Nintendo's Marketing Strategies Need Improvement
Oh, Nintendo... I don’t get it. I just don’t get it!
For those of you that don’t know, I am a die-hard Nintendo fan. Always have been, always will be.
Earlier this year (July, 2016) Nintendo unveiled the NES Classic (NES CE). A miniature Nintendo Entertainment System that comes pre-loaded with 30 original NES games. It ports games to your television or monitor via an HDMI cord and has a new replica model of the original NES controller packaged in, all for the reasonable price of $60.00.
It all started out so well.
People “everywhere,” seemed to have a pretty good response to the little machine and were excited to know when they could pre-order their own. However, Instead of allowing people to pre-order, the Big N left consumers to fend for themselves on launch day, November 11th.
Needless to say, the NES CE was the item to grab for the holiday season. It’s still sold out everywhere and Nintendo LARGELY underestimated the demand for their perfect little box. Underestimation in this story however, needs to be investigated a little further.
Journey with me, if you will, back to the days of the Nintendo Wii. It was November 19th, 2006, and the Wii had just launched. There was pandemonium in the streets. There were lines of people outside of retailers on Black Friday that seemed impossibly long, and the hope of securing a Wii for the Holiday season diminished with each passing minute.
Now just to be clear, the Wii is a completely different animal when compared to the NES Classic. The Wii sold 101.63 million units worldwide by the end of it’s life cycle, and I absolutely expect the NES CE to sell exponentially less in it’s full life cycle.
The lessons to be learned however, are many.
Wii’s were unavailable for months on end, and people across the United States weren’t able to play Wii Sports with their friends! (HOW TRAGIC!) I distinctly remember having my copy of Twilight Princess for Wii, way before I actually secured my own console. I can tell you everything there is to know about the Twilight Princess instruction booklet because all I could do for months, was sit and scour over every minute detail, while anxiously awaiting a phone call from our local GameStop representative, letting us know that they had them in stock (looking back on it, that was extremely nice of him, I believe his name was Neal…).
Eventually I secured a Wii after sloughing through the snow at a steady 10 mph; I couldn’t get home fast enough. I was amongst the lucky rank of individuals who could witness Hyrule in all it’s beautiful 480p wonder, and waggle those “wiimotes” to incite Link’s master swordsmanship in-game.
I tell you this story because I want to parallel Nintendo’s approach to the Wii with the recent tomfoolery of the NES CE. We’ve all seen this before and it’s high time that it stopped! I’m not saying this as an entitled American Gamer, I’m saying this as a person who loves Nintendo and wants to see them succeed.
When something like the NES CE catches fire with the people, but then is severely limited in supply, it hurts my heart knowing that Nintendo is missing out on tons of potential revenue! This is all speculation, but I imagine that a lot of people who showed initial interest in the NES Classic, fell off, because they are impossible to find. Even worse, imagine the frustration or misunderstanding when someone goes online to find a once, $60.00 machine, now priced at three times that amount!
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is. There are a lot of very intelligent individuals working for Nintendo and NOA to help with marketing decisions. More product can be made to satiate the insane demand that currently exists, but at what cost?
Let me know your thoughts on what you think Nintendo should do? Am I just a raving lunatic?