Keys to SuccessWritten By:
With the upcoming release of the Wii, Nintendo will be delving deep into the world of online gaming, something they have yet to do with a home console. The DS's success, thanks in part to quite a few popular titles being playable on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, proves that Nintendo can be a major player when it comes to online gaming. But, there still are many gamers who are critical of the DS's online system, and those same people are not very optimistic as to how the Wii's online capabilities will work out. Below are some key factors that can make or break Nintendo's chances of hitting it big with the Wii in the online gaming market will be analyzed. Promotion
Nothing will happen unless Nintendo promotes the Wii's online capabilities. There are many simple, low-cost ways for Nintendo to do this, and by doing so, it will allow many people to experience the Wii in action online.
Microsoft has had weekends where any Xbox 360 owner gets a free weekend of XBox Live Gold. This costs Microsoft nearly nothing to do, and by allowing so many people to actually play with Gold Live (instead of Silver), they end up selling lots of Gold memberships, as well as showing off all of Live's coolest features. Nintendo can't do the same thing, since Wii's online gaming will be free.
But, Nintendo can have a similar special event weekend where each Wii owner might get a free Virtual Console download, some free demos of upcoming Wii games, free downloadable content, and more.
By giving out a free download to each Wii owner, Nintendo might lose a few sales (to people who otherwise would have paid to get that game), but they will be showing off how great the Virtual Console really is. There will be many critics of the Virtual Console, as there are with anything in the videogame industry; the best way to disprove the critics is to give a free sample of what they are criticizing. So, 1 free download, which might be a $5 sales loss to Nintendo, will allow a Wii owner to experience how easy it is to download a game, and possibly persuade them to come back for more. Now, multiply that by the millions, since there will be million of Wii owners, and Nintendo might lose quite a bit of money. Well, giving out a free download is much better advertising for the service compared to a series of commercials. This not only promotes the Virtual Console for all owners to know about, but would increase sales for Nintendo as well; a win-win situation.
Something that both Playstation Magazine and XBox Magazine can say they do that Nintendo Power can not is they give away free demo disks. So, what should Nintendo do? Give out free demos as well. Many people are turned off from buying a game because they read a bad review about it, or hear it isn't so good from word of mouth. And, with game rentals about $5 apiece, it is quite expensive to try out multiple games that might be considered for purchase. Nintendo could distribute demos in two ways. Like PSM and XBM, Nintendo Power could send a demo disk out with each issue. This would probably add $5-$10 to a yearly subscription though, which many people wouldn't be very fond of. The other option, which Microsoft has done with XBox Live already, is allow gamers to download demos online. Nintendo could have a new demo or two each week available for download on the Virtual Console menu. This would cost very little, and allow for the Wii's online features to actually help sell games, as well as have some free content people could enjoy playing.
Many Xbox 360 owners love the downloadable content on XBox Live. Skins, themes, and more can be purchased online. Some of these themes include: Halo, NBA, NFL, Call of Duty, Perfect Dark, Burnout and Adidas, as well as many others. Allowing gamers to customize their online experience only makes the online system more user-friendly and fun to use.
A neat background which is part of the NBA / Miami Heat theme.
The Virtual Console
The Virtual Console is most likely going to end up being the most important feature of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. But, if Nintendo doesn’t play the right cards, the Virtual Console could end up being as big of a flop as Dreamcast. Nintendo can make the Virtual Console even better both right in the Virtual Console and outside of it.
You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “How can Nintendo make the VC better within itself?” Well, it is very simple indeed. Plenty of Wii owners will log on to the VC to see what they can all get. So, once Wii owners arrive at the VC’s main screen, Nintendo just needs to give them a little help on deciding what to purchase. The possibilities for ways to do this are endless: loyalty programs, discounts, and more.
A loyalty program is a sales promotion very commonly used by businesses that sell things to people repeatedly. For example, a local ice cream store might have a summer deal where if you buy an ice cream cone in June and July, you get a free one in August. A loyalty program encourages repeat purchases (once someone bought an ice cream in June, if they want one in July, they’re more likely to come to the specific ice cream shop, since they know they can get a free ice cream later on). Also, it will allow customers to try new things (after going to the ice cream shop for a third time, they might bring someone else, or try a new flavor of ice cream that they’ve never had before - since it is free; by doing so, there is a good chance they’ll return after the deal is over, since they like the ice cream shop so much). Now, just replace the ice cream shop with the Virtual Console, and the ice cream cones with classic games. Wii owners will buy more VC games, resulting in free downloads, but Nintendo’s sales will also increase.
Discounts are pretty basic. If there isn’t much demand for a certain game, Nintendo could feature it in a certain “Good Deals” or “Sale” section. It would get certain games more noticed, and more people would purchase them. Need proof that this works? A couple weeks ago, Target’s ad has a picture of the ‘Cars’ videogame, which is on sale for $30. Now that the movie isn’t so current, Target needs some help selling the game. So, Target gives it special attention, and lowers the price. If Nintendo does that with Virtual Console games, the same effect will occur for their sales. Also, everyone loves sales, so, once again, this is a win-win situation for both Wii owners and Nintendo.
Also, there should be demos given out for classic downloadable games. If someone has never heard of a game before, they aren’t going to download it to their Wii. But, if they have the opportunity to sample it out for free, there’s a good chance they will, and if they like it they get a game they’ll enjoy, and Nintendo makes a few bucks.
Get The Facts Straight
How can one of the Wii’s major selling points be its price, when the public doesn’t even know what its price is? Yes, we know it is under $250, but still, until Nintendo tells us what it will cost us exactly, people will not get too excited. Once we hear it is $200, or $230, then we truly celebrate the bargain we’re receiving. Also, this will make it a lot easier for media to show how much more costly PS3 and 360 are compared to Wii in all of those comparison special feature articles (magazines, online sites, etc).
Halo fan or not, you remember the huge hype leading up to the release of Halo 2. All the hype was based around the Halo 2 logo, and November 9th; oh yeah, and the game itself. The amount of hype leading up to Halo 2’s release was spectacular. Until Nintendo announces the Wii’s release date, there is no chance for a level of excitement comparable to that leading up to Halo 2.
As much as the hype was towards November 9th as the actual game, Halo 2, or so it seemed.
The price and date need to be announced as soon as possible. The longer the Nintendo waits, the closer they get to shooting themselves in the foot.
Nintendo usually plays their cards quite well, and by following these steps, they are almost guaranteed success with the Wii. Of course, their success
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