Nintendo UK: We are inclusive, not exclusive

David Yarnton and Dawn Paine of Nintendo UK talk strategy, how it's paid off, and what's in store for Nintendo's future at their London event.

At an event in east London this morning titled "Mind, Body, and Console," Nintendo revealed its latest sales figures and explained the strategy that has made it such a success.

Nintendo UK's general manager, David Yarnton, told the audience that before the release of the Nintendo DS and the Wii, he believed that the industry was in "crisis." He said that the number of video game players had been declining, especially in Nintendo's home country, Japan. He said, "The video game penetration in households has never risen above 30 percent. We were basically just selling more consoles to the same teenage boys."

He said that this realization caused the company to sit down and think about what its strategy would be moving forward. He said, "We are not fighting our competitors, we are fighting apathy...Instead of trying to improve technology for its own sake, we decided to focus on those who weren't even playing games, who weren't on the radar."

Nintendo's strategy, which is demonstrated in its new advertising slogans, includes phrases like "For Everyone," and is the way the company intends to keep moving forward. Yarnton commented, "We are proud to be inclusive, not exclusive."

He also added that the company was also proud of its hardcore gamers, who would not be left out this holiday season, with the release of such titles as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy, and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

Nintendo UK marketing director Dawn Paine said that part of this decision had come after Nintendo had done a survey of some 1,600 adults and asked them why they didn't game. She said, "The results of the survey showed that, at best, games are seen as a waste of time; at worst, an isolated, sad addiction that removes the player from reality." Paine said that Nintendo wanted to make games that didn't replace real life, but instead became part of people's daily lives and routines.

She added, "We decided that bringing tennis to homes wasn't enough; we now want to turn the living room into a fitness centre."

The company then showed a series of upcoming adverts, which will form part of its multimillion-pound marketing campaign for this holiday season. The adverts feature celebrities Nicole Kidman, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Phillip Schofield, Fern Britton, Zoe Ball, and Johnny Ball playing Brain Training and other Nintendo titles.

It also announced Sight Training: Enjoy Exercising and Relaxing Your Eyes, which has been renamed from its US name of Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day, for release in the UK market in November. The game features a series of "sight exercises" that aim to improve such things as hand-eye coordination and peripheral vision. It works in a similar way to Brain Training, with players taking an "Eye Age" test, being given an Eye Age Score, and then doing a series of exercises every day.

Gail Stephenson, head of orthoptics at Liverpool University, was brought in to comment on the title. "You can't increase the amount of numbers you see on a chart through exercise, but you can make your brain and eyes work at a higher rate...We use our eyes to 50 to 60 percent of their potential, although athletes use their eyes to a higher level."

Sight Training will be released in the UK on November 23. Other games coming to the British Nintendo range in 2008 include Wii Fit, My Word Coach, and Face Training.

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Discussion

60 comments
nate1222
nate1222

I agree with YukoAsho. Sonys PSOne made gaming socially acceptable. Kudos to Sony for that. And while I'm at it, the PS3 still has a chance. This console generation is still young. And yes, Nintendo is appealing to old folks by playing into their preconceptions about gaming. It's kinda' like White Racists going to a Menstrel Show: "We know you look at us in a biggotted way. But while you do, we're going to cash in on your prejudices." Gaming (like movies, music, literature, etc...) is here to stay. And old folks have always had major hang-ups about youth culture. Look at Hip Hop (before its creative decline in the late '90s), Alt. Rock, Jazz.....notice a pattern.

gozyaj
gozyaj

Back on the track Nintendo is... We say people has different taste and different thoughts... needs and what sort of fun they like. Games is "FUN". For many years of searching and experimenting in which Nintendo find ways to understand people what gaming is really are... either for casual or hardcore wannabe. The term "fun" need to be implemented to the games what should used to be... In favor to Wii system and the Nintendo DS , they really back on track.

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

Used to be in crisis? I'd argue that it still is - it's just that no one's really going to start seeing the effects for a while yet. Things are beginning to stagnate. I'll admit that the Wii is a little lackluster in games when compared to the 360 (even though it's still miles ahead of the PS3, which as of now only has three decent games), but at least Nintendo had the stones to try something different. The industry and its consumers really need to start changing the way that games are perceived by the rest of the world. It's not enough to simply sit back, wait, and say "hey, when gamers start getting older and taking charge, things will be different." The faster we act, the more room there is for growth and profitability within the industry. I think the Wii and Nintendo's marketing strategy towards it has helped to lessen that gap and change the way gaming is viewed by people. It hasn't done a miracle or anything, but it's a slow start that will hopefully pick up as time goes on.

