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Nintendo Wii: Marketing Design Innovation

Nintendo Wii :

The reason why I have chosen Wii is that, this is one the best product to describe the marketing designs and innovation topic as a practical example, you can ever imagine. Nintendo (The manufacturing company of Wii) surprised the people by launching a product with a large number of innovations in the brand, named Wii. Wii is a gaming console and family entertainment system, and you can play today's latest games with it. It offers well-known Nintendo's games like Mario, Metroid and Zelda, also the new classical games like Wii Play and Wii Sports. It also offers to create your own gaming characters to start in Nintendo's games. We may also play games with friends online on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or may we can use other internet connections to surf the internet from your home sitting on sofa or lying on bed. We can even download classical Nintendo's video games by using the Wii Shop Channel. Without Nintendo our TV is incomplete.


Other reason of selecting Wii as for design & innovation example is that it is not only a gaming console, but it is a family entertainment system. It not only just provides the innovative & surprising gaming entertainment but a large number of extra facilities, which provide reasons for friends and family get together. These facilities include online gaming, online messaging, news & weather updates, listen to music, watch movies, fitness training and creativities. 


It is a product which has changed by the company from time to time according to the changing needs and values of customer. It also has offered a variety in its product according to like and dislikes of different regions around the globe.





Nintendo has provided different models of the gaming console with the changing names of its brand. Nintendo also provided different versions of games according to changing needs & demands of different markets, which also were consistent with their different regional demographics. The year over year improvement in design, technology, changing models according to customer need and demands are described in this section of the report. Nintendo has passed through a long journey of developments to make a high class and highly technological advance product like Wii. Nintendo has a long history of developing its technology and the destination of these developments is Wii, a revolutionary product in the gaming industry. The year over year developments of Nintendo to reach the level of Wii is detailed as under:




The first model of the gaming console launched by the Nintendo was named Famicom; it continued for two years from 1983 to 1985, progress is detailed as under:


Early 1980s Japan


Nintendo started its business early 1980s. It just continues to improve over the period, and it has achieved remarkable improvements and provided exceptional innovations to its customer. Nintendo started its business by developing series of arcade game, which became popular very soon. Soon it planned to construct a cartridge-based console. In 1983 it launched three ports successful arcade games naming Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior and Popeye. Initially, Nintendo’s console was slow because of a chip fault which used to crash the system. Soon by the end of 1984 it started to have been great of momentum when it reissued Nintendo console with a new motherboard, and soon it became the largest selling game console in Japan.


1985 American Markets


In 1985 Nintendo launched the game console in the markets of North America. Initially, it launched the game console with the joint venture with Atari under the Atari’s name but soon the contract was broken and Nintendo launched its own game console in North American markets containing the features of a keyboard, wireless joystick controller and cassette data recorder under the name of Nintendo Advanced Video System.


In June 1985, it was the Nintendo, who first started to launch different games on a variety of different topics and types. Meanwhile, it launched American version of the games consoles at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). These games included Excite Bike, Baseball, Donkey Kong Club Land, Gyro Mite, Duck Hunt, 10-Yard Fight, Golf, Hogan’s Alley, Kung Fu, Ice Climber, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up and the most popular Super Mario Bros. To increase the demand of its games it launched games contained Nintendo's chips with and an adapter to plug and become compatible with North American consoles.





After Famicom Nintendo soon launched a new and much improved model of the gaming console naming NES described in details as under:


1986-1990 Europe and Australia


The newer version of Nintendo was named the Nintendo Entertainment system (NES). Nintendo spread its network by launching NES in Europe and Australia. Nintendo distributed its NEH by two different distribution companies. One was responsible for the region of United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and Australia and the other for European countries excluding a few included for the other distribution company. NES was launched in 1986, and it became successful in 1990 throughout Europe and Australia.  Despite dull performance in North America and Japan, by 1990 the NES had just outsold all previously released consoles around the globe. Since 1990 NES was still not available in Eastern Bloc countries like Germany, the Russia and Yugoslavia.

In the start of 1990s, NES faces a serious competition from well-known technologically superior systems like the 16-bit Sega Mega DriveGenesis and competition started to outperform the Nintendo sales.





In 1995 Nintendo launched a new model and ceased to produce in the name of NES and the newer name was same as the previous one with the addition of one S in start, detailed as under:


1995-2000 Japan & America


Very soon Nintendo's launched an improved gaming console named Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), but customers of NES gradually disappeared. Nintendo was expert in designing the new system and providing innovation to its gaming console.  Soon after the SNES went to flop, Nintendo continued to carry on this system in North America for first five years of the decade of nineties.  It released newer models of the gaming console, the model NES-101 in North America and HVC-101 in Japan. Nintendo also kept a get follow up, customer complaints and feedback system. Through this system Nintendo could quarry from some flaws in design from the original console hardware system.


