News Article

"Uninformed" Store Staff Are Hurting Wii U Sales, Claims Senior Games Analyst

Posted by Damien McFerran

"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. Arrington conducted her own research — even going as far as to pose as a potential buyer — and was shocked by what she discovered:

There was nothing that you could put in front of everybody that said, 'This is what the experience is.' 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.

I did the secret shopper kind of thing, and they would say, 'Well, there's no difference between the Wii and Wii U.' I'm standing there, looking at them, going, 'Wow!' I think that right there was an anecdotal piece of evidence [showing] that people didn't get it.

Even so, Arrington feels that software has a part to play here, and cites the lack of a Wii Sports-style revelation as another reason for the console's dismal retail performance:

There should have been a Wii Sports-type game that let everybody get it. Those huge franchises would have gotten the loyal Nintendo person, but it was Wii Sports that got all the people outside the Nintendo world to look and say, 'This is a really, really neat, fun thing to do.'

Arrington concludes by stating that she believes the Wii U is unlikely to surpass its forerunner in terms of sales:

I think there was something really special about the Wii and the way that whole thing happened that they didn't even know was going to happen. I don't think there was the possibility that the Wii U was ever going to repeat that. I'm not sure they expected that [either].

What do you think about Arrington's comments? Did you encounter a similar response when you purchased a Wii U from your local retailer? Or do you think Arrington's research should have been a little broader? Share your opinion by posting a comment.

[via benzinga.com]

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User Comments (128)

mike_intv

#1

mike_intv said:

If you read the whole story — it lacks info on when these tests were done and where they were done.

Going to a general merchandise store last fall (last spring in the Southern Hemisphere) would be very different than going to a game store this summer.(this winder in the Southern Hemisphere).

Additionally, since it is from a site that has stressed that Nintendo needs to go third party on smart phones to survive — I wonder about its credibility. It is entirely possible the story is from the early days of the console and is being relayed now — and by leaving out some information the story appears that it is occurring now.

(It is also possible that this happened yesterday ... but we don't know).

Peach64

#2

Peach64 said:

This is getting tiresome. There were no exciting games at launch, a problem many other consoles face, but the Wii U didn't have anything exciting announced either. I think back to the terrible PS2 launch line up, but people wanted that machine as even before it came out there was footage of Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, Gran Turismo 3 etc. Nintendo didn't feel the need to show us it's big games and it hurt them. Now that the games are coming, sales are going to pick up, most of us can see that.

chiptoon

#3

chiptoon said:

I listened to a sales person tell another customer that the PS3 and Xbox 360 are basically the same, but the Xbox is better because there's a lot more games available for it.

Customers should know better than to ever trust a store staff. That said, I'm not convinced that it really effects sales that much.

tchaten

#4

tchaten said:

Nintendo needs to do what Apple did when their message about their hardware and software was being confused at the retail stores - make their own retail stores.

That is something I feel this company needs to do to get back in the mindshare of Americans - BestBuy and other outlets just crap all over the Nintendo area of their stores with shoddy displays and product sitting in the back room

Ducutzu

#5

Ducutzu said:

"There was nothing that you could put in front of everybody that said, 'This is what the experience is.' "

That affirmation is very strange. Everybody that I've shown the Wii U got the idea immediately - it's a controller with a touch screen, and it communicates wirelessly with a small console that sits hidden somewhere near the TV.

I only read online that people don't "get" the Wii U. In real life, everybody gets it right away.

Darknyht

#6

Darknyht said:

"There was nothing that you could put in front of everybody that said, 'This is what the experience is.' "

I agree with this because while the concept is easy to understand (controller with touchscreen embedded), I did not see the best aspect of it (Off-TV Play) until I got it in the house and tried it with the free Rayman: Origins trials game. Nintendo Land does not demo this feature well, and it quickly has become my favorite thing about the console.

Mytoemytoe

#7

Mytoemytoe said:

The name is stupid, I think we can all admit that. When I was growing up, I had a SUPER Nintendo. Oh yeah, your Nintendo plays 8 bit cartridges? Mine plays 16 bit.

The name should make more sense. Playstation never tries to mess with anyone. Microsoft shoots itself in the foot constantly with strange naming conventions. And so now does Nintendo.

The WiiHD would have been a decent enough name. "Plays regular Wii games and new WiiHD games".

bezerker99

#8

bezerker99 said:

Gamestop store employees in my city are ill-informed too about Nintendo products. It's why when they ask me if I need help with anything I always say, "No."

fchinaski

#9

fchinaski said:

Yeah, because you should trust underpaid staff who probably hate their jobs anyway to make your choices. I know it's probably a fad, but there's a wonderful thing called internet these days. They say you can find information on it for free about basically everything. And, frankly, I saw a father on Fnac the other day who didn't know the difference between a PSP and a Vita. Ignorant consumers will always exist, as well as uninformed staff on retail shops. This alone will never determine whether a console is sucessful or not.

Mytoemytoe

#10

Mytoemytoe said:

But we all know the software sells at the end of the day. When you ask a game store employee why you should buy a system, **they shouldn't have to sell you on the features of the console itself!!!**.

What sells systems is when some ill-informed customer asks "why should I buy a Wii U", the store manager in 2014 will say "your kids are going to want to play the new Mario Kart and Super Smash games". I will be very surprised if the Wii U doesn't start selling well then.

Nintenjoe64

#11

Nintenjoe64 said:

It's not going to hurt the Wii U as much as lack of software, advertising and store shelf space. At least these people are just confused and not trying to stop people buying one. There is an anti-Vita guy in my local GAME who tells everyone about his year one Vita woes.

@Ducutzu I don't get this confusion either. One go of Mario chase and 5 people in my family who had never heard of Wii U, instantly 'got it'.
I think the Wii U confusion will be replaced by the "which one's which?" confusion that the next-gen twins will confuse.

