The Wii U should have dominated the home console market during the last holiday season. The Wii U undercut the PS4′s price by $100 and the Xbox One’s price by $200. The Wii U also had a much wider selection of games:
- Super Mario 3D World
- Rayman Legends
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- Pikmin 3
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
- The Wonderful 101
- Super Luigi U
So, why didn’t the Wii U sell? Marketing. Ask your average parent if they know what a Wii is, and more often than not, they’ll say yes. Hell, I’m sure most adults in the US have played a round or two of Wii Sports Bowling as well. Now, ask that same parent if they know what a Wii U is. They wont know what you’re talking about. If Nintendo is going to shake things up internally, the first thing they need to change is their marketing strategy.
The Wii U is only being marketed towards children right now. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are filled with Wii U adds throughout the day to build hype for kids. Hell, when I hear a GameStop employees sharing information about the Wii U to a customer, the first thing they usually say is, “Well, it’s more for younger children.” This isn’t the right approach for Nintendo at all. Nintendo needs to market the Wii U as an “All-In-One” entertainment box not just for kids, but for every single person in the family. The tablet market is huge and Nintendo needs to be able to market to an older generation that the main peripheral for this entertainment box is a working tablet. Can the Wii U’s resistive touchscreen GamePad compete with flagship Android and iOS tablets? Absolutely not, but when Nintendo shows that a consumer can have a tablet (that doubles as a universal remote) included with their entertainment box for only $300, it won’t matter how well the tablet competes because of how inexpensive the cost of entry is.
Nintendo also needs to do a huge marketing campaign on sports channels like ESPN to promote their Nintendo TVii. Watching football with a Wii U is actually a very impressive experience, and Nintendo doesn’t talk about it at all. Nintendo needs to show sports fans that they can follow their favorite NFL teams and get live updates from the Wii U GamePad while they’re watching other teams play on their TV. If Nintendo can obtain premium services like NHL Center Ice and MLB TV on the Wii U, then Nintendo can truly cater to almost any sports fan.
Nintendo doesn’t need to market towards us, the core players that follow gaming news. Their current and future game lineup is impressive, and the only convincing people like us need is a solid lineup of games to play. Nintendo needs to market towards the majority. The non-gamers. These are the people that will sell consoles. And by advertising the Wii U as the complete entertainment system at a cheaper cost than its competitors, Nintendo could possibly see some sales increases.