Nintendo’s Efforts To Explain The Wii U Just Took A Turn For The Absurd

It's no secret that Nintendo has had a major problem marketing the Wii U. Most non-gamers (and even some gamers) I speak with have no idea that it even exists. Even Jimmy Fallon couldn't quite figure it out—and he was supposed to be showing it off that night.

Now Nintendo has apparently ramped up its efforts to explain just what the hell that big, glaring "U" means with the posters that GTTV host Geoff Keighley spotted and Tweeted about at PAX East today. "Why Wii U?" the ad reads, followed by a lengthy list of all the things the Wii U does that that crappy old Wii simply doesn't. Keighley followed up with a second tweet explaining that you can tear the flyers away and take them home, like phone-pole ads for a neighborhood dog walker, just in case you forget all the things the Wii won't do.

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iGAM3R-VIII1885d ago

LOL, how are you supposed to make money if you trash your own console.

gamer421885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

If the console isn't making money anymore, why not? They'd much rather promote the wiiu than the wii, because let's face it, it isn't exactly priting bills anymore.

Anyways many companies do this to promote their product, you can't tell me you've never seen an ad that shows what their new product has and their old one doesn't through a chart. The chart is also nice for people who aren't really too into gaming that need to know what the difference between a wii and a wiiu is.

iGAM3R-VIII1885d ago

true but just because you are not doing well, doesn't mean you should trash it. You can still make money of the Wii, it is just at a slow pace

HammadTheBeast1884d ago

Wii's selling more in Japan than U I think.

darthv721884d ago

i tell consumers the same things when i see them pondering the purchase of either. I tell them the better deal is the wii-u because it can do everything the wii can and more.

I would tell people the same thing back when the ps2 first came out. Surprise surprise, there were in fact people who didnt have a ps1 at the time. It made more sense to get the ps2 because it did what the ps1 did and so much more.

Is that wrong to talk up the newest system release? When you look at the benefits you get for the price difference it only makes sense to make the newer one into the better of the two.

It s like people who have not yet gotten a ds would do better to get a 3ds instead. It plays 99% of ds games as well as its own 3ds games.

Nintendo is doing the right thing by comparing their two systems in this ad. But they shouldnt have used "." on the wii side. They should have used the check marks like they did on the wii-u side.

SilentNegotiator1884d ago

"If the console isn't making money anymore, why not?"

Except in some cases, the Wii has outsold the Wii U....sooooo...

MaxXAttaxX1884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

Shouldn't have compared it side by side with the Wii.


My DS Lite can play both DS and GBA games. That's a huge catalog of games. 3DS can't play GBA games and neither did DSi and XL. Which is why I kept my DS Lite.

My older Wii can play both Wii and GameCube games. Newer Wii models and and the Wii U don't. So it doesn't really look like a good deal at the moment.
The 3DS on the other hand, is a better deal than the Wii U. I have 5 games already :) I'll just have to wait it out for the Wii U like I did for the 3DS. Hopefully it turns around.

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gamer421885d ago

Good point, but this is nintendo we're talking about here, there's no telling what they're gonna do next.

guitarded771885d ago

Nintendo has already killed the Wii with no first party support anymore, so they're just using it as a selling point for the Wii U.

Starfox-171884d ago

When they bring the adverts it will sell tons,i think they will wait now for the summer update so they can show the OS in real time,also show NintendoTVii ect plus games like Zelda WW and Beyonetta2 ect.

Eddie201011885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

There not trashing the Wii, they are just trying to let people know the difference between the Wii and the Wii U.

Only idiots or fanboys or bloggerss would think that they are trashing one for the other.

People (Journalist and Fanboys)complain that nobody knows that its a different console than the Wii but when they visually explain the differences, bloggers write pissy, idiotic articles like this.

MoveTheGlow1885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

Nintendo (a company who designed a console so risk-averse that even its title is nigh indistinguishable from its money-printing predecessor) failed to make a console distinguishable from one released in 2006. That's what happened, and that's why stuff like this poster exists.

Sure, there's always a bit of "people are stupid" behind every tech misperception, but there's also testing for stuff like that... Focus testing which should have let Nintendo know that a console with the same exact design aesthetic and graphics which mostly improved only in that they're in a higher resolution (so far) won't really stick out as something "new." Families with a CRT TV aren't going to see a giant difference when they see that one TV commercial that should make up their minds about whether or not they want it. It's also a marketing flaw, sure, but it's mostly a design flaw.

I remember correcting someone on N4G that the WiiU *was* a new console and not an add-on. The guy chased me around in private messages and such. It was hilarious, but at the end of the day, it wasn't his fault. He wasn't the only one.

MacDonagh1885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

@MoveTheGlow "Nintendo (a company who designed a console so risk-averse that even its title is nigh indistinguishable from its money-printing predecessor) failed to make a console distinguishable from one released in 2006."