@fchinaski it's a massive fad, it will go away don't worry, print will make a comeback.

MAB

#16

MAB said:

Alright I get it, there hasn't been a news article on here for a while that received 600+ comments... The old 'nobody knows what a WiiU is' does it everytime ;)

Kirk

#17

Kirk said:

I guess maybe it would have been easier to avoid this confusion if, for example...

The Wii U was clearly far more powerful than the current-gen systems so that tools wouldn't be able to come out with stuff like 'Well, there's no difference between the Wii and Wii U.' as a way to basically say it's under powered.

The Wii U hardware maybe looked a bit more obviously separate from the Wii hardware.

The name maybe didn't create some confusion between the two.

Just a few examples...

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that ULTIMATELY all the blame leads back to Nintendo when you really look at it objectively.

DestinyMan

#18

DestinyMan said:

Wii U will not be the phenomenon the Wii was, but that doesn't mean that it can't do well in sales. It's not so much the similar name, but that Nintendo really should step up its advertising push. However, games will always be the biggest helpers, and with the "Wii" series games coming to Wii U starting the end of this month. Nintendo would be smart to market it here in the states as well as in its homeland. Thing is, Wii U needs first-party games too, and they will be coming after these "Wii" series games.

All in all, give it time, let the games come, and Wii U will be doing well eventually. I still believe it will be very similar if not exactly like how 3DS went about.

Gerbwmu

#19

Gerbwmu said:

A) if you're confused it's because you don't care to understand. It isn't confusing. Its not hard to explain.

B) the reason why it suffers is because a lack of advertising. Wii would like to play with you was all over the tv. I don't think I've seen a tv spot for Wii U.

C) much like Wii....anyone who plays Wii U at our house loves it and wants one...and they already know what it is but think it's garbage because that is all they hear from non Nintendo sources. Can't tell you the number of people who made fun of it only to play it at the house and decide they need one too

FiveDigitLP

#20

FiveDigitLP said:

I can certainly testify to this issue being true! I was just in Wal-Mart the other day and some kid was trying to convince his grandma why the Wii U is better. She kept saying, "But why is this one $130 and the other one $300?" The best explanation he could come up with was that the Wii U had a controller with a screen--not that it was also an upgrade with more advanced hardware. So it seems even the consumer who wants one doesn't completely understand the differences...

Mk_II

#21

Mk_II said:

When the Wii was launched the global economy was on top of the bubble and people had lots of disposable income. Things are a bit different now

ricklongo

#22

ricklongo said:

I LOL'd with the "Please understand" caption.

But anyway, I don't know what's there to not understand, really. Wii U, a new HD console, with new games, that is the successor to the Wii. Is that so hard to get?

Granted, the Sony method of numbering the consoles are more straightforward, but will beople not get that the Xbox One is a successor to the Xbox 360, despite the weird numbering? Did they not get that the Xbox 360 was a successor to the Xbox? Hell, did they not get the Super NES was a successor to the NES?

Magiick

#23

Magiick said:

It makes me so sad when I still see people who only own a Wii system, thinking they can buy a Wii U game for it. Nintendo needs to keep pushing these TV ads, I saw a lot of commercials during launch but I still think they should do seasonal ones to keep informing consumers. Last commercial I saw was one for Just Dance 2014 which helps I guess. Didn't see any for Wind Waker HD Bundle though... Come on Nintendo.

Marshi

#24

Marshi said:

Around where I live in the uk this is a big big problem. Uninformed staff may not be the main cause of bad sales but they certainly add to it. Allow me to give you an example:
I remember a few month after the launch of the 3ds a young staff member at game telling a customer the 3ds is just a ds that plays online games,the customer was just about to leave so I thought I should tell him what it really is. Just before I opened my mouth though the manager stepped in saying "wait! Thats not what the 3ds is". So I thought phew!someone who knows what they are saying! But in an amazing ode to the film dumb and dumber the manager continues by saying "no,the 3ds is a normal ds that plays ds games in 3d AND online"...i was too shocked to say anything to the customer. Now THAT is bad customer service,how can that not affect sales? And ive seen further bouts of idiocy when talking about the wiiu. Even one member of staff saying to "wait for the ps4 or xbox one and preorder that rather than buy a wiiu",this was someone asking what the wiiu was like as it looked good!

Jimonfire

#25

Jimonfire said:

Should they have called it Wii 2?? Why is it so confusing for Nintendo Wii and Wii u? People can make the difference between PS2, PS3 or Iphone 5 and Iphone 5s... I don't get it.

MegaAdam

#26

MegaAdam said:

I think commenters on a Nintendo website are too quick to dismiss this confusion for parents.

I overheard a clerk in Walmart telling a Mom that she couldn't buy Wii remotes for her Wii because they were branded for the Wii U. They don't know any better.

ricklongo

#27

ricklongo said:

@Nintenjoe - Why did I never think of that? NES and Super NES, Wii and Super Wii. I think that would have worked wonders.

Granted, like I said in my last post, there are definitely other examples of non-sequitur sequels (like Xbox 360 and Xbox One), so I still don't get what's so hard to understand in the first place.

MrGawain

#28

MrGawain said:

@Mytoemytoe

Also, Super NES games came in different shaped boxes and the Cartridges were totally different shape. It's harder to explain to people that this new disc won't play on that old system, but the old disc will play on the new system.

I've even confused myself saying that.

