Topic: Nintendo's Switch Marketing

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Topic: Marketing Magic, the Portable Switch, and the Bewildered Consumers

Hello everyone,

I came in these forums because I was told that there is objectivity among most of the users and I really want to touch on a very sensitive subject, especially for the core Nintendo fans, who tend to be overprotective about Nintendo and its products.

I'll come right out and say that I'm a major Nintendo fan myself. For all its greatness, I'll be picking up the Switch, and I honestly couldn't be more hyped about it. It's certainly the most hyped I've been for a gaming system in the last couple of decades and I can't wait to hold it in my hands!

Having said all that and after steering clear of emotions and biases, I welcome you to participate in this discussion.

The subject matter is about whether Nintendo has been working its marketing magic to promote a portable console, as a, and I'm quoting Nintendo here, "home gaming system first and foremost" (gravity at “first and foremost”). I'll be throwing this quote quite a lot at you so brace yourselves.

I think this is complete and utter horse manure, and it is outrageous how so many people have fallen for this! I don't completely blame them though, since Nintendo has shown signs of stepping up their marketing game, as was also demonstrated by the Switch Superbowl Ad. Basically, I am completely repudiating the "home gaming system first and foremost" properties of the Switch, and I'll tell you why.

First of all, lets make absolutely clear what the Switch IS. So, obviously the Switch is a handheld gaming system and I'm pretty sure it will be the best of its kind to date. Although they're not telling you that, if you know Nintendo, you know that if the Switch succeeds, the 3DS will be history. It's the exact same story with the Gameboy and its successor the DS which is pretty much known. Quite a few handheld titles are migrating from the 3DS and are making their way to the Switch already. This tells us that the Switch, if successful, will be competing as Nintendo's primary handheld in the market. Consolidating all of their departments and teams in one project, would also be the sound business decision for Nintendo.

Now lets go to the part of things that the Switch is NOT.

Although Nintendo solidified and crystallized the form, the Switch, in terms of concept, is NOT something completely new, it is NOT something completely unique, and it is certainly NOT a "home gaming system first and foremost". This is were Nintendo's spectacular marketing comes into play.

Let's examine a hypothetical for a moment. If I take my phone or tablet, hook it up on my TV via HDMI, connect a Bluetooth gaming controller, and play whatever games are available, while sitting on my couch, do I really have a "home gaming system first and foremost" per se? I don't believe so. Yes yes sure, I won't have any noteworthy game titles to play, but.. mind you, are game titles what make a "home gaming system first and foremost"? I really don't think so. Maybe then the Dock makes up for that aspect? The dock is nothing more than a glorified power and HDMI outlet, that also improves resolution a wee bit. Other than that I fail to see why the dock makes the Switch a "home gaming system first and foremost".. Now if you thought that my phone/tablet comparison is crap, which it most likely is, why not consider Nvidia's Shield K1 Tablet? This gaming system actually has quite a few titles under its belt, it's full hd 1080p, has a Bluetooth gaming controller, can be hooked to a TV via HDMI, but wait.. it is still marketed as a portable gaming system! No one, anywhere, ever implied that it is or could be a "home gaming system first and foremost". Now some might say, "well I will be playing my Switch primarily indoors, therefore I'll be on my couch and in my home, therefore "home gaming system first and foremost". Sorry, but you won't get away like that with a definitional argument. As a teenager and a no-lifer, I used to play my GameBoy mostly at home. Never crossed my mind once that the GameBoy could be considered a "home gaming system first and foremost". It was a portable, clear and simple.

If all of the above are true, what is it that makes the Nintendo Switch a "home gaming system first and foremost"? Don't sweat it any longer! The answer is MARKETING! And I'm not trying to say that it doesn't have some aspects of a "home gaming system". It certainly does. But this is different from how Nintendo is trying to serve it to us.

I hope it's clear that this piece does not try to imply the typical complaints about its price, internal storage, or 3rd party titles. I accept every single aspect of the Switch! Everything, except from the part of it being branded as something it clearly isn't. I am just baffled by how many people failed to notice that they've been told an outrageous lie, packaged in a pretty box.

That is all from me, and it is with the sweetest intentions.

What is your point of view on the matter?

TL;DR: Y u lie to us Nintendo??

Edited on by LzWinky



It's definitely an attempt at marketing magic from Nintendo but I think you've missed some of the underlying subtleties.

They want to market Switch as a home console first and foremost because there is a difference in consumer expectations in what they get from a handheld game versus a home console game. That home console games are inherently "better" (not necessarily the case but widely believed) and have a greater value because they're "bigger" experiences. Again this isn't necessarily the case - a simple but incredibly well refined handheld game can be both bigger and better - but it's the way that the most vocal consumers and influencers see things.

There are other things going on in the background too - the continued success of the 3DS, the FTP car crash that is the mobile market and the "more powah" console arms race that Nintendo could never hope to win head on.

What's important though is something that you've not spotted - a change in philosophy heralded by Apple and Google (and others companies like Netflix and Amazon). The device isn't really that important any more - it's the ecosystem that matters.

Switch will be the home of the Nintendo game development ecosystem. That ecosystem creates home console experiences as well as handheld experiences (and it's the home console experiences they'll bring us first because Wii U is already dead and gone) and therefore it makes sense to position the device in the first instance as the home console successor of the Wii U. Though actually it's the inheritance of the ongoing resources behind the ecosystem that really matters.

Edited on by StuTwo


Switch Friend Code: SW-6338-4534-2507


I think that most of the people on these forums already know that it's just a fancy handheld system with HDMI output. Anyway, welcome to the forums.

Edited on by LzWinky



I'm okay with a thread on Switch's marketing since we lack one.

Current games: Everything on Switch

Switch Friend Code: SW-5075-7879-0008 | My Nintendo: LzWinky | Nintendo Network ID: LzWinky


So when we start the storm for Nintendo FINALLY going to the Super Bowl?

Seriously seem they understood how to make marketing after Wii U. Can't be happier that Nintendo is making such progresses, even if it was not so much to understand. But it's always Nintendo we're talking about!


Nintendo Network ID: FGPackers


@Redeyes I'm sorry, I've skimmed through your OP, but I don't see what justification you have for calling in an outrageous lie.

They've shown us exactly what Switch is. It's the biggest waste of time to get caught up in how it's being branded or whether it's a home console or a portable.

The Switch IS a home console.

The Switch IS a portable.

The Switch IS a hybrid.

The Switch IS a purple hornswoggle with yellow jelly tots.

It just doesn't matter.

If you're silly enough to buy a new 3DS (6 year old tech that was 'dated' when it came out) now on the basis that Nintendo are saying the Switch is a home console and are then going to throw your toys out of the pram when 3DS games dry up in 18 months time, then you've only got yourself to blame (this is becoming my catchphrase it seems).

What better way to celebrate than firing something out of the pipe?

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

My Nintendo: gcunit | Nintendo Network ID: gcunit

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