I am seriously getting sick of Nintendo and this is very unfortunate because I love the brand. Recently, I was made aware of the obnoxious and pretentious campaign for the Nintendo 3DS called the “I am not a gamer” campaign and when I finally saw the ads, I wanted to put my fist through my monitor.
I didn’t even know about this campaign because I live in the 21st century and have a DVR and therefore I don’t watch commercials, but it seems to be beyond stupid because Nintendo has been doing nothing for the last two years but promoting their alleged vast WiiU third-party support (mostly by propping up the WiiU with game footage from the PS3 and the 360) in an effort to woo “core gamers” back that they’ve lost.
This campaign tells me that despite the pre-sales selling out within the first week (which really means nothing if Nintendo is artificially suppresses the initial stock of retailers which they are more then likely doing to drum up demand and positive press), these pre-sales and backorder pre-sales have not gone the way they expected and they are getting a sour response from those core gamers that they were trying to get back, which of course would seem inevitable to anyone that understands that core gamers already own a PS3 or a 360 (or if you’re like me, both… and a Wii and 3DS) and the WiiU doesn’t bring anything new to the table yet has an obnoxiously inflated pricetag compared to its competition.
And their attitude toward their competition is yet another example of Nintendo’s arrogance as they think and act as if they are above their competition and they’ve been been projecting that air of over-confidence since the Wii when they basically told the core gamer, “F*CK YOU if you don’t like us anymore, we don’t care. We’re going to target the untapped market of the geriatric and little girls, now.” What they did was basically say to Sony and Microsoft, “we are not in competition with you because, frankly, we’re better than you,” an attitude that persists to this day which is complete an utter nonsense because we all know that the reason for the Wii was because Nintendo couldn’t keep up with the technological improvements its competition was making with the 360 and the PS3 and keep the product at the pricepoint they wanted so they punted and put out a vastly inferior product to its competition with a good marketing campaign (because if nothing else, Nintendo has a history of excelling in that department, certainly).
The truth is that the Wii was far more successful than Nintendo ever expected but since the sales of the Wii consoles fell of the rails by year five due primarily to lack of third-party support and frankly, their own new market of customers getting bored with it (or… just dying) they’ve been scrambling to develop a more all-inclusive product while still keeping at a pricepoint that they want it at.
The problem, again, for Nintendo is that their latest product offers no real advantages over the current generation consoles, is $50 to $150 more and is hampered by the fact that the gamer that they are trying to woo back with third-party titles already has a comparable console and doesn’t need to buy another in order to play Assassin’s Creed III or titles that have been out already for several years such as Batman: Arkham City, gimmicky controller notwithstanding.
After letting my frustration subside over the arrogance of this miserable campaign, it dawned on me that this campaign wasn’t just a blatant alienation of what should be the main consumer base for the company, and it really had nothing to do with 3DS. This is all about the WiiU. This is a concession from Nintendo that that have officially completely abandoned the core gamer as a company… and they want you to know it, regardless of platform.
This is probably the dilemma that Nintendo is now facing with the WiiU which is why they have switched gears entirely and gone back to trying to woo original Wii customers with the “I am not a gamer” campaign. The problem they have doing this, as I see it, is that when these bored Wii customers (the ones that haven’t passed away) walk into a Wal Mart or a Gamestop looking for a WiiU this Christmas, they are going to be exposed to a PS3 or 360 with Kinect that can do just as much, plays all the same and more third party titles, is a LOT less expensive and perhaps, most importantly, is actually in-stock.
I did a piece here in September when Nintendo announced the launch date of the WiiU and though I don’t think the WiiU will cause the collapse of Nintendo nor would I wish for that, I would like to see Nintendo get a good kick square in the nuts to bring them down to earth and make them reassess their arrogance which is ultimately directed towards consumers.
Here’s that piece: