Nintendo acknowledges that many consumers don't know that the Wii U is actually a new console as opposed to an upgrade, but plans to remedy the situation with a major Christmas sales push and Tesco deal.
Or, in other words, they actually plan to start advertising.
Speaking to MCV, Nintendo revealed that they've booked space in Tesco stores, "send a five page leaflet to 300,000 Tesco customers that bought a Wii but have yet to buy another console," and give out discount vouchers for Wii U software. They also plan to run major television advert campaigns for Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Wind Waker HD throughout the holiday season. Apparently their marketing budget is "significantly higher" than last year, though admittedly, last year's marketing was barely visible.
“There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is, said Nintendo UK marketing director Shelly Pearce. "And one of the big messages is that this is a new console and a new controller. There are many people out there that don’t know what this is.”
“We haven’t had the sales we wanted on Wii U hardware. We haven’t had the software for most of this year. But we have some quite ambitious numbers, particularly with some of our biggest franchises coming. Our monthly tracking shows that Wii remains the No.1 console for brand awareness. This offers us a massive opportunity to convert Wii owners to Wii U.
“Interest is starting to grow but we know we have a lot of work to do.”
I personally suspect that the Wii U will do modestly well over Christmas. Considering the high demand (hence potential high street stock shortages) and weighty RRPs for next-gen consoles, Ninty's cut-price option is going to be an attractive alternative for many families and last-minute present buyers. However, the console will only really come into its own next year with the release of flagship titles such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros., alongside more hardcore options like Bayonetta 2 and X.