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The Trouble with Nintendo. A TL;DR topic.


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Maybe it's retailer's fault?

Uninformed retail employees may have contributed to the sales problems afflicting Nintendo's latest console.

Christine Arrington, the Senior Games Analyst at IHS Electronics & Media told Benzinga that she realized that Wii U was in trouble when she became an unofficial secret shopper.

"There was nothing that you could put in front of everybody that said, 'This is what the experience is,'" Arrington said of the difficulty that Nintendo has faced in promoting the Wii U GamePad. "I think one of the things that was a real indicator of that was just, anecdotally, if you went into a retailer and you talked to somebody in the games department, they didn't even understand what it was.

"I did the secret shopper kind of thing, and they would say, 'Well, there's no difference between the Wii and Wii U.'"

Arrington was stunned. While Wii U features the "Wii" name, it is not the same as the original Wii. The new console features a number of unique elements, which Nintendo has illustrated on its official website. The most obvious is the inclusion of a tablet-inspired controller that features a 6.2-inch touch screen. No such controller is available for the original Wii.

Despite these differences, multiple retail employees told her to buy the seven-year-old Wii instead of Wii U because there was no difference between them.

"I'm standing there, looking at them, going, 'Wow!'" Arrington said in disbelief. "I think that right there was an anecdotal piece of evidence [showing] that people didn't get it."

When the original Wii arrived in 2006, Nintendo successfully used Wii Sports to demonstrate why the remote and nunchuk controllers were important. Arrington believes that Nintendo needed a comparable game -- one that explained why the Wii U GamePad was cool and innovative -- for Wii U.

"There should have been a Wii Sports-type game that let everybody get it," she said. "Those huge franchises would have gotten the loyal Nintendo person, but it was Wii Sports that got all the people outside the Nintendo world to look and say, 'This is a really, really neat, fun thing to do.'"

Even if Nintendo had delivered a game on that level, it may have been unable to match Wii's success.

"I think it would have definitely fallen below Wii," said Arrington. "I think there was something really special about the Wii and the way that whole thing happened that they didn't even know was going to happen."

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Is the use of a romaji suffix to indicate that something's in some way better a Japanese cultural thing? Seems hard to search for, as "suffix" gets you lots of bamphf about honorifics. It's something I noticed when I imported the Japanese version of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd for the PS3 - there are multiple versions of its armour sets which have the same name, but the better ones have an "S" after them and the bestest ones have a "U". Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate does likewise, but uses S, U, X and Z as there's tons more equipment in it.

They should have called it Wii HD outside Japan when sticking with the Wii name.

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They should have called it the Wii 2. Simple. Everyone gets that "2" is the new, different version of something. They made the same mistake with the 3DS. I think it's a cool name, but doesn't get the sequel idea across as the number is at the start. "A 3D DS? I'll just stick with the ordinary one, thanks"

Or they could have went Hanna-Barbera. "All New Wii". Timeless too. Those Scooby Doo cartoons are still all new, after all this time.

But now we have Microsoft truly taking us through the looking glass, where they have failed to grasp that you have to actually increment your version numbers. And doubling down by giving your new product the colloquial name of your previous but one product. Astounding!

EDIT: APM knows the score!

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I'm having a marketing eureka moment here. What if they had simply called the new Wii, the Wii? The exact same as the last one? Then stopped selling the old one!

Parents who came in with instructions to buy one would be baldly told, this is the Wii yeah, costs £250, sorry no, it used to cost £99 and now it doesn't. It's dearer because it comes with its own little tiny TV. Total brand continuity.

It's crazy, but it just might have worked!

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I'm having a marketing eureka moment here. What if they had simply called the new Wii, the Wii? The exact same as the last one? Then stopped selling the old one!

Parents who came in with instructions to buy one would be baldly told, this is the Wii yeah, costs £250, sorry no, it used to cost £99 and now it doesn't. It's dearer because it comes with its own little tiny TV. Total brand continuity.

It's crazy, but it just might have worked!

