Penny Arcade on marketing

Nintendo marketingThe recent comic at Penny Arcade is spot-on, but for once I’m linking to the commentary that’s provided alongside it by Tycho. He discusses how uncomfortable everyone’s become now that Nintendo has rewritten the rule book on gaming (tore it to shreds with its bare hands, then manifested a new one out of thin air is more like it, I suppose).

No one, aside from Nintendo, really knows what to do right now. Rumors persist that Sony is crafting itself a PS2 waggle wand and a $99 price point for the PS2. Microsoft execs look absolutely ridiculous as they try and market “kid-friendly” fare for the Xbox 360. Honestly, if you had told me 18 months ago that one day Microsoft’s Xbox division was going to start looking like that 35-year-old guy who tries to blend in and be cool at a college party, I would have laughed in your face.


With the compact E3 about to begin, the tactical nature of the conflict (Note: marketing, competing — j.l.) will become more brutal. People get even nastier when they’re vying for second place than when they’re fighting for first. When you’re playing for scraps – and rest assured, dear readers, that you and I are the scraps – you have to get all of them to make it work. Nintendo has simply skipped the first phase – building the brand with us – and jumped straight to the mainstream play. It’s worked flawlessly. And it’s made their competitors increasingly uncomfortable.

Things will start to get ugly, dear readers, as those people who feel threatened by the Wii’s success — for whatever their reason is — begin to lash out. Just ask Gandhi. It will be ugly, but it’ll be fun to watch. That is, when we’re not having a blast with Smash Bros. or Metroid Prime 3.

On an unrelated note, I had a dream last night in which I wielded a 5-foot broadsword and dodged cannonballs.