Analyst: Wii U Still Suffering from Consumer Confusion

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In a recent conversation with Benzinga IHS senior games analyst Christine Arrington said that Nintendo's Wii U console continues to suffer from a general messaging problem about its brand and continues to confuse consumers. Arrington says that the system still suffers from the same messaging problem it did when it launched nearly a year ago.

"I think one of the things that was a real indicator of that was just, anecdotally, if you went into a retailer and you talked to somebody in the games department, they didn't even understand what it was," Arrington said. "I did the secret shopper kind of thing, and they would say, 'Well, there's no difference between the Wii and Wii U.'"

Arrington said she that this response in her secret shopping efforts was a common response; consumers can't seem to tell the difference between the current generation Wii U and the last-generation Wii. Some consumers still believe that the Wii U is a controller used with the Wii and not a completely new system.

She also pointed out that the system still lack a Wii Sports-like launch title, a game that would let everyone understand "at a glance" why the Wii U GamePad is important and allows for different experiences from the Wii.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has acknowledged the lack of consumer understanding and the absence of a Wii Sports-like title for the Wii U earlier this year. However, he blamed the misunderstanding on Nintendo's "relaxed" marketing efforts for the system. Arrington contends that, while Nintendo is acknowledging the problem it hasn't come up with a solution to fix these perception problems...

Source: GII


Comments

Re: Analyst: Wii U Still Suffering from Consumer Confusion

The only reason I can't call the marketing for the Wii U a colossal fuckup is because there was very little marketing to be a colossal fuckup. When they launched the Wii, there was an advertising blitz that said "this is awesome, here is why, now you want one." The nearest equivalent they did for the Wii U showed people playing a Super Mario Brothers that, just from the footage, looked like it could've been on the Wii, and the fact that they named it using the same naming scheme as all of their peripherals must've slipped their notice until they launched it and everyone thought it was a peripheral.

I don't know how they're going to fix it, but they're going to have to get a hustle on before Sony eats their lunch. They can't point at the Wii U controller as their unique selling point, because the PS4 and Bone can talk to tablets and do the same sort of thing.

Re: Analyst: Wii U Still Suffering from Consumers Confusion

Nintendo Land is definitely the Wii U's answer to Wii Sports.

Re: Analyst: Wii U Still Suffering from Consumers Confusion

It was certainly intended that way, but I don't think it has the same mass appeal as Wii Sports. Almost everyone is familiar with the sports you can play in Wii Sports, but the references in Nintendo Land are ones only pre-existing Nintendo fans are likely to get. As such, it doesn't really drive system sales beyond the Nintendo base like Wii Sports did.

 
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