Analyst: Nintendo needs good Wii U demo game; retailers don't grasp console

#1
I happened to run by this article while putting together another thread. I'm not sure how accurate this is. Most staff at the games stores I shop at know exactly what it is, but are just unimpressed with it, therefore, do not go out of their way to promote it. The bolder part is more towards the truth the way I see it.


"They didn't even understand what it was"
The poor sales of the Wii U have been blamed on a lot of things, such as a lack of games and high price point. However, there's also the question of the branding and whether or not Nintendo has been successful enough in informing potential buyers about the difference between the new console and its best-selling forerunner.

According to IHS Electronics & Media's Senior Games Analyst Christine Arrington, this is possibly the single biggest problem the Wii U is facing right now
http://www.nintendolife.com/news/20...rting_wii_u_sales_claims_senior_games_analyst
 
#3
"WiiU" doesn't sound iterative, sounds like a special version.

These do:
Gameboy --> Gameboy Advance
PlayStation 3 --> PlayStation 4
Nintendo --> Super Nintendo
 
#4
The lack of point of sale. The whole marketing.
There's many things contributing to poor sales and a lack of understanding. I'd say 95% of people who bought the Wii are uninformed on the WiiU.
 
#8
Doesn't surprise me at all. I was in a Best Buy yesterday, and not only did the guy not know there was a new Mario game coming out for Wii U next month, but I heard him tell a customer that Xbox One still let you install the game, and never need the disc again.
 
#9
At some point the fact that no one knows what the Wii U actually is falls on Nintendo. When you have to say in your ads that your product is new and not a peripheral for your old console, you might have made a booboo.
 
#10
"WiiU" doesn't sound iterative, sounds like a special version.
PlayStation 4, on the other hand, does.
Apparently Xbox One is having issues as well with people thinking it's a 360 with improved Kinect, blu-ray, and more features like NFL.

Put an iterative number after the system name or call it something completely different like GameCube. Stop with the fancy words placed after the same console name. It confuses buyers.
 
#15
Easily solvable by simple sending stores a number of posters to display that fully breaks down what the Wii U is vs the Wii. From features, to what games look like to what the systems look like. Then start to phase out the Wii itself. There really should be no confusion. It is very easy to address things before any confusion even sets in. There should be no need to rely on store staff and the posters would actually inform them of what they're selling as well. This is the level of incompetence that gets me angry when it comes to Nintendo. This shouldn't even be an issue.
 
#17
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
#18
Staff at most stores are usually uninformed about most products. People who work in the games section either know nothing or give shallow advice if they do know a little.

Lack of Wii U hype from no consumer groundswell just means the average staff member has heard absolutely nothing about Wii U themselves so fall into the zero-information category.

Plus, as has been remarked on before, the generic video game demo kiosk setup works poorly for Wii U because most of what it does have can't be explained or shown off by an unattended kiosk with no internet connectivity.
 
#19
This is probably a true statement, however minimal the impact might be. It's pretty ridiculous how uninformed game store staffers can be about their own product line.
 
#23
I really don't think that this is the stores fault given that there is so much confusion about the product. It's not uncommon in any industry for a developer or producer to send retail outlets marketing language and information that they want sales people to use when talking about a product... It's very common in consumer appliances, television, automobile, home furnishings, etc.

With consoles this usually isn't necessary because retail employees are usually also fans of videogames and it's a specialty industry, but with the Wii U, obviously, it is an issue. Nintendo should be informing retailers of how to sell this device... The public is confused about it, retailers are confused, and sales people are confused.

Honestly up until a couple of months ago I thought it was a Wii peripheral.
This is exactly what I mean above too... And Gaf is a self-selecting population of gamers who are generally experts on the subject of games. I remember about 5 months after the WiiU came out, I mentioned it to a friend -- who had a Wii, who really liked the Wii, and who has always owned Nintendo consoles (and continues to be a big gamer) -- and he had never heard of the WiiU and then had no idea what it was when he saw it. He thought it was a new handheld.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
#24
Not that it's suddenly not partially the sales staff's fault for not knowing their shit when it's their job, but I think it should be clear in every person's head that from visual design to naming, this could easily pass as another Wii.

It looks and sounds like a new Wii model with a tablet controller pack-in, so that's what people will treat it as.
 
#25
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
The GBA and the SNES didn't have the now-established tradition of Nintendo releasing umpteen version-updates of hardware in the same generation. (Except maybe the GBPocket)
 
#26
I know when I worked in a gameshop, even the employees there had trouble keeping everything straight. Hell, I once overheard a co-worker tell someone on the phone that DS Lite games wouldn't work on OG DS consoles and I was like "aaaAAHH no!" (this was in 2006 shortly after they came out). So I don't necessarily think this is the first time Nintendo's had this type of branding problem but it seems like the Wii U is both the worst case and longest running branding issue.