Gerbwmu

#29

Gerbwmu said:

@FiveDigitLP - Do you think the conversation would be any different if the kid was trying to explain why he wanted BluRay instead of DVD? Grandma and kid will probably have the same conversation about XB360 vs XB1 too. I had the same conversation over a 2011 vs 2012 Mini van with a dealer and he couldn't give me a reason to purchases 1 over the other except for seat warmers. I think this is all normal....the difference is a game draught and absolutely no advertising. Sony is doing give aways with Taco Bell....why isn't Nintendo doing Mario Happy meals with McDonalds

fchinaski

#31

fchinaski said:

@FiveDigitLP I wasn't there, but I highly doubt any grandparent would be convinced to dish out an extra $170 because the other one is an "upgrade with more advanced hardware". :)

Kit

#32

Kit said:

Maybe they should've called it the "Uss2" instead - Well Wii2 would've been more self-explanatory I guess. You're not really gonna know what a WiiU is unless you are a Ninty fanboy tbh.

Magiick

#33

Magiick said:

I really think they should have just called it Wii HD or maybe yes Wii 2. Casual consumers are not everyday keep up to date with everything people. So putting a simple 2 after the name would have made it click for them. Now hardcore gamers are going to know information ahead of time because we are constantly checking for any new game systems. I'm not saying a majority of casual gamers are dumb, but they just like things simple and more common sense. PS1, PS2, PS3, etc.

GN004Nadleeh

#34

GN004Nadleeh said:

its always someone else's fault, no one mentions how the wii u is too expensive for too little, how all the best games can be finished in a weekend, how you have to change consoles to play video (.mp4, .avi), how you need to buy memory just to download games. i have a wii u and i knew exactly what it was when i bought it, my ps3 is still getting used the most and thats why i have 2 of them. quit making excuses and release some games, and try to allow them to have their dlc as well

Artwark

#36

Artwark said:

The idea of the Wii U was to allow third party devs to make games for the console unlike the Wii. There needs to be an add that can differentiate the Wii and Wii U.

But I agree though, the name is a bit odd. I don't think they can change the name now can they?

LordsOfSkulls

#37

LordsOfSkulls said:

@chiptoon lol that a very one sided statement.....

It not about how many video games console has.... it about what kind of games...

in last 2 years i am pretty sure Sony has been putting out more exclusives than any other console.....

eza

#38

eza said:

It was a silly name that makes it sound like a minor hardware revision.
If they had done it with their past consoles then consumers would have been just as confused.
Imagine:
NES U instead of Super NES / SNES
SNES U instead of N64
N64 U instead of Gamecube
Gamecube U instead of Wii
and now Wii U instead of ?????

At first glance it looks like the difference between an N64 and N64 DD, ie a minor hardware addition.

Appending the number 2 rather than the letter U would have helped, but not as much as a whole new name would have done!

ultraraichu

#39

ultraraichu said:

The way I see it is, if your interested about something, you will know about it.

Parents would be confused even if it was the Wii 2 since they'll probably think the 2 is the gamepad bundle with a Wii. That's why they have kids/teens to educate them. Like the kids of old who educate their parents about the difference between a gameboy pocket and a gameboy color.

Store clerks are a mixed bag since some have a passion for games, others for particular types of genres/ platforms and the rest just working to get a paycheck.

ACK

#40

ACK said:

Other people have alluded to this, but in retail sales there is no expectation of product knowledge. In fact, retail stores seem to avoid putting electronics-savy employees in the electronics department. (Probably due to decreased efficiency and security concerns.)

If she would have actually wanted to provide some legitimacy to this "study," she would have attempted to gauge these employees knowledge about the other products as well.

EDIT: I have to say, having spent over a decade bruising my face from the responses to my videogame-related questions to retail employees, it's a little bothersome that she thinks this small anecdotal evidence is particularly meaningful....

DanMan82

#41

DanMan82 said:

I think that once a larger amount of compelling games are released for the system and advertising picks up, the system will sell fine. I think my younger cousins are getting one this Christmas.

But yeah, I think counsmer confusion is still a big problem. A while ago when my parents bought me New Super Mario Bros. U for my birthday, the cashier wanted to make sure that my parents knew the game was for an all new system and not for the original Wii. Apparently they had a lot of returns for the game because people bought it and they couldn't play it on their original Wii system. XD

Boukman

#42

Boukman said:

more than 83,000 WiiU consoles sold in the week of the 5th of October. It's now getting close behind PS3 and Xbox360 saleswise. Things are picking up. Albeit slowly.

workerbot

#43

workerbot said:

I went to the store the other day to check out sd cards for my 3DS, and the clerk told me the 3DS would only support up to a 4g card. I've found that statement not to be true.

dizzy_boy

#45

dizzy_boy said:

This reminded me of when I went to last years Eurogamer. One of the girls on the Nintendo stand was showing people the games on the 3DS section, I ended up explaining to HER what the 3DS did, and how it worked.
People really need to know the products they're selling, even if they don't own them. Bosses are also at fault for not making sure that their staff are given the relevant information.

Trikeboy

#46

Trikeboy said:

I was talking to a friend recently and we both agree that Nintendo should do a relaunch of the Wii U. With all the AAA titles coming out before the end of the year Nintendo really need to make a big show of the console.

Macarony64

#47

Macarony64 said:

I think that's also the same problem the gta is goin trough. The only way to know if they are new products is if the stores has showcasing the console turned on.

ACK

#48

ACK said:

@dizzy_boy Having long worked in retail, I can confirm the bosses generally don't give a hoot what their employees know as long as show up on time, do their job, and work hard. Those bosses seem to assume all their employees are eminently more stupid than themselves. Moreover, retail execs think so little of consumers... It's like we're all ants who will congregate on whatever crumbs the bestow upon the aisles. If not, it's everyone's fault but their own.