Nintendo just continued to improve the system by improving the hardware performance and releasing new games. New games released were including Takahashi Meijin, Bōken Jima IV, Sunday Funday, and Warrior’s Woods. These were few of the last releases SNES until Nintendo stopped producing to September 2003. Even when developers stopped producing SNES, there were a number of high-profile video games were released including legendry Super Mario Bros., and Metroid, Capcom's Mega Man, Konami's Castlevania , Square Soft's, Final Fantasy and Enix's Dragon Quest. Ninten stopped production but it continues to repair this gaming console to October 2007 and finally decided to suspend the support when, it was an increasing shortage of the necessary parts for repair.





Nintendo DS Lite was a somewhat different version than the previous brands or models by Nintendo. It was a dual-screen game console which was a handheld game console. It was much slimmer, brighter, and much lighter weight design than the previous models developed by the company. First time Nintendo didn’t launch a TV gaming console. It was a portable pocket gaming console. Nintendo DS Lite was launched by a moth difference in the different regions of the world in the year 2006.


Japan 2006


This Nintendo model was a beautiful small electronic device. It was having control buttons on it and had stereo speakers on the top. DS came with different designs and colors, which improved even better from time to time. Initially, it had a huge demand which was way above its production. Starting a lot of 550,000 units in March 2006 was sold out, soon after its launch. In March Nintendo released 700,000 units, which ease the shortfall to some extent. This shortfall of demand continued for two years from 2006 to 2007. To November 2009, Nintendo had sold out about 17 million devices in Japan only.


Australia & North America 2006


This hand handled game console had the Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity. In Australia Nintendo launched the DS Lite with different games. The most famous was “Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training”. In Australia Nintendo’s sales of DS Lite were about 9 million units and in North America sales of DS Lite was about 35 million since June 2006, the launching date of the device. In just the first five days since the launching of product Nintendo sold 500,000 units in North America.


DS Lite is the final development towards the Wii. Wii has a great aspiration form DS Lite. DS Lite provided a sound base to the Wii. After the huge success of DS Lite people was expecting a lot form Wii and Wii were the Brand even above their expectations.





Finally, Nintendo was able to develop the Wii. Wii is just like a revolution in the history of a video game consoles. It is a seventh generation seventh generation game console, which competes with Sony Play Station 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. Nintendo had the idea to develop Wii in 2001. Nintendo engineers started their research to develop the revolutionary model of the gaming console. The concept was focusing on a new form of player interaction in the gaming world. In 2005, Nintendo engineers and designers developed the concept further. The prototype was shown in Electronic Entertainment Expo but Nintendo withdrew from launching it by declaring some possible faults in the design.


As Wii was released later than the other competitive products mentioned above, it had the more opportunity to have wider demographics in the console than comparing others in the seventh generation. Wii had an exceptional advertisement campaign containing billboard, buntings and series of TV ad. The slogans are "Wii would like to play" & "Experience a new way to play. The campaign had a total budget of more than 200 million US$, and it was the first broad-based advertising campaign which included two-minute video clip presenting a varied assortment of people playing and enjoying the Wii gaming console.  Ad included the urban apartment-dwellers, country ranchers, parents, grandparents playing with their children.


Earlier the Wii was to be named Revolution but in one press conference Nintendo announced to change the name to Wii. The press reacted negatively to the new name. Nintendo gives the reason that Revolution may not be easily pronounced in every language but Wii does. It would be remembered easily by everyone and there would be no confusion for anyone. Nintendo's management also gives a reason that two lower case characters “ii” would give the impression of two people standing side by side and playing each other on the Wii gaming console.


Hardware Configuration


The Wii is much smaller comparing to its previous measures 1.73" in wide & 6.18" tall and 8.48" deep in its vertical orientation. The system weighed is 1.2 kg, which is lightest in seventh generation consoles. Other feature/configurations included SD cards, power supply, contian12 cm Wii Optical Discs, USB ports, Wii Remote, one Sensor Bar, one external main power adapter, two AA batteries and hand books written in English and local language of each country. In January 2007 Wii system development was almost complete, but it delayed to meet the highly expected and huge demand of it. Nintendo launched Wii on July 2007.


Wii has all the controls of the game wireless. The controlling device is called remote, which works by pointing at the LED Sensor Bar which is connected the console with the Bluetooth features. Additionally, there is an attachable wrist strap, prevents the player from unintentionally dropping losing the Wii Remote. It has 512 MB internal, which can be expanded to 32GB. Wii has the options to connect Internet, play, download and chat with other users on an internet. Wii has the better processor, much better graphics and exceptional stereo system. All these features are improving year after year, which makes it the bestselling gaming console in the world. Since the launching, Wii has outperformed the competition and has stolen huge market shares from Sony and Microsoft in the gaming industry.