Hold on a second here. Companies market brands that sell. If Nintendo are so "risk-averse" for naming their console after their previous iteration; what exactly does that make Sony and Microsoft? Think about it for a moment. The Playstation brand has been here since 1994 and has the name has been used in various iterations of their consoles from Playstation to Playstation 4. It has also been used for their handheld iterations with Playstation Portable, Playstation Mobile, and Playstation Vita. Microsoft also didn't drop the Xbox name and have used it for the 360 and will probably use it for their next iteration; so it's normal practice for companies to put forth an iteration that has the same name in it.

The biggest problem that Nintendo has with the Wii U is a distinct lack of marketing. Nintendo have probably realised that the excrement has hit the fan and the industry is on the verge of a great upheaval.

MoveTheGlow1885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

I can roll with that, @MacDonagh, but Nintendo did have a precedent for not doing that until now. The closest they got on home consoles was putting "Super" before Nintendo, but that actually defines a difference between the two: the hardware was substantially different, as was evident in their first Mario release for the system.

The sudden shift in naming conventions underlies a much bigger amount of risk-aversion in the *design* of the console. Each new console from Nintendo looked staggeringly different - they relished that newness, that attractiveness to the design, and took some risks (albeit silly ones sometimes, like the lunchbox handle on the Gamecube).

This thing looks like a Wii.

The rest of the response stands. Until Nintendo can show the non-tech-savvy public - often not having broadband access, often without an HDTV, or at least one that's used for gaming - that there's a big difference between the output of each system (and yes, that does include more marketing to let someone know that the controller on the WiiU couldn't work on the Wii, because that controller uses the enhanced power of the system - true!), they're up the creek with what they've already released in terms of confusion.

I have a feeling that will change. I bet Nintendo will bring out their big guns by this year's E3, and finally the non-enthusiast crowd will really see what a difference the WiiU makes when it comes to the main franchises (non-New SMB, Zelda, Metroid possibly).

But for now, this is a box issue. The current box, and the games that are currently released for that box, are nothing new to people who are not... *looks around...* us.

N4g_null1884d ago

It is funny how Sony didn't even show a console yet no one thinks the ps4 is a controller add on. You all are just trolling, some of you don't even realize it. Lots of double standards here.

We all know the ps4 is just a dual shock you use with the move tech right! You can even use it on pc games and it supports amd pcs only! It's a cloud controller!

Nintendo fans could have played that game also but that would be stupid.

Hey but I'll be playing monster hunter while you troll.

Mr_Writer851884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

It's quite obvious to anyone that when something has a 4 on it that's its a new product gamers and non gamers.

Although the reveal wasn't aimed at mass market. It was for the press and hardcore gamers.

Gamers know the WiiU is a whole new console. But non gamers don't they just think its an add on to go with their Wii, and they are not bothered as their Wii is gathering dust.

The only people buying a WiiU are gamers.

And I too will be playing Monster Hunter on my Vita so....

So stop calling people trolls when you clearly are one yourself.

Andreex1884d ago

@movetheglow Did you just imply that the GameCube is not awesome? Take. It. Back.

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jcnba281885d ago

It's not trashing its own console, it's showing the differences between the two. A lot of people think the Wii U is an add-on to the Wii. This charts explains to them that it's a different console entirely.

"LOL, how are you supposed to make money" ...Yeah, I don't think Nintendo need help in that department.

Elwenil1885d ago

It seems to me that they are just targeting the same market that the Wii had and showing reasons they should upgrade. Unfortunately unless they advertise in venues that are not gaming related, I doubt a lot of the Wii owners will ever know the differences. I doubt most Wii owners even know what PAX is.

PSVita1885d ago

They arent trashing the wii they're trying to make the differences clear for the people that already own a wii and dont see why they need to upgrade.

Nimblest-Assassin1884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

I think they are trying to sell it as an upgrade from the wii.

Kinda like how when microsoft compares the different versions of windows and office

admiralvic1884d ago

How exactly are they trashing the Wii?

The chart simply shows what device A and device B can do, which is FAR from uncommon in the world of tech. (here's one for the Kindle just scroll down)

WiiUsauce1884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

this print-out is for the stupid people who aren't in the know. I work at Best Buy, and TRUST me, there are some absolutely clueless consumers out there. Today, I had to explain to a lady the difference between a Blu-ray (which she kept calling 'Bluray DVD')and a DVD. She would NOT get that a Bluray cannot work in her DVD player. I was getting pretty frustrated with her.

and this is also Nintendo's fault as well, because of the name they chose. I get customers that are buying Wii U games at my check out, and when I try to make conversation with them like "oh you have a Wii U? me too, do you like the gamepad?"
they'll have no idea what a Wii U is, and wonder why the blue boxed games won't work with the SDWii they already own. It can get pretty frustrating. Nintendo should've called it Wii2 or WiiHD.

