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Marketing 101: Nintendo

The console wars are underway! How has Nintendo handled them in the past?

The next round of console wars are upon us! With the big three companies--Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft--on the board with their new machines, it's time for people to pick sides and see who comes out on top. No matter which machine you're backing, it's worth looking back at how each company has handled their systems in the past. Since Nintendo came onto the scene first, we'll start by going back in time and checking out how they marketed their machines. From the NES to the WII U, PixlBit's got ya covered!

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11/06/2013 at 04:36 PM

The GC is the last Nintendo concole I really enjoyed.  Almost every Wii game I've played has been lacking.  I'm not even interested in the Wii U games, except for Bayonetta 2.  Good thing for Nintendo they can do right on handhelds.  Let's hope they don't ever screw that up. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

11/12/2013 at 12:09 AM

As a fan and a retailer, the GameCube was the last system I really pushed before I realized that Nintendo was content to stay a step behind (and really, they always had with the exception of the SNES). As much fun as I had with the little cube, it was clear to me at that point that I was going in a different direction with my gaming tastes.


11/06/2013 at 06:39 PM

Nintendo lost my exclusive loyalty during the PSone era, but I still remained a strong Nintendo advocate until, perhaps ironically, the Wii started dominating the competition. In my eyes, the truly revolutionary titles were happening on the other consoles, and I eventually broke down and bought a 360 (the Wii was actually my first "next-gen" system). And then a PS3 (which is now my favorite of the three).

That said, I still look forward to newest Mario games, and hope to one day see a brand new F-Zero, Star Fox, 2-D Metroid, and the like. But I also think that's the Big N's biggest problem these days--the company now lives in the past, basking in the safe nostalgia of its core franchises. But that's not the visionary company I remember growing up with.


11/10/2013 at 07:06 AM

Great article. Its easy to see from the evolution of gaming ads that Nintendo has lost its way. I don't think the company knows who its aiming its products at anymore. The biggest mistake was naming the console "Wii U". This has totally confused those who dipped there toe into the Wii and retailers who bundle both Wii and Wii U on the same shelf. I bought a Wii U (I buy every console) but have found that I only use it in bed as a tablet for internet browsing and the occassional game of donkey kong. Mario 3D and Mario Kart may change this but I've played the like before on N64, Gamecube etc. Nintendo is in desperate need of new blood.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

11/12/2013 at 12:10 AM

Even someone like me that follows this stuff very carefully was confused with the Wii U. Even the second E3 presentation had me questioning if it was a new console or an add-on.


11/10/2013 at 09:01 PM

Really good article. I thought it was fascinating watching the very first N64 tv commercial, there's some weird foreshadowing to what's happening in gaming now, especially with Kinect. When you watch how Nintendo did the effects in that commercial and that kid is actually in the game and jumping around with Mario it looks just like what you see in Kinect games all these years later. That old Nintendo commercial has literally come to life through motion gaming we see in Kinect, Wii, Move, etc.

building blocks

11/13/2013 at 04:35 AM

What do you guys think it is about Nintendo's approach to game design and creating characters that is so unique? how do they keep such a reliable market niche, and hold people's interest?

Justin Matkowski Staff Alumnus

11/18/2013 at 10:13 PM

Awesome article Julian! I agree with what you and others have said here - the Wii U branding has certainly left many scratching their heads. Perhaps they were going for a Nintendo --> Super Nintendo approach, but it lacks anything of the distinction considering the name and look of the console (aside from the tablet add-on) is basically the same. 

It feels like they are playing so safe that they even went with an overly conservative branding of the console! It leaves me a little befuddled, considering the fact that when Nintendo gets particularly creative and ballsy with it's IP and systems (Super Mario Galaxy, the DS, the Kirby franchise, having the SNES as an add-on free console with the chips of games holding additional tech etc) they have a fantastic success rate.

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