Archive for the ‘U.S.’ Category

It’s Official – Wii’s U.S. Nintendo Channel, Forecast Channel, News Channel & more taken offline.

June 28, 2013
The message you get now when trying to access the Nintendo Channel.

Coffee Beans
If you have read stories around here over the last few years, chances are you have probably seen my data report stories on Wii games. I would gather information from the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, and then create images with the reported play-time on games that showed things like average times played and total hours played. You can even read a data report I did on the Everybody Votes Channel, HERE.

Well, as of now, the Nintendo Channel (seen above), Forecast Channel, News Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, and Check Mii Out Channel have been taken offline on the Wii, to never return again. Perhaps Nintendo will release a News and Weather app on the Wii U, but I doubt they will ever release a Nintendo Channel app that shows play-times of Wii U and Wii games, because that data could provide hints of sales numbers for games as well.

You can see the how the other Wii Channels now appear if you attempt to visit them, in the image below.

Click to enlarge

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have used the Nintendo Channel almost weekly, for the last 3+ years. Even weeks and months when I didn’t post data reports, I would record the data for my records (data nerd). Seeing the Nintendo Channel services discontinued is the biggest disappointment for me out of all the Wii Channels discontinued. There were some newer Wii games I was hoping to get to report on, like Pandora’s Tower, but due to the Nintendo Channel service being stopped that data will now most likely never be known.

While we used the Forecast Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, Check Mii Out Channel, and News Channel, none of them were used anywhere near as much as the Nintendo Channel in our house, and some of them hadn’t been used regularly in years.

The Nintendo Channel was by far my favorite Wii Channel and not just because of the data, but also because Nintendo started things like Nintendo Week on it and it provided a good way to watch trailers of new games coming out as well.

Questions
Did any of you use a Wii Channel (or two) regularly, and perhaps will be disappointed now that these Wii Channel services have been discontinued?

Did all of you know that the Wii Channels in the U.S./Western market were being taken offline? I didn’t see any sites really report on them being discontinued in the U.S., but I did see it mentioned for Europe and Japan.

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FPS Friday! How much has Red Steel 2 been played? Official U.S. Nintendo Channel data report.

April 13, 2013


Coffee Beans
Last May, we looked at how many hours had been reported playing Red Steel 2 by U.S. Wii owners, with more than 2 years’ worth of data reported.

Red Steel 2 was released as a Wii exclusive on March 23, 2010 in the U.S., and can still be found to buy, new or used, on many different sites. If you own a Wii, or even Wii U, and are interested in Red Steel 2, you should know the game requires a Wii MotionPlus accessory to play though. As for content to be aware of, Red Steel 2 received an ESRB rating of “TEEN” for “Animated Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence“.

A description for the game on the Nintendo Channel says, “Embody a lonesome fighter, a man of few words with a shaded past full of mystery. Face various, and increasingly strong, enemies and defeat challenging bosses in epic and intense fights. Visit a remote mixed metropolis in the middle of the American desert, where Eastern and Western culture have been smashed together: Caldera.”

About how many U.S. Wii owners have game-play data reported for Red Steel 2 through the Nintendo Channel, and how many hours have they reported playing the game since it released over 3 years ago? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

How many hours did you play?

The Brew
Red Steel 2 now has approximately 75,407 U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported through the Nintendo Channel, which is just over 8,800 more players with data reported than last year, now with 1,112 days possibly reported.

The game currently has 759,283 Total Hours of reported game-play, which is an increase of 97,308 Total Hours since the report last year. Its average reported “Per person” has increased slightly by 7 minutes, and is now sitting at 10 Hours 4 Minutes “Per person”. The average time spent playing the game each time/session reported, is about 1 Hour 45 Minutes.

The game’s “professional” critic review score average is now slightly lower than it was last May, currently sitting at 80.50% based on 48 reviews from GameRankings.com. While the critic review score average is slightly lower since last year, the customer review score average has increased slightly. The game’s customer review score average is now 88.08%, now based on 89 customer reviews between both SKUs of the game.

Caffeinated Thoughts
When I wrote the piece last May, I said, “Have I played Red Steel 2 yet? No, but I may be making a trip to my local Game Stop store today, where I originally reserved Red Steel 2.

I did end up buying Red Steel 2 the day of the post last May, and I completed the game last June. My game-play data record for Red Steel 2 on the Nintendo Channel shows my play-time as 13 Hours 46 Minutes, over 6 times. From my rough math, this means I spent about 2 Hours 17 Minutes each time I played the game, until I beat it. While I enjoyed my time with Red Steel 2, I’m actually still a bigger fan of the original Red Steel, as I enjoyed the levels and game-play mechanics (even though not perfect) more in the original.

