News Article

GameStop: Wii U Marketing Strategy Has "Not Broken Through" To Consumers

Posted by Andy Green

More first party titles will enable system to "take off"

Earlier in the month, GameStop President Tony Bartel said Wii U sales had been slower than the company had anticipated and that the system would need some great first party titles in order to compete.

The games retailer recently had its post-earnings financial call, which has been reported on by GameSpot. During the talks CEO Paul Raines stated that although Wii U sales during the launch in November exceeded the company's expectations, the figures since then had been "disappointing".

Raines gave two main reasons why Nintendo has not managed to shift as many Wii U systems in 2013 as it would have hoped.

The first is its marketing strategy, which GameStop says has "not broken through the way that it needs to", claiming consumers do not fully understand the features of the console and the GamePad:

We still have an education process we need to go through.

Reiterating Bartel's recent statements, Raines said Nintendo needed to bring more high quality first party titles to the Wii U. Though he admits New Super Mario Bros. U is a blockbuster title, he said there had been little since then, meaning adoption of the new hardware remains relatively low.

However, GameStop gave Wii U its full backing during the talks, with the company saying the system will "take off" with the addition of more first party titles.

Nintendo will soon be releasing Pikmin 3 and has several other games in the works, such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, a new 3D Mario, a new Super Smash Bros. title and many more.

What are your thoughts on GameStop's comments? Do you think the marketing strategy for Wii U could be improved? Let us know in the comments section below.

[via uk.gamespot.com, nintendoeverything.com]

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User Comments (54)

DefHalan

#1

DefHalan said:

Nintendo needs to show not only consumers how to use the system but developers as well

SkywardLink98

#3

SkywardLink98 said:

Well of course the people getting money for selling the console think it's not selling enough >.<

Dodger

#4

Dodger said:

@SkywardLink98 Of course the people who pay money to buy the systems and then resell them for more in order to make a profit think it isn't selling enough when they aren't selling the systems they payed money for. I don't like using sarcasm to prove a point, but it isn't like Gamestop is getting these Wii U systems for free.

I don't think it helped that the only demo was for Rayman Legends for so long. Now there is a NSMBU demo, but still no others. Was Rayman Legends really the best game to show off the Wii U to the average gamer? Why not Nintendo Land or NSMBW from the getgo if Nintendo titles are what really sell Nintendo systems? Doesn't make sense to me.

Meaty-cheeky

#5

Meaty-cheeky said:

I have been saying this for over two months, that the general public are unaware about the Wii U and the Wii U game pad. People are pretty stupid, so Nintendo needs to advertise how fun and cool the Wii U can be by showing off new games and features on TV, so they can get more exposure. Nintendo Direct is not getting the job done for informing casual gamers.

Plus I still think Nintendo made a bad move in naming there new console the Wii U. The hole system overall looks way to similar to the original Wii.

XFsWorld

#7

XFsWorld said:

@Meaty-cheeky IKR the name ''Wii U'' makes people think its an add-on to the Wii.....Nintendo should have atleast named it ''Wii 2'', that would let a lot of people know that its totally different

EX. PS-PS2-PS3----PS4

Osc-Sync

#8

Osc-Sync said:

Nintendo really needs to show off the best of what the Wii U can do. Sure, advertising Mario is good, as people like Mario cos they're easy and accessible for newcomers, same with Mario Kart. But I reckon Nintendo needs to show off games that show what the Wii U is all about, specifically, the GamePad.

For example, from what I've read, the GamePad screen for Lego City is practically just a map. While we all know the game is fantastic and one of the best Wii U games so far, there is no huge focus on GamePad, which is what puts people off.

"Why bother buying a Wii U, when the rarely use the GamePad"

Unfortunately, this is a phrase I've heard far too often, from my friends, family, random people on the train, hell, even people that own Wii U's seem to enjoy nothing more than slagging it off!

The great thing about Nintendo is that they release their first party titles so far apart, is because they want them to be the best they can. Look how many times Twilight Princess and Smash Bros. Brawl were delayed, but it didn't stop it from them selling loads (not sure on the specific sales).

