Nintendo Marketing Genius.
Hot on the heels of Nintendo’s latest announcement, the reveal of a January 13 Nintendo Switch Presentation in Japan, it is evident that this is not the same Nintendo we’ve grown accustomed to. After decades of following a similar pattern and restraining themselves to more Japan-centric traditions, Nintendo has become unpredictable, but in a good way.
It all started back in 2015 with the triumphant return of the Nintendo World Championship, celebrating its 25th Anniversary. This more than anything signified that Nintendo was embracing their history, but more importantly, their fans. Then the initial reveal of codename ‘NX’ and that they wouldn’t talk about it until the following year.
Most people viewed this as a mistake, even more so when they announced no information would be provided during E3 2016 but it actually kept the NX brand growing while at the same time keeping themselves from having to spread their marketing budget thin during a year long period. They successfully condensed that year into six months. And now two months.
Now it is even more evident by Nintendo announcing at first that no more news about the Switch would be released, only to have them make public a week later that they will be hosting a three day event in Japan for the Nintendo Switch, and doing so two and a half months in advance!
This is the Nintendo I’m excited for. The Nintendo that exudes confidence. The Nintendo that is willing to put everything on the table because they know they have something very special in their hands.
Of course, for all of this to work, Nintendo requires a rabid fanbase that will keep their name out there and the momentum going. Leave it to places like GAF to over-analyze every small bit of information in order to decipher some obscure and life-altering details.
Then again, I found myself being part of that group. And it was both depressing and a whole lot of fun.
That Nintendo dared to reveal the ‘NX’ name and nothing else was surprising. That they went over a year without revealing anything else seemed damaging at first, but without concrete details, it allows the mind to linger and give opportunity for everyone that is interested to interpret it their own way and be part of something bigger.
That after a year and a half of wondering what it is, pleading Nintendo for additional information, and devouring the leaks that seemed to pop up on a daily basis, they were able to deliver, it’s utterly amazing and a great feeling to have.
Nintendo will carry on the conversation with a simple message. “January 12.” With this, they have effectively avoided having to compete with the PS4 Pro, PSVR and Xbox One S announcements and sales. With this they have successfully avoided the Holiday Season and concentrating on giving people information when it will have nothing else to compete against.
And for those that say it is a mistake to bypass the holidays and the money people are willing to spend, they are forgetting about another significant event in North America. ‘Tax Season.’
The next couple of months will provide me with a very unique opportunity that would not have been available if the console had released this Fall. I will now be able to scheme my way into convincing my wife that there is a need for three Nintendo Switch consoles in my household. That ‘Tax Season’ affords me the opportunity to be able to get all three while at the same time having residual income to keep her happy is a luxury I couldn’t afford during the holidays.
If people are interested in the Switch, it won’t matter if are given that information a year in advance or two months in advance. They will be there to get it. What this does allow is for Sony and Microsoft to have no time to replicate some of the intricate offerings of the Switch and pry away possible adopters. It also allows Nintendo to concentrate most of their Switch budget and offer a more effective marketing blitz into a smaller window and thus, being able to dominate every spectrum of news available.