GrimBee
GrimBee

Kavadias1981 - Sorry, but YES! I agree, if Nintendo had just released a next-gen console. (ok, lets get it straight, next-gen is the term people use for "better graphics". But was the n64 more next-gen than the ps1? I think not). The Wii is every bit as much a next-gen console as the 360 and the Ps3. Never forget that Next-Gen means Next Generation. The more users, the more consoles - that in turn becomes the new generation. When a console overtakes the rest, and creates its own market. It becomes the next-generation. If the ps3 was 50x that of the wii, if it sells less - it doesn't make it any more next-gen than the wii. ANYWAYS - What Nintendo have done here is given you a choice. Like how Apple gave you a choice of different sort of ipods. Do you think the ipod market would be so large now if it only had 30gb space, and just got larger and larger? How do you think the mobile phone market would be if they only made new phones bigger and more expensive and have more features? Apple is the classic tale of making it bigger by making it smaller. Nintendo have basically took the fundementals of a console, and took out the things that they thought would make it slow on its feet. Now gamers have a nice choice of hardware. If everyone was the same, then you would only follow with the rest of the Sheep. If all movies were action movies, my wife would have no need to go to the cinema, if all music was techno then... well, you get the picture. All Nintendo have done, for this generation, is create a simple console. People are so used to believing that the next console out has to be bigger and better. Why can't consoles just get more refined and perfect what they already have? It seems to me that people rat on the Wii because it is not going the "normal" way of a console. Change is good, and it seems to be selling well!

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

kavadias1981 - Sorry, but no. I don't know how old you are, but I'm 28 and I remember when video gamers were picked on by the cool kids at school, derided as geeks and nerds. It was the original PlayStation that made gaming what it is today: a soclally accepted past time for people in their 20s and 30s. Nowadays, only people over the age of 50 hate videogames, which is normal in historical context (rock, rap, jazz, movies, etc). Nintendo's simply giving these old folks a novelty that also fits into their preconcieved notions of videogaming. There's no expansion of the market going on here: the top sellers for Wii are still gamer faves like Mario and Zelda, and the best 3rd party success since launch was Resident Evil 4, which is as far from the "blue ocean" theory that Nintendo espouses as you can get. The grannies you see playing Wii Sports are never going to buy anything else, and they're certainly not going to open their minds to things like Zack & Wiki, Monster Hunter or Umbrella Chronicles. You, geto and the rest of the blind Nintendo fanboys can continue to talk about the hardware sales and continue to ignore a software situation that makes the PS3 look like the PS2 by comparison. Me, I'll keep right on seeing the market for what it is.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@ralphikari The types of games that you describe are designed for those who wish improve their senses, maths and english skills. How can you sit there and criticise that?

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Merl57 Good for you, and yes, 360 achievements are a good feature, but this report is about Nintendo and how they have helped remove the stigma that games have carried since they first began. Nintendo has made video games accepted and cool now.

Sparticus247
Sparticus247

I love how people say that the Wii is boring and just collects dust. I'm pretty sure that all the other consoles collect dust too, unless they clean themselves automatically. HECK, I must be really boring because I don't collect dust, I MAKE it :)

Brother_Boney
Brother_Boney

I find it so funny when people go: "Nintendo is right saying Wii brings people back to gaming. I'm brought back." . or when they go: "It is total bogus that people play Wii more now than at launch! I never touch my Wii!" . or better yet: . "Games don't make people more violent. I've been playing GTA and never hurt a fly." You people are funnyyyyyy... lamprey263: "I just think it's crap everyone was acting like it was reaching out to new audiences." You can check the E3 Nintendo Press Conference video and see the official numbers based on surveys. They were very open about it then. The statistics show that most people who play Wii regularly are hard core gamers. The number of new people it has attracted is a small precentage. But you can count how many people that percentage is from all the people who bought Wii... it is still a big number of heads.