My point is this; retailers and the buying public need to realise that Nintendo has always been like this. Since I've started being active in the video game community (since around 2004) everyone has always agreed that Nintendo are terrible when it comes to advertising. I mean seriously, getting Penelope Cruz to advertise the first 3D Mario handheld?! Who's drug induced idea was that?! But the fact that Nintendo always manage to stay two steps ahead of the competition, means that people should stop worrying.

Nintendo have a plan, they've always had a plan.

WiiULoveSquid

#10

WiiULoveSquid said:

For me, there's a few things Im not overly excited about:

-The Kiosks. Very ambiguous and not immediately interactive or demonstrative. White was a poor choice of gamepad color as it associates too much with the Wii. Also the sticks get grubby looking.

-TV launch ads. Too much imagery from that Sing Party game with the gamepad held like an oversized smart phone. They were just confusing and tried to be too hip and flashy.

-The tablet description. One of my friends was disinterested in a Wii U as he thought it was just tablet gaming. It has a touch screen yes, but its not tablet gaming. They needed to not throw that word around. This time the "hey it's a tablet!" is again confusing and not working.

I love my Wii U and NintendoLife keeps me from being confused about Nintendo products. Sadly there's still a lot of potential NL users out there who are not as informed. For those people I make these points.

Noend

#12

Noend said:

Marketing is bad. Even the "tech" blog type sites REVIEWING the system don't understand what they have.

As far as my local gamestop, the culture there was anti-nintendo long before the Wii U came out.

Meaty-cheeky

#13

Meaty-cheeky said:

@Pixelroy good point about the Wii U Kiosks. Since Nintendo chosen the White Wii U to be displayed in there Kiosks, to the casual or uninformed the Wii U may just look like a Wii with a new tablet controller add-on, and not a new gaming console.

AlexSora89

#16

AlexSora89 said:

All aboard the doom & gloom bandwagon, YAY!

(cut to Kaz Hirai riding a flying PS4, with Nightwish's Ghost Love Score playing in the background)

ultraraichu

#18

ultraraichu said:

Idk I think GameStop can also try to demonstrate the Wii U more to its customers. I been to more then 6 different GameStop in the past two month that have WiiUs that are not even on. Then again it would be nice to try out a game that wasn't Rayman and videos of other games.

SilverArrow

#20

SilverArrow said:

Eww. Wii 2? How about changing DSi into DS2 and 3DS to DS3 while you're at it.

But seriously. Wii U is a good enough name.

Cygnus

#21

Cygnus said:

I can't speak for others, but I haven't bought a WiiU because of the insane lack of software.

Mature games: Mass Effect 3, Batman...oh wait I beat those before the system came out...

Blockbuster games: Article claims New Super Mario Bros, I say the only blockbuster title is ZombiiU.

Upcoming first party Titles: Pikmin 3 (YAY). A new 3D Mario game (when?), Smash Bros 4 (when?)

So I'd effectively buy a system for 4 games. One came out on launch, the other isn't out yet, two have almost nothing known about them. Nintendo, why didn't you learn from the 3DS launch about first party titles? Pikmin 3 and the 3D mario game should have been LAUNCH titles.

Meaty-cheeky

#22

Meaty-cheeky said:

@ChaosAngel The DSi is not the successor over the DS (the DSi is a dumb upgrade and nothing more), the 3DS is the successor over the Nintendo DS, so tactically the Nintendo 3DS is the DS2.

This is not about what name you think is better for the Wii U, it's about helping the public to understand that the Wii U is not some add-on from the original Wii. Wii 2 would translate better to the general public that this is the true successor over the Wii.

StyledFawn476

#24

StyledFawn476 said:

As much as I hate gamestop with a burning passion, I'm afraid they're right. In the bluntest way possible no one is going to be interested in a system that has nothing but year old ports, and lackluster multiplats.

GamerZack87

#25

GamerZack87 said:

My Top 7 Most Wanted Wii U Games (in no particular order):
-Super Mario (Wii U)
-New Super Mario Bros. U
-Mario Kart (Wii U)
-The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
-Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
-Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
-Pikmin 3

Once more games are available I'll really get into my Wii U. :)

MAB

#27

MAB said:

If the other systems released a game as addictive like Monster Hunter instead of bro dudey rubbish then I might agree with what everyone is whinging about ;)

SanderEvers

#28

SanderEvers said:

  • sighs *

Not again.

