The WiiU’s First Commercial Isn’t Doing It Any Favors


I’m admittedly rather bearish on the WiiU. Yes, I think it will sell well at launch like any new video game console, particularly when there’s a been a drought of at least six years of any new system coming forth. But do I think it’s going to be kind of smash hit the Wii was? No way. Why? The core concept is just not as easy a sell as it was for the Wii. You swing the controller, your character swings a golf club or tennis racket.

That’s not really the case with the WiiU however, and in this first commercial for the system, we see how these selling points are hard to pitch without them sounding a bit ridiculous. From the video I got that:

1) You can use it like a sort of light gun (pew! pew! pew!)

2) You can share the TV in case your girlfriend is a dick

3) You can use it to zoom in on your target, though the two screens looked identical in that demonstration

4) You can “play in real time for real” though I have literally no idea what the hell that means from what they show, nor how it relates to ZombiU

5) You can “control like never before” which is equally vague, though the example shown is using the controller to spot hidden items, a gimmick invented just so the controller has some use.

In short, none of these are as easy to explain as the simple motions of the Wiimote, and I’m still not sold. it never pays to bet against Nintendo, but I’m remaining skeptical until I experience the “revolution” first hand.

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  1. Wow that’s one of the worst video game ads I have ever seen I mean the whole damn thing is ridiculous! They should have scrapped the narrator and shown more of the launch titles and if they were going to talk at all, mention either the improved hardware or other new features.

    I mean they spent over a minute talking shit about the console and they failed to even mention the fact that it now does HD haha!

    They need to serious improve even the basic level of service for online play. I know they won’t offer a service on par with PSN or Xbox Live but the Wii could barely ever find a game of mario kart for me to join which was always a pain in the ass.

  2. I think it’s important to keep in mind that this commercial isn’t necessarily aimed at “gamers”. It is aimed at casual players who have never heard of the Wii U and I think on that level, it succeeded moderately well.

    It addressed the main issue of the Wii U–not knowing that it’s a new console–by literally spelling it out right off the bat. It introduced them to the controller and explained some of its features which I think will be enough for many casual consumers. All they need is, “It’s new! And shiny! And it’s a lot of fun because listen to the narrator!” so they didn’t delve into the fact that is vastly more powerful, has improved online play, etc., because casual gamers don’t care about those things.

    While I agree that it is not a great ad for gamers, I think it is a good one for the market they were trying to reach with that commercial (a.k.a. not you).

  3. I know a shitload of people that bought the Wii, played a few day with wii sport, sometime a couple of week more with mario kart or the balanceboard… and now their wii is thick with dust for years. So they will not buy the wiiU for sure!

    actually, I can’t imagine anyone but Mario and Zelda fan to buy this console.

    moreover, they have a really bad timing as the application Xbox Smart Glass, will be launch in few day and will be able to do lots of the thing the wiiU pad will do (and even some others)… I don’t even own a Xbox myself, but if I would, I wouldn’t hesitate a single second between a free apps for my smartphone and a 300$ console

  4. I mostly agree with what @P.o.t.O. said, that ad was for people who never heard of the Wii U and didn’t understand it’s basic concept. So, in that sense, the ad does what it was meant to. And even beyond that, I think is a decent ad even for the general person (even gamer) that has no idea what a Wii U is.

    Paul, I say this with no hate whatsoever, your content here is amazing.

    But it is amusing when I see a Nintendo current/next gen Hardware/Game article here or linked to Forbes, and you’re the author, I know where it’s headed.

  5. @gglegrand I agree that I don’t think lightning will strike twice, especially with the casuals, but I think they should be just fine with Wii U as long as the games continue to be there. And release until March is looking good, particularly for a launch. They still have the cavalry of franchises waiting on the wing if the launch doesn’t take off reasonably.

    I disagree about smartglass or even the PS3-Vita connection. It’s one thing to do something. It’s another to do it lag-free and all inclusive. If you develop for Wii U, you know that tablet is there for every sale. You can (not saying you will) build your games geared for it.

    How many AAA games will ever be fully designed with the expectation that you to have a PS3-Vita combo to play it as designed. Not many, if any.

    Now, does the Wii U fulfill that promise? I don’t know. I haven’t seen a single Wii U Gamepad in action untethered. But if it does, they will be ok.

  6. The problem with the ad is that you have no idea what the guy is talking about since what they are showing is so quick edited that it serves as no explanation for his pitch.
    That said, do all of the commenters above realize that you are not the target audience? What Nintendo has always tried to do is change the way its audience interacts with games. The nature of the interaction, and hence the nature of the game, is different than anything before. What will Sony and Microsoft come out with? Same console, better graphics, the exact same games you already bought with a different number after them (Call of Duty 58!). Now some of you will probably want to scream about tech specs, and how WiiU’s graphics suck, and the lack of memory or processing speed etc., and like I said… you’re not the target audience. However, you have to admit that Nintendo has had far more innovative ideas of late than any other console manufacturer. I bet you can’t say what’s exciting about the XBOX 720 or Playstation 4 without saying ‘better graphics’.

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