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Nintendo May Pull Wii Ads To Avoid Hype

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the very-merry dept.

Television 168

Due to the lack of product on store shelves and overwhelming demand, Nintendo is considering plans to pull marketing campaigns for the Wii during the holiday season. "The company recently dismissed suggestions that it intentionally engineered shortages to build up hype for the Wii. It claims to be producing 1.8 million of the consoles each month at full capacity. 'The issue of supply management has to be questioned, not least because 2008 is going to be the crunch year for the Wii. It's then that we'll discover whether it's a fad or something with legs,' Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told The Times."

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Its... (1, Funny)

Baylan295 (988743) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661119)

Its wii-diciulous!

Re:Its... (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661245)

Oh wii-ly?

oh good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661133)

Hopefully next year we'll find out if the iPod is just a fad or if it has legs too. How long does something have to be popular to officially not be called a fad?

Re:oh good (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661203)

It's a "fad" so long as a minority group of people can act smug and self-righteous about not going with the flow :)

Re:oh good (5, Funny)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661951)

man, you just pissed off a lot of linux users...

Re:oh good (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662117)

As opposed to the minority who act all smug and self-righteous because they have the latest cool gadget?

Re:oh good (1)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662351)

It's a "fad" so long as a minority group of people can act smug and self-righteous about not going with the flow :)


woo hoo, so Windows is a just a fad! can't wait til that one blows over. Then in 2020, we can all look back, and laugh and say "remember when using Windows was all cool, and all those sheeple ran around using it like it was the greatest thing ever?"

Re:oh good (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663549)

I don't think many people think windows is cool or fashionable so much as they think they need it to run that cool laptop or program.

MS had some bling factor when Win95 came out, but since then we sort of expect the hype and overlook it as marketing.

Re:oh good (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663613)

Oh good :) Then Windows can into the back of my closet, along with my Pogs and my desire to use the word "rad" all the time :P

Re:oh good (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663047)

Well, then, I consider bathing a fad!

Re:oh good (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661213)

Hopefully next year we'll find out if the iPod is just a fad or if it has legs too. How long does something have to be popular to officially not be called a fad?

In other news, I hear that internet thing is going like gangbusters.

Re:oh good (2, Informative)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661275)

when it's so popular and ubiquitous the originating company loses their trademark.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

Re:oh good (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661391)

when it's so popular and ubiquitous the originating company loses their trademark.

Which Nintendo will not allow to happen.

Do you remember their "There's no such thing as 'a Nintendo'" ads from the late 1980s?

Re:oh good (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661867)

nope, i didn't get my first nintendo until the mid 80's. we got one shortly after our atari died... i can still remember it now.... my brothers and i were playing into the late hours of the day... then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there was nothing but snow on the tv. and no amount of wire jiggling and toggle toggling brought it back.

Re:oh good (1)

Zero_Independent (664974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662213)

No actually. Can you post it for me?

Re:oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661541)

... therefore macs are a fad

Re:oh good (2, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661389)

The Wii has only been out for a year. Considering the constant supply shortages, that's not been enough time for most of the people trying to get one to figure out if they really like it or if they were just hyped into getting it. Also, the MP3 player was already a proven concept by the time the iPod came out, while waggle wasn't.

Rob

Re:oh good (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662033)

I wouldn't say MP3 players were a proven concept when the iPod came out. They existed, but they weren't at all popular. Even among technology geeks they were a "that's cool, but not worth the money" kinda thing. Most MP3 players back then were similar to what you'd get now for $20, but cost ~$200.

Re:oh good (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662143)

BS I had to wait 4 months in the late 90's for my Rio 500 which was ordered in December. The Rio was not hyped but the demand was there when all that was affordable was a 128mb Player with a crap memory expansion slot. The MP3 player was proven when it was created. Even though it only had a crap display, indexing only by numbers, and shuffle play, it was worlds better than a crap MD that cost 2x as much or a CD player that could only play a single cd at a time and was huge in comparison.

Re:oh good (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662961)

BS I had to wait 4 months in the late 90's for my Rio 500 which was ordered in December.

That simply means they didn't make enough of them. They could've made 100 of them and had demand for 200. Would mean a long wait to get one, but wouldn't mean there was much demand.

A 128 MB player is going to hold maybe 2 CDs at 128 kbps. When they first came out, they cost several times what a high end portable CD player cost. That's a big difference. If you carry a bag with you to work or are a student with a backpack, the size of a CD player isn't a big deal.

Re:oh good (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663875)

...late 90's... The Rio was not hyped ...

