May 1st, 2013


Last week after Nintendo’s financial report for the year, Satoru Iwata admitted a few important things about the Wii U. The first is that consumers are confused. Those with purchasing power in their households believe that the Wii U is just another peripheral for the Wii console already sitting in their living rooms. Iwata stated that Nintendo intended to correct this with heavy marketing to show that the Wii U is in fact, a new console.

Today the first step of this plan went out, as Wii owners received a message on their console directly from Nintendo inviting them to check out the Wii U. The message states that the Wii U “is not just an upgrade–it’s an entirely new system” in order to address some of the confusion consumers may have had about it in the future. As I’ve stated before, here at Wii U Daily I field numerous questions from parents and grandparents who are unsure what the Wii U is. They ask if Wii U games can be played on the Wii, if the Wii U is backwards compatible with the Wii games they already own, and whether or not Wii peripherals will work with a new system.

These are legitimate questions for consumers who aren’t gamers, but are buying gaming consoles and accessories for their loved ones. It’s great that Nintendo is stepping up to address the issue so more consumers are aware of the difference  between Wii and Wii U.

local_offer    Nintendo  wii u  
  • JB

    Honestly, sending a message to Wii owners via the messaging system was probably something they should’ve done in some capacity sometime around launch. That and a few letters/brochures to those who have registered Wiis. Nonetheless, this is still a very good first step!

    • Yes, they should have sent something along the lines the Wii U is coming and once released the all new Wii U is here. There still seems to be some confusion on people thinking the Wii U is not a new console. I was at Best Buy the other day picking up an online order and a parent was trying to return 3 Wii U games opened that didn’t work and her kids only had a Wii.

      • JB

        Marketing like that would’ve gotten my attention… Then if they did that in addition to the normal radio/TV ads, they would have moved more units than they have now. I don’t know how the Best Buy in your city is set, but the ones in my area does an abhorant job of seperating the Wii/Wii U products. Walmart is almost just as bad, but at least they have a demo unit up and going and about a month or two before launch, you could pre-order via their holiday layaway program. So they had flyers and advertisements.

        • Many of the retail channels did a horrid job. I know for a fact that Best Buy sat on their Wii U demo stations at many stores for over a month before the Wii U was released claiming they were awaiting for approval from Best Buy corporate to put it out. Meanwhile the gamestop across the parking lot had theirs up right away with NintendoLand running. Some of this was the fault of Nintendo and some of it was the fault of the retailers for dropping the ball. Iwata and Reggie should have been on their asses

          • JB

            Antother thing that could’ve helped is if Nintendo partnered up with a retail chain or two and sent Nintendo reps out to showcase and demo the Wii U. Sure it cost money, but even if they just did that in maybe 5 or 6 larger markets, it could’ve helped get the word out there. I totally agree, Iwata and Reggie should’ve been on the retailers hardcore… of course the recent restructure of leadership at NOA (With Iwata being CEO of the North America division) might help things out.

          • AkaLink77

            i was thinking the same thing but for nintendo to send notifications to 3ds

      • GuardiansFan

        same thing happened with blu rays and likely still happen with blu rays…thats what happens when you start selling technology to the average person.

        • True Story…. Aunt In Law got wedding BluRay from her son and called me because it wouldn’t play. I asked her if she had a BluRay player and she said she didn’t know so I got the brand and model and she did not. After trying to explain to her that it would not work her only response was “Well the disc is the same size”

          Sorry for going off topic…

    • I’m not convinced the customers who are most in need of Wii U education are likely to have their Wii connected to the internet at all.

      • JB

        I’ll give you that much Tim 🙂 Though it’s something that doesn’t hurt them or take much time to do in the long run, which is why I felt it’s something they should’ve done around launch time. That way, the ones who do have their Wiis connected could spread the word.

        I think the main issue would be not how many people have the Wii connected to the internet, but how many actually still turn on the Wii and play on a regular basis anymore.

    • Dorfdad

      Nintendo being Nintendo I guess. The problem with this is that the users who are getting this message are probably not the ones buying the new systems asking these questions. Also I bet you $1000.00 that most of these people don’t even know how to access their messages and the drive just blinks endlessly.

      • JB

        Valid point. Whatever the case, it’s at least a start. Hopefully they’ll start ramping up the marketing soon!