At least one article about how doomed Nintendo is each day. Have you lost any hope for the console, Nintendolife?!

Please, stop fueling this bad "news" (which it's not) every day. That can't do the system any good.

tsm7

#29

tsm7 said:

I rented a blu-ray today and was asked if I kne it was a blu-ray and if I had a blu-ray player. This is the consumer base nintendo is dealing with , especially, if the want the casual audience of the Wii.

SanderEvers

#31

SanderEvers said:

@tsm7 I had that one day when I bought one. I said to the salesperson. "Yes, I picked it beacause it is the BluRay version. I want all the 1080p goodness."

To the point of the Wii U. Nintendo needs show some awesome games at e3 and we need some advertising for the already great downloadable indie games.
And I do see your point. Most people don't know the difference between a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and an iPad. Or a PS3 and an XBOX360 for that matter (it just looks different ;))

So yes, they think that the Wii U is a gamepad add on for the Wii. Sure, if you look at games like uDraw (Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360) you had a tablet like controller with "u" in it's name. So the name is a bit off. WiiHD U would've been better. But also the advertisement could've been 100 times better. The console itself is almost never clearly shown, all you see is the controller.

But then Sony haven't shown the PS4 yet.

SanderEvers

#33

SanderEvers said:

@SpaceApe

New Super Mario Bros U,
Lego City: Undercover,
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

All popular, all good. Just not enough. We need more games.

belmont

#35

belmont said:

Where I live people don't know what Wii U is but everyone knows PS4 is coming. Talk about very bad marketing.

I have seen a sign in a local shop that says "Wii U games don't work on Wii".

cornishlee

#36

cornishlee said:

I understand all the "no more gloom and doom" comments above but, for me at least, it's depressingly refreshing to see someone in the industry say what we've all been saying on the web - the Wii U needs more advertising and games to sell more - rather than calling for a price cut.

Kohaku

#37

Kohaku said:

It is not only about new games but also about availability. I have 3 stores in town which are selling games. The gameshop did only get half of what he ordered for Lego Undercity en the other stores didn't get the game or only some.

SanderEvers

#38

SanderEvers said:

What is that Lego Undercity game you are talking about? All I know is about Lego City: Undercover, but is that a special dark edition in which you play Rex Fury?

SethNintendo

#39

SethNintendo said:

I blame the crappy dub step music used in the Wii U ads. Please no more dub step... Bring back the two Japanese guy ads from Wii era.

rjejr

#40

rjejr said:

"Nintendo will soon be releasing Pikmin 3"

Not soon enough for those expecting it at launch or in the "launch window".

I'll even go as far as saying this game CAN'T be out soon b/c soon would imply, well soon, and a title this big will need at least 1 month before the release date to allow for advertising and pre-orders. I'm sticking with Sept. w/ the date announced at E3, and no way no how is Sept. soon when you're still in March looking for games.

Moco_Loco

#42

Moco_Loco said:

I still remember how the "Wii would like to play" advertisements made me want a Wii so badly, and there weren't really that many good games for it at the time. The combination of a truly novel way to play games and good marketing made people want it.

I think Nintendo believed that another novelty was needed to sell systems. And I suspect it actually works quite well when people try it out, but Nintendo never looked at it from the perspective of the general public. People would understand things like "Mario in HD" or "new, improved motion controls that don't lag like Kinect," but the GamePad is difficult to market.

Nintendo can get past this failure with good games and marketing of those games, which is the strategy that worked with the 3DS once they figured out that 3D alone would not sell systems. Wii U has a fighting chance. I didn't want a 3DS when it first came out, as I thought it would hurt my eyes and the games didn't appeal. Then Ocarina of Time came out around the same time I heard there would be another Luigi's Mansion and I caved, even at the higher price point.

jpfan1989

#43

jpfan1989 said:

It might help if gamestop would actually put wiiu games on display, I need to actually play on a machine before I decide to buy it, and every gamestop I have ever been to either has the Wii u turned off or won't display it at all.