I dunno about that. I was at a tradeshow in the late 90's at a time when the term "mp3 player" wasn't a household word yet. Rio was hyping their product, they had a cast of about a dozen teenage boys and girls wearing hipster clothing, standing on a little stage on their booth, holding the mp3 players and dancing around pretending to listen to them. In my book that counts as hyping, but then, everything was hyped in the late 90's. Perhaps it's just a matter of scale. Although the product was being promoted, it wasn't like on the cover of Happy Meals at McDonalds or anything.

Re:oh good (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662445)

I wouldn't say MP3 players were a proven concept when the iPod came out. They existed, but they weren't at all popular.

Depends on what you mean by "popular." In terms of pure numbers, the iPod itself wasn't all that popular for nearly three years after the first one was released. In terms of sales expectations, however, MP3 players have been commercially successful since the first one was released in 1998. In fact, the second MP3 player, the Diamond Rio PMP300, was considered a smash hit and even spurred the RIAA into suing the company over piracy concerns.

Rob

Re:oh good (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663183)

...smash hit and even spurred the RIAA into suing the company over piracy concerns.

And we all know how difficult that is.

Re:oh good (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662209)

Also, the MP3 player was already a proven concept by the time the iPod came out, while waggle wasn't.

Actually the iPod and the Wii are very analogous in their conception and delivery. When the iPod was released there were other MP3 players and they were selling, but only to a tiny market. Most people used portable CD players instead, simply because the overall experience with MP3 players was not easy enough for the general populace. Apple did not really cut into the market of existing MP3 players, mostly owned by geeks, but opened up the market to the average Joe in the mainstream by making it easy enough to rip CD collections, download songs, buy songs, manage songs, load songs onto the device, and actually work the controls. They sold oodles more than any other manufacturer because of this new market segment.

The market for gaming consoles has traditionally been bigger than the market for MP3 players was, but Nintendo took a page from Apple's book, and rather than try to compete for the same users with MS and Sony, they tried to expand the market by making a console for people who would otherwise not buy any console. They designed a system for young children, older people, and very casual gamers. So far it has worked admirably and the demand for them has kept up, because of the word of mouth reputation. It's not like old folks homes were going to buy gaming consoles because of any TV ad they saw, but after a few folks played with them at their kid's house, suddenly every old folks home in the country is trying to get a few.

If three years ago you'd told me my father would be buying a game console, I would have laughed in your face. This is the guy who last year watched a DVD for the first time, on the DVD player I bought him... and he actually "rewound" the DVD by scanning backwards through the whole thing before ejecting it. He bought Wii two weeks ago for the grandkids, and enjoys Wii Sports.

I don't see there being any real danger that many people were "tricked" into buying the Wii and they're all going to decide it really sucks and they don't want it anymore. I do think some hardcore gamers who bought it because of the reviews will find they spend a lot more time on the 360 or PS3, but that will partially be mitigated by which games are offered on which platform. What confuses the issue is that a lot of the people writing reviews or even with opinions here on Slashdot are hardcore gamers and they assume people buying the Wii are "like them" when in truth the Wii is successful because it appeals to and is selling to an untapped segment of the gaming market, casual gamers.

Re:oh good (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662709)

The problem with the analogy is that we already know that everyone likes to listen to music, so it's hardly surprising that an MP3 player that was more accessible to the general consumer did well. We don't know that everyone likes to play video games, though. And considering the low attachment rate that the Wii has, it's still an open question.

Rob

Re:oh good (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663119)

The problem with the analogy is that we already know that everyone likes to listen to music...

Ahh but everyone doesn't like to listen to music, and more specifically, not everyone wants to invest money to have a large selection of music on a portable device.

We don't know that everyone likes to play video games...

To continue the analogy, we do know that a significant portion of the population likes to play games, the question is "will the Wii be easy and fun enough to gain market share among people who normally play bridge or cribbage or hide and seek or racquetball?" Based on sales numbers, it seems that yes it is.

And considering the low attachment rate that the Wii has, it's still an open question.

The "attachment rate" of games is always likely to be low, but that does not really indicate much of anything. You could make the same argument about iPods and the number of songs people put on them relative to other MP3 players. Hardcore Nomad users typically had 20 GB of music on their systems, while the typical iPod only has a "song attachment rate" of about 3 GB. This is not at all surprising or indicative of the imminent failure of the iPod. When you open the market to more casual users, they devote fewer resources to the use of the device, be it an MP3 player or a gaming console. This could be troubling for the viability of the console in the market if Nintendo relied upon game sales to make a proit, but they don't; they actually make money on each console sold so it is not like selling lots of onsoles and few games will hurt them financially as it would Sony or MS.

