Nintendo’s new video games console, the Wii U, just hit store shelves. But will it have the success of its predecessor, the Wii?
The Nintendo Wii was an interesting system that took a unique approach to gaming with its motion controller and Mii characters. It was also unapologetic about its lackluster graphics. Nintendo’s bold strategy turned it into the bestselling game console of its generation.
Things have changed since the Wii hit the market. The bite-sized mini games that it popularized are now easily accessible and incredibly inexpensive due to smartphones and tablets. For Nintendo, this means the casual gaming experience it provides is in high demand but in an extremely competitive market.
The change in competitive landscape could have pushed Nintendo closer toward PlayStation’s and Xbox’s graphically intensive, shooter-heavy gaming. And while the new system has some changes in its graphical power, Nintendo doubled down, reinventing the experience for the consumer with its Wii U.
A vital step for any brand is being clear who your brand is for. Being for everyone means being vanilla. The Nintendo brand is certainly not for everyone. It’s not for me, for instance. But with its latest product, the company has not strayed from what made a substantial portion of the market covet the Wii. The only question is how will the new form factor effect the brands new found loyalists.
With competition coming from both ends, casual and hardcore, the impetus to change and please everyone must have been strong. My guess is the Wii U will find success because it remained true to its brand in spite of competitive influences.
In this very noisy market, having a definitive brand is a plus for Nintendo.