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Why The 2DS Will Make Bank For Nintendo

Posted on Monday, September 2 @ 13:12:29 PST by blake_peterson


Nintendo does not market to the hardcore market. Though it might be fair to say that in recent years, it’s been marketing to no one.
 
When I tell new people in my social circles that I’m a game journalist, a number of them will tell me, “Oh! I have a Wii!”
 
I’ve taken to responding, just to hear the response, “Have you heard of the Wii U?”
 
From the looks of surprise or questions about whether or not it’s a new add-on to the Wii, not one of them has ever responded affirmatively. It’s like Nintendo went out of their way to create a new console, and then decide not to tell their core constituency about it, at all.
 
While I love the Wii U gamepad and the 3DS’ additional depth, making these the selling point has really not worked in their favor. The Wii’s motion gaming was a rare exception to the rule that gimmicks don’t work in generating long term sales.
 
So it’s no surprise that Nintendo’s marketing since the Wii has been abysmal, until now. Until the 2DS.


 
A friend of mine from college, a more casual gamer, and more of Nintendo’s target for the handheld market, indicated that she would buy a 2DS on facebook, and that she was excited for it.  When I asked her why she didn’t just buy a 3DS and turn the 3D slider down, she wrote the following:
 

Okay, so I do understand that the 3DS has a function that you can turn off, but I still despise it. Sorry guys, I just don't share the love for it. And, honestly, I want the 2DS, but I kind of hate it for a similar reason: there are specialty games that you can only play on that device. But, I do like that the 2DS plays ds games from all three. When 3DS games came out, I wanted those new games, but I am poor and didn't want to buy a whole new system, let alone a system which seems to have the only difference being a 3D function.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what my friend said here, she despises the 3DS because to her it’s nothing more than a 3D version of the DS, with games she can’t play on her DS, all because it has a feature she will never use. My friend is quite intelligent, but she doesn’t read gaming blogs, and she doesn’t follow the industry—she is the gaming general public.
 
So she doesn’t know that the 3DS sports a more powerful processor and better screen resolution than the DS, or that the two screens are different sizes. To her it is literally an overpriced DS that Nintendo put out to cheat her out of money to play newer games. She thinks this way because Nintendo has failed to make the differences clear.
 
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently elucidated the point, when speaking about being unimpressed by the PS4 and Xbox One launch titles, saying, “Meh,” then adding:
 

We’ve got cloud technology that we’re delivering with Wii U. Nintendo TVii is all cloud-based technology. But the difference is, we don’t talk about the tech. [italics mine] We talk about the experience.

We make sure that the consumer has fun with the game experiences that we provide. And so I think as you compare and contrast Nintendo with other players in the space, for us it’s about games, about the fun, about the entertainment value, and not about the tech.

That’s doesn’t work if your consumer base doesn’t understand that the new systems are better than the old ones. And perhaps Nintendo hasn’t wanted to, since they may be afraid that doing so will invite tech spec comparisons to Sony or Microsoft’s consoles, but it’s really put them in a position where they’ve stabbed themselves in the foot, over and over.
 
The 2DS will sell because it’s the first device that Nintendo has marketed properly in years, perhaps since the DS itself. It’s the first time in years that they’ve clearly stated the advantages over their older systems to general consumers, consumers who want their software, but like my friend, have felt cheated because the company has failed to explain anything more than the gimmick they’re using to sell the machines.
 
My friend has already told me she’s buying one for herself, sight unseen, for Christmas.
Tags:   2DS, NDS, 3DS, Nintendo
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