The only really troubling statistic for Nintendo would be if a large percentage of users bought Wii intending to use it for their own purposes, then resold it without the intention to repurchase a new one in the future. Such numbers, of course, would be hard to come by, but I have seen no such indications. The Wii is dominating in sales and seems to be a winner. Even if sales slow down drastically, it has already succeeded in opening up the market and changing the way the "game" is played.

Re:oh good (0, Troll)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663597)

Ahh but everyone doesn't like to listen to music

Well yeah, there are a few weird people who don't like music, but they're not a significant portion of the population.

more specifically, not everyone wants to invest money to have a large selection of music on a portable device

Considering how well the Walkman did, though, there sure are a lot of people who do.

we do know that a significant portion of the population likes to play games

Games, yes. Video games are substantially different from other types of games, however, and waggle isn't going to change that.

The "attachment rate" of games is always likely to be low

The attachment rates for the other two systems in this generation are quite a bit higher, for the record, especially in terms of third-party games.

When you open the market to more casual users, they devote fewer resources to the use of the device, be it an MP3 player or a gaming console. This could be troubling for the viability of the console in the market if Nintendo relied upon game sales to make a proit, but they don't; they actually make money on each console sold so it is not like selling lots of onsoles and few games will hurt them financially as it would Sony or MS.

No, but it will hurt their reputation with game developers, which is a huge long-term problem. The reason why it's not a problem for the iPod to have a low attachment rate is because an MP3 will work on any MP3 player; music sales won't be affected because hardcore consumers are buying the same commodity as casual ones. A Wii game, on the other hand, will only work on the Wii, so if people don't buy games for it, developers will make games for other systems instead.

The only really troubling statistic for Nintendo would be if a large percentage of users bought Wii intending to use it for their own purposes, then resold it without the intention to repurchase a new one in the future.

That does appear to be happening, if you look on eBay.

Even if sales slow down drastically, it has already succeeded in opening up the market and changing the way the "game" is played.

You can't use sales of video game consoles and say that the market is opening up. Consoles are meaningless; it's the games themselves that are important. Not to mention the fact that the Wii has only sold 15 million units anyway, which is hardly a massive number.

Rob

Re:oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21662537)

Oh, come on. Video game consoles were a proven concept by the time the Wii came out, too. A better comparison would be the clickwheel, which was just as new on the iPod as pointing is on the Wii, and just about as successful.

Re:oh good (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662705)

But Nintendo had had two consoles that struck out before Wii and their WiiMote was not a proven concept. Seriously, Wii was sink-or-swim time for them and it was a bet that has paid off so far.

Re:oh good (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663015)

What two consoles struck out?
The N64? It sold a lot of units and has a lot of really big hit games.
The GC? Well it made more money than the XBox did. It is actually a good console compared to the PS2. Nintendo could have never built a new console by just pushing the GBA and DS. They have made a ton of money with them.
The Wii took the DS to the next level.

Re:oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21663429)

In terms of market share the N64 was a distant second to the PS. The GC had an even smaller market share than the N64, coming in third behind the XBox with the PS2 coming out way on top. Basically, Nintendo was in the same position coming into the current generation with the Wii that Sega was coming into the previous generation with the Dreamcast.

Re:oh good (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664499)

The GC made Nintendo a lot of money.

They were breaking even on sales and sold a lot of their own games, many of which were cheap to develop (Mario Party).

I somehow doubt Sega made tons of money on the Saturn.

It may simply be that I have the wrong friends, but I never in my life have even seen a Saturn at someones house.

Re:oh good (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662783)

My point is that the iPod wasn't relying on an unproven concept to do well like the Wii is. The iPod didn't rely on its clickwheel to sell, but the Wii is relying on its remote control.

Rob

Re:oh good (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661709)

Does that make the iPod a tadPod or polliPod?

Re:oh good (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661897)

Does that make the iPod a tadPod or polliPod?
No, it makes it a pollyPocket. The Zune, on the other hand, is just as legless [youtube.com] as the Weebles [expotv.com] who wobble but don't fall down.

Re:oh good (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663585)

Hopefully next year we'll find out if the iPod is just a fad or if it has legs too.