Ren

#44

Ren said:

the marketing just isn't there and doesn't really specify anything enough about it. Just a friggin blank screen that says "it's not a Wii, it's a new HD game console" would be enough, but the name alone has kind of ruined that. Then theres the deeper problems with it not being ready enough and the look of all the new games that are just 'smoothed out' Wii mario games, not truly more detailed looking. I played it early on and sadly the 1st party games just looked like upscaled wii games. There was no killer app at launch and now it's a tough catch up game. People NEED to see that the Wii is ready for todays tech; the Wii was great to innovate motion tracking and show that HD was not everything then, but realtime HD gaming is now just PAR for every game now so it looks cheap not to really push past basic HD resolutions with the same tired models. I have to say I LOVED Skyward sword but it was already feeling just a bit stripped down for today; Nintendo needs to step up its modeling details and get the online stuff really working great to stay in it this time; theres still hope but once the other consoles come out there's no more time to mess around.

Bigmac1910

#45

Bigmac1910 said:

Maybe that tablet controller is just not as innovative/good as some people think. I personally don't see the point of it other than the convenience of changing gear, look at a map etc. just like my 3DS. So far when I tried the Wii U like Rayman Legends, it was really jarring to look at a nice big screen and all of a sudden continue the game play on the small screen. Or lifting up the controller to scan your surroundings in Lego City I don't need the exercise when I'm trying to relax with a game.

I also laughed at Polygons first impression of the Wii U, where the guy stated that when he played Nintendo Land he didn't even need to look at the big screen, and called it very innovative lol. There is absolutely nothing innovative about it, the DS/3DS already has a second screen, and to base a whole systems selling point on the controllers screen is just misguided.

DarkKirby

#46

DarkKirby said:

Marketing strategy? The Wii U doesn't have any amazing exclusive games that sell systems, partially the reason 3rd parties are not supporting it despite Nintendo wanting them to.

gloom

#47

gloom said:

I mentioned the Wii U to a friend of mine, who adores everything Nintendo, and she asked me if "that was the touchscreen thing that is a new accessory to the Wii"............ Nintendo REALLY needs to get the word out better if even people interested in their products don't even have a clue what it's about.

banacheck

#48

banacheck said:

People aren't stupid they Know what a Wii U is and these same people jumped on the motion control train with the Wii. And most probably will they will stay until the next fad, you also have to remember these same people also own tablets, mobile phones etc. When the Wii hit there wasn't a console based around motion control so the console was different to anything else, the Wii U on the other hand you can compare to a tablet. But unlike a tablet the Wii U is not portable, you also have to remember casual gamers haven't got a big attention span they'll jump from one thing to another.

moo99

#49

moo99 said:

@Pixelroy The kiosks suck because there are no games in them. Nintendoland should be in the tray and you should be able to at least see miiverse.

They had 12 kiosks at the Nintendo World Store (with rayman and videos) and 4 actual systems with Nintendoland, and guess where everyone was lined up?

hcfwesker

#50

hcfwesker said:

Just found this kind of amusing from the Injustice official site ... "Injustice: Gods Among Us will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU system from Nintendo." ... the fact they had to point out, of the three listed, the one that belonged to Nintendo. Yeah, something's not right.

Jaco

#51

Jaco said:

I have to admit when I heard the name wiiu I was completely confused and disapointed. Every nintendo home console has had a unique name that showed that it was new (okay super nes but the wordsuper easily showed that it was more powerfull and therefore new) Wii u just screamed more of the same to me even though I knew it was a new and powerful console. and a lot of people don't realize itsnew. Just a couple days ago at gamestop people were confused of why wiiu games wouldnt work on their wii. I could even argue that 3ds wasn't enough of a name change as my cousin bought a dsi because he thought the 3ds was just a ds that offered 3d. But as the 3ds has taken off I believe that people will start to get it as time goes on for wiiu. Just could have been faster I think if it was a different name

NINTENBOY

#52

NINTENBOY said:

Gamestop may be known for stealing your wallet and kicking you in the face while your down the second you enter one of their ROACH INFESTED stores but at the end of the day they know how to do business and they are absolutely right.

LISTEN UP NINTENDO!!

BennyFresh

#53

BennyFresh said:

A large part of Nintendo's demographic is children and families, people who don't stay up to date on gaming news or details on what hardware they're using. The name "Wii U" lost them a TON of sales in the first place because people didn't know it was a different system or thought it was just a new version of the system, like the DSi.
TV ads should be a bigger part of their advertising campaign if they want to sell the system.

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