JB Hi-Fi Perfectly Illustrates One Of Nintendo's Biggest Problems...

Spotted by the fine folks over at Vooks, the above drawing, seen in JB Hi-Fi just perfectly illustrates one of the biggest challenges Nintendo has with the perennially struggling Wii U: the mainstream audience that adored the Wii simply doesn't know that the Wii U exists. And, if they are aware of its existence, they find it difficult to tell the difference between the two.

This drawing didn't go up in accident. It's clearly gone up in response to numerous consumers who have either gone up with Wii U games thinking they were for the Wii or vice versa. This is clearly an issue that retailers have to deal with on a daily basis.

For us, yeah, it's pretty hilarious that JB requires a sign to make the distinction. But for Nintendo? It's a problem that they need to deal with pretty quickly if the console is to gain traction.

JB Hi-Fi store posts simple guide to Wii and Wii U game purchasing [Vooks]


    it's a constant annoyance, people bring WiiU games back getting shitty at you because it doesn't come on Wii and now their kid can't play the game he wanted to, and it's all your(the retailers) fault, i curse nintendo everyday for there piss poor efforts at advertising the WiiU and that it's a different console all together(at least once a week i get some twit come in and ask for the controller extension for the Wii to make it a WiiU, or something like that), working in retail has made me hate nintendo

      I feel for you, I assume it'll only get worse when Nintendo finally release the individual Wii U gamepads for purchase. People will buy them only to return then the next day demanding why they won't work on their Wii console, and of course everything will be your fault

      Don't hate Nintendo
      hate people for being retarded.

      Last edited 08/08/13 10:27 am

        I have to disagree with you there.
        In our eyes these people seem stupid as people that visit sites like Kotaku will know the difference, however if you are a parent buying a game for your kid you will not know this and I don't think that makes them retarded at all.
        I had to buy a new set of knifes for the kitchen the other day and I had no idea that they had different types of metal and that Japanese steel was good etc.
        A chef would know the difference cause that's what there passionate about and say that I'm retarded for not knowing but as most would agree it sure as hell doesn't make me retarded for not knowing cause I am not a chef. This is really Nintendo's fault for very very poor marketing and I don't think you can blame the general public

          Yeah completely agree with you JimJam, when Nintendo first announced they were calling the new console the WiiU I really did have a facepalm moment. Stupid name and 101 marketing nightmare aside, from years in retail I knew exactly what was gonna happen... people unaware of this would be bringing up games, controllers, accessories, etc for the WiiU expecting it to work on the Wii... and sure enough...

          To be fair on @mythium, they're clearly different cases with different colors. I'm not sure if this is as big of an issue as people are actually making it out to be... or is it?

          I wonder if the same thing happened with Xbox > Xbox 360?

          And then there's 3DS games vs DS games. Now those cases look a fair bit more similar. Even the same color (well shade to be precise since they're white).

            I think it was a large issue with those console. The only saving grace for the 360 was that when it came out it was big it was all over the news and pretty well marketed to the mainstream. The 3ds was not so much but more than the wiiU i think. But I bet there was still confusion.

          So someone that fills their car with diesel instead of unleaded isn't really stupid if they don't really know cars. After all, the fuel nozzles look quite similar, oh wait there's maybe the part where it's labelled Diesel only.

          Yes you can't expect people to know everything. But you could at least expect them to scrutinise their purchases a little more carefully, especially given how much easier it is to access information.

            That is a terrible example. Your point holds if a WiiU owner buys a willU game. Im saying for people that are buying this thing as a gift. If you are driving someone else's car and need to fill it up you are going to need to have a search around the car to see what fuel it takes. Where as if you are buying a wiiU game and have never seen the console before how are you meant to know?

          And those ruddy knife makers!

          I don't know dude. I had to paint the walls the other day and i'd literally never painted anything in my life. I did some research, found what i needed, cleaned and cleared my site and completed the job because i don't blame the tools or the store when something so SIMPLE (that i'm in no way passionate about) is easily accomplished with a reasonable amount of logic.

          I just don't understand how you can be an apologist to the continuing domination by the ignorant. I mean you say that if they weren't passionate enough about the subject then they just wouldn't know? Isn't this a problem in itself? You're comparing the type of material of a knife best used for cutting to looking down at the case in your hand and checking to see what it says on the front.

          Grandparents, birthdays, and Christmas.
          While parents may know what they bought their darling, grandparents are less likely. Gift buying becomes booby trap time, with the happiness of their darling grand-brat being more elusive than the One Ring of Sauron.

      I remember on launch day, a customer came in and tried to buy a WiiU game but not a console. I asked them "Are you sure? This is for a WiiU, do you have that?"

      And the lady got very very angry and started telling me how she damn-well knows what she owns etc etc and to just sell me the game.

      I then just asked "Can I ask how long you've had this WiiU?" and she said "About three or four years, why?"