Well, nowadays I hear it does have wireless. And substantially more space than a Nomad. I'd say now it's definitely not a fad.

what an outrage! i smell class action in the air! (-1, Flamebait)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661175)

what an outrage!!! let's all sue nintendo for not having enough wii's are us to buy! i'm sure there's something in the lawbooks somewhere that expressly, implicitly, and absolutely prohibits the agony and heartbreak of seeing out little ones not getting what they want this christmas... just think about the poor little children!

i'd say damages of 1 free wii system each would be justice done at it's not lenient.

Re:what an outrage! i smell class action in the ai (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661263)

what an outrage!!! let's all sue nintendo for not having enough wii's are us to buy!

And, while you are at it, get me a couple of Hannah Montana tickets.

Re:what an outrage! i smell class action in the ai (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662793)

...the agony and heartbreak of seeing out little ones not getting what they want this christmas...

Forget the kids! Adults will be crying a freaking river in comparison. Unfortunately, the Grinch has a real good attorney and the legal complaint will be dismissed on a technicality.

Balls out boys!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661197)

It's Wii strokin' time!

Shut It Down! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661229)

I heard Nintendo was going to shut down production altogether just to save themselves from the massive demand and large amounts of cash that would be thrown at them.

Talk about fates worse than death!

I don't blame them (2, Interesting)

eharvill (991859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661253)

Why waste advertising money on something that is flying off the shelves? Once once sales start slowing down they can redouble their advertising efforts and get the "hype" machine moving again.

Re:I don't blame them (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661321)

Just corporate BS that I would have suspected a company like Nintendo to follow... there's an advertising department, they'd probably already signed some huge contract with an agency, so the money's gotta get spent.

Otherwise, I agree completely.

Re:I don't blame them (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661629)

I heard they would spend it on DS ads instead though, which seems plausible..

Then why not redirect some of those funds... (5, Interesting)

Millennium (2451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661579)

Since Nintendo is pulling its hardware ads, why not put some proper marketing on its games? Seriously; the only Nintendo game I've even seen a magazine ad for in over a year was Fire Emblem, and I only saw that one in comic books. If Nintendo wants to reach casual gamers, then it needs to start promoting its ads in places casual gamers go, and hardcore-gaming venues just don't fit that description. Word of mouth alone won't make a million seller.

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661921)

Nice theory, except that both the Wii and the DS are already multi-million sellers based largely on word of mouth.

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663611)

you don't understand. Nintendo would be better advised to market games so that these millions of system owners buy more games.

Once one gets a wii and the cheap throw game in to the extra controller, how many games do they then buy? No where near as many as a 360 owner buys.

and I assure you, the wii is not out there on word of mouth alone. Huge amounts of money were spent advertising this system, some in subtle ways. It's a great system in many respects, and there's nothing wrong with marketing , but nintendo certainly did market very much and very well. You sound as though you think nintendo or the wii is super special in some way.

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661925)

You haven't seen all the Brain Age ads on TV? (Starts with a guy forgetting his high school buddy's name.) Or that new vision-focus-whatever one? True, those are DS, not Wii, but Nintendo *is* marketing some of its games to casual gamers.

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661971)

Word of mouth alone won't make a million seller.
Seems to have worked out pretty well for Wii Sports.

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662543)

The problem is that most of Nintendo's games aren't really for casual gamers. Fire Emblem is NOT a casual gamer game. It's a hard-core turn-based strategy game. (Granted, the Wii installment is relatively tame on the difficulty-meter compared to some of the earlier ones.) Metroid Prime 3 is awesome beyond all hell... if you're a hardcore gamer. Twilight Princess is a masterpiece... for people looking for 40+ hour action-intense adventure games.

The Wii has a lot of potential for casual gamers, but the casual game library ain't too big yet. (Heck, the Wii game library in general is still pretty small.. but the DS was the same way, it took a year or two before game developers finally figured out how to use the new capabilities in ways that didn't suck.)

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664489)

* Rayman Raving Rabids
* Rayman Raving Rabids 2
* Mario and Sonic at the Games
* Super Mario Galaxy
* "Any game purchasable through the console"
* Wario Ware

Re:Then why not redirect some of those funds... (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663045)

It is likely that their sales figures are already high enough that they don't expect the money they get from ad-driven sales would exceed the cost of the ads.

Re:I don't blame them (3, Interesting)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664365)

Why waste advertising money on something that is flying off the shelves? Once once sales start slowing down they can redouble their advertising efforts and get the "hype" machine moving again.
Disclaimer: I work in advertising. (You can save yourselves the Bill Hicks quote, I know it.) I would suggest that the main reason to keep advertising when your product is doing well is to make sure that the 'hype machine' keeps moving. Hype/word-of-mouth/top-of-mind awareness/coolness is very difficult to get and even harder to keep. By the time you realize that people don't think you're awesome (which happens before sales slow), it's too late - you've been overtaken and someone else has taken the momentum in the eyes of the public. Now, I would argue that Nintendo could afford to shift their spending somewhat, or possibly change the message that they're getting across, since they seem have managed to get the message that they are fun for everyone into the public perception extremely well. But cutting spending too much when a product is going well is a common mistake that leads to strong brands falling into irrelevance quite swiftly.

