Article | Nintendo: Are they changing?

By James Temperton 31.07.2003 1


Nintendo: Are They Changing?
If it aint broke, don't fix it is all very well, unless you sit on it and destroy it beyond all recognition...


The phrase “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it”, appears to be a favourite of Nintendo at the moment with remakes and refurbishments of games from the past. So does this show that they are changing by trying to improve classics to make them overall better than the original’s or does it just show us little Nintendo has learned from the introduction of worthy competition? Lets see…

Nintendo, in truth, have changed a lot in a hundred years. Originally starting out as a company that produced flower cards for a nation enthralled with them, the company soon saw a major change in to the electronic side of the business world. Being the other half of a pair of giants that dominated the gaming industry, life was easy as no major competition hassled them and every man and his dog knew who Mario was. But that was all soon to change, as Nintendo was about to fall out with their biggest future rival ever. When talks broke down with Sony over a “CD drive” add on, Sony pounced on the idea of extending their product range and decided to enter a market dominated by quality over quantity.

So we now move to the present day were the market is now dominated by the new comers who see quality as an added bonus over quality. But the question now dawns have Nintendo changed to deal with this newfound third place?

In a word or two, Nintendo have done sweet nothing. For a company that is over 100 years of age you would expect them to have a plan for everything, but alas, no. Nintendo’s main failing, in terms of coming in third place, is that their advertising is the weakest of the three. Sony as is apparent have amazing skill in this part of an overall plan. Not being just a console-orientated market Sony are the best in their field for such things as marketing a product. They know what works and what makes a product fail. Microsoft also are not simply just another pawn in the game of three as they are the more popular software provider for computers and they too understand what advertising can and cannot do for a console. But Nintendo are the odd one’s out as they have only one main sale point. It is apparent that they are trying to change and promote their product more widely; still it is also noticeable that they are still relying on hardcore fans to keep the steady supply of profit coming in.

Nintendo have tried to improve their flawed advertising by increasing the adverts on billboards and on TV but sadly this revival of an old friend didn’t last long as soon after the Christmas period we find the adverts for GameCube games are now few and far between. Also recently they have tried to support Evanescence on their cold fusion tour (correct me if I wrong of course), which will promote the GameCube to a bunch of people who wouldn’t know Nintendo if it came up and bit them on their ass. So the cold truth really is that Nintendo are trying to change but in truth the one secure friendship that they have had with the modern consumer has withered and died.

W
hen dealing with the competition Nintendo are trying to be more aggressive in the market. With the GameCube originally set at

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