In the realm of gaming, Nintendo is a very unique company. Unlike their competitors, they tend to innovate in various ways that don’t step on the toes of the other console manufacturers. The most well-known example is Nintendo’s latest console, the Nintendo Switch, which features a console/handheld hybrid design and detachable controllers. Sony and Microsoft, however, have opted to go back to the standard console format. This means Nintendo’s newest machine would attempt to stand out from the competition instead of going head on with them.
The three mainstays of this current console generation.
Another concept Nintendo tends to stand out in is with its marketing practices. Integration with their consumer base has started to become a key component when trying to sell their new products. This is highly evident in their Nintendo Direct series which started all the way back in 2011 and the Treehouse segments that demo various upcoming games to their fanbase. The most important part of the streams, however, is the style at which they present them.
Is Karen watching E3? The world may never know.
Due to Nintendo’s marketing being more directed toward a younger demographic in recent years, this Kyoto-based corporation has had a relatively loose humor approach in delivering information. A style that has been around ever since the Wii’s life-cycle and continues to be shown today. This type of humor is exerted through the use of witty, but joyful comedic skits. One of the most well-known examples is the E3 2014 press conference which has Nintendo’s late president Satoru Iwata and NOA president Reggie Fils-Amie duking it out in a Dragon Ball Z-like fight which revealed the Mii Fighters for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.
While Nintendo’s unique and fun marketing approach has changed the overall image of the company, the fanbase is arguably another heavy-hitter. Over the years, photoshops and text images have appeared throughout the internet that parody the various marketing tactics described above. With the most well-known being Reggie’s infamous “My Body is Ready” segment during the E3 2007 press conference. It expands upon the fun nature of Nintendo and their market impact felt across the gaming industry.
Reggie asking the important questions here…
Nintendo themselves have even taken the approach of ripping a page from their fanbases book by posting memes directly on their Twitter account. PushDustIn and myself have even done a discussion video talking about the state of Nintendo of America’s Twitter marketing and highlighted the cheesy factor associated with their memes. This, in turn, accurately reflects the humor Nintendo tries to convey.
Nintendo’s meme game right now.
The fanbase, Nintendo’s marketing, and its interaction within the industry are all factors that have led to the perception of the corporation up to this point. While other gaming giants like Sony and Microsoft prefer marketing strategies that make their consoles seem slick and cool, Nintendo opts-in for a quirky approach. An approach that, while may seem strange at first, can quickly capture the attention of those who see it.
According to Iwata, Nintendo Directs back in 2012 brought in between 600,000 to 1,000,000 views within a week. This dramatically helps increase the amount of people who get to see the unique perception of the Kyoto-based giant.
It’s 2017 and directs still air quite often.
These various examples show how Nintendo’s unique marketing style has impacted the industry. Not only through their perception, but through their interaction with the fanbase. It gives the sense that they are completely different from their competition. Which was their main mindset during the 7th generation and 8th generation of consoles. To stand out from the rest and prove they are a completely different animal.
Overall, Nintendo is a completely different beast compared to everyone. Which can be considered a very good thing for the industry. Any market needs some variety in order to thrive in the economy which makes Nintendo a very important asset today. However, as with any industry, change is always an imminent possibility.
Legend of Nintendo: The Adventure of Switch
As of late, the corporation has been changing things up. While E3 2014 and 2015 had funny segments embroiled within them, E3 2016 and 2017 were more straight to the point on the gaming aspect. Not only has this trend changed with E3, but Nintendo Directs have been given a significant change with a more rapid-fire approach to gaming announcements (as shown within the recent Direct that aired in April 2017).
Seems to fit the narrative quite nicely.
Does this mean it’s the end of the fun loving Nintendo personality we all know and love? In all honesty, we truly don’t know. This is only the beginning of a new leaf for the corporation. Time will tell which direction they go in, but one thing is for sure. Their legacy will always be remembered by everyone for one simple word: Fun.
It’s one of my favorite pass times and interacting with people who have the same interest is really cool. I also hope to extend it into Source Gaming and do something to help make the community better.