Makes sense (2, Interesting)

Snowgen (586732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661283)

I don't know if it's so much about avoiding hype as it's good business sense. The primary purpose of advertising is to generate demand for your product. If the demand exceeds the supply, then why pay for more demand?

I often wonder what would happen if Coca Cola would say "We're not going to advertise for one month". Would people really stop drinking Coke? How much money would they save?

Re:Makes sense (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661597)

I don't know if it's so much about avoiding hype as it's good business sense. The primary purpose of advertising is to generate demand for your product. If the demand exceeds the supply, then why pay for more demand?

Well yeah, that's obvious. Also, if they advertise the heck out of the wii, and people go to try to buy one and can't, they're likely to be pissed. Especially when they learn that Nintendo knew they'd probably be unable to get one, but convinced them to go buy one anyway. Turning someone who could be convinced to buy a wii into someone who's bitter and won't buy your console ever is a bad idea.

The alternative theory, that Nintendo is artificially limiting supply to create "hype" (that, due to the shortage, cannot be converted into sales), would instead require that Nintendo continue to advertise so as to build as much "hype" as possible (again, for unknown benefit). But that theory has always been retarded. This is just more evidence of why.

Re:Makes sense (3, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661713)

I agree with you, except that Coke is a beverage; their advertising isn't to get people to buy a singular item, but to get people to think "Hey, a Coke, I should drink one."

I see lots of billboards around bus stops with, say, 3 empty cans of coke that say "3 hour meeting" or something witty. Their advertising is trying to get people to drink more of their product. Arguably, those people are already coke drinkers -- they just don't drink enough for Coca-Cola.

People only buy one Wii, though, and if everyone is buying all they can make, they don't need to advertise. Coke, though, there's always coke on the shelf, so there's always more to sell.

Re:Makes sense (2, Interesting)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661737)

As far as I'm aware, Coca Cola only advertises 6 months in any year in any market, for precisely this reason. Of course, I have no source to back this up - it's something I read or heard somewhere, and could be complete bullshit.

Re:Makes sense (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661983)

I've wondered the same thing. The only danger I can see is if Pepsi gets wind of the break, and does a mega-blitz of its own right then. But even so, I know people who are pretty hardcore for one or the other already (thanks in part, I'm sure, to marketing), plus campuses and restaurants with exclusive contracts, so they'd never lose all their sales.

Re:Makes sense (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662221)

It's a good example of a system that can be analyzed as a "tragedy of the commons." Basically, somewhere along the line, one company started advertising to get ahead of its competitors. So all the competitors started advertising as well. At the end of the day, the advertising benefits balances out across the industry to nothing, except that each company is spending extra money to maintain that status quo. Kind of silly when you think about it, but it's great for people in the advertising business I guess.

Re:Makes sense (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662479)

In an economics class I took the coke/pepsi and McDonalds/Burger King examples were talked about.

Basically what it amounted to was people already know what they like be it coke or pepsi. As such it doesn't matter which the adds are for, if someone sees an add for pepsi, but prefers coke they'll think (supposedly) "Hey, I should get more coke."

This is also similar to the fact you can go somewhere and order a coke, and get a pepsi or vice versa.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662931)

There's no "tragedy of the commons" unless you can identify a common resource that there is no penalty for exploiting, causing overconsumption unto destruction. (You might be able to argue the resource is "people's attention", but that's a stretch and the pattern doesn't really follow; that's not really a common.)

This is an "arms race", not a "tragedy of the commons". Everybody has to beat everybody else, with all advantages transient, and there is no final "masterstroke" that you can win with, once and for all. See also: Spam vs. anti-spam, crime vs. law enforcement, and of course the Cold War arms race (although that had a catastrophic failure mode many other arms races lack).

Re:Makes sense (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663449)

What if Coke stopped advertising? You don't need to wonder. RC Cola (Cott) doesn't do any advertising. Let's look at the numbers:

Coke (KO)
market cap: 145 billion
revenue (2006): 24 billion
net profit: 5 billion
net profit margin: ~21%

Cott (COT)
market cap: 466 million
revenue (2006): 1.7 billion
net profit: -17.5 million
net profit margin: -1%

1.8milions (4, Informative)

Bibz (849958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661287)

1.8 milions a wii a month is a lot. It's 41 wii per minute, but still not enough for everyone.

