By: Alyssa DiJoseph
The next new thing from Nintendo is coming: say hello to Wii U. The advertising campaign began at the beginning of November, and the actual console will be released on November 18. The first ad of the campaign depicts different groups of people using the console for various forms of entertainment, from movies, to games, to karaoke. But does it really explain what the Wii U is all about?
Upon my first time seeing this ad, I was unsure of what the Wii U really was. Was it just the same thing as a Nintendo DS, but with a touch screen? What makes this product so special or different from other Nintendo products? So, I looked into it a little further. The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics (So what?). It also has 20 times the memory of the original Wii (ok I guess that’s useful), with half of that memory being dedicated to the console’s operating system (Wait, what? Only half?). Ok, so what’s the big deal? The console itself looks pretty much the same as the console of the original Wii. The main difference is the controller. The controller is called the Wii U GamePad. The GamePad features an LCD touch screen that serves as both a way to play and a screen. It also has traditional controls around the screen to provide a second option for gameplay. It can be used as a supplement to the TV screen or by itself, therefore combining the best of both worlds. However, the ad doesn’t focus on these specs in detail. Why?
Nintendo says that Wii U is not about the specs, but about the games. John Nash, developer at Blitz Games Studios, says, “It’s not about beating everyone else in a surface shader processing clock speed war. That’s not what Nintendo is about. They’re about saying, ‘we’ve got this great roster of IP, all these great characters, how do we build a piece of cost-effective hardware that will allow our players to interact with this IP and great worlds and characters in a new way?’” In other words, the Wii U is about bringing innovation to the world of gamers and allowing them to have new experiences of gameplay- to interact with familiar characters and worlds in new ways- rather than graphics or processing power.
After watching the ad again, I can see that mission reflected in the execution of the ad. The slogan itself, “How U Will Play Next,” parallels that same idea of innovation. The interactions of the various people in the commercial with the game system are more focused on how they’re interacting with the system than what the system is capable of doing. It focuses on only one aspect or benefit, meaning the commercial (although very colorful and full of many different people and games) is easier to swallow for consumers. It demonstrates that playing with the Wii U is a new experience, but still familiar and capable of bringing groups of people together just like the original Wii.
Overall, I think the ad is a good one, and if the campaign keeps up the theme of innovative gameplay, it will be a successful one. The question is, is this “How U Will Play Next?”