I may have spotted a flaw in your cunning plan Baldrick. Why would people who already own a wii be attracted to er... buying a wii?

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I think Nintendo should have done what Apple do, product refreshes i.e take the old model away - Wii - and only sell the Wii U, but with a Wiimote Plus and nunchuk. Therefore have all the functions of the previous console, but better. At the higher price point.

It's crazy, but it just might have worked!

aah pretty much what you said, but keep the new name to distinguish the difference.

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I wonder if those same retailers will be directing people towards the 360 and PS3 instead of their technically superior successors too, since there's "no difference between them".

Bitter much? Like, being obsessed with consumerist objects to the point of mental illness bitter.

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Apart from that, the Wii U is completely different from the Wii so they should have dropped the Wii name altogether.

Easy to say with hindsight, if they had we would be all "can't believe they threw away such a successful brand name".

And it's not completely different, it uses the same peripherals and can play some of the same games.

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Retail staff in being useless fuckwits shocker ... any product depending on retail staff to become successful is pretty much fucked by default.

Apart from that, the Wii U is completely different from the Wii so they should have dropped the Wii name altogether.

What? How is the Wii U any different from the Wii in comparison with Playstation 1/2/3/4 or Xbox/Xbox360/XboxOne? I know you don't like the Wii, Nap, but I can't help but feel you're letting your own prejudice colour your opinion somewhat. Seriously, get rid of a brand that won the last generation just because... Good thinking!

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The thinking behind the naming schemes of the recent Nintendo systems seems fairly logical, Wii (inclusive, for all the family), Wii U, the same idea but also now enhanced just for you, the solitary gamer and offscreen play.

DS, basic acronym naming, followup does Auto-Stereoscopic 3D and still has dual screens, 3DS, new iteration doesn't do 3 Dimensions anymore, 2DS.

Thinking about it, pretty much all their naming schemes make logical sense, even the virtualboy.

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The thinking behind the naming schemes of the recent Nintendo systems seems fairly logical, Wii (inclusive, for all the family), Wii U, the same idea but also now enhanced just for you, the solitary gamer and offscreen play.

DS, basic acronym naming, followup does Auto-Stereoscopic 3D and still has dual screens, 3DS, new iteration doesn't do 3 Dimensions anymore, 2DS.

Thinking about it, pretty much all their naming schemes make logical sense, even the virtualboy.

Whilst I agree with most of what you say, a name shouldn't need thinking about to understand it. Wii 2 sidesteps all that and is clear that it's the sequel to the Wii.
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What? How is the Wii U any different from the Wii in comparison with Playstation 1/2/3/4 or Xbox/Xbox360/XboxOne? I know you don't like the Wii, Nap, but I can't help but feel you're letting your own prejudice colour your opinion somewhat. Seriously, get rid of a brand that won the last generation just because... Good thinking!

Oh come on, this has nothing to do with my like or dislike of a platform. I'll be the first to say the Wii was a huge success and had great marketing, even if it wasn't the console for me.

My reasoning is this: the Wii has become huge because of the whole motion control thing. Wii Sports sold the system. The Wii was all about of getting off the couch - preferably with the whole family, mum and gran included - and then using your body to control the games. That was the selling point of the machine.

The Wii U is about sitting on the couch and playing your game on the pad (if your wife/parents is/are hogging the TV) or using the touch screen for extra functionality. Only in multiplayer you get to use the old peripherals, and even then it's just because it doesn't support multiple gamepads so it uses the Wii Remotes as alternative rather than best fit-for-purpose controller.

To use some marketing speak: what is the unique selling point of the Wii? Motion controls. What is the unique selling point of the Wii U? Off-screen play and/or touchscreen options. What is the connection between both? Fuck all.

Easy to say with hindsight, if they had we would be all "can't believe they threw away such a successful brand name".

And it's not completely different, it uses the same peripherals and can play some of the same games.

A brand name is as strong as its portfolio of products. Haribo is a strong brand, but I doubt a range of Haribo tea or coffee would sell that well.

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