An other interesting number from TFA:
"The Wii has outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 each by more than two-to-one this year."

Re:1.8milions (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662465)

Check out this site: http://nexgenwars.com/ [nexgenwars.com]

They say the numbers are estimate, but close. Any one have a better source? It's pretty incredible that Nintendo has shipped more units compared to Microsoft in half the time.

Uh... old? (5, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661315)

Last I saw The Register was running an article that said Nintendo had already pulled the ads.
The Register Article [reghardware.co.uk]

Re:Uh... old? (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661645)

Perhaps, but Target is still running ads that show people having fun playing the Wii constantly.

Nintendo pulling their ads only solves part of the hype problem. All the resellers that are hyping it also contribute to the problem and I don't see any of them pulling their ads.

Re:Uh... old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21662461)

Oh, i'm sorry, we don't currently have any Wii systems available. But since you are here, would you perhaps be interested in a xbox363/ps3/vtech/atari/"insert video game system here"?

Cue the usual (0)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661415)

Why hasn't anyone posted about how Nintendo intends to actually make more money by producing fewer units, thereby allowing them to sell more units that they don't have?

Oh yeah, this isn't Digg!

Games? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661585)

I've had my Wii for about six months now, and I'm still looking for good games. I got Metroid Prime 3, but I'm already lost. I can't figure out which planet to go to next. I got NFS Pro Street, thinking it would be more two player head to head racing. (My mistake.) I may pickup Zelda.

What I really want is an advanced Zelda - come on, let's plunge into the depths of a dungeon, wielding the wiimote as a sword and the nunchuck as a shield. I guess that would be Elder Scrolls: Oblivion on the Xbox but with Wii controls. :(

I played Ratchet and Clank on a PS3 recently, and that was surprisingly fun. I didn't think I would like button mashing, but actually it was OK.

Re:Games? (1)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662341)

MP3 is pretty linear.. I don't have a clue how you got "lost".

If you want a fun racing game.. pick up Excite Truck. I think I've logged more hours in Excite Truck than any other Wii game I own except maybe Wii Sports.

Re:Games? (1)

Fez (468752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663009)

MP3 was a little confusing when you had to return to certain areas of certain planets to get upgrades, or reach new areas after you got the previous upgrades. Somehow I managed to finish, though.

As for Excite Truck, I agree. It's especially fun with the "crazy monster truck" (I think it's called) unlocked. It's big, fast, and has a never-ending "POW" that lets you plow through everything and everyone.

I'm currently obsessed with Super Mario Galaxy. I am stuck trying to get through "Luigi's Purple Coins"... That level is one big death trap.

And at the end of the day, I still go back to Wii Sports.

Re:Games? (1)

Fez (468752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663167)

Perhaps you'll like Rygar: The Battle of Argus [ign.com] ? Not exactly my cup of tea, but I am more of a casual gamer lately. Moreso because of time constraints than anything. Check out the release list [ign.com] , there are a lot of promising titles.

I also recommend Super Mario Galaxy (the best so far), Super Paper Mario, Excite Truck, Zelda (that took me forever to finish!), and you already have Metroid Prime 3.

Re:Games? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664155)

Zack&Wiki. SMG. At least look at Elebits, Trauma Center (both of them), RE4 Wii, Guitar Hero, Geometry Wars, ... there's tons out there. It's hard to say what exactly you'll like best. There's more RPGs coming, supposedly.

And, in even more news... (1)

Gybrwe666 (1007849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661769)

The writers at Eurogamer were found to have neither Journalism or Business degrees, and were thereby incapable of understanding business, marketing, or how to ask a really good question of the Nintendo PR flacks on why they might do this...

More at 11:57:32.1pm...

Bill

Flipping Wii's (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661861)

Bad for Nintendo, bad for consumers, and good for intrepid jackasses.

To Nintendo: Produce more Wiis.
To Consumers: Pay Retail.
To jackasses: Die a fiery death.

Re:Flipping Wii's (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662157)

You must have a cloning machine that Nintendo can use to "produce more Wiis", because I am pretty sure they are trying their best without blowing away their income on new factories.

Re:Flipping Wii's (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662177)

They've been at capacity for a while, and perhaps more factories is a good idea, they're certainly not meeting demand.