The previous part was the history of technological and other developments by Nintendo to reach the standard of final Brand of Wii. This part of the report discusses the marketing developments and other aspects of Wii.

Competitive Advantage to Wii:

The first advantage to Nintendo Wii is that it cheaper console manufacture comparing competition. In this way, Nintendo provides better profit to its distributors or shopkeepers selling Wii comparing competitive products. It provides greater room to Nintendo to maneuver the price mechanism to take on its competitors.

Secondly, Nintendo's games are much quicker, easier and cheaper to develop. It gives Nintendo a huge advantage on what is sold in the game shops and when it is showing in the games' shelf of game stores. So, it is far easier to a publisher to make a better profit on Wii. This is the reason why, more development resource has allocated by the game manufactures to Wii. Wii also had more online and multiplayer features than competition. It had more innovative attractive controls of consoles.


Wii Segmentation:


As Nintendo had more attractive features, friendly interface of the gaming console and much cheaper than competition, this strategy targeted those people who had never planned to buy a video game console.  Wii’s target market was not only young and children, but it also targeted the middle age, parents and even the old people. A TV ad justifies, in which children with parent and youngsters with older people are shown. Wii has much broader segment comparing the PS3 and Xbox 360.


Nintendo did an extremely smart job by discovering and attacking a new and unexplored segment in the gaming industry. This also attracted people who have higher purchasing power than teenagers and who are less likely to pirate games.



Marketing Communication:


Nintendo had a huge marketing campaign which exceeded $200 million. It included highly appealing TV add described above. It also went for the billboards and buntings in the gaming stores, gaming section in the stores. Wii heavily advertised the Wii before and after launching it. 




Wii has given a revolutionary change in the gaming world. It has produced the gaming console with the wireless technology. For example, users can play a tennis game while picking up a remote of Wii in their hand like a real tennis racket. It is capable of point and detects the 3D movements in the games. Other distinguishing features of this console are Connect24 by which, we can update, download and receive messages online. Earlier, video games were blamed for reducing physical activities of new generation but by using Wii, users can play the game as they were facing a real time situation. So, physical activity feature is a great innovation by Wii.


It is launched in only one white color but available in black in Japan only. It is the more portable system as it has lighter weight, better graphics and highly enjoyable control comparing to the Sony Play Station 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. Its usage is also easy with the different types of games comparing the other two competitors.     

More innovations about the Wii gaming console are that it is not a gaming console only. It also provides different Wii Channels, which provide different benefits and entertainment reasons to its users and their whole family can enjoy these facilities. Wii Shop Channel provides information about the new games available and new features about the Wii online network. Users can watch trailers; short documentaries, new product demonstrations, and game play videos. Users can play any of the Wii network games by their Wii console, can create game new characters for them or other Wii consoles, take or receive worldwide polls, can ask or answer different questions on the Wii channels' network, can listen to time to time updated local and worldwide news, can receive weather updates of any region around the world, leave or receive or send messages, photographs for others, can watch movies on their favorite movie sites and can show of their own creations and download others’. These channel features make Wii a much more than a gaming console.





We must say that Nintendo has devised it branding strategy in a very clever and intelligent manner. Nintendo engineers and marketing team just let the competitors launching their competitive products. Nintendo made thorough analyses of their competitive products, their market segments and technology involved. After analyzing the situation, Nintendo devised a different branding strategy by targeting the broader segments of market.


Nintendo did not go to the “me too” strategy. It did not develop a highly advanced technology console. It did not choose to compete directly with Sony PS3 or Microsoft Xbox 360. As CEO of Nintendo said on the launching of Wii that Nintendo is not competing with Sony or Microsoft but interest of the company is to expand the gaming console market. Similarly, Nintendo Launched a gaming console with almost completely different attributes (as mentioned above) from its competitors.   


Nintendo develops Wii in a quite low cost. This is the reason why Wii price is pretty low comparing the competition. Wii is devised to benefit the customer by providing not only game entertainment but also the physically active video gaming amusement. It is presented to every age of a person or any culture. Wii has a more variety in its game to touch the taste of every person.


According to Nintendo's brand name Wii is appealing to every person to play on this console, which sounds like “We”. The brand slogan also uses Wii instead of the word, we (Wii like to play). Wii has huge brand equity that it is well known by most of the people and more famous than the other competitive products. This is because it has much better revenue figures comparing competitors. Wii also is an easy and small name which creates a strong preference by distributors and consumers. Nintendo doesn’t provide any warranty or guarantee or any kind to its customers but Wii provide repair and service facility in the Nintendo service centers. Customer can get their problems resolved in the cheaper price services in those locations.


As Nintendo has produced the first wireless gaming console, it has enjoyed the first mover advantage of this innovation and is still enjoying this benefit provided to the customer in terms of accelerating sales.



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