Merl57
Merl57

I really like they're ideas but Achievements on 360 are so much more addicting.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Well, I'm glad to hear that Nintendo's targeting all potential consumers now instead of just hardcore gamers. Granted, I am a Hardcore gamer and the only "next-gen" console I own right now is the 360, but I do have a DS and even bought one for my non-gaming sister because she liked mine so much, and I am planning to get a Wii as soon as I get just a little more money. I love the fact that the Wii is backwards compatible with the Gamecube, and also that it and its games are so affordable. Like I've said, it saddens me when I buy a $30 Ds game like Phoenix Wright and find myself having more fun and for a longer period of time than I do with a $60 X-box 360 game that you can finish in two afternoons. At any rate, if I haven't bought a Wii by the time NiGHTS is out, I'm getting one then.

ralphikari
ralphikari

Yeah those who buy these "Everyone" corporate propaganda things sure need more brain, eye-sight, and physical training.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

They're absolutly right. The industry's growth had become stunted. Nintendo has really helped to revitalise it. I was one of those adults that left gaming after the PS1's life ended, but the DS and Wii brought me back. Plus since Nintendo released these two, I have seen members of my family enjoy games for the first time since the 16-bit era. Keep up the good work Nintendo.

rgjj
rgjj

they've done very well phantom hour glass has took me off halo 3 lol think u could say its because phantoms DIFFERENT control scheme appeals to me pluss its a bloody good game aswell and to be honest its nice to play somethin which aint jus another first persons shooter. Wish them all luck at ninty they've always move tech forward jus hope they continue doing it(anologue sticks, rumble packs,motion sencors)

jwallace
jwallace

To Yuko: "the word of mouth" marketing is now backfiring? It seems that Nintendo needs to work faster in procuring more compelling software to satiate would-be and current Wii owners. Hopefully Guitar Hero III and Manhunt 2 this weekend will help put a positive spin. If not, it could be the case of "too little third-party software, too late" leaving the first-party lineup to outstrip almost every third-party offering this holiday.

getoconnection
getoconnection

jwallace Nintendo already assumes that the PS3 and X360 will cover the hardcore end already as both are superior machines, so to gripe about the Wii's lack of power is a waste of time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Best post I've seen today. Been saying this since day 1; but then again, this type of logic is fleeting for most fanboys who post here.

getoconnection
getoconnection

YukoAsho okassar - Indeed. I hear as many stories now about people trading their Wiis as I do about people trying to find them nowadays. And people at the local Gamestop can't unload the used Wiis because they don't come with Wii Sports. So who wants to tell me how the Wii is selling on its own merit again? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm guessing you won't be singing that tune after the Christmas sale numbers are in Yuko....

JAREDJR
JAREDJR

Good news for the UK. The DS has more great features on the way so I'm sure that numbers will continue to grow for DS sales.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

Only idiots sell of a console whether it be a Wii, PS3 or a 360.

FunKrusher
FunKrusher

@ YukoAsho Yeah okay hearing many stories don't equal facts. I live in Philadelphia, PA a top ten major city in the US and have yet to see a single Wii used or brand new in a single store. And I visit Ebgames, GameStop, Game Champ on South St. (busy hub in Center City) weekly. Sure there may be some places that have Wii and I'm sure some people are unhappy with theirs. But you guys with your Wii hate need to stop. I mean it's only going to get worst in a month when the holiday season rolls around and the Wii hype really kicks in. Then what will the excuses or topics be? "Oh they only bought Wii's because they are cheap!" and etc.

FunKrusher
FunKrusher

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

okassar - Indeed. I hear as many stories now about people trading their Wiis as I do about people trying to find them nowadays. And people at the local Gamestop can't unload the used Wiis because they don't come with Wii Sports. So who wants to tell me how the Wii is selling on its own merit again?

