What Nintendo & Wii U Need to Do – Part 2: Building the Niche and Repositioning
*Warning- Opinions ahead
If you did not read part one going over the Wii U’s marketing issues then follow the link!
Part 2:Building the Niche and Repositioning
While I can’t speak for Nintendo if this was their original goal with the Wii U (I doubt it was), it has become what I suspect is their new plan — that is to move themselves into a more niche position with their console and if its not…well it should be.
Removed from the Competition
Whether or not this was Nintendo’s goal with the Wii U, the fact of the matter is this is the position the Wii U is currently in. One only has to look at media coverage to see the Wii U is excluded from most comparisons of this console generation for one reason or another. One can also look at the third party support the Wii U has (mostly just Ubisoft) and come to a similar conclusion that the Wii U is shaping up to be the red-headed stepchild of this generation. Now this may sound like a lot of doom and gloom, however, there is a silver lining: it provides Nintendo a unique opportunity to change things, once again.
The current way the video game industry is set up is broken into two parts: the first being consoles themselves which has traditionally been three different companies duking it out in a fight for supremacy; the second being the PC which lives in its own little bubble and is for the most part unaffected by the goings-on of the console side. However, times are changing, and we are no longer looking at the same old traditional landscape in the video game industry. This new console generation seeks to be more like PCs than ever before, not only in terms of design but also in terms of architecture, blurring the old lines with the addition of new competition such as the OUYA, mobile gaming, Steambox, and Vita TV. What we are currently seeing is a redefining moment for the industry, and by seizing this moment, WiiU and Nintendo can excel and regain their former glory by competing in new ways, along new lines, rather than fighting along the old console market fronts. Let me explain in a little more detail:
Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox are becoming very much like PCs. This has a few ramifications: third-party titles are more likely than ever to come to all three platforms; companies seeking to purchase exclusivity rights will have to pay more, as porting a game will be easier than ever; and, finally, the increase in homogenization inversely affects the marginal utility found in purchasing an additional console. But what does all of this mean? In short, it means that consoles and PCs will be closer than ever and the closer they are, the less likely consumers are to purchase multiple consoles that fall within the same group.
Herein lies the chance for Nintendo to really bring home what they have been preaching forever: creating a unique experience. No longer should the focus be to topple the big three but rather to compliment them while they fight among each other. The increasing level of homogenization between those big three creates an environment with an opportunity for someone who owns a gaming PC. The Wii U should not be focused as being a console that provides everything (except for big Nintendo fans) but rather a console that provides games and experiences not available on other platforms.This removes Nintendo from the same scrutiny that the other platforms are plagued with and allows Nintendo to be….well, Nintendo. It no longer needs to be PC or PS4 or Xbox or Wii U but rather PC or PS4 or Xbox and Wii U.
The problem lies in not being in said position but rather not exploiting it. Nintendo really needs to capitalize on this by changing its image in the eyes of the gaming community so that it stands on its own and not in direct competition with the platform giants. This leads to the question of “how?” As always, I have an idea or two:
The U can mean more then “you”, it can mean Unique (which I think is a better use anyway). The goal of the Unique campaign would be to distinguish between games of the same genre in addition to the quality and offerings that are exclusively available on the Wii U. Let me provide a commercial example:
Provide a sizzle reel of a good variety of games that are part of different genres(avoid overlapping if possible). Each game listed will have a label on it following the same scheme “Uniquely ______” that makes note of what sets it apart of the rest of the games in the same genre. Then after showing several games and their unique offers you can follow it with playing them in Unique places with the game pad. Finally end it with, “Wii U – A Unique Experience”
Here are a few examples of what could be posted when advertising games:
It’s a very straightforward idea that gets the message across that what Nintendo offers is not found on other consoles. Part of the key here is not directly attacking Sony and Microsoft, which forces (and endorses) a direct comparison where Nintendo usually looses on the technical aspects but strides in the “fun” department. By pushing this “Unique” message it serves to reinforce its exclusive library of top quality games that can only be found on the Wii U which will push consumers to want a Wii U as their second choice in addition to whatever else they may have .
I have decided in addition to pictures to put together a concept sizzle real to further enforce the idea of what it would look like. Certain things like playing in unique locations where omitted for the sake of time and keep in mind this is just a concept video.
If Nintendo can play its cards right then they will find themselves in a very advantageous position . Simple things like repositioning in the market and minor rebranding coupled with a new marketing campaign will serve to change how consumers think of the Wii U and allow them to think of it in a new light of no longer being the loser of this console generation (in terms of power & 3rd party support) but a winner in its own right with Unique offerings and experiences.