Microsoft Is More Fun Than Nintendo
It’s strange how we’re talking about Nintendo again, and only because they’ve made a terrible loss. Before this, we hardly ever spoke about the company. They were just there.
I partially think that everyone is a bit Nintendo-mad at the moment because the losses made are basically a free ticket for anyone to say bad things about the Wii U. And people love to say bad things about the Wii U.
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In fact, most people blame the Wii U for the company’s financial failures. This includes the Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, who spoke about the Wii U and how they let themselves down: “By looking at the current sales situation, I am aware that this is due to our lack of effort”.
Iwata noted that the company did not put enough effort into explaining the Wii U and what it is all about. The gamepad seemed to have been overlooked by, pretty much, everyone. And I agree.
Nintendo detailed a long-term growth plan, where GamesIndustry covered what it entails. My favourite idea from the plan is the flexible pricing system. Basically, Nintendo would like to offer cheaper games to those who buy more, through their online Nintendo ID system–a great idea to maximise the amount of people who have your game. It’s a supply/demand dream, in a way.
Then, another thing that the company noted was that they want to move into a different area to Microsoft and Sony. They want to live in their own little world, as noted with: “Instead, we should continue to make our best efforts to seek a blue ocean with no rivals and create a new market with innovative offerings.”
In essence, that line sums up both the Wii and the Wii U: steps in their own direction, never meant to be compared to, or with, the Xbox and PlayStation systems. It is just unfortunate that gamers struggled to understand the Wii U, as it is a system that was not really explained very well. Nintendo is not looking to compete, not directly at least. They wants their own products and gimmicks.
To be honest, despite the text above, I am a bit tired of Nintendo-talk. We’re all just speculating a lot, although, I am happy that the company released the statement linked above. It gives a bit of clarity on their ideas.
What is really intriguing to me, at the moment, is Microsoft and their efforts to expose their Xbox brand.
We recently saw a few people questioning the company’s actions in paying YouTubers to say nice things about its games and products. Then, we saw Microsoft offering up $100 towards the purchase of an Xbox One if the person buying trades in his/her PlayStation 3.
The first practice, that of paying YouTubers, is really interesting to me. I like the idea and I think it is a great initiative from Microsoft. Those accepting money to say nice things, I am weary–let that be known. To be clear, I am saying I would not accept money to say nice things, however if I was Microsoft, I would be trying to get others to say nice things by teasing them with the thought of money. I would prefer to be on that side of the relationship–it just seems more fun to me, to see what people will say for money.
A $100 towards the Xbox One purchase is a novel idea, however it’s just a ploy–if anything. The Xbox One costs $499, and that means that this whole idea of giving money towards the purchase is basically a way of Microsoft trying to get press from a ‘special deal’, without paying publications I might add.
Microsoft is promoting the Xbox brand a lot. They ran into a bit of trouble last year with all their policies, and it seems that the changes to the policies were indeed beneficial. As it stands, it feels as if Microsoft is not trying to prove that they are the best, or anything of the sort, instead they are trying to have their name said, written, featured, and whatever else, anywhere they can, and as much as they can. It feels as if the idea of marketing has shifted from ‘good’ to rather ‘just get out there, in whatever way possible’.
Perhaps Microsoft learnt that although they suffered bad publicity with worrying secondhand games and always-online policies, it wasn’t ever really bad: they still sold a lot of consoles in the regions they wanted to. Or, if that’s not the case, there’s rumours that Microsoft wants to get rid of the Xbox company, so that means that whatever Microsoft does, it doesn’t matter. Either they can turn Xbox around to make a lot of money, or they sell it off with whatever reputation it has.
Following that is the release of the console in South Africa. Xbox One to arrive in October–it is rumoured? Rather late than never, and in a way, I am indifferent, because Microsoft probably knows that South Africa isn’t an early-adoption region, I mean we’re still arguing whether or not to call them next- or current-generation consoles. My worries include that it may have limited functionality and features because knowing American companies, everything is always region locked.
The fact that Microsoft can and wants to choose specific regions to release to first, second and at some other point in time just shows that the company is playing its own game: cater to whoever they want, however they want. And it seems that they want to dominate in their main, first release regions.
So, yes, as of late Microsoft has been far more intriguing than Nintendo. Nintendo has a lot of money, they will be more than alright. With Microsoft, however, it is fun to watch them trip and fall over every little bit of media attention they can get. I wouldn’t be surprised if a new, big scandal leaked soon.
And there’s Sony, just sitting in as many regions as possible–not at all worried about trying hard for media attention, because they’re already in all the available markets.
And in case you’re worried about any of this, here’s a video of a guy who literally doesn’t care about anything.