Analysts: Could Apple Upstage Nintendo This Week

This week two mammoth entertainment companies reveal concrete details about their latest must-have products. Apple is set to reveal the iPhone 5 just 24 hours before Nintendo confirm launch plans for the Wii U. Whats the worst that could happen?


Anonymous PR Person…

\”My main thought is that Nintendo has a bigger PR problem than the date of its press conference. The biggest issue Nintendo has is the lack of anticipation or confidence. They have not created enough excitement and confidence among both consumers and developers, nor has their quiet given people the sense that a delightful surprise awaits. There seems to be a cloud hanging above them of \’concern.\’ They did not do a great job after E3 of bridging toward the fall. If they want this press conference to succeed, making people believe that there will be a surprise or proof of a big flagship title may help. Highlighting their focus on third party or any other innovations would also help. It seems that Nintendo does not think of Apple as a true competitor, and they seem to be relying on the fact that their intense focus and disregard of the rest of the market will prevail again. It’s interesting Nintendo is doing their press event in New York; that feels like a statement of appealing to the mainstream press, the mass market (as opposed to Silicon Valley or the game developers). But Apple is already mainstream and doesn\’t really need that, of course. It’s possible Nintendo believes reporters who cover interactive, games and tech will simply cover both events, and since they don\’t seem to really think they are in the same business as Apple, they may be surprised. From here on out they need to really close the gap, make a statement and gain consumer confidence for the retail launch.\” – Anonymous PR person

Meelad Sadat, PR Director at A List Games…

\”When it comes to organizing a big launch event you try to avoid conflicts, but eventually you have to pull the trigger. Here both products are coming out this fall for the holidays and there’s key info still missing on both – with the Wii U, it’s the price point. In about a month, press bandwidth is going to be eaten up with one holiday product push after another. So there’s not much room to dilly dally. This might be a case of different vibes for different tribes. The iPhone launch will surely get coverage on game sites, but at the end of the day it’s a smartphone. It\’ll get launch coverage and a follow up piece or two to have its hardware dissected. With the Wii U, we\’re getting the first next gen console. I think with game press and for the people who religiously follow game news, they\’ll get their fill of Wii U coverage. Whether this was an orchestrated showdown at high noon or a couple of gunslingers who bumped up against each other at the bar, neither should blink. That’s my advice. Can you imagine the headlines? \’Apple’s new iPhone sends Nintendo running for cover.\’ Maybe as a headline that needs an edit, but you get my point. As for impact, unfortunately Nintendo’s introduced a piece of hardware that’s only raised questions since it was announced. There are questions around the system’s capabilities compared to this generation, GamePad issues and how it might slow down game performance, and of course price point. The latter comes down to what it costs to take the system home with two controllers, whether that’s a GamePad and Wiimote, and a game. If that’s climbing towards $400-$500, look out. If I\’m a hardcore gamer, do I spend that money or wait to see what powerhouse next-gen console Sony and Microsoft are planning?If I\’m looking at making this the kids\’ best Christmas ever, is it with this pricey, cumbersome looking game console or an iPad (or even the iPad mini, which very well could be on deck for Apple’s upcoming event)? Nintendo’s event needs to be a wonderfully orchestrated, entertaining affair that answers troubling questions. I think I just talked myself into catching the live stream.\” – Meelad Sadat, PR director at [a]list games

Scott Steinberg, Techsavvy…

\”Few times are ever optimal in the fall/holiday corridor, but heightened media noise levels certainly won\’t help efforts here. Which is to say that going head-to-head with other firms, especially Apple – the 10-ton gorilla of the technology world – is always ill-advised. Timing here is unfortunate, and will almost certainly lead to dampened attendance and news pickup. However, actual traction is going to depend on just what information Nintendo has to reveal, and how emphatically it plans to go about promoting it. Don\’t underestimate interest in the new generation of consoles, though – while it may not receive as much media attention as it would have had conferencing timing been more spaced out, Nintendo’s announcements will still be newsworthy, and should receive considerable pickup. That depends on just what Nintendo has to reveal. However, let’s put it this way: should the world’s best-known technology company choose to reveal a new edition of one of the globe’s most-beloved technology products, it’s safe to say that it will command the lion’s share of ink, and front-page headlines. As veteran publicists and meeting planners might reveal, moving dates and key events is often an extremely difficult proposition, even in the best of circumstances, and one few organizations would opt to voluntarily undertake. At this point, I\’d counsel letting key information points leak a couple of days early to providing better spacing between announcements and capitalize on lulls in news coverage before the press catches Apple fever and public speculation hits its high. Saving a few surprises for the event will of course be necessary, but the vital information points – pricing, release date – should be communicated and publicized strategically before potential windows of opportunity tighten or shrink. During the event, it’s quite simple – stick to steak and potatoes, but serve up a special surprise for dessert. Which is to say it’s time to talk turkey: to grab the most media attention, it’s time to address consumer and media’s key questions, showcase standout titles and reveal a major unforeseen announcement or two that the company’s been keeping up its sleeve. Simply announcing new features, development partners and retail info alone won\’t be enough: This close to launch, it’s time to see just what the machine has to offer and why we all can\’t afford not to be queueing up to buy it on day one.\” – Scott Steinberg, head of business consulting firm TechSavvy

I think Scott Steinberg hit the nail on the head, argue until you pass out, Apples conference the day before will effect Nintendo’s. Whether it’s simply though media cover or consumer interest. What can Nintendo do to make sure they get their fair share of limelight?

  • Reveal worldwide launch details; including pricing, bundles, launch titles, hardware colour.
  • Reveal more about already announced titles such as New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3.
  • Talk about the extra’s such as online, eShop, Miiverse.
  • Reveal third party support. Sure we know about a few titles, but it’s time to reveal Black Ops 2 and more!
  • Show something for the future, it could be launch window, it could be Spring 2013. But consumers need an exciting reason to jump onto the band wagon on day one. It won\’t be Zelda, it won\’t be 3D Mario, could it be Metroid? Maybe…

Three days Nintendo, the world is watching…