I think this will only be a problem for a little while though, once Nintendo get off their collective ass and start marketing the hell out of Wii U like they should be doing. Because I had the same issue with the 3DS being named so similar to the DSi. Uninformed customers simply would not comprehend the difference between the two, even though it's so easy to understand for you and I.

Picnic1883d ago

I'm not in the US but I've heard of Best Buy and I've always thought that it's an arrogant, cheap and nasty sounding, name for a company. The consumer decides what the best buy is.

Dj7FairyTail1884d ago

Wii still making profit.
Wii U software is giving them profit but hardware is not.

They are back in profit.

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PirateThom1885d ago

When you release a console called "Wii", name a lot of games "Wii ________", name all the accessories "Wii _________" and then release a console called "Wii U", you really are asking for trouble with confusion with the mainstream audience.

Bumpmapping1885d ago

Exactly Nintendo should of just named it Wii 2 very self explanatory.

BladerunnerZX1884d ago

The Wii 2 name would help with casuals.

The New Nintendo Entertainment System or N N.E.S. would have generated more interest with gamers.

The Wii U is just not a good name ... for anything.

Root1885d ago

They should of just named it something else. What's wrong with Nintendo U or N4U (Nintendo4You)...something along those lines.

Seriously they screwed up because they thought people would go

"Oooo look hun, the Wii U, after how good our Wii is lets upgrade"

Instead it ended up being like

"Oh look a new Wii is out, looks like an upgraded Wii. No point buying a new one since ours is working fine."

PopRocks3591885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

It's a derp on their marketing, mostly. The Wii name is currently the most successful brand for Nintendo, so from a marketing standpoint it makes sense to reuse somehow. Unfortunately simply adding "U" did not make it seem different enough.

The blue that you see on Wii U products are a stark contrast from the original Wii's simple white and grey scheme. The Wii U itself is very different from the Wii. It's name unfortunately isn't.


I think you're referring to the E3 show from last year.

_QQ_1885d ago

I would have settled with NES U.

ZombieNinjaPanda1884d ago

"Oh look, a new playstation is out. Looks like an upgraded Playstation. No point in buying a new one since ours is working fine".


WiiUsauce1884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

I would've preferred NESHD. that would've been COOL. After all, the Wii U IS an entertainment system; it has Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, a web browser, and can play games.

It would've made much more sense and would've also struck a nostalgic chord with the older Nintendo gamer like myself. Plus the NES was a wildly popular machine and still stands as one of the highest selling consoles of all time.

People would've instantly understood what it was without having to explain much.

WiiUExposed1884d ago


There's a difference with Playstation though. Adding a different number to the end is a lot more obvious than adding a "U" at the end.

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KwietStorm1885d ago

That is exactly why so many people left that E3 a couple years ago with more questions than they had going in. Some even thought it was an add-on peripheral for the Wii. The lack of games might not even be the biggest obstacle for Nintendo right now in the bigger picture.

ps3_pwns1885d ago

this guy gets it lol! i agree and added bubbles but it seems you already have over 9000!

Agent_00_Revan1885d ago

This was the problem from the moment they unveiled the controller at E3. We left that show not knowing if it was an accessory or a new console. And in the following months they didn't do any better job explaining it.

Then naming it the WiiU made it even More confusing, because it doesn't show any definite of a system change like Wii2 or even an all new name would've been. This system suffers from Horrible marketing. Lack of games is an issue too, as it is with any new console. But I believe it is the marketing that is crippling it the most.

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IWentBrokeForGaming1885d ago

1 word to describe Wii U... Lacking!

if a NEW game don't come out soon or something major don't happen in the NEAR future... I'll glady bid adue to my Wii U!

jcnba281884d ago

Your comment was lacking any sort of intelligence..

lovegames7181885d ago

Like many of us said prior to release. Wiiu would be underwhelming and nothing over current gen. Besides tht sane established ops over and over with nothing new and inspiring doesn't help. Then idiots like Iwata and Reggie making dumb comments alluding to the next Ps or xbox not bring that much better than Wiiu graphically just made the m look stupider and weak. Many thing their doing wrong.

from the beach1885d ago

Most non-gamers have no idea it exist? That's truly shocking.

It's a good idea to advertise it this way at Pax to remind game-loving folk how awesome it is - the ticked list should just read 'can it play Bayonetta 2 / Pikmin 3 / Wonderful 101 / Fire Emblem?' etc.

Also, the complaints about the name of the console are nonsense. I think Sony has been the only company so unoriginal as to name their systems numerically.. sure it worked, so did Master System -> Mega Drive, Xbox -> Xbox 360 etc. Wii U is a good name, I like it. Good job Nintendo.

Tito081884d ago (Edited 1884d ago )

Playstation is an original enough name, and there's nothing wrong with numerical, it worked for the iPhone, iPad & the Samsung Galaxy.