  • NintendoNoob

    Nintendo, do more than this. Please, sure you brodcasted it to all 100 million Wii’s out there but not everyone you broadcasted it to will buy it. Plus, not everyone with a Wii has it connected to the internet so it isn’t that effective. If you set up commercials to tell about the new Wii U system, show off game trailers, and talk about its features on TV the billions of people who watch TV would be interested in buying the Wii U, I know you guys aren’t in a situation to talk about all the good games on Wii U (Not reaching its full potential yet in games)
    But if you show off games that Will be coming like CoD: Ghosts, Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD people will start thinking to buy a Wii U. I know you can do better Nintendo! Step up! Ps4 and Durango are probably being released by the end of the year, you need to bring out the big guns to lure away their fanboys and ultimately get third party support like Ps360 did last generation!

  • Hendrick

    Finally! ;))))

  • Morits Lian

    Good, good
    Everything’s going according to plan
    Here’s our systen
    Here’s the tickets

    • Morits Lian

      Faq my lungs exploded

  • Potemkin

    Just how the f*ck do they expect to clear confusion with this move?

    Invest some money in advertising, just like Samsung does with their smartphones.

    Sponsor events, TV ads, hell! even street ads would be better, but I guess this way is cheaper and easier to do.

    Far is the Nintendo I once knew and admired, now is just simply a shadow hiding behind the success it once built. Shame.

    • Morits Lian


      • Potemkin


        • Morits Lian


          • Potemkin


          • Morits Lian

            Gotta love them downvoters
            Btw do you know how many people who got a Wii, are connected to the internet and doesn’t know what a Wii U is? Quite a lot I guess.

          • Potemkin

            Downvotes are always going to be there no matter how coherent a response is. Some people just like to see the world burn. Anyways, since I do not get online with a Wii, nor do any of my friends or casual gamers I know, this message will not go through to them.

          • Morits Lian

            Be a messenger, spread the love.

    • JB

      It’s targeted advertising. There’s about 100 million Wiis out there. It’s a quick, cheap, easy and efficient way to go after Nintendo’s installed base first, since they are more likely to buy a new Wii system. Then they’ll spread out en masse. Nintendo does do a bit of sponsoring on Nick, Cartoon Network and Disney, I’m not sure if they are using those avenues to it’s full advantage though.

      • Morits Lian


      • Potemkin

        I guess it does help to those still connected with their Wii….

        • JB

          There’s gotta be at least a few out there. LOL. Do those few still boot up their Wiis everyday, Who knows? It’s still not a bad tactic to take, if it’s a tactic that’s available.

          • Jack5221

            I still use my Wii! Mostly to play gamecube games on it though, since my purple cube won’t turn on anymore and just sits on the shelf looking pretty with my N64 and SNES. 🙂 Luckily those still work!

          • fireheartis1

            Before I got my Wii U I booted my Wii up everyday to play games. I’m sure there’s still people out there who do the same. It’s not like all 90,000,000 users abandoned the Wii man. People like me who stayed with the Wii for gaming, and still have the Wii will boot it up every once in a while. I used to game on my Wii at least 2 days a week.

          • JB

            That’s why I don’t think that was a bad tactic for them to send these messages. The fact is Wiis are still selling (whether used or new) I think Nintendo has some idea of how many are connected to their servers. They probably felt it was enough of them online to send out that message. Like I said in another post, it’s something something before easy and not going cost them very many resources, so it’s a good tactic to use if it’s one they have. As for me, I still have my Wii and it’s still connected to my TV and online. I still use it to play my library of Gamecube Games. Before my Wii U, I still played mine as well. So I do know that there’s probably still a decent chunk of people that do since there are so many Wiis out in the wild. 🙂

    • Magnus Eriksson

      I agree 100%. There is something really strange with the way Nintendo advertises for their product. Everyone, i mean EVERYONE, tells them that too few games are the number one issue. It is May now, and nothing of interest is released! No game to hype it up. Instead Nintendo tries a lot of desperate shit, like the flyer showing differences between Wii and WiiU…The truth is that no one cares about the WiiU until it has some crazy good games on it… But this is not in the very near future either. Some talks about a Zelda remake of a game that where unable to give GCN first place in its console generation. Pikmin3 and W101 will eventually come, but not very soon. Earliest two or three months, maybe more. Of the other games that have been spoken of – NOTHING. We havent seen as much as a screenshot or a teaser from any of the games that could kickstart sales. And thats because they are still FAR from being done. 2014 earliest. I guess we will see the first games from N. sometime MID-summer and maybe one or two more the rest of the year. What we will see is a lot of strange campaigns very Nintendo tries to tell people that WiiU is something different than the Wii. No, they made some really lousy choices down the road of this generation. My guess is that it will sell around 5m at best this year (march 13-march 14). Then they will pull the plug as its not bringing income that justifies releases of more and more costly projects… Eventually we will probably see Nintendo turn towards more software oriented business (games for mobile telephones and tablets), and less hardware… Maybe we will see another last Ninty console after the WiiU in two years time, but that is a very big maybe and a vague guessing…

