The new console, Nintendo Switch, is a dock system that allows users to play in both handheld mode and docked mode (connected to a monitor). This opens doors to all the places this console can be played. Because this dock is generally placed in a visible area next to a TV or monitor, it persuades the user to play it more often. Coupled with the fact that it’s really easy to switch between modes (handheld and docked) players can play almost anywhere now, and persuades audiences not only to play more often, but also to initially buy the console because it is so versatile. Players don’t need to have two different sets of consoles now (Wii and DS) which they did in the past for Nintendo, not to mention buy two versions of games depending on how they wanted to play. Furthermore, it allows different games the new opportunity to play multiplayer or single player mode, whereas in the previous versions, it’s more persuasive for the game to stick to one or the other, as generally speaking Wii targeted more large group play where as handheld was single, and at best, connected to other handheld consoles.
Nintendo continues to further persuade its audience with their ads for newly released games.Within the ad campaign, something that is done extremely viscerally is the “switch clicking” sound that each ad starts off with and is notable to represent the switch.
The sound is very notable and satisfying to hear, which makes the audience want to hear it more, and because it plays in most of Nintendo’s published videos, and all the advertisements, it persuades users to watch their ads more, and works towards the audience’s needs.
DLC’s within Nintendo’s games is another way for the company to persuades users to upgrade and spend more money on a game they already have. DLC stands for downloadable content, which is essentially a bonus feature that doesn’t automatically come with the game, but are around ~$20 for each game, which are generally around ~$60. They aren’t as expensive, which persuades players to get them because they already spent so much initial money on the game in the first place — might as well go all the way with the DLC pack. One game that does this persuasion technique really well is Smash Brothers Ultimate, a game where players can play as various characters from various franchises and battle each other. Nintendo continues to release new playable characters, landing at five as of today. With each announcement, the fans are hyped up trying to guess which character will be next, debating what characters are needed (i.e. a large ongoing debate that there are too many swordsmen and Nintendo needs to bring in a larger variety of types of fighters). Each release is coupled with a a Nintendo Direct, which is released live on YouTube, again furthering fans to be hyped up with the event. This whole ordeal persuades audiences to be invested in this excitement / release of a character, and further convinces them to buy the DLC pack so they can play this new character.
I find myself equally as engaged to see who is the next character that will join smash, tempted to buy the DLC pack as well. Because I’ve become one of the fans, waiting to see the direct release and even wanting to wake up early so I can avoid spoilers from Twitter and other social media platforms, Nintendo successfully persuaded me to get hyped and join the fun they’re trying to evoke.
In general, Smash uses persuades fans of all genres (even beyond Nintendo), to come together and play, because the Smash playable character lineup all comes from other franchises. It’s an ultimate crossover. From my experience (and my own opinion), crossovers have always been successful in getting people eager to see or experience a new franchise.
Nintendo continues to blow it out of the park with E3 2019 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) where many different gaming companies uses this time to release trailers of their upcoming games to garner attention from the fans and audience alike. One of Nintendo’s most notable games in the recent years, Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild, announced its sequel at the end of Nintendo’s E3. They started off with a trailer, introducing Zelda was never before seen short hair (she got a hair cut since the last game!) and hyped up the anticipation, before finally announcing that this trailer demo did not show a new DLC pack, but a direct sequel to the original game.
This fact wasn’t made clear until at the very end of the video, where the video ends with “The sequel to Breath of the Wild is now in development”. Many fans have said in the comments of the video that they were hoping that this would be merely a DLC, but were disappointed by the fact it was a trailer as this means they would have to wait longer. This usage of a trailer dropping (which also blew all other competing video games company away)
It is unclear whether or not this was intended as a persuasive technique to garner attention from fans, but Zelda’s haircut shown in the trailer spurred on many fans to discuss it, create fanart for it, and overall become very excited for the game. It worked as promotion / marketing material for the game as everyone began talking about it and were excited for the release of the game.
Storyboard analysis of the video:
In recent years, Nintendo launched a merchandise line called Amiibos, which are a toys-to-life figurine fans can buy, that adds something new to the game the player plays when they scan the purchase.
For example, this is an infographic of Breath of the Wild’s collection of possible items you can get from Amiibos, which is mostly an allusion to other lore in the Legend of Zelda franchise. Being able to play with other characters from different games (similar to Smash, but this is within the same franchise), persuades fans to buy the Amiibos, as it’s something they can have in real life (the physical figurine) and something they can play in game (the playable characters / outfits / items).
Similarly, Amiibos are purchasable figurines that add to the whole idea of “collectors item”. Many people online boast of their Nintendo collection, and have