Re:Flipping Wii's (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662299)

What might shoot every flipper in the head, as far as profits go, would be for nintendo to advertise the MSRP of the console in their ads. People would stop paying $600 USD on ebay for something sold for $250.

Re:Flipping Wii's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21663189)

MSRP is in every add and well known. I have flipped over 7 of them making at least 80 bucks a piece. I figure if someone wanted them badly enough they would do the leg work. In fact, most people have thanked me for not making them hunt around for them.
I love capitalism. For more information on economics check out "eat the rich".

Re:Flipping Wii's (3, Insightful)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662999)

EBay Wii resellers are just an inevitable part of the economics of capitalism. If this was a commodity, the price would rise instantly as demand started to approach supply. Here, Demand far exceeds supply, so the MSRP is an artificial price ceiling. If I was in the market for a Wii and didn't have the time to search for one, I would appreciate that there was service charge I could opt to pay for someone else to find one for me. In other words, why the hostility towards the trade?

Re:Flipping Wii's (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663609)

If I was in the market for a Wii and didn't have the time to search for one, I would appreciate that there was service charge I could opt to pay for someone else to find one for me. In other words, why the hostility towards the trade?

Do you know how scalpers work? They buy tickets, all the tickets to an event. "Fair price" in the free market is the price that maximizes profit with infinite supply. That is, if there were an infinite number of tickets to see the Super Bowl, what price for all tickets would maximize profits? That's the fair market price for an item (not strictly true in this example, however, because every seat has a different value for proximity to the action and such, but we'll overlook that). However, monopolies have different economics. You maximize profit, regardless of the number of units sold. That means that scalpers buy all the tickets, then set the price so that they will maximize profit for the limited total number of tickets. If the Super Bowl has 10 people that would pay $10,000,000 to watch it and past the 1000th person, no one would pay more than $10,000 per ticket, then it would make more sense for scalpers to sell tickets for $10,000,000 each, sell 10, and take a loss on the remaining tickets they bought. Still, charging $10,000 per ticket is better than selling them all at $100. So what happens is that the "service charge" you are talking about is a monopolist surcharge.

The same economics work with anything that has limited supply and the price isn't adjusting to the market. What the free market demands should have happened is that Nintendo should have released it at $300, rather than $250 to get demand down to where supply is. But they set the price low and the demand was high, resulting in sellouts. But one thing that's making the sellouts worse is the unknown inventory of unused Wii. When the scalper buys one, it isn't used. That is one that isn't on the market, reducing supply. The more scalpers there are, the more this becomes an issue. At some point, the number of scalpers will exceed the demand. As such, people will be paying scalper prices for the sole reason that scalpers bought items they didn't intend to use, reducing supply and creating an artificial shortage. That time will come soon, maybe as soon as the Christmas returns hit the stores in early Jan, perhaps not until a little later next year. But there will be a point where the cause of the fee you mention is the same people that are charging it. Regardless of all else you could say about that, "not nice" would apply. That is why people don't like it.

Re:Flipping Wii's (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664681)

Demand far exceeds supply, so the MSRP is an artificial price ceiling.

In other words, why the hostility towards the trade?


Because if they didn't buy the Wiis for the sole purpose of re-selling them at a higher price, that'd be one more Wii available to someone who actually wants one at MSRP! The Wii-flippers are in part why there's a shortage and you can only buy Wiis from the flippers!

Duh!

Advertising... (2, Interesting)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662079)

Does anyone else feel that this press release is an advertisement in disguise, in and of itself? "Our product is so popular that we're actually going to cut back advertising because we probably don't have enough and if you aren't one of the people contributing to the problem, then you are clearly the minority and are not 'with it.' Please desire a Wii for Christmas, now that we have informed you of how popular they are in an advertisement masquerading as a press release that claims we are cutting back advertisements for the product."

Re:Advertising... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21664061)

Yeah. Being honest is truly the most evil and subversive advertising of all.

Re:Advertising... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664651)

Shhh!
They might hear you. Do you want that kind of information getting out?

Re:Advertising... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664279)

not so much advertising as a calculated cockslap to the face of Sony.

The motiviation behind this (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662179)

It's actually a nice gesture on N's part because with less ads, fewer kids will demand it and then (here's hoping) the ebay black market will cool off a bit.