      • Silent

        What people dont seem to realize is that they know EXACTLY what they are doing. “desperate much” No, They are starting slowly and as the console’s OS and games are ready, the advertisement increases. Its not like nintendo doenst read the news.

    • gamesplayswill

      Actually this will.
      think about it, if a kid is playing on the wii and they’ll see that, they’ll ask their parents for it then possibly their dad might bring that subject up at his work
      about how his son wants a new nintendo.
      It has a domino effect, like all adverts and reiew etc.

    • Silent

      Please, we have enough with ignoranceiswhatsup. OMG so many trolls

      • Potemkin

        Ignorance? sadly being a fanboy clouds their judgement. Every move a company makes, in the eyes of a fanboy, is right, even when that decision might lead to a bigger issue.

        Some people must learn to see things a little bit more objectively. :/

        • Silent

          Seriously I didnt even bother to read your comment. Can you be more interesting please?

          • Potemkin

            Poor kid.

  • MrMindcrime

    They should have just named it the Wii 2

    • Morits Lian

      But then it wouldn’t sound like a police car siren

      • aldo2410

        It had to be Wii U because Patrick Starfish predicted it

    • GuardiansFan

      its not too late. They can change the U portion of the logo to include the “U” at the bottom and a 2 at the top in larger text. Keep everything else the same. Another thing that wouldnt hurt is putting QR codes on the covers that links to an instructional video….there are enough iphones or android devices out there aimed at non-techy people and those are likely to be the people that dont know the difference. Do the above 2 things and i’m sure it would help….oh and start releasing a few more games but thankfully thats coming

  • Noel Canales

    NINTENDO has sunk to a new low…….they are DESPERATE! The only ones that can save them is Don Drapper from MAD men, but this would require a time machine to a fake world. But hey NINTENDO can make it.

    • Morits Lian

      Sure they can, and will.

    • Noel Canales

      BY THE WAY, I LOVE NINTENDO, im a fanman, but if this next Zelda does not have characters speak, Im going to be livid. They need to make this Zelda stand out and different. They should have named the Wii U simply Nintendo HD. bottom line. That would have made people think, “hey this is different”. And we know people are suckers for anything with HD behind it. we should not have to be using pointer devices any longer, that was what the regular WiiWii was about. They should have taken a bold approach.

      • Pikachief

        I think there would be a lot more fans a lot more upset if Zelda characters DID speak than if they didnt. Especially after Other M. All that narration by samus and talking almost ruined the whole experience for me.

        • tronic307

          Nintendo doesn’t get it when people say they want speech in a Zelda game. We know that Link is the silent protagonist, but why does everyone else have to be mute?

  • Noel Canales

    DOES anyone remember when why the Nintendo 64 system looked the way it did? I remember reading they called it ULTRA 64 that it was shaped to look like a corvette reace car. That was cool. The WiiU on the other hand looks just like the Wii just longer and smooth corners. Nintendo needs to fire their Advertisers.

    • Saul Rivera

      Yeah it seemed for a moment that they were maybe planning on naming all their systems that way…Nes…Super Nes…Ultra Nes…ha but I imagine they wouldn’t have any idea what to use after Ultra

  • Noel Canales

    Nintendo, if your listening, reading, etc, I hope that Mario Kart will be so awesome that you will be able to play with the Wii U game pad and shoot or bust balloons of racers right next to you by simply moving the controller in a panoramic view, and maybe your friend or buddy can drive while you move around in all directions shooting at your fellow racers. you know, shooting red/green turtle, dropping bananas, or even playing defense. I am sure your smart guys developing games have brought this up……..RIGHT???? Otherwise what the hell is the new game pad for. Panoramic view is so awesome if it was in a game.