      Is there also a level of consumer silliness? I don't recall this happening with Xbox > Xbox 360. But then again maybe they had better marketing?

      If I worked in retail I'd take JB's advice and remind people buying games that they need to check the color of the case...

        I think one difference also is that the original Xbox was always known as the 'Xbox', while the Xbox 360 was more colloquially known as the '360'.
        I don't think there is the same naming differentiating between the original Wii being the 'Wii', and the Wii U being known as the 'U'. No one calls it just the U.
        Calling it the Wii U really was I think an amazingly dumb move. It makes it sound more like a Wii expansion pack, than an entirely different console.
        If they had have named the Wii U differently, for example the Wii Deathcake, then there might not have been such a big problem, as they could have been differentiated by most folks by calling the original the 'Wii' and the followup, the 'Deathcake'

    Its a shame signs like this are required and people don't look into their purchases abit more :/

    Like back when I worked in retail having people buy games for PC's which were on DVD's and their PC's only had CD drives...

    System requirements are there for a reason -_-

    "But for Nintendo? It’s a problem that they need to deal with pretty quickly if the console is to gain traction."

    And yet they won't.

      Of course they won't! Doing so would be admitting failure, when they've already said they don't think it's a problem (that it's called WiiU).

        haha yeah.. I loved their comments on... possibly even here, a few weeks ago too.. Telling everyone what game and experience design is all about rather than all out defending the Wii U.

        Something like 'How would you respond to the Wii U being impractical and terrible?' 'Oh well the reason we're so good at designing things is..'

        Cheers, you arrogant CEO assclown. Come down from your pedestal and actually listen to your fanbase..

    Means it's obviously a big enough issue if they had to make a sign illustrating the difference. I mean the difference seems obvious to me, but I forget that we're in the know.

      Yeah, and for the last decade parents've never really needed to look at them for consoles.

      Numerals are a bit more common-sense than letters. Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Playstation 3... there's a pretty clear difference there. Wii, WiiU... Where'd the U come from? What it's it mean? Is it for 'upgraded'? Do I just have to buy one of those gamepad peripheral thingies and hook that up to my wii, like games which require xbox360's kinect need to be hooked up to my xbox360 and kinect peripheral? Or like the Sega CD, plugged into my Sega MegaDrive. What does U even mean, anyway? Unicorn? They could've called it WiiOmega or WiiCarrot and it would've been more distinctively separate.

      Numbers are more readily understood to be sequential, thus an iteration. Letters can be... anything.

    A massive problem which could have been avoided entirely along with several other issues simply by not calling the damn thing a Wii again.

      Not necessarily.
      There hasn't really been any such problem with telling the difference between the Xbox and the Xbox 360, and things seem to be pretty clear with the Xbone.
      There's never been any trouble with Playstation, PS2, PS3 and such before either.
      As far as I can tell the difference is in the marketing and the target audience.
      I have never EVER seen an ad for the Wii U like I have for the Xboxes and Playstations. They should be making a heavy push to make it clear that it's a whole brand new console and the advertising really needs to be on TV - which brings me to the second part.
      The Wii was targeted massively at the casual gamers and kids and their parents - not the sort to normally care about game consoles in general. It means there's a lot of people out there who's very first console is a Wii, and because of the lack of aforementioned advertising (Which, I might add, is the primary avenue for hitting their target market) they simply haven't had the difference made clear to them.

      In short it can't be blamed entirely on the name. As much as I love Nintendo, they really have fallen short in pretty much everything with marketing on the Wii U.

      Obviously they wanted the word 'Wii' in the title so other Wii users would buy it.

      Why they didn't just called it "Wii 2" is beyond me.

        I would have been happy with Super Wii, two tone colour scheme optional.

      Or calling it a Wii 2? Easiest of course is to call it something completely different.

      The other consoles didn't have this issue from what I remember. I don't recall there being a massive issue with PlayStation 1/2/3 or Xbox > Xbox 360.

        There also weren't a million peripherals called Xbox (whatever) which made the 360 just blend in with all the other peripherals.

    The biggest problem is the fact the majority of Wii users have their first console, ever, and don't realise six years down the track that there's a new console.
    No, this fact hasn't been well highlighted by Nintendo and that's an issue too, but it's also happening to people who just don't know any better.

      There are several problems with the WiiU...

      The casual mainstream who bought into the Wii are now either being serviced by either mobiles, facebook games or have moved onto the other consoles.
      The WiiU is set up to appeal to the audience that the Wii lost... but they've already gone to either Sony or Microsoft, or both.
      Nintendo released a current generation console in the last year of the generation, and the WiiU is missing the point of difference that the Wii had.
      Their notoriously bad relationship with 3rd parties has continued to hamper them.
      The failure to define it as a seperate console (calling it the Wii2, for example).

      Ultimately though, the biggest problem with the WiiU is the 3ds.
      Its continued success has meant that there's no drive from Nintendo to fix the problems that are facing the WiiU.