If you have not seen any footage of game-play from Red Steel 2, the video below is of a partial mission in the game from the Nintendo Channel:

I’m glad Nintendo made the jump to HD with the Wii U, and enjoy having an awesome feature like Off-TV play with the Wii U GamePad now, but I think it’s a shame the video game market won’t likely see another game like Red Steel or Red Steel 2, because of traditional controllers being more standard now.

If Ubisoft was to update the original Red Steel for the Wii U though, perhaps with HD graphics, online multiplayer, and optional GamePad and Wii Remote controls (like what Black Ops II offers), it would probably be a day one buy for me.

Questions
Have any of you played and perhaps beaten Red Steel 2 in the last year? If so, what did you think about the game?

If you played the original Red Steel and Red Steel 2, are you perhaps like me, being that you enjoyed the original more? Also, would any of you be interested in a Red Steel HD remake, or maybe just a new Red Steel 3 for the Wii U if Ubisoft were to do it?

You can see links for Red Steel and Red Steel 2 on Amazon.com below:

Nintendo’s U.S. Wii U TV advertising. Marketing genius, or marketing failure?

November 9, 2012

Coffee Beans
There are now four official Wii U commercials for the United States. There is the official “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video”, which is the only one minute Wii U commercial so far; and New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and SiNG Party each have their own 30 second commercial.

The U.S. Wii U commercials have received mixed reactions from fans, and for various reasons: the music, the presentation, the information (or lack thereof). The video above is the slightly updated version of my original updated version of Nintendo’s “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video”, that Nintendo of America revealed last Thursday.

Do the U.S. Wii U commercials do a good enough job at addressing the fact that the Wii U is a brand new console, with a brand new controller? Will the way that each U.S. commercial is worded be a genius marketing strategy, or a marketing failure? Brew yourself some coffee and hit the jump to take a look at the commercials, and specifically listen to the way the Wii U is talked about in each commercial.

The Brew
Here’s the first U.S. Wii U commercial, “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video”:

The second Wii U commercial to hit Nintendo of America’s YouTube account was this New Super Mario Bros. U commercial, last Friday:

The SiNG Party Wii U commercial was originally released by the production company behind the dancers in the commercial, and then Nintendo added it to their YouTube account this past Monday:

The last U.S. Wii U commercial to be released, so far, is this Nintendo Land commercial that they released on Monday as well:

Caffeinated Thoughts
I don’t think the Wii U commercials do a good enough job of addressing the fact the Wii U is a brand new console, and instead I think they give the impression the “Wii U” is just a brand new controller that works with existing Wii consoles.

In the Wii U campaign launch video the line used is, “With the all new Wii U…”, and that’s it. Not once, in the entire one minute video are the words “console” or “system” spoken. I also think the commercial is lacking a few key details that would help clear up that the Wii U is a new console and not just a new Wii controller, and I added a few of those details in my video up top. Instead of just focusing on the Wii U console and the Wii U GamePad, they show people sitting around in the rooms participating in gameplay using Wii Remotes and Nunchuks as well.

What about the New Super Mario Bros. U launch TV commercial? It has the same issue. The lines are, “This is how you’ll play next. Using the all new Wii U GamePad controller…”, and it ends with “New Super Mario Bros. U, only available on the all new Wii U.” It lacks the specific words “the all new Wii U console” or “the all new Wii U system“. Like the Wii U launch video, they show other people playing with Wii Remotes in the commercial.

What about the SiNG Party Wii U launch TV commercial? Same thing! It’s a 30 second commercial, and the first voice-over line in the commercial is, “Face the crowd and get the party started with the all new Wii U GamePad controller.“, followed up immediately with the next line, “SiNG Party, only available on the all new Wii U.”

Nintendo Land’s commercial? Same thing. “With the all new Wii U, this is how you’ll play next.” There is no focus on the Wii U console by itself, and it shows other players using Wii Remotes (and Nunchuks) to play the game along side the GamePad.

The commercials all end with an image of the Wii U GamePad in front of the Wii U system, and the games being sandwiched between them (on the game only commercials). The problem with this? The Wii U console looks a lot like the Wii console. Hiding it in the back without ever showing it up close with the logo on it, and never showing the price of the two bundles (or that it comes in two bundles), I don’t think is helping customers/viewers understand this is an entirely new system. To see what the Wii would look like behind the Wii U GamePad, I edited the following image:

Also, while I understand Nintendo is wanting current Wii owners to understand their Wii Remotes and Nunchuks will work on the new Wii U system, I don’t understand why they are showing the Wii Remotes and Nunchuks being used for gameplay, instead of showing the Wii U Pro Controllers being used instead.

I really do hope I’m wrong and that the Wii U commercials provide enough information for your average consumer, but I fear for the retail employees that will have to explain to the customers showing up in stores expecting only to buy a new Wii controller, that it’s not just the controller but an entirely new system they need. Having worked in retail, and seeing how the U.S. Wii U commercials are worded and lack information such as price, I can see this being an issue.