Captain_Gonru

#49

Captain_Gonru said:

As one of the "underpaid, uninformed, job-hating" sales associates, I'd like to argue with the stereotyping going on here...but I can't. Too many in sales fall right into this mold. And the few of us that ARE competent usually move up and off the floor, thus making the problem worse. I don't know, blame low wages for lackluster employees, I guess.

Unit_DTH

#51

Unit_DTH said:

@Ducutzu I will have to disagree with you there. I have been in a game store, recently, and had to correct the employees trying to explain what the console is and what it can do, to their customers. I actually spent about fifteen minutes talking to the customers and drew in a few more customers, just in talking about what the Wii U presents that is new to the world of gaming and what benefits it can bring to their home console lineup. I went so far as to walk them over to the Demo Kiosk and show them the capabilities of the playable demos. A few of them were Xbots that dismissed it, but the others were genuinely interested and one purchased the console right there. If Nintendo would give their reps the means with which to educate the store employees, then consumers, such as myself, wouldn't be put in the situation of having to be a "by standing associate" to correct the employee's ignorance. Nintendo needs to educate the store's employees who, in turn, will then be able to educate the customers. Wii U could be more prominent in the console industry if the kiosks had more playable demos and the literature for the console wasn't so ridiculously stupid!

Unit_DTH

#52

Unit_DTH said:

@Darknyht I agree with you there. If the demo Kiosks allowed you to sample the multitude of features, including Off-TV Play, Miiverse and other things I think the message would be far more clear to consumers.

SkywardCrowbar

#53

SkywardCrowbar said:

I was just talking about this kind of problem with my fiance last night going to Target. She was like, "why on Earth would Nintendo name it Wii U? That will only confuse casual gamers and casual retailers." I think she's right on the money. Even Wii 2 sounds better than Wii U. Wii U makes it sound like it's an add on for Wii to the casual, uninformed gamer.

Now, hopefully this problem isn't nearly as bad as it was last year, as Wii U has been in the news (even on major, mainstream news outlets) for having a lackluster year in sales. I think this isn't so much of a problem anymore. More of a problem of games, and I think we're seeing that situation improve because Nintendo has dealt with the 3 major problems: Price, software, and visibility/knowledge about the system by casual consumers.

CrimsonSkidmark

#54

CrimsonSkidmark said:

@tchaten No joke, I went into Best Buy on October 4th and asked for WW HD... they go "Oh, it's in the back, lemme grab you a copy". The gentlemen returns with 4 or 5 copies, give me one, and places the remaining copies on a bottom shelf in-front of Monster Hunter 3.

sleepinglion

#55

sleepinglion said:

Almost every time I go to Target I find myself having to re-explain what a console is to a confused consumer after the employee walks away. Last time it was the difference between the DSi and the 3DS. I can't wait to help someone with the 2D model.

Goginho

#56

Goginho said:

@Mytoemytoe Nah. WiiHD would be pretty clear, but I think it would make casuals think it's the same Wii, only with a simple HD upgrade, which wouldn't be a high enough incentive for them I can imagine.
On another note, a name like the Super Wii would have come across much better :D
The Nintendo Super Wii lol ..or Wii Ultra, or anything with an actual word added to "Wii" (not just a simple letter), to emphasize a clear upgrade. Maybe even WiiDS, as it has dual screens, which would desrcibe the GamePad addition in the title, and coincide nicely with 3DS :P

Ultrasyd

#57

Ultrasyd said:

I think Nintendo made a mistake with the Wii U name. A grat solution would be that Nintendo have their own retail stores, like apple for example.

FJOJR

#58

FJOJR said:

Store staff tend to be pretty dumb especially in a general department store. The Gamepad so far hasn't shown why it's so special beyond HUDs, mini games, maps, and inventory. I'm interested to see how Zelda handles it and whether they'll already abandon Skyward Sword's fun motion sword controls just to go back to buttons and an inventory/map/HUD with some Gamepad arrow shooting or whatever sprinkled in.

Mahe

#59

Mahe said:

The Wii U so far has been a poorly realized piece of hardware and software mishmash. It has lacked clear direction, and there are few experiences which make you say, "Hey, this is cool!" Nintendoland or Game & Wario are not that experience.

Worse yet, the Gamepad is cumbersome and needlessly complicates and hinders the user experience on Wii U. It requires being more "informed" because it's poorly thought out and badly designed. Luckily, some of these aspects could be fixed with firmware updates.

tchaten

#60

tchaten said:

@CrimsonSkidmark the retail store situation is a terrible one - they should really invest some money in more retail stores - currently there is the Nintendo World Store in NYC - they need to do more of that - 1 per state at least. Apple is in a large part as popular as it is today because of those stores and getting their clear message out to the masses through those.

ULTRA-64

#61

ULTRA-64 said:

@ACK whilst I agree that other product knowledge should have been tested. I couldn't agree less with the rest of your point. To not expect a member of retail staff to know the products they sell is idiocy. In all sales industrys a product knowledge is essentially all they need to know other than how to work a till. You would never expect a McDonald's staff member to confuse a bigmac!?! Retail is the last line of information, if they get it wrong, the customer loses faith in the product or store and that's hard to rebuild, you wouldn't give a doctor a second chance to get it right. The average person is too dumb/busy to research products so it is absolutely vital they are accurate with advise. I get asked 'why' when I ask for Wii u games in game. They basically take the Mick and try to talk me into "giving up kids games for a real console" it's lunacy to suggest this attitude, if consistent, wouldn't damage sales and marketing!

JudgeMethos

#62

JudgeMethos said:

I think Wii 2.0 or something OTHER than Wii may have worked. I have encountered plenty of Target personnel that could not explain what a Wii U was. Quite hilarious. Most Gamestop folk knew and a couple Best Buy employees but Target employees didn't know jack squat. I ended up explaining to a handful of ladies that it's a new system, not an add on controllerperipheralp. Sheesh. Ill informed? That may be the correct term.

