only lasts for a couple of hours, so I guess that solves that little problem. Dentist Seo