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Nintendo unfazed by rivals’ bold new hardware launches

Format holder shrugs off early sales spikes enjoyed by Move and Kinect  DS is still best-selling console in UK by Michael French

KINECT AND MOVE may have turned up the heat on Nintendo’s innovative hardware, but the format- holder isn’t worried one bit. Marketing director Dawn

Paine says there is still plenty more mileage in the best-selling Wii and DS this Christmas, thanks to new software releases, innovative ad campaigns, and that evergreen back catalogue of games. And it’s got the numbers to prove it – the five-year- old DS is the oldest games machine on the market, and the UK’s best selling platform this year so far. “We are really pleased with how Christmas is going – some of the numbers and performances we are getting are blowing us away,” she told MCV. “Apart from one obvious week, DS

has been the best selling UK hardware in the run up to Christmas. That’s amazing when we’ve already sold 12 million units across the UK – and PlayStation only ever made it up to 10m. “Yes, in terms of the

market, a few weeks ago was very good for the

competition, but the week after DS was back on top. “We are really pleased with how Wii has picked up in the run to Christmas as well – Wii Partyis in the Top Ten, and our Helen Mirren Wii Fitcampaign continues to draw in waves of female

consumers aged over 40. We’ve got a real,

established wide

reach with our products. And there’s a huge

“ by Michael French

BUT while Nintendo sees lots of mileage in its products, retailers are failing to properly engage with new audiences coming in to games. UK sales director Andy

Yates has called on retail to start working closer with the format-holder and eliminate uncoordinated displays that intimidate the casual customers Nintendo has gone to great lengths to draw in.

In fact, he says the High Street is losing revenue by

4 December 3rd 2010

failing to properly engage with new audiences. “Retail needs help with this and they are looking for category expertise from us,” he said. “They should come to us as we have knowledge in this area.”

Nintendo has already

worked with partners on introducing new range and in-store touch-screen displays (pictured right) to make displays friendlier. But there’s a long way to go, said Yates. “There are some

challenges out there with

The demographic going into stores isn’t the same as it was a number of years ago.

“ Andy Yates, Nintendo

clutter – it’s difficult to get the full range in the space available. It can be very frustrating for consumers – especially when you consider that the demographic going into stores isn’t the same as it was a number of years ago.

“We want every retailer to be thinking about this. And we can help them. The returns on investment in getting this right is really high – get this right and retailers will see the rewards very quickly.”

It’s easy to make a big launch splash – real success is measured in the long term. Dawn Paine, Nintendo

amount of scope left from a hardware and software point of view.”

Earlier this

week both Sony and Microsoft unveiled global sales figures for Move and

Kinect, at 4.1m and 2.5m respectively. But Paine said true hardware

success is judged on long- term numbers. “Come back and ask me about the competition in 12 months. Because the UK market loves its gadgetry and high-tech products, which means it is reasonably straightforward to get sell through at launch time. It’s quite easy to make a big splash in the market with a new product launch – that’s actually the simplistic part of marketing,” she said. “Real success is always measured in the long term. “It’s when you are five years down the line, and still pushing forward with that strategy, and still trying to knock down the door to 60- year-old gamers… that’s the real test of your mettle. “So we’re not fazed – we’ve seen other big products step into the market, but we will keep innovating and pushing forward on every level.”

Retail must ‘cut the clutter’ in Wii and DS ranges

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