Ryno

#63

Ryno said:

Do people actually ask sales associates at a store for something other than "where is _____ product?"

Ryno

#64

Ryno said:

Do people actually ask sales associates at a store for something other than "where is _____ product?"

hiptanaka

#65

hiptanaka said:

"There was nothing that you could put in front of everybody that said, 'This is what the experience is"

Just put on a good game, dammit. All the demo stations I've seen run the same old demo pack from the launch. They could just put in Wind Waker or Pikmin 3.

Blue-Thunder

#66

Blue-Thunder said:

If I want information on a product, the last person I would ask would be a sales person. They wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and bit them. That's where the good old internet cones in.

Lord

#68

Lord said:

I think it's just two things, the first being visual retail space. Now in this case the uk is reducing the whole Nintendo space to nothing. My local Tesco has reduced Nintendo space from 5mods to 1mod my local game store has reduced its Nintendo space from 15 mods to 3mods this space is for all Nintendo products wii, wii u, ds, 3ds. Second issue pricing wii u games in shops are a fortune and in turn are not selling, why because customers are shopping around for good or better prices example wii u title in 'game' £39.99- 49.99 online at 'game' £29.99-£39.99 but even better 'shop to.net' £29.99-34.99 so why is 'game' prices so different in store to online. And it shows the Internet is cheaper. And cheaper. A Wii game new release £29.99-32.99 wii u new release £39.99-57.99 the later being mario kart 8 at play.com. People can't afford these prices! In turn the shops sell very little-none and reduce the range and most importantly the visual retail space. Tesco who Nintendo uk is working with to raise awareness sells just three wii u titles. Poor show!

Onett

#69

Onett said:

Brilliant caption!

The Wii U could never have the same commercial success as the Wii. It lacked the novelty and landscape its predecessor had. Nintendoland was a nice launch title but it certainly isn't Wii Sports, which could be another indicator of underwhelming console sales.

As Mario Kart 8's release draws nearer, we may start to see some TV spots showcasing what the Wii U has to offer.

ledreppe

#70

ledreppe said:

I certainly wouldn't ask a retail member of staff for advice on which console is right for me. I just freakin' know what I want, but I suppose thery're there to assist the casuals, of which there are a much wider audience.

Savino

#71

Savino said:

Stupid names usually makes a bad marketing for the product! Hope nintendo learned its lesson!

Wii you.. Come on, terrible choice!

dizzy_boy

#72

dizzy_boy said:

Thing is, alot of people are taking jobs at the big stores just to cover household bills. These people don't really care about the products they're selling, just as long as they can do the job of filling shelves or running the tills.
The only people who really care about and have knowledge of what they're selling would be working in smaller, specialized shops.
If Nintendo were to branch out with more stores, It would get product knowledge out to the mass market, but the prices would more than likely stay at RRP in their stores. It could then be possible that other retailers would reduce their stock even further and there would be less deals going about.

Onett

#73

Onett said:

From a marketing standpoint, it makes sense that the Wii U scene has been dormant. Once the 3DS fully enjoys its success, we'll start to see more blockbusters coming for the Wii U. This is all about your wallet, folks.

ACK

#75

ACK said:

@ULTRA-64 I'm not in charge. I'm just expressing the realities of the retail workplace. What you say makes perfect sense... In a perfect world.

These employees are being paid close to minimum wage and worked harder than you probably realize. Most retail stores are understaffed (especially during the busy seasons), are constantly hiring new employees, and often rely on temporary workers. The managers and leads can barely keep these employees up to snuff on store policies. Moreover, most employees are shuffled throughout the store, working in different departments often in the same day.

Finally, retailers aren't too worried about educating customers. They want sales, period. Educating customers generally works against that goal as much as it helps. And, regardless, it requires more input (I.e. investment) to generate similar output.

TheAdrock

#77

TheAdrock said:

This is exceedingly obvious. Everybody already knows this. (Except perhaps Fils-Aims.)

If you want to remove all confusion about the new console relative to the prior one, DON'T GIVE IT THE SAME NAME. Even Sony numbered them because a 3 is clearly not a 2. But what is a U? University?

Davidiam007

#78

Davidiam007 said:

Honestly, trolling has gotten way out of hand. Not only are people trolling nintendo on forums, but also fake reviews on amazon and now I have seen employees flat out lie about the wii u just to confront them and get the evil glare and then hear them say fanboy under their breath to another employee.

TrueWiiMaster

#79

TrueWiiMaster said:

Though I think the Wii U's biggest problem was/is marketing, I have to agree that retailers have been quite the obstacle too. Aside from employee bias/incompetence, it's far too common to walk into a store and find the Wii U display half empty. If the games aren't there, people can't buy them, and in some cases won't know they're even available on the platform.

Senario

#80

Senario said:

@GN004Nadleeh download big titles yes but indie games and virtual console do not need extra space. You try finishing Monster hunter 3 ultimate in a weekend 100% sure you cant finish it.

ULTRA-64

#81

ULTRA-64 said:

@ACK point taken, I guess I'm being a bit of an idealist about the quality and turnover of staff, in my childhood it was always the 'geeky ' sales staff they tipped me off not he best games and shared info like shortcuts and cheats. There was no real community like this in the early days for info, just magazines and mates.
I'm a mobile phone salesman and I take pride in having excellent product knowledge because imo it helps me sell more phones, maybe sales of consoles would be different if commission were involved?

bmprsvz777

#82

bmprsvz777 said:

Just imagine - you are a normal ordinary mother and you would like to buy your children "some gaming device" (because they desire to have one)... So you visit nearest TESCO and you decide you want "family friendly" Nintendo... and you see strange boxes of different shape and size... all branded "Wii": one is just Wii, the other is Wii mini and then there is Wii U basic, Wii U premium... Wii zombie, Wii Zelda... Does marketing department of Nintendo understand that normal ordinary mothers do not watch Nintendo Direct presentations and just have to be confused. Because it is confusing! Wii U is not bad product but Nintendo marketing department for sure is (very bad product)...