  • Saul Rivera

    Naming it the Wii U was their biggest misstep from the get-go…though it’s funny how people had no problem back then with the Nintendo’s successor being named Super Nintendo and knowing the difference =_=

    • Pikachief

      Probably because it sounded like the next step. Wii U sounds like theyre trying to sell you an upgraded Wii, like DS -> DS Lite -> DSi.

    • Morits Lian

      Let’s all look at the Super Wii U for a second.

  • Pikachief

    Thats cool. I see you’re taking baby steps, but you should also try proper advertising. I see bioshock, tomb raider, and assassins creed adverts everywhere here in LA. Im pretty sure people know what those games are.

  • Brandon Betlej

    Desperate much?

  • Nintendofreak

    i have to admit is kind of hilarious lmfao

  • thedeciderU

    too little too late

  • Is it only me, or it looks like Nintendo didn’t advertise ON PURPOSE? WHAT ARE THEY PLANNING LOL

  • Thomas Fitzgibbon

    Good idea but…uh…shouldn’t they have done this like…6 MONTHS AGO?!

  • discuss

    So they think people who bought a Wii U don’t even know the bought a new system? Seriously Nintendo stop making a fool of yourself.

    • ZakAttack7

      Ahhh you fishstick, it was sent to all Wii owners, not Wii U consoles… Read the article before you bash the mighty Nintendo 😉

      • discuss

        I’m such a fishtick 🙁 Now it makes sense. I saw the screenshot and somehow I thought it was the same screen I get on my Wii U.

        • ZakAttack7

          Haha not really anymore, i was just worried you were a troll and getting prepared to kill it with fire (and acid, cheeky little d&d reference :P)

  • ZakAttack7

    Yes, yes and even more yes! Finally Nintendo have got their act together, this is exactly what we need! Good job Iwata, but I never doubted you 🙂

  • Ducked

    Should’ve been done a long time ago. At least its done now.

  • Gary A.

    The problem is…. those people that don’t know the difference b/t a Wii and Wii U have their Wii’s in the closet, so they’ll never see this message.

  • Johny

    “its something”

  • BL4CKSH33P

    So it begins …

  • Justis Bistawros

    This is honestly not a bad idea i had a wii and i always checked the notifications to see what was up hopefully aloat of wii owners go to the notifications i remember playing black ops 1 on the wii and their was a pretty good amount of people online 80,000 hope fully these people see and buy the wii u and all of the people on the wii who own black ops 1 go buy black op 2 so the wii u will actually have a pretty large community not only would the black ops wii u community be happy that there is more people online but activision/treyarch will be happy that more people are playing.

  • andrewjcole

    This is great! Think of all the Wii owners!

  • Mario

    Why didn’t they just do this before the WiiU came out!?

  • Jon

    soo… how is this a bad way of advertising? there is like 100 million wii’s out there, why not send the ad to those already supporting them…. better chance of them buying then people who don’t even follow Nintendo.

  • Silent

    A lot of Wii owners not even check their Wii these days.

  • gamer

    Good job, Nintendo!

  • GuardiansFan

    its such a simple idea its brilliant…my guess is this is going to help sell systems….how many is still up to debate but I would assume this would help quite a bit.

  • Hey Nintendo! Put me in the next Super Smash Bros game

  • Quicksilver88

    Now do the same thing with 3DS and DSi owners as well as anyone signed up for Club Nintendo. Next after E3 how about a serius TV campaign that stresses the Wii-U is an entirely new gaming experience and shows off a variety of 1st and 3rd and even top eShop games in the commercial. This type of move would give 3rd parties and retsilers confidence that Nintendo is pushing the system and promoting their interests in the ecosystem.

  • Nope, no message for me my Wii is connected to the net but so far no message has been received, then again I don’t really need it anyway, but many average people should get it as they seem to fail in knowing Wii and wiiu are two different things, can’t really blame them though but not going in to that again.

  • What they need to do is eliminate the word ‘upgrade’ when discussing Wii U. Some people know how to keep confusion going. I swear, these marketing execs must get their jobs from hooks like being Free Masons or something.

  • readypembroke

    When I saw the message I was like “ABOUT TIME THEY DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Chance White

    The fact that Kiddie Console, Inc. even has to clarify that their new console (with current gen horsepower) is in fact a new console pretty well sounds the death knell for the company. Sooner or later, people will get tired of Mario and Zelda rehashes played on unerwhelming hardware.