SHPING, SHPING, SHPING!
Let's be honest, I'm going to buy a Wii U. I know what it is. I know how it works. I've played one. But Nintendo's first TV advert for the console fell so flat on its shpingy backside that it felt more like an infomercial for a tech product from the 90s than an exciting 'next-gen' games console from the grand-daddies of Mario.
If you've not yet had a chance to see it, take a look for yourself below.
What do you think? It's rubbish, isn't it? And here's why:
It's too long.
If your techy product needs to be explained via an infomercial, it's already too complicated. And the fact that it takes Nintendo 60 seconds to explain the basic features of the Wii U is worrying, particularly when its previous product - the Wii - was sold in just a few seconds. Just think back to those TV and print ads: family gathered around the TV, Wiimotes in hand, playing Wii Sports Tennis. They're having fun. Little Phil wants one. Mum wants one. Dad thinks the golf looks good and quite fancies the cashier at the local Gamestation. Job done. Clear and to the point, and it had families rushing out to stores in their droves. But this was a convoluted mess that made the console and its video games look complicated and entirely unappealing.
It made the Wii U look undesirable.
Where was the excitement? The bright white Wii rooms? The laughter and smiles? The ad's biggest flaw was arguably in its complete lack of fun. Is anybody going to be queuing up day one off the back of seeing someone 'shping' throwing stars towards their screen? I doubt it. Show someone enjoying the product - not a moody girlfriend who would rather watch TV. And just look at that body language. She hates you for playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii U. No cuddles tonight, then.
Where was the whole family?
Wii was successful for its local multiplayer, and Wii U's multiplayer options are by far its greatest selling point, so why wasn't this stressed? Nintendo Land's five-player modes are both fun and highlight the strength of the console's unique selling point - the GamePad. Rather than focus on a lone man playing games to the detriment of his relationship, multiplayer should have been the core message of the ad. It's the antithesis to your typical Wii advert, too. After spending years trying to convince families, couples and groups of friends to play together in the living room, here, Nintendo risks its reputation by having you play Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City in isolation.
Who is the audience?
If you'd seen the story on VideoGamer.com previously, you'd know that we were expecting to see the advert during this week's X Factor, not an episode of Homeland. The people watching Homeland probably don't want your boring 'shping, shping, shping' mini-games, Nintendo. They want an iPad. And after seeing that advert, I expect they still do.
Has Nintendo created a problem just to solve it?
One of the major points of the Wii U, according to Nintendo's ad, is the ability to continue playing on the GamePad if you get thrown off of the TV. But who of today's gamers doesn't, say, already have a TV in their bedroom? I get the idea: Dad wants to watch TV and the kids want to play games, but there are already so many entertainment devices floating about in 2012 that I'm not sure this is enough of an everyday opportunity to make it one of your most prominent selling points.
Play in real time, for real!
What does that even mean? I don't even know what that means, let alone the people the advert is trying to talk to. Nintendo, you're flipping mental.
The Wii U isn't a bad product. I wouldn't be buying one if I believed that it was. But all the signs from Nintendo suggest that it's certainly a confused console, and Nintendo's lack of punch and creativity coupled with its failure to pose an attractive console has created more questions than it has answered. And with only five weeks to go until launch, that's a shpinging great problem. But what do you think? Has this advert convinced you to shell out a couple of hundred quid on the Wii U, or is Nintendo completely failing to make you part with your cash?