Technosphile

#83

Technosphile said:

If the Wii U has a dismal Christmas, and is outsold by all four competitors (which I believe will happen), Nintendo will begin phasing it out and begin work on Their Next Thing.

I mean, the writing is on the wall. They were wanting 10 million sales by the end of this year; yet it likely has not even moved halfway to that and we are midway through October.

Sceptic

#84

Sceptic said:

How can they be ill-informed when there wasn't really anything to be informed about at the time?

@Technosphile: Yep. I think so too. Even Nintendo are laying low and holding off investing into the platform now. For example, I think their own very lackluster gamepad support is an indication that they are already aiming beyond WiiU and don't want to paint themselves into a corner with games that can't be copy/pasted over onto a new platform. One guy went on record that Windwaker took a mere 6 months (!) to 'upgrade', which for one seems plausible, but for another makes me wonder what they were doing the rest of the time.

Thomcan

#85

Thomcan said:

If I remember correctly, Nintendo couldn't (and didn't) explain what it was at the expo announcement. They talked games the whole time.

ACK

#86

ACK said:

@ULTRA-64 I really wish your idealism was shared by the jaded execs... Unfortunately, what those employees know is of little consequence to their employers. Almost as if they are expected to be uneducated and uninformed.

Truly, if you express an interest and knowledge with regards to electronics, it seems it decreases your chances of working that department. Maybe it's a security thing... I don't know, but there definitely seems to be an aversion to putting savy people in electronics and it's not to help the customers.

Nintendude789

#87

Nintendude789 said:

Yes, many people are still confused between Wii and Wii U. When Nintendo announced the Wii U and was gonna launch during holiday season, I asked my parents to get a Wii U (Sad, I know.) But then they said we already have a Wii, but I said Wii U. So I showed them the video and then they finally noticed the difference.

Nintendo really needs to change the name. I don't know, Wii 2, Wii HD or just simply a new name.

Lol, that just reminded me when I found the original Super Monkey Ball on GameCube at a flea market, and I bought it, but then my mom yelled at me because I don't have a GameCube anymore. It's true, so I played my GameCube games on my Wii. XD

PinkSpider

#88

PinkSpider said:

Are people really so stupid that they can't read anymore have we got this lazy as a society. What a joke

Gerbwmu

#89

Gerbwmu said:

@Mahe - My 4 year old has no problems using the Wii U and can operate the gamepad just fine. The only thing I have to do for him is put in the game he wants to play because I don't trust him with the disks........Wii U is a lot of things but it isn't complicated

SCAR392

#90

SCAR392 said:

iPhone, iPod, iPad, Galaxy S, Playstation, Xbox + (insert number here)

The name doesn't matter one bit taking that into account. iPhone 5C or 5S? Come on guys...

I'm just going to be safe and say people either don't have an attention span, or are too "old" and/or naive to know.

I would seriously have to make something up to try and understand this, because I can't believe it, really.

Conocotarious

#92

Conocotarious said:

I know exactly what a Wii U is and I pitch it o my customers all the time because its my favorite system.

It's not uninformed salespeople its people telling customers to wait for the PS4. I see it everyday and there's not a thing you can do about it.

Watch the language please. -Lz

Jukilum

#93

Jukilum said:

@Technosphile 10 million sales this financial year, meaning they have until mid 2014 to hit their goal. They may be counting on Mario Kart and SSB.

Volmun

#94

Volmun said:

@PinkSpider even then thow I culdnt read hardly atall up till i played Metroid Prime (i loved that game so mutch it forced me to read lol) and i new etch of the games concils were difrnt simpily from box art and logo's. I think alot of the problems are born from shere ignrace and pathetic missconceptions.

Tender_Cutlet

#95

Tender_Cutlet said:

I think she's spot on. I went into Hamley's GAME on GTA V launch day to buy my copy of that title and whilst faced with an hour long queue for my copy, encountered a fella in front of me asking one of the roaming store staff about the wii U. His situation was that he had an old wii, long since forgotten and he doubted still worked. His kid was now at the age were he wanted to play family orientated Nintendo games with [some of which he still owned] and wanted a new console to play them - he even made it clear that money wasn't an issue! He asked the store rep about Wii U and the features, whether it was worth buying the new console or just another Wii on ebay and the store rep admitted he didn't have a clue about the Wii U, any of it's features - or show any desire to get this Customer's money in the tills. [no wonder I thought the chain has gone under and as this is the last store in central London, God help them!]

Anyway, I couldn't help but intervene and explain to the curious fella in the queue about the Wii U and even the merits of the Wii Mini of which the store rep had never even heard! My point is that Nintendo's marketing of the console has been shocking and whilst the majority of sales assistants in the retail industry are stoodent xbox gamers averse to "casual" gaming and disenchanted by a low wage, Nintendo don't stand a chance getting across to their target consumers without investing in a serious promotional campaign.

Mr_Video

#96

Mr_Video said:

This actually holds some truth to it. When I went out to get my own Wii U at Target, I overheard another customer coincidentally asking one of the tech-employees about the Wii U. The employee basically said that there was no difference between it and a Wii. This wasn't when it first came out either, this was literally only three days ago.
While I realize Nintendo could have done a better job with marketing and making it clear that the Wii U is it's own console, it's still a little sad when people don't even know the difference between the products they're selling.

SmaMan

#97

SmaMan said:

Best Buy staff also don't know crap most of the time.

