Tycho over at Penny Arcade sums it up nicely:
I keep hearing that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption isn’t being promoted very well, but the person saying this always seems to know about it, and then when people share this complaint in the thread those people also seem to be “in the know.” It ships on the twenty-seventh of August, if you weren’t aware – but since you almost certainly are, we needn’t dwell on it. What we should be dwelling on are the series of teaser vids that Retro has been trickling out. Metroid’s largely mysterious heroine has always been a huge draw for me, and it’s a strange case where going into deep detail about the character might actually damage the mystique. But the universe she operates in need not be vague, which is why these clips are such a rich meal: the Aurora Unit trailer that modernizes ancient Metroid canon in a classy way, and there’s a treat at the end of the Valhalla trailer that ties it all together. They both cover a setting that has gotten darker and more sophisticated, tones we don’t typically associate with Nintendo.
Again, I blame the Internet for any troubles on this one. Just like when all those Wiimotes were “breaking televisions” I doubt very much that there’s a marketing drought going on right now for Metroid 3. What I think happened is some popular columnist or Internet forum member somewhere decided that Nintendo was pissing all over hardcore gamers for some odd reason or another and decided to find an Ahab’s Whale that would smear Nintendo and make it do an about face and appeal to hardcore gamers, dammit! It’s basic reverse psychology.
On a side note, there’s something weirdly wrong and insipidly stupid with the hardcore community lashing out at Nintendo for not being tough enough. Weren’t these the same idiots who couldn’t wait to make fun of Nintendo’s GameCube for being a piece of kiddie candy?!
Does Nintendo need to show more TV commercials to sell Metroid 3? Nope. In fact, I think they’d help sell Metroid about as much as those Halo 3 Mountain Dew cans will help sell Halo 3 to people who don’t own an Xbox 360. As in, not at all. Do they need more Internet marketing? As Tycho points out, that’d be throwing money on a fire — things on the Net are already ramped up. The best advertising is already in place for Metroid, and we’re all a part of it just by discussing it, watching videos and even complaining about it.
Does the Metroid preview channel only reach Wii’s with online enabled? Obviously. But the message reaches out to the friends of those Wii owners, and their families, and their friends, etc. Basically, the marketing is being done pro bono, and that’s ok. Any more marketing would be a complete waste of money. Some people argue that this might be true, but if Nintendo did marketing in addition to it, then Metroid 3 would sell even better. Not really. This is because word of mouth and a solid product trumps that any day of the week. No one’s watching normal TV these days anyway. An added bonus for Nintendo is that this discussion gets non-online Wii’s online even faster.
Metroid 3: Darker, more mysterious, and the marketing is just fine, thank you very much.