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No Price Cut for the Wii U in the Immediate Future; and What is Wrong with Nintendo’s Marketing Campaign

If you held-off buying a Wii U in hopes that Nintendo would have a price cut because of the sluggish sales, you should stop and just buy one. A day after Nintendo reported that they had to lower their expectations of units sold for the new hardware for the first fiscal quarter, Nintendo completely denied the possibility of a price cut.

Satoru Iwata admitted to investors and reporters that the Wii U’s momentum, along with the 3DS’s, has run out of steam in the US; however, he felt that a price got wouldn’t i necessarily improve sales, and that would only hurt Nintendo’s bottom line in the end. And ultimately it would be great software that would jumpstart sales once again. “We are already offering it at a good price,” Iwata said.

If you remember correctly, shortly after Nintendo released the 3DS, the company decided that a price cut was the best option to entice customers to purchase the system. For whatever reason, Nintendo does not see this as the best strategy for their brand-new home console.

Besides offering extensive quality software for the system, Iwata knowledge that Nintendo must do a better job to make customers more knowledgeable of why the Wii U should be in their living room. One of the reasons why Nintendo saw great success in the beginning of the Wii’s lifespans, which was virtually sold out the first year, was because their marketing campaign was brilliant.

The company advertised their system as easy to use — which was a big hurdle at the time. Before the original Wii was released, one of the big complaints of non-gamers was how a interactive game operates, was confusing. In a world where people get perplexed because of too many buttons on a remote control, the idea of controlling a character in a 3-D environment with the amount of buttons on the controller was disorienting. But thanks in part to the WiiMote, Nintendo marketed their system as easy to use.

 

All a person had to do was wave their hand and the character on screen would do the same. All of a sudden Nintendo had customers who were not loyal to the video game industry, lining up to buy their very own home console. Nintendo at the time, was the first to grab the casual gamer.

With the Wii U, Nintendo has a dilemma.

While the WiiMote works with the new system, it is marketed with a new controller. A controller that has a lot of buttons, and a LCD screen. This might scare a lot of the customers who bought the first Wii. To them, it might look a tad intimidating, even with a simple to use touchscreen. In fact, a touchscreen along with many buttons actually might look more unwelcoming than a regular game-pad.

But that’s not just Nintendo’s mistake. When the original Wii was released in 2006, it felt like they abandoned the hard-core gamer altogether. Clearly, the tablet controller was a ploy to advertised towards the hard-core gamer. However, that demographic still doesn’t trust Nintendo. They’ve been burned far too long, and while great software is a great way to bring back that type of gamer, who is loyal, it could be too late for Nintendo. Especially with Microsoft and Sony on the verge of releasing, what will probably be much more, powerful systems.

Right now Nintendo has to figure out which demographic they’re going after; the casual or the hard-core gamer. As of right now, they can’t have both — which is something they’re trying to do. They need to stop overreaching and choose one or the other.

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