Nintendo’s director of marketing in North America, Bill Trinen, was recently attributed as saying the Wii U deluxe set is bundled with Nintendo Land to attract casual gamers, and that the basic edition is more for core gamers. This is an odd statement considering the deluxe has more memory, a color generally identified more with core gamers and higher cost; while, the Wii U basic provides just the bare essentials.
Now, I think a few outlets have taken his remarks out of context, but this sparks an interesting discussion. Is the Wii U being marketed wrong?
There have been a number of questionable decisions Nintendo has made while marketing the Wii U. The first was choosing such a similar name and look to its predecessor.
Nintendo has even admitted that there is a substantial amount of people who don’t understand the Wii U is a separate console from the Wii. This could turn into a huge issue. Consumers purchased the Wii because they could easily see it was something new, something original – something completely different from its competition.
These same casual consumers are the ones who are confused about the Wii U. The system is nearly identical at first glance – at least from the few photos that have been shown – and this is what will cause the most trouble. The Wii U Gamepad could be construed as just another expensive peripheral for the Wii, since Nintendo hasn’t been shy about releasing them, and many consumers and media have already made that mistake.
And one nagging question I can’t shake is why is the more expensive Wii U model bundled with Nintendo Land? I understand that the basic sku is just the barebones console, and the Deluxe has more value – and is aptly priced as such – but I believe this to be a mistake.
A big reason for the Wii’s success was packing in Wii sports with every console sold. It was a fun, short game that perfectly showed off what the Wii could do, and was addictive enough to replay for hours. It was a game that brought together both casual and core gamers.But the higher priced Wii U is bundled with the game, not the lower, and I think this will drive away some of the casual market they worked hard to connect with this generation. The Wii U suffers from the same issue as the Wii, as in its innovation is not completely understood without playing it.
Wii Sports solved this for the Wii, and Nintendo Land looks to be like the solution for the Wii U. Nintendo should provide that solution to those who will have the hardest time understanding the Wii U. This being said, Nintendo isn’t doomed. Nintendo has time to use commercials and other ads in its favor, and the deluxe bundle has been selling out everywhere, so they’re obviously doing something right.
What would you do about Nintendo’s marketing situation? Do you think the basic or deluxe is better for core gamers?