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

It's not Zoe Ball it's Zoe Bell...if this is the same person I'm thinking of anyway. The one from Death Proof....MAN she's a hottie! ^_^

okassar
okassar

-.-, I hate smart talk like that!!!!!What makes it even worse is that it's for no reason, just like when Sony said it was the "beginning of the next-gen of gaming",umm...no,360 was.Keep it real Nintendo,the Wii is a fad and its prosperity is not long lived if you don't WORK IT and sign more game contracts(for good,hardcore games...).Not to mention that the Wii is damned by bad graphics.The dismal internet service CAN BE FIXED,but not with "Nintendo innovation" (psh...),but with better signal and more games that support it?I don't know,just an idea.The Wii's cheap price and "universal" approach and the corny "Wii" families didn't fool me,I'm playin' Halo 3 on 360 with Xbox Live with my friends and everything's just fine.The Wii is a source of frusturation and a false "show-off" motion-shmancy tool.Some people like small kids and true casual gamers and Nintendo fanboys TRULY like the Wii for that,is that really a universal approach?Nintendo is ditching the TRUE gamers and those are growing in numbers.Everyone is realizing how %$#@&* awesome it is to play numerous,amazing games with great graphics over a wonderful online service(hint:seeing the 360's supremacy) and more and more people are seeing how ridiculously CHEAP the Wii is in every way possible.Enough said. !..! -.- !..!

Nwebrme
Nwebrme

Lamprey263: You got it wrong. The way I understood it, what she was talking about were the selling of all consoles prior to the Wii. In other words the PS2s, X-Box's, GCNs etc were going to more teenage boys. Their strategy for the Wii was to try and market it to the elders and families that don't game. You have it slightly backwards :P.

lamprey263
lamprey263

"We were basically just selling more consoles to the same teenage boys" Whah? What was all that crap about being big with the elderly? All that crap about uniting families around the Wii? I'm still convinced the only people with Wiis were just typical gamers to begin with. I'm not hating on the Wii. I love it. I just think it's crap everyone was acting like it was reaching out to new audiences.

shadystxxx
shadystxxx

C'mon Nintendo, your telling me hardcore gamers will be happy with one game this fall. He couldnt think of three hardcore games coming this fall so he mentioned 2 that were already out and phantom hour glass is anything but hardcore, its a total simplfied zelda, every puzzle tells you how to do it before hand. IMO the wii is nowhere near a console for hardcore gamers, if your a hardcore gamer theres 3-4 games out by the end of the year that appeal to you that are any good, zelda tp,mp3,spm and mario galaxy. My Wii has never been turned on for over six months, and im really dissapointed with it, i actually feel ripped off £180 for a gamecube with waggle. Well Mario will ease my dissapointment for a few weeks then it will be back to dust collecting.

wwonka666
wwonka666

One more thing to add. As a hardcore gamer who has been playing games since Pong, they at least gave us the Virtual Console. I love playing the games I once loved so I guess that was their answer for us hardcore gamers. However, it would be nice if they would have actually allowed us to buy the actual controllers from those systems and plug them in. I would love to be using an authentic NES/SNES/Genesis controller. Now that Neo-Geo is on VC, I would love to have an original Neo-Geo controller. So Nintendo, if your listening, I think you should release the original controllers also instead of just the one "classic controller". It is a way to make more money and also make hardcore gamers such as myself even happier. You wouldn't have to charge much for them, just cover expense of the parts and maybe $5.00 profit. You would then be the number one company in the Japan stock market instead of number two.

fauljosh
fauljosh

I don't know why you people are hating on Nintendo. They're doing good for the industry. The more gaming is accepted by the masses the more games we get.

SkankinForFalco
SkankinForFalco

Hats off to you Nintendo. But I hope other Companies don't jump on this Motion Sensitive controller band-wagon.. I enjoy sitting down and playing my video games, not so much flapping my arms at the screen wondering why my Wii won't swing his Club.

jwallace
jwallace

As far as Nintendo's strategy for the Wii is concerned, we can debate until the end of time on the pros and cons. All that Nintendo supporters can do here and now is just realize the console for what it is. As gamers we have to realize that bringing in a whole new audience was Nintendo's number one priority with hardcore Nintendo supporters being adhered to at a later date. Thirteen million consoles later, Nintendo has shown that (like Apple's Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle) cutting-edge technology isn't required to draw in an audience that cares little or knows nothing about current technology trends. Add an attractive price point and a friendly user interface and you'll have a whole new market. Now that Nintendo has proven their point as far as generating a new audience that was previously untapped, the company is now focused on improving some online capabilities as well as generating new experiences and strengthing their third-party relations. With games such as Guitar Hero III, Super Mario Galaxy, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Manhunt 2, Geometry Wars: Galaxies and others, the library won't be a stellar lineup like Microsoft's but it will at least be better than Gamecube's second year. It's old news now that Nintendo has released an underpowered unit, but real gamers and developers know how to work and play with what they have, and trashing the hardware is NOT going to change the issue. Nintendo already assumes that the PS3 and X360 will cover the hardcore end already as both are superior machines, so to gripe about the Wii's lack of power is a waste of time.

