With the Nintendo press conference only a day away. There is much speculation as to what they are going to say. Many believe that they will be unveiling the new hardware codename Project Cafe.
One has to wonder what Nintendo’s strategy is this time round. In the current generation, the Wii was released. This was the generation that I felt that Nintendo largely turned it’s back on it’s hardcore fans (myself included) and catered to the mainstream, non-gamers, Joe Schmoe and young and old alike. After realising that Nintendo were now focusing on making lifestyle games and they were no longer going make the games I want to play or even provide the platform for the games I want to play, I decide to get the XBOX 360. It’s now that I wonder what is their strategy this time round.
Assuming that Nintendo’s hardcore fans were actually fans of gaming rather than fans of a company or brand, most of them should have moved on. This means they would have lost a large percentage of their early adopters. One of the truths of the technology ecosystem is that to a large extent you need your early adopters. You need them to get your product, try it out and recommend it to the mass market.
So who are Nintendo’s demographic? The male teenagers to young 20’s don’t want to play Wii. It’s too kiddie. The girls of the same age can be lumped in with the rest of the Wii demographic, the traditional non-gamers. These people are not gamers, technologists or early adopters. I can bet that most of those Wii’s are sitting in cupboards, dusty or only used for party games. So what reason is there to get another Nintendo. The old one is sitting in garage. And bowling or exercise works just as well on the old Nintendo, it’s not like the graphics were that good to begin with. There is no need for another one.
This leaves Parents. Which leaves Nintendo again with their kiddie market. As an ex-Nintendo hardcore, I hated it when the other console fanboys called Nintendo kiddie. My only defence was calling them liars. Looking back on it now. Nintendo _is_ kiddie and it always was kiddie. There is nothing wrong with being kiddie. It’s a very lucrative market and to get children responding to your brand at such an early stage means more business later on.
This is all obviously speculation and come tomorrow we will hopefully see what Nintendo has up it’s sleeve. Is it the Ace or is it another Joker? Time will tell but I think this time it’s the kiddie image that will be saving Nintendo.