Perhaps the commercials are worded the way they are to purposely get consumers thinking this is just a new Wii controller, and then when they show up in stores they will get to demo the system live hands-on instead? Maybe Nintendo is betting that hands-on with the system in stores will help sell it, and that consumers will also do the research before heading out this holiday season to buy a Wii U?

If the marketing strategy with the U.S. Wii U commercials is trying to get the mass market to think the Wii U GamePad is just a new Wii controller though, I think they are doing it the right way, even though I think it would be odd if that’s their goal. Maybe this will be the best way to get consumers to look up information on the Wii U, and I just hope that providing less information to consumers initially, ends up selling more Wii U consoles for them.

I don’t think the European or Japanese Wii U commercials have the wording problem that the U.S. commercials do, so I think it will be interesting to see which marketing strategy works out to be the best. Will more basic information equal more sales, or less basic information equal more sales? Is less, more? I guess we’ll find out within a few months if Wii U units are flying off store shelves in the U.S., or if Nintendo of America changes the marketing techniques.

Questions
If you have a cable TV or satellite TV subscription, have you seen any of the Wii U’s commercials? If so, do you think the commercials do a good enough job explaining that the Wii U is a brand new console, with a brand new controller?

Do you think the lack of information such as the Wii U being available in two bundles, at two different price points, and the wording in the U.S. commercials is a genius marketing strategy, or a marketing failure from what you have seen?

You can pre-order New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and SiNG Party on Amazon.com below, as well as see the outrageous prices of Wii U consoles from third party sellers because Amazon.com is still not carrying the Wii U directly:

Nintendo’s U.S. Wii U Commercials, and updated Coffee "Launch Video" version

November 5, 2012

Coffee Beans
This past Thursday, November 1st, Nintendo showed its first Wii U launch video produced for the United States. They released a New Super Mario Bros. U commercial and a SiNG Party commercial, both Wii U games, last week as well.

The official launch video has received very mixed reactions. Some Nintendo fans think it’s okay, and that it will do okay with multiple viewings. Others think it’s pretty bad at conveying what the Wii U is and what the Wii U is about, and aren’t fans of the music chosen for it.

If you missed the new Wii U launch video an commercials last week for the U.S., brew yourself some coffee and hit the jump to see them below, as well as my updated version of the first official “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video”!

The Brew
First up, the “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video” which was the first one Nintendo of America released last week:

Next up, the “Wii U SiNG PARTY Launch TV Commercial” that was published and made public last Friday by JK Dance Productions:

Last up, the “Wii U – New Super Mario Bros U Launch TV Commercial” that Nintendo published on their YouTube Channel last Friday, November 2nd:

Caffeinated Thoughts
I personally don’t think the “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video” does a good enough job of showing that the Wii U is a brand new console, and not simply a new controller that can be used with existing Wii consoles. Same with the New Super Mario Bros. U and SiNG Party commercials. Every main shot of the Wii U console in the videos is hidden behind the Wii U GamePad, which I think might lead to confusion for many being that the black Wii console and black Wii U console (same for the white versions) look very similar in appearance.

Also, it seems very “busy” to me, with nothing being explained as to what is happening and being shown. I don’t think the background music is a good choice if the ad will be used to target all ages of potential Wii U buyers. (Bean 1 enjoys the video a good deal, and Mrs. Coffee didn’t mind it, but she did know about the Wii U before watching it.) I do think the launch video would be better marketed at a younger audience, and not the “expanded audience” of older gamers that Nintendo picked up with the Wii and I think it will be interesting to see how/if Nintendo adapts the Wii U marketing strategy for different audiences.

Being that the “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video” doesn’t say “Commercial” in its YouTube title though, like the two for the Wii U games do, makes me wonder if the ad will actually run on TV, or if it is perhaps just designed for the internet to kick things off?

Even though I don’t think the music is the best choice (and I lack the announcer voice), I decided to see if I could have some fun and re-edit the video using the same background music in the original, but make it a little bit more informative and help show viewers the Wii U is not just a new controller, the GamePad, but also an entire new system. You can see my updated, over caffeinated, version of the “Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video” below.

Questions
Are you impressed with Nintendo’s Wii U launch video and commercials for the U.S. market so far? Do you think they need to provide more information in them, as I do? If so, what information would you like to see in a general Wii U console commercial?

Would you prefer an official Wii U video that addresses and shows a little better what the Wii U GamePad is being used for, and that the Wii U console is entirely new; perhaps like my updated, over caffeinated, Wii U video?

You can pre-order New Super Mario Bros. U and SiNG Party on Amazon.com and check out the outrageous prices of the Wii U consoles from third party sellers, below: