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What would you do if you were Mr Iwata (laughs)


JPickford
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Maybe not the console, but I was quite struck by the fact that GAME have signs up in the Wii-U section telling customers that Wii-U games won't work on the original Wii. Whether that's in response to a spate of mistaken purchases or GAME simply underestimating the intelligence of their customers, I don't know.

Oh yeah, I could see that happening I guess, but that comes back to people not knowing what a WiiU is rather than any problem with name. Gotta remember the WiiU plays every Wii game. I mean, that's part of the appeal of it so to call it something totally different would possibly be more confusing - had anybody actually bought a WiiU. Which they didn't.

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I really don't know what you think all this means, but the only sense I can make of it is that you think that the 3DS and the Wii did well because of the marketing Nintendo did, and the Wii U is a flop because of no marketing. I am glad we agree!

I will enjoy you demonstrating how I have 'flip-flopped' around 'the whole marketing spend thing', though. Presumably you're going to address that at the same time you address how Nintendo had people telling each other how great the Wii was to play before it was actually on sale, without marketing.

Well, you said the XboxOne will be a massive success because of marketing spend. And then in other posts you say it's not about marketing spend. So, you know?

I mean, I kinda know what you mean because it's very obvious. But then, I'm not sure, because there's a lot of very obvious stuff you don't seem to grasp. Like, the Wii's success was down to it being a great product that needed very little marketing (would have done fine with no marketing). Alan Sugar could have set his two teams to market the Wii and they both would have won massages. Sweetdaddyg could have marketed the Wii. The product was so great it was impossible to fuck up. It didn't need great marketing, just show somebody using it. Now this is where you say that that WAS the great marketing. And it's, like, JACKIECHAN JPEG. Love that jpeg.

So, to explain. I disagree with you the Nintendo went from being great at marketing to shit at marketing. I reckon what actually happened was they went from marketing a machine that sold itself to one that is very difficult to market.

I hope I've made myself clear.

In conclusion. I wonder why they're not marketing the WiiU. Strikes me as odd.

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It was the main one. Look at kinect. Bigger and better marketing than the Wii ever had. But it was shit. So it died a death after a year. They spend $500m promoting kinect. I reckon the Wii was far less. So why didn't Kinect sell 100m? Or any games at all?

By the way, regarding Kinect sales, Wikipedia has this to say:

24 million units of the Kinect sensor had been shipped by February 2013.[1] Having sold 8 million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect has claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device".[18][19][20][142] According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, Kinect bundles accounted for about half of all Xbox 360 console sales in December 2010 and for more than two-thirds in February 2011.[143][144] More than 750,000 Kinect units were sold during the week of Black Friday 2011.[145][146

That rather points to successfully marketing a product which was, by your description, shit. I've no idea why you think it should have sold 100 million. The sales seem enormously healthy for a $500M spend.

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Well, you said the XboxOne will be a massive success because of marketing spend. And then in other posts you say it's not about marketing spend. So, you know?

I mean, I kinda know what you mean because it's very obvious. But then, I'm not sure, because there's a lot of very obvious stuff you don't seem to grasp. Like, the Wii's success was down to it being a great product that needed very little marketing (would have done fine with no marketing). Alan Sugar could have set his two teams to market the Wii and they both would have won massages. Sweetdaddyg could have marketed the Wii. The product was so great it was impossible to fuck up. It didn't need great marketing, just show somebody using it. Now this is where you say that that WAS the great marketing. And it's, like, JACKIECHAN JPEG. Love that jpeg.

So, to explain. I disagree with you the Nintendo went from being great at marketing to shit at marketing. I reckon what actually happened was they went from marketing a machine that sold itself to one that is very difficult to market.

I hope I've made myself clear.

In conclusion. I wonder why they're not marketing the WiiU. Strikes me as odd.

Nowhere have I said it's not about marketing spend. Everywhere I have said it's about marketing. They are two different things, the former makes up part of the latter.

The Wii would have sold far less without marketing. Huge numbers less. Whether that means it would have been a Wii U shaped absolute disaster, well that's impossible to tell. It's certainly possible though.

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I've gotten rid of the 360 as i don't expect MS to continue xbla once the bone is out, i've only got space in my life for one console and the WiiU is what i'm looking at as it most likely will have gamey games. Anyway two things have to happen first before i take the plunge; I want to see promise of some interesting games coming out over the next year and for it to be reduced to a reasonable price. So i'll be keeping a close eye on Nintendo this E3.

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I don't think people are that stupid. I mean, who's confusing it with the Wii? And how? And why? And when?

They've got a Wii and they go into a shop and ask for a WiiU and get given a WiiU and say, oh, I thought it was a Wii? That would be fine for Nintendo.

Or, they've got a Wii and they think the WiiU is the controller and go into a shop and ask for one and get given a WiiU. That's fine too.

I think the actual problem is nobody knows what a WiiU is. Not that they're confusing it for something else. Nobody is going into a shop and asking for a WiiU. I mean, it would be better for Nintendo if they thought it was a peripheral for the Wii. Then they'd ask for one and find out it's a whole new console.

If nobody knows what a Wii U is it doesn't help that it uses the exact same branding as the thing which everyone knows what it is.

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The Wii would have sold far less without marketing. Huge numbers less. Whether that means it would have been a Wii U shaped absolute disaster, well that's impossible to tell. It's certainly possible though.

So, in that case if - as seems to have happened - Nintendo saved their marketing budget for last Christmas and double up this Christmas then the Wiu'll be a massive success? Assuming (big assumption) the marketing is good? I kind of agree with you but I do feel they also need some more appealing games

That's basically what we've been saying all along! We were agreeing the whole time!

Although you're wrong about the Wii. Maybe in the 50s that would have been the case. But with the internet. People going to shops etc something like the Wii. Something that brings joy from the moment somebody touches it, well, a product like that will always have a chance.

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Yes, I think if Nintendo suddenly decide to splurge a ton of marketing into the Wii U, they could well save it.

However, I don't get any sense from them that is what they will do. The thing with the Wii is that you could tell that they knew how they would market it from way before launch, which is why they popped up in so many unusual places. Anything they do with the Wii U now will be reactive, and that is generally not as successful.

I mean, remember those Wii experience things they had going in the concourses of shopping centres, all that sort of jazz? Where the hell are those for the Wii U? You could start doing that now, but you have to fight the perception that it's already flopped, in the eyes of both retailers and consumers. Still, they may figure it out, you never know.

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Yes, I think if Nintendo suddenly decide to splurge a ton of marketing into the Wii U, they could well save it.

However, I don't get any sense from them that is what they will do. The thing with the Wii is that you could tell that they knew how they would market it from way before launch, which is why they popped up in so many unusual places. Anything they do with the Wii U now will be reactive, and that is generally not as successful.

I mean, remember those Wii experience things they had going in the concourses of shopping centres, all that sort of jazz? Where the hell are those for the Wii U? You could start doing that now, but you have to fight the perception that it's already flopped, in the eyes of both retailers and consumers. Still, they may figure it out, you never know.

Fucking hell, there's a difference between somebody playing magic tennis and somebody squinting and a fucking screen on an insane looking tablet. I mean, you can see that, right?

But yeah, we were agreeing. Nintendo could save the WiiU. I guess that's what us fanboys are grasping onto. Because the second screens great - but you have to have it at home for a while to realize just how great - something tricky to replicate in a supermarket.

Thing is if they're not planning a massive marketing push. Then what? They'll have to kill it. They're the two options, right?

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Am I right in thinking that Pikmin 3 will have numerous control methods, including GamePad, Wii remote/nunchuk, and Pro Controller? That doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the Wii U's main selling point.

As the GamePad is the reason for the (relatively) high cost of the console, what if they relaunched the Wii U as Wii 2, bundled with a bog-standard Pro Controller, dirt cheap (at least two hundred quid cheaper than the competition), and started selling the GamePad as an optional extra?

Ah, I dunno. But unless they can get the current premium set down to £179-£199, then they're fucked, regardless of the quality of first party titles. If they're misguided enough to believe that software alone will make people forget the £299 price tag, they're idiots.

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Releasing a model without a gamepad would be the dumbest movie they could possibly make.

You're probably right. But if it's the pad making it so expensive, and knowing Nintendo's reluctance to sell anything at a loss, then they're stuffed - if the thing isn't sub-£200 by Christmas they don't really stand a chance. And I get the impression that ideas for utilising the pad in fascinating and unique ways aren't exactly flowing freely at Nintendo.

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How do you know that? All we've had from Nintendo is Nintendoland and NSMBU. Pikmin doesn't really need to utilise the second screen that much, especially nothing that would negate single screen play, so I don't think it's fair to draw any conclusions from that. How about we wait and see what they announce in the next week before we say they're bereft of ideas.

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It's daft how slow they're putting up Virtual Console games, both new releases on 3DS and Wii U upgrades. They've got this enormous back catalogue and it's being drip-fed out. They should farm out VC titles to a bunch of development houses to get games out much quicker, and make them cross-compatible between home console and handheld. One purchase gets you the download for both platforms for all 8-bit and 16-bit titles - Nintendo, Sega, Neo-Geo, whatever, with cloud saves and online multiplayer. Actually get some N64 titles upgraded for Wii U. Go one further and start selling DS, GameCube and Wii games through the eShop. Make these machines play fucking EVERYTHING they've ever made.

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I would make the VC an arcade.

Version 1: Netflix monthly fee. Add new games each month.

or

Version 2: As they are small enough to be temp-downloaded nearly instantly and say 30p a go/credit.

Like it and you can buy the game outright.

Or even better each 30p go works towards a full unlock of £4.99 or whatever.

They get iOS's trivial money purchases cake, but get to eat it by charging what they think a game is worth.

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The VC is a perfect platform for a PSPlus subscription. £30 per year per family with new retro games added weekly. After a year you have a catalogue of a hundred retro classics that you can play on your Wii U or 3DS.

It would shit money for Nintendo. Anything they make on the first party games is pure profit, especially as the ROM sizes are miniscule. And it helps to build hype before big releases (ie release some Mario Kart games a month before the Wii U version is released).

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You're ignoring my point.

The 3DS was in the same pickle as the Wii U is now, but it has gained momentum massively. The Wii U will probably do the same.

Are the software support situations the same then? news to me if so. And for a handheld in its 2nd year, the 3DS is now selling less YoY already, so despite all the games being released for it, less people are buying it now than last year, even in Japan now. The Wii and DS were doing the exact opposite, Nintendo were revising up their shipment expectations, not down, like their current attempts.

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For Nintendo handhelds, attach rate is more important than install base I think, assuming the install base is of reasonable size. The DS had a similar problem to the Wii in that they sold squillions of them, but I'd wager many of them were only ever used to play Brain Training and about 2 other similar games.

I'm curious to know what the attach rate of the 3DS is like.

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Software support, what? Have you even seen the amount of great games Nintendo has brought out for that thing, lately? The 3DS is a beast, games-wise. The Wii U will follow suit.

What the fuck is YoY?

And it's easy to make the 3DS look bad when you compare it to the Wii or original DS, but it's actually doing pretty well. Especially compared to, say, the Vita. My point wasn't that it's doing as incredibly spectacular as the Wii/DS, but that its sales have picked up remarkably in the last year, mostly due to the software. The Wii U will do the same. Was that really so hard to understand?

You are making the assumption that the Wii U will have the same software support as the 3DS, which I'd say is a very iffy premise to base one's hope on. We have plenty of evidence for what a primarily Nintendo only box can do, not very much being the conclusion, even with multiple Edge [10]s or [6]s if you swing that way.

YoY=Year on Year, basic business term comparing sales/financial performance with last year, to see if you are doing good or not.

3DS is down in hardware in the US, by quite a bit currently, and is now trailing behind in Japan now too, despite having the lead YoY as of March. 2013 compared to 2012:

3DS #  1,754,261 |  1,875,730 

I'm curious to know what the attach rate of the 3DS is like.

3.05 currently, you can even work out the differences in region and YoY changes for software/hardware via the historic numbers database they provide if you fancy seeing how the momentum is going.

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/hard_soft/index.html

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What's your opinion on the N64 and GameCube, games-wise?

Not worth buying, I played the N64 plenty, never felt a very strong urge to own my own, I bought the GameCube, can't quite remember why, too much free money I suppose at the time, saved from absolute worthlessness by Shinji Mikami's Godly 1-2 punch and Pikmin, I didn't need a GC to play the other Capcom 4 games or indeed most multiplats. I highly respect the craft of the 3D Nintendo games, but I don't love them, not even 3D Mario, technically impressive, but no SMW.

I've come to realise that the reason I really loved the SFC was the third party support which supplemented the Nintendo output, which I can take or leave these days, it doesn't stir my heart anymore. The DS was the same, it had enough third party support to make it a worthwhile machine.

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I've said this to you before, Mushashi, that people buy a Nintendo machine for Nintendo games and you poo-pooed that comment. But I still stand by it, and I think, by your comment that you don't want the machines because Nintendo games don't do anything for you, backs that up. We've had three generations now of Nintendo home consoles with shit 3rd party support, along with constant cries of NINTENDO=DOOMED! and yet they're still going and people still like their output. They must be doing something right somewhere otherwise they would have sunk like Sega in the hardware business long ago.

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Yes, but if you notice the trend, that core Nintendo-lifer userbase is for some reason shrinking, you'd think logically that on aggregate, they would be stable or marginally increasing, keeping hold of their existing customers and adding new ones, but the N64 to GameCube transistion showed a serious userbase drop, why? and is the GameCube the lowest it can go?, what is the true Nintendo fanbase size on home consoles?, and what is the floating voter base?, I don't know, but I don't see any evidence for the certainty of conviction that people hold about how many people really can't live without traditional Nintendo games. It ain't over till the final whistle, but where is the evidence that Nintendo's fanbase is that huge, enough for them to be happy with the performance of their home consoles, they weren't happy with the GameCube sales for example, so GameCube-like sales are not good enough for them:

Iwata: I do not intend to declare how many Wii we will be selling today, but Wii will be a failure if it cannot sell far more than GameCube did. In fact, we shouldn't continue this business if our only target is to outsell GameCube. Naturally, we are making efforts so that Wii will show a far greater result than GameCube.

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Everyone buys Nintendo Consoles for Nintendo games. Any decent third party stuff is just an unexpected bonus. I think most people with a Wii, Cube etc will have had another machine as well, because we're not blind to the fact that we need another console to play other types of games. Hence memes like the Wii60 last gen etc etc,

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Yes, but if you notice the trend, that core Nintendo-lifer userbase is for some reason shrinking, you'd think logically that on aggregate, they would be stable or marginally increasing, keeping hold of their existing customers and adding new ones, but the N64 to GameCube transistion showed a serious userbase drop, why? and is the GameCube the lowest it can go?, what is the true Nintendo fanbase size on home consoles?, and what is the floating voter base?, I don't know, but I don't see any evidence for the certainty of conviction that people hold about how many people really can't live without traditional Nintendo games. It ain't over till the final whistle, but where is the evidence that Nintendo's fanbase is that huge, enough for them to be happy with the performance of their home consoles, they weren't happy with the GameCube sales for example, so GameCube-like sales are not good enough for them:

The N64 to GC drop was all about the entry of a major 3rd party, the dominance of the PS2 and also the fact that gaming changed considerably in that time period.

But how about the millions that the Nintendo franchises sold on the Wii? 33 milion for Mario Kart, 27 million for New Super Mario Bros Wii etc. Now I know that a lot of those people were brought on board with Wii Sports, but if that was all they wanted, how the fuck are Mario Kart and NSMBWii selling so many? According to VGchartz, the top 15 selling games are all Nintendo published. Why do you believe they've suddnely forgotten how to make these games for the masses?

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