It's about time they get it... (1)

JKSN17 (956518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662387)

Good, it's about time they get it...I'm glad Nintendo get the picture finally, maybe now they will realize that Sony and Microsoft got it right by keep a semi-constant stock of their consoles on the shelves from release. Nintendo knew what they were getting into, and they have been in the business far too long to cry ignorance. I can tell you that the supply shortages have personally detered me from even wanting to buy a Wii anymore. Getting one of these things has become more of headache then it's worth. I'll get my wii-mote fix at a friends, then I'll get board and go back to my PS2 (which has better graphics imo), and my next gen console whatever it will be, probably PS3. Sony hasn't steared me wrong yet, personally.

Re:It's about time they get it... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663927)

Nintendo knew what they were getting into, and they have been in the business far too long to cry ignorance.

So, after the raging success of the Gamecube (not a resounding success), they should have predicted that they would outsell the best selling console by a 2:1 margin? I would think that their previous experience with their console would result in a more timid launch.

I can tell you that the supply shortages have personally detered me from even wanting to buy a Wii anymore. Getting one of these things has become more of headache then it's worth.

Over 13,000,000 people disagree with you. It sounds more like you've made up your mind and are trying to justify it, rather than wanting a Wii, trying to buy one, then getting disappointed over and over.

I'll get my wii-mote fix at a friends, then I'll get board and go back to my PS2 (which has better graphics imo), and my next gen console whatever it will be, probably PS3.


Ah yes, bashing the graphics when you can't trash anything else. Yes, the PS3 probably has the best graphics of all of the current generation consoles. But then, it's selling very few of them too. So you want to pay more for the least popular console. I guess the fact that you don't actually own it is an indication of how desired it is.

Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21662449)

Just so I understand this, let me make sure I have the facts straight...

- Nintendo has been selling the Wii for 1 year amidst high demand
- Nintendo did not take measures to increase/expand production for this Christmas season
- No one at Nintendo has lost their job for this huge miss????!

That's nothing. (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662547)

Nintendo may hype pulling their ads to avoid hype to generate more hype!

Translation: In Soviet Russia, ads pull YOU!

$500 package (1)

SlashdotCrackPot (1019530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662835)

Anybody noticed that the 249 package hasn't been around for weeks? The only Wii packages I have seen is the $500 bundle that comes with a limp array of add-ons. I was thinking this was a dirty market play on their behalf, but it may have been in effort to curb sales slightly to help overcome the holiday buying frenzy that will lead to even more problems when it comes to supply/demand. However, I never really seen any company (of Nintendo's stature) regardless of the type of industry to bow down to production limitations, esp in the highest profit season of the year for them. Any company with that kind of resources *should* have the infrastructure in place (even temporarily outsourced if needs be) to meet a year long overwhelming demand. They are leaving money on the table, or they have something up their sleeve.

It's the stores. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663057)

The stores are doing the bundles not Nintendo.

Re:$500 package (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21663401)

1. Look in actual B&M stores. Toys R Us, Best Buy, Gamestop all sell the unit for it's actual price--250.
2. Amazon sells the 250 package when they get it in stock.
3. The packages are not designed or created by Nintendo and are store deals since stores do not make much profit on a console sale, but instead make profit on the game sales.
4. Wiialerts.com can help you find one online
5. Many stores get their shipments in during the week to sell on Sundays. If you want to find a wii at retail price, wake up early on a sunday morning and head to your local toys r us or target.

Wii'll pass (1)

tyrantking31 (1115607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663101)

I was going to buy a Wii for my kids this Christmas. I even had $275 burning a whole in my pocket for it. For about two weeks if I had seen one at retail or been notified by iTrackr that there was one available I would have snatched it up. This weekend my kids wrote their letters to Santa. None of the three had a Wii on their lists. I realized that maybe I wanted the Wii more than they did. So I spent the $275 on the stuff they wanted and had money left over. I'm glad I never found a Wii.

For some reason... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21663711)

For some reason there are NO ADS IN NEW ZEALAND for the Wii. Or atleast, the only ads are ones by the retailers like The Warehouse or Dick Smith. It's strange, never seen a Wii ad from Nintendo (of Australia) ... maybe only one ad, when the Wii was released. But I very rarely see ANY ads from Nintendo.

Maybe they should swap and do more ads in New Zealand and less in the US. hehe

Re:For some reason... (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664173)

Its not like they are really needed here neither, plus you dont really see too many ads specifically for PS3 and 360 neither.

Plus the ads talked about being pulled were for the UK, not the states.

Re:For some reason... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21664303)

meh... i didnt rtfa :P

why have a marketing campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21664111)

They're pulling the marketing campaign b/c they don't need it in the first place.

If you sell every one of the products you make, why spend the money advertising? Since you're already selling 100% of the products you have, using ad money is just like flushing it down the toilet.

You run ads to increase sales.
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