        The 3DS hasn't really had "continued" success. It launched like a stone bird. It was only after it had some time that people actually embraced it.
        It's doing well now, but don't forget it wasn't that long ago when people were calling it a huge mistake.
        But yes, there are other problems with the WiiU which will be difficult to fix without major upheaval. Fortunately, while Nintendo aren't great at learning from their successes, they do seem to learn from their mistakes.

        Last edited 08/08/13 10:58 am

          The only reason the 3DS is successful now is because there are actually some games for it. The same will happen with the WiiU, or probably not, considering they keep releasing titles for both the 3DS and Wii U (Smash for 3DS? You might as well scrap the WiiU now).

          Games sell consoles. That hasn't changed and it never will. You would think people would know that by now.

            The main problem the WiiU will have in order to recover as well as the 3DS is direct competition. It will be up against the PS4 and Xbone which I believe will have a slow start, but once they get legs in the Market they will blow the WiiU away. The 3DS is only directly competing against the Vita which isn't a dominant force in the market. Yes there are mobile games in competition, but not direct competition as they are targeting a different audience with what I suspect no more than 40-50% shared target audience.

              People will buy a Wii U when a new Zelda comes out. Nintendo exclusives are miles better than a lot of Sony and Microsoft exclusives, and Nintendo consoles are pretty much sold from their first party content. There isn't much competition; people will most likely buy one alongside an XB1 or PS4, not instead of.

    Nintendo done goofed when they didn't just call it:

    Nintendo U. Would have been the perfect follow up to Nintendo Wii.

    Wii was very local mutliplayer focused, where as the WiiU I believe focuses more on the individual. One gamepad per console, one person uses the pad, the main user can play off screen when the TV is needed.

    Nintendo U would have been perfect.

      I think they should bite the bullet and rebrand it. Drop the Wii part, call it the U, update all the boxes and send an email/miiverse message to current customers telling them that the name is changing.

        I really want them to rebrand for 2 reasons:

        1) To help kickstart sales of the console.

        2) To turn my Basic Pack WiiU into an instamnt Collector's item.


          Haha would be a nice qwirk if they did rebrand it Nintendo U(maybe redesigned the pad so it looks less like a Ages 3+ Leapfrog pad) inline with the launch of the PS4 and Xbone for some more fierce competition - but they that's a smart business decision, something Nintendo haven't done for some time now.

          I think that while to some level the stupid naming is causing confusion, at the end of the day I think the problem is more about people being apathetic than anything else. Most people aren’t so stupid that they can’t learn the difference between a Wii and a WiiU, especially if that person has enough interest to fork out $400 for a new console.

          People are confused because nobody is talking about the system, nobody owns one and nobody cares. When the Wii launched everyone thought it was the stupidest name ever but people worked it out quickly because there was a mainstream interest. It only takes one friend to explain, or one decent news article before someone understands completely what the console is about.

          The name might be having some impact on sales, but I’d think it would be a very small proportion of the ultra-casual market (the people mentioned above who are accidently buying WiiU games that won’t work on the Wii). I don’t think clearing up the naming confusion suddenly gets those people to hand over $400 for the next machine to the point that it will ‘kickstart’ sales of the machine, especially if the sales person tells them that the next Xbox will be out soon, more powerful and that you’ll be able to command it with your voice and play it without a controller.

        I totally agree that renaming it would be a good idea, although you have to consider whether the target audience can comprehend it. They're already struggling to tell the difference between the Wii and WiiU; I'm sure trying to explain that the Wii and WiiU are different, but the WiiU and Nintendo U are the same thing will be a nightmare.

        The way I see it, they should have waited until they had a bunch of launch titles ready. The early-bird strategy to beat out the PS4 and XB1 clearly didn't work. They would have been better off releasing in a few months from now, at a lower price point (because they're focusing on the more casual audience). That way, I believe it wouldn't fade into obscurity, like it has done. My concern for Nintendo in the console space is that the generations have become so long that they are going to try and ride it out on a console that's already an underpowered gimmick, with no good coming of said gimmick.

      They should have called it NintendoWiiUcubeSNES64 entertainment system +Cats

    The problem is people are really stupid and don't know much about anything and that's how you have to market your console.

    And I thought the Wii u was an add on to the Wii.........and I have a Wii in my household too

    They should have called it NintendoWiiUgamecubeSNES64 entertainment system +Cats

    You mean that adding a single letter to the Wii wasn't enough to differentiate it from a whole generation of hardware? Well I'll be.

    My mum, just the other day, bought a PS3 Singstar game expecting it to work on our old PS2 (with all the other Singstar games).

    This is a problem not confined to the Wii U, it seems - though Nintendo could really have done a lot better in choosing a name, and can do a lot better with marketing. Here's an idea: instead of all the Nintendo Directs, why not put something - ANYTHING - in the old media?

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