Why is Wii U Attracting Positive Press Now?

Recently, Kotaku – a well known website, as well as harsh Wii U critic – updated an article they had written regarding the Wii U. They now state that the system is a must have:

“Today, however, if you skip the Wii U, you’re missing out.”

In addition to this, Mario Kart 8 has sold incredibly well, selling 1.2 million copies in its opening weekend, and pushing hardware up 666% in the UK. Couple this with a very well received E3 and you have instant positivity surrounding the gaming giant and their latest home console. But, what has fueled this much needed positivity around the Wii U, and what does Nintendo need to do to sustain it? There are a few tasks to be fulfilled.

Amiibo figurines look awesome! I'm personally looking forward to Samus and Link
Amiibo figurines look awesome! I’m personally looking forward to Samus and Link

Firstly, Nintendo has to deliver on all the promises they gave at E3 this year. What’s comforting is that they have a pretty decent track record, especially within the last year. As long as their software and Amiibo figurines release as specified, they’ll be just fine. We have Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 1 and 2, and Smash Bros. to look forward to in the coming months (and hopefully Watch_Dogs), so that’s a great start. The sooner the software is released, the better, which leads me to my next point.

Second, we, as gamers, enjoy hype surrounding games and systems. We want to look forward to new software. How is this hype created? By news and tantalizing information, that’s how! We know that Smash Bros. is releasing this Winter; give us a solid release date, new features, new characters, new moves…anything that we can get excited about! What will keep Zelda U in the front of our mind? Keep releasing a steady stream of new information and screenshots of the game. Want to keep the hype blanketing Star Fox U? Show more gameplay for us to be excited about regarding the game and the GamePad. This type of steady information streaming to the gamers has proven this year to be very fruitful – case in point, the Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 Nintendo Directs. Keep the gamers in the loop, and they will be [for the most part] happy.

The final to-do in order for the hype train to keep rolling past the station is something Nintendo has not been very good with….until recently. Promotion is an incredibly important facet; marketing to the right crowd, and making sure it is mass marketing, as well. Nintendo has been notoriously subpar with this, until they stepped up their game with Mario Kart 8. DKC: Tropical Freeze had decent marketing behind it, but Mario Kart 8 was the first time I had ever really seen Nintendo promote the way that Sony and Microsoft have. I was thoroughly surprised by the amount – and the content – of the marketing strategy: real life Mario Kart racing, McDonalds toys, real Mario Karts sold at Toys R Us…the list goes on and on. In addition, Nintendo stated that their marketing program in the UK – typically not a Nintendo friendly region – would continue over the next year.

This is the UK promotion, still going till July 31, 2014 - just more marketing genius
This is the UK promotion, still going till July 31, 2014 – just more marketing genius

Nintendo has been doing very well this year, and is starting to gain favor again in the eyes of many gamers. By no means am I saying that they are out of the woods, nor do they actually have favor already, but they are gaining ground; taking consistent steps in the right direction. I’m excited to see where the Wii U is at by this time next year, and I truly hope Nintendo keeps the hype train going. It’s good to see the Wii U in a positive light, even if it’s for a brief moment; let’s see if Nintendo can seize this opportunity and turn it into something even better.

 

~Michael

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