I wonder if they'll step up and be like "Hey it's called the Super Wii Too now, sign up at club.nintendo.com to recieve your free rebranding sticker for owners of the Wii U." Nintendo's really dropped the ball on this console, but it's funny because now that Pikmin, Wonderful 101, and Wind Waker HD are out (with Mario World coming up) I'm just about at the point where I want to drop the cash for one :x
 
#27
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
Not really. If this thing was called Super Wii, I don't think you would have the issues. Words like Super, Advance, they identify an upgrade to hardware.

Words like One, U. They do not.
 
#30
I'm still in disbelief that Nintendo chose to name their new console "Wii U" after putting out a console called "Wii". Like, maybe "Wii 2", but really howabout just a non-Wii name for the new brand new machine folks?
 
#31
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
Not really. The SNES and GBA had completely different branding from the NES and GBC respectively. That's on top of the fact that Nintendo actually showed off the systems --- the systems were the main face of the products and they looked completely different from their predecessors.

The Wii U's branding falls pretty much in line with the Original Wii (same "family friendly" bubbly style) and on top of that Nintendo hardly ever shows off the Wii U console itself. They give far more emphasis to the gamepad. What adds on to the confusion are the multiple accessories that came out on the original Wii with the name "Wii ______".

It was really easy to see that this would be a problem months before the system's launch.

Most recent personal example of Wii U confusion? My uncle asked me what new games I got recently. I told him that I got a Wii U and some games. He said, "What is that exactly? Isn't that some new controller for the Wii that has its own games?".
 
#34
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
That's a good point. Like that other guy said, this was generally before the age that Nintendo release unlimited revisions of their hardware every year, and also a key is that it was at a time in the industry when videogame devices had very confusing naming conventions (Master System -> Genesis; Atari's bizarre numbering convention; similar weird names from other device manufaturers). Nintendo was the recognizable brand, and almost every lay person I knew called it a "Super Nintendo."

On a completely unrelated side note that I never thought of before, it's interesting how Nintendo managed to avoid the dreaded "Xerox" and "Kleenex" effect.
 

Frumix

Suffering From Success
#35
Not fair to the staff. Blame is on Nintendo for the product naming confusion.
Absolutely fair to the staff.
At the place I worked, I'd be fired the next day if I didn't know what the hell I was selling.
Alternatively, if the store owners don't know how to market some products, there's always materials provided by the hardware makers that instruct on this.
If that doesn't work then yes, Nintendo might be the one to take the blame, but employees simply being uninformed? Store's fault.
 
#36
"WiiU" doesn't sound iterative, sounds like a special version.

These do:
Gameboy --> Gameboy Advance
PlayStation 3 --> PlayStation 4
Nintendo --> Super Nintendo
It's not just that it doesn't sound iterative, even if you do pay some attention to games it looks like it's a peripheral. THQ made an accessory for the Wii called a uDraw, which is basically a drawing tablet (no screen) add-on that was apparently very popular. Knowing that, the Wii U could look like Nintendo's official tablet bundle (this time with a screen!), and it's even named similarly.


Considering the uDraw for PS3 and 360 sold so poorly they helped bankrupt THQ, you'd think Nintendo would've caught on and changed their messaging for launch just a tad.
 
#37
Staff at most stores are usually uninformed about most products. People who work in the games section either know nothing or give shallow advice if they do know a little..
Sad but true, I'm pretty knowledgable on my Tech and games, but last year tried almost all the major stores. One particularly large tech retailer pretty much told me I could be joe stupid in terms of knowing my stuff, and they wouldn't give a shit, long as I could sell their insurance policies on people.

So the reason you get numbnuts working is because those places just don't give two hoots what you know, they just want you to sell, sell, sell.
 
#38
Not fair to the staff. Blame is on Nintendo for the product naming confusion.
Absolutely.

The WiiU was always a terrible name. It feels like a concept created bereft of any sort of marketing experience.

Even with the Wii, every code name the project had before the official name was announced was superior, but the experience was so unique that a unique title eventually was found to be fitting.

It really should have been the Wii 2.

Absolutely fair to the staff.
At the place I worked, I'd be fired the next day if I didn't know what the hell I was selling.
Did you work basic low level retail?

You gotta remember, in stores like walmart or target, there is no games department, all of that stuff is one big electronics department and those positions shift all the time. It's unreasonable to think that whoever happens to be on the floor that day is going to know all the features of each device that's for sale. I bought my Galaxy S4 off contract at a target and had to give the guy very explicit instructions about which device I wanted and to not activate it.
 