I asked one about Nintendo Zone once. Mind you, it's running in most Best Buy locations (goes by router name) and they even had a display up saying "connect here for Nintendo Zone!" I asked someone at the front about it when it wasn't working. Didn't know a thing about it. That's your "blue shirt" approval right there.

JebbyDeringer

#98

JebbyDeringer said:

Go into almost any place that sells games and most of the people working there will have a hate on for Nintendo. They'll virtually never point you at a Nintendo console if you are unsure which to buy.

The Wii U was a terrible naming choice on Nintendo's part, they really should have done a better job distinguishing it, even the console design should have been given more thought. It makes sense what they were trying to do, continue on a legacy much like Apple products but it hasn't worked in this case especially since they are now the underdog.

electrolite77

#99

electrolite77 said:

The name has caused Nintendo serious problems. I thought it was a joke when it was announced. NES>Super NES is a nice clear progression. Sony using a simple numbering system makes sense but one extra letter between Wii and Wii U, at the end of the name, is an incredibly bad decision. WiiHD should've been the name, or Wii 2, or even Super Wii.

The actual console should not look so much like the Wii either.

It's also not helped that Nintendo seemed to think all they had to do was release a new console with 'Wii' in the title and a few third-party ports and sit back and watch the money roll in.

I'm a recent Wii U purchaser and I really like the machine but Nintendo are their own worst enemy sometimes.

kyuubikid213

#101

kyuubikid213 said:

Since the name is still such a big deal, why not start (or continue) a forum thread about it.

I think the Nintendo Yuu would have been funny.

Or what about the Nintendo 1080 (like the N64).

Maybe the Nintendo U-Game.

ecco6t9

#103

ecco6t9 said:

Considering a number of customers here in the States still think a 3DS is a 3D-DS I do not doubt this story.

SparkOfSpirit

#104

SparkOfSpirit said:

@ecco6t9 Funnily enough, Nintendo never had problems with the Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance. When they came out people knew exactly what they were.

Suddenly customers are clueless.

I wonder why that is?

Ducutzu

#105

Ducutzu said:

"Go into almost any place that sells games and most of the people working there will have a hate on for Nintendo. They'll virtually never point you at a Nintendo console if you are unsure which to buy."

This I can attest that is true of more than one local GameStop here!

tanookisuit

#106

tanookisuit said:

You know going back to the original article for this, I've run into this stupidity first hand. The last time was when I headed into a Meijer around the time RE Revelations came out. The employee had no idea what the WiiU was. I asked for that game as I had this trade-in I had to do, and i don't recall the details, but he thought that the WiiU was a WII ACCESSORY and that the blue games cost more because they used that. The fool was mind blown when I told him it was its own system that was a little bit more beefy than what the PS3 and 360 are and brand new. He started looking at the box and the game there for a moment before taking me to ring up. I felt bad for the guy because clearly the nitwits at Meijer let alone the fools at Nintendo hadn't had a rep spell such a thing out to people as it's just inexcusable completely.

To think this was an employee at a big chain (regional) store and him let alone anyone else he'd converse with on staff (being the shift supervisor for the electronics area) would have had no clue. Nintendo blew it hard naming it WiiU or at the least advertising it as something new like the jump from similarly Nintendo to Super Nintendo and what not.

MadAdam81

#107

MadAdam81 said:

The issue seems to be that in her research she went to department stores gaming departments, staffed by someone who was in the monitoring section or the women's lingerie section the previous week, and the store manager who makes all the decisions (Blue one is Wii U????) has no clue about games.

Kaze_Memaryu

#109

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@SparkOfSpirit I wonder...

My theory would be that the entire market has become too big, so it's also becoming harder to gather info about things you barely know about.
Also, a new letter at the front (SNES) or a digit at the end (PS2) are more indicative than going from a 3 to a 4 letter acronym. The mass market's attention span has become awful, anyway (that and ignorance is bliss).

Honestly, though. The WiiU is the WiiU, no point trying to come up with a better name (and Wii HD is an even worse decision than WiiU).
Instead, we should focus on spreading the word - show our WiiU's to friends, invite them to some NintendoLand, present them trailers for upcoming games, and whatever else you can come up with! WE can still speak for the WiiU, so we should - withou forcing anyone, of course.

unrandomsam

#110

unrandomsam said:

My experiences trying to get a Wii Component Cable at retail a few years ago don't make me surprised by this in the slightest.

(The Tesco announcement about the Wii U doesn't seem to affect the closest store to me who in the last month or so have reduced by half the amount of space dedicated to Nintendo. Used probably a 3rd of that just for Disney Infinity as well). Prior to that there was 2 full rows. Chart and Budget for both Wii - Wii U and DS / 3DS.)

unrandomsam

#111

unrandomsam said:

@Doma Yeah but so is the 3DS if you look at it like that. (And the WIi for that matter). Nintendo has never had good hardware what is changed is 3rd parties have gone from some will do what the hardware is capable of (Which would be fine) to put in the minimum amount of effort possible.

Meaty-cheeky

#113

Meaty-cheeky said:

@electrolite77

You are exactly right Nintendo is their own worst enemy at the moment, the Wii U is a marketing failure, there are so many mistakes Nintendo has made with Wii U that they should be embarrassed.

The Name and the design of the Wii U is to similar to the Wii. Nintendo stupidly released the Wii U with the exact same colors of the Wii, Nintendo single handedly created a new system were people in the none gaming world could never understand nor will they ever take the time to understand the difference between Wii U & Wii. Let not forget that Nintendo has also disappointed many in the gaming community by making the Wii U a bit under powered compared to Xbone & PS4.