Doolum
Doolum

Am not surprised why Nintendo is so much loved..(and yeah its coming from me)Not that i hate but the thing is i was fed up with those marios and marios and marios(although i should say that super mario was the very first game i played)Nintendo has no games that appeal to me.Sure there was that RE on the cube but was satisfied with the PS2 experiences. Thoughts of owning a Wii comes to me from time to time though.Own a PS3 already so wont need a 360

wwonka666
wwonka666

I like Nintendo's strategy, but why couldn't they have improved technology as well as introduce innovation. I would love to be playing my Wii in HD. However, I guess they had to do something with all those Gamecubes that didn't sell so this is how they did it. It was brilliant and sad at the same time.

FlyinM_X
FlyinM_X

It is all about balance, really. Nintendo is doing what they can to bring in a new generation of gamers while pleasing long-term gamers as well. I can't help but feel that MS and Sony are only interested in the 15-30 male crowd, which is probably the most valuable age bracket. So Nintendo wants to make sure that younger/older/more casual gamers can have fun too. What's so wrong with that??? And this is coming from a hardcore gamer. MS and Sony will follow, im certain of it.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

"Nintendo wanted to make games that didn't replace real life, but instead became part of people's daily lives and routines." Exactly the games that I hate.

Space-Q
Space-Q

well they can sell all the systems they want and to whoever they want, but...as time goes by they are only getting more boring.

StarFox-Elite
StarFox-Elite

And another generation is added to the glorious empire of Nintendo... This is good, I think it could inspire more games for the Wii somehow.

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Well, I've always thought of how the most of the industry focused squarely on the same generation of gamers. One of my dark fears was once we were gone the industry would come to a screeching halt (or severe crash in demand) because the other companies wouldn't know what to do to appeal to a new set. If not for Nintendo, some shade of that may have happened.

XwarzoneX
XwarzoneX

>Therefore that's why the Wii doesn't get much respect on here. With a bury brigade that won't let any comment that is less than drooling over nintendo stand for more than a day? Please. If anything, the Wii gets far too much respect for what it is.

ShirkDawg
ShirkDawg

I don't know part of me is glad nintendo is bringing gaming to the masses but at the same time, I'm not sure if I want idiots who claim gaming is for addicted losers or a waste of time playing. Those people are the same ridiculous people that only care about money and prestige.

chakan2
chakan2

"None of those games seem particularly fun" I would have agreed with that had I not played Brain Age. My roommate picked that up and let me play. Within a week I had my own DS and a copy for my self. It's a very bizzare concept for a game, but it's oddly addictive. If Nintendo can keep that kind of addictive game play intact in it's other "training" games, it's got some major winners on it's hands.

metc123
metc123

@ kevy619 " I hope this whole wii thing blows over soon..." The Wii is here to stay Dude!!! :) So you better get used to it :P

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

None of those games seem particularly fun ... lets slap on an interesting name to ... move your eyes around and press A ... or ... learn to spell by aiming and pushing A ... or remember faces and select the right one by .... pushing A ... all of these things I can do without the Wii and paying 300$ plus controllers + the game really doesn't seem like an ample expenditure of my monetary funds.

metc123
metc123

Nice to see NDS and Wii Opening the market, Again!!!

mhder
mhder

patrick stewart nintendo commercial? woohoo lol

lucky326
lucky326

Personally all I want from the UK right now is the promised Stars to Wii Points conversion its nearly been a year now.

KingKoop
KingKoop

I see Nintendo's point trying to reach out to non gamers, bur seriosly do we really need another Training title? I'd like to see them focusing on "proper" games. By proper I mean a game that has a start, middle and end, a storyline, some bosses etc But Ninty are doind well and I'm no sales rep so... Go Nintendo! ;)

kevy619
kevy619

I hope this whole wii thing blows over soon...