#39
Indifference is what is killing the Wii U. Nobody cares about it. Market confusion is an issue, but even when people are informed that its not an addon, it doesn't drive interest. Completely anecdotal but when I happen by a Walmart or target or Best Buy or even a GameStop, the Wii U demo station is almost always empty. People just don't care. At this point if people hated the Wii U, it might be a step up. At least it will have meant they played it.

I mean, honestly, when was the last time you heard someone in your non-gaming circle of friends, I'm talking coworkers, family, ect...even mention the Wii U? Even awknowledge it exists? System has zero buzz. It might as well be the new Blackberry smartphone.
 
#40
Not fair to the staff. Blame is on Nintendo for the product naming confusion.
I agree it's all on Nintendo... But if I was in charge of a store the same kind of size as my local EB or like a GAME, I'd want my staff to be familiar with the product they sell, at the very least the hardware since there isn't that many they sell. The fact that people including the staff have issues is a pretty good picture of just how bad the situation is for the system.
 
#42
I don't recall the Super NES having this issue. If you're going to think about it, shouldn't adding a vague adjective like "Super" cause similar problems with the SNES? Same goes for the GBA.
Not really. People understand that "Super" and "advanced" are words that describe something that is better than the last. "U" is entirely ambiguous, I doubt core gamers even know what its suppose to mean (I certainly didn't 2mins ago).
 
#43
Indifference is what is killing the Wii U. Nobody cares about it. Market confusion is an issue, but even when people are informed that its not an addon, it doesn't drive interest. Completely anecdotal but when I happen by a Walmart or target or Best Buy or even a GameStop, the Wii U demo station is almost always empty. People just don't care. At this point if people hated the Wii U, it might be a step up. At least it will have meant they played it.
Spot on.
 
#44
It's nintendo's fault.

The Wii was very easy to demo and anyone could pick it up and play golf or tennis.

The Wiiu is a potentially confusing concept that tries to piggy back on the Wii branding with a completely different control scheme, is hard to properly demo the multiplayer functions in store, and has had horrible marketing since launch. This is all after they let the wii momentum completely die years ago.
 
#45
A Target employee told me people actually returned Wii U's because they thought it was a new handheld and you could use the gamepad anywhere. I think the name and concept are completely lost on the general public.
 
#46
I happened to run by this articles while putting together another thread. I'm not sure how accurate this is. Most staff at the games stores I shop at know exactly what it is, but are just unimpressed with it, therefore, do not go out of their way to promote it. The bolder part is more towards the truth the way I see it.




http://www.nintendolife.com/news/20...rting_wii_u_sales_claims_senior_games_analyst
A dismissive article about the real issues surrounding the WiiU's marketing from a site called NINTENDOLIFE!? Please tell me more.
 
#47
A Target employee told me people actually returned Wii U's because they thought it was a new handheld and you could use the gamepad anywhere. I think the name and concept are completely lost on the general public.
I remember people telling me before the Wii U launched that it was silly for me to think that would happen.

But yeah, that doesn't surprise me at all.
 
#48
I was in Best Buy a couple of days ago and was walking through the games section when I saw a young couple pick up a Wii U box. They kept glancing back and forth between the box and the rack of Wii/Wii U accessories next to it, and the woman asked her husband what controllers they needed to get.

I stopped and told them that if they already had a Wii, their Wii Remotes should work with it. The man pointed to the picture of the Gamepad on the Wii U box and asked, "Then what's this?" I explained that it was the controller for the new system and had a touchscreen that was used in many games, as well as the concept of Off-TV play (which they thought sounded awesome). The woman then asked me what the difference between Wii U and Wii games was; I told her that the Wii U was a new HD Nintendo console and that Wii U games look much better than Wii games (and also that that Wii games aren't being made anymore). They wound up buying the Wii U and a couple of new remotes.

I'm amazed that nearly a year after launch, Nintendo's non-existent marketing has led to a situation where a Wii-owning family (a) didn't know that the Wii U was a new HD console, (b) didn't know what the Gamepad was, much less anything about features like the touchscreen or Off-TV play, and (c) didn't know about backwards compatibility with Wii remotes and games. Seriously, I haven't seen one Wii U commercial since last November. Compare that with the "Wii would like to play" ads that were all over TV during the first few years the Wii was out... It's mind-boggling. I'm really enjoying my Wii U, but I just can't understand why Nintendo is doing nothing to sell it to the masses (and no, Nintendo Directs don't count).
 
#50
You know what hurt then the most not being sold on amazon.com
Not sure it hurt them the most, but it definitely lost them a sale from me. I have credit at Amazon, and pay no tax from them. If I could have bought one directly from them when the Wind Waker bundle released, I'd own one now. But as it stands now, they've only got a Mario the rest of the year that looks remotely interesting and the next gen consoles are making it very easy for me to hold off on the Wii U. Nintendo should do whatever is necessary to repair that bridge with Amazon. They're fools for not having done so already.