Senario

#114

Senario said:

@Meaty-cheeky How is that a disappointment when they didn't know the specs of the PS4 and Xbox one? Also specs don't make good games at all. Otherwise all good games would be on PC. You are comparing a console that is out to two that aren't and that isn't quite a fair comparison.

Being an oldschool gamer I know that you can put all the shiny bells and whistles on something that isn't good and it still isn't good. The Wii U is fine in terms of specs as it gets the job done beautifully in 1080p and more often than not 60 fps. And I'm leaving out lazy ports because third party devs weren't willing to work with the system.

Dexter2015

#115

Dexter2015 said:

First mistake was the name: Wii U it not sounded like one new console it sounded like some add-on... After Nintendo showed off the Gamepad I had to really search to see of it was just a other controller for the Wii!

GamerZack87

#116

GamerZack87 said:

I was telling a staff member at my local Big W about how I'd like to get a Wii U, and he responded with an abrupt "Oh, I heard they're not very good though". Clearly he hadn't even played one before, which just goes to show that first-hand experience is often a good thing.

Kirk

#119

Kirk said:

I just experienced something today that proves to me without a doubt that the average casual has absolutely no clue what the Wii U is about in the slightest...

I was standing in GAME playing a 3DS next to the Wii U demo station and a young boy and his dad came up to the Wii U. The boy asked his dad what a Wii U was (so, first of all the boy didn't know what a Wii U was) and the dad said "I don't know. A portable Wii." (so, the dad was clueless about what it was too) and walked off. Then a few minutes later a young boy and his mum came up and looked at the Wii U too. The boy started playing and the mum said "It's bigger and less portable the your 3DS" (so the mum obviously thinks it's a portable otherwise she'd never have made that misguided observation).

The average consumer clearly has absolutely no clue what the Wii U is.

Nintendo has 1000% failed to get it's message across to the masses and if the Wii U is failing we only have Nintendo to blame.

DarkNinja9

#120

DarkNinja9 said:

i just think the name it self was kinda weird and the fact that they didnt try to advertise the aspects on why it was a whole new console besides it having a gamepad

GN004Nadleeh

#122

GN004Nadleeh said:

@Senario i'm talking about the only games that matter on a nintendo system, the NINTENDO GAMES, can i finish new super mario bros in a weekend? YES, can i finish pikmin 3 in a weekend yes! wind waker hd? yes especially with that faster sail. if i am going to play a multiplatform game it will be on a superior console such as the ps vita or ps3 you understand? wii u is not my only system as i am a gamer not a fanboy. now off to kick the wii u in my house for being lazy and useless. oh look gta v?! got 100% in 3 weeks and am still playing, no nintendo game will ever have that

Meaty-cheeky

#123

Meaty-cheeky said:

@Senario

Senario I agree with you the Wii U is a nice system, but I know a lot of people who will never touch the Wii U, because its weaker in power compared to Xbone & PS4.

Second even if Nintendo Honestly didn't know the PS4 specs, everyone predicted that next gen consoles would have at least 4 - 8 gb's of RAM, plus the Wii U CPU is comparable to current gen CPU's not next gen CPU's.

Senario

#124

Senario said:

@GN004Nadleeh See, you say you aren't a fanboy yet you disregard systems exclusives saying that they don't matter because they are not nintendo. As if they did not matter despite games like Sonic lost world or colors. If you really were a gamer you would not get a multiplat game on any console. You would be getting it on PC where the hardware is so much superior. You arent a gamer but a casual console player who cannot see quality or value.

GTA5 is highly overrated and really isn't that good. Please, monster hunter you cannot finish in even close to three weeks. As for nintendo games you play for 3 weeks? Have you played smash bros? Game is easily 3 weeks worth of gametime. Fire emblem has that kind of sticking power as well. Or maybe you have no job or no college and that is why you have time to finish what are easily 15 hr games in one weekend. And at best you do the bare minimum and don't explore the game at all.

MAB

#126

MAB said:

@Senario You win mate... It's not their fault that MicroSony 3rd party developers make them buy the same games every month... You and I both know that we have moved on from interactive movies where the skip cutscene button is the most worn-out trigger on the PSBOX controller ;)

GN004Nadleeh

#127

GN004Nadleeh said:

@Senario pc is for work, console is for games. as for smash bros i unlocked mewtwo the single player way, same with sonic on crap wii. i play my games, you can list off all the weird nintendo games. if i am going to play a strategy rpg it will be final fantasy tactics, which i also 100% on psone and psp. gta v is the best game n the world, the next standard. have you tried it? no you only have nintendo systems and 'puter'. now as an adult i buy all this myself, i have to work and don't have time for nintendo games that sell you only half trying to force you to find another system with the same game. now even smash bros is going to be dumbed down because no movies because people put it on the internet, very few characters because the dumbed down version for the 3ds has to be the same. they have lost all credibility. if a game is good enough it will be played but when i look to see 50% completion the same day i bought the system it is crap. another difference is i buy these video games myself so nintendo OWES me. i bought the system and they promised i would never turn it off and be playing forever, oops thats sony's console. i play my games which are mostly made for adults and you jump around as that same mario or that same tired hack and slash/menu fun of monster hunter. also specs are everything and even if people don't know the exacts we do know as a fact that every console out the at the moment, excluding the crap wii is more powerful than the wii u, the ps4 will emulate the wii u before the years end.

GN004Nadleeh

#128

GN004Nadleeh said:

@Senario hey buddy! just wanted to let you know in gta v (which i'm still playing after 100%) anyways i shot up a bunch of geeks and then jumperd off a bridge, dived into the ocean saw some fish and swam up to a jet ski to make an escape. how about you try gta v once and i'll try monster hunter u, i do have all consoles and i assume you have them all as well they way you talk. i'll send word once i've started hunting monsters!

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