One of the biggest blunders that Nintendo made with the Wii U, and arguably the biggest reason that its sales ended up in a death spiral of ever declining numbers that led to an exodus of publisher and developer support for the platform, is that Nintendo was never able to communicate the device and its purpose or reason of existence to the customer too well. From branding to messaging, everything about the Wii U was off base- most customers thought of it as just a very expensive Wii add-on, while those who did understand that it was a new console never saw any reason to upgrade to it, for games or for features.
That is one mistake that Nintendo are not eager on repeating with the Nintendo NX, the device’s planned successor due for next year. Speaking to A List Daily (via NeoGAF), Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime discussed what the company had learned from the Wii U, and how it was planning on applying it to the upcoming Nintendo NX reveal and launch.
“One of the things that we have to do better when we launch the NX—we have to do a better job communicating the positioning for the product,” he said. “We have to do a better job helping people to understand its uniqueness and what that means for the game playing experience. And we have to do a better job from a software planning standpoint to have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software. Those are the critical lessons. And as I verbalize them, they’re really traditional lessons within the industry. You have to make sure people understand the concept, you have to make sure you’ve got a great library of games, and when you do that, you tend to do well.”
All of which sounds very encouraging – especially the bit about there being no more game droughts – but these are words Nintendo have said in the lead up to the Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, and 3DS launches previously. I’m going to be a bit skeptical of this entire notion until I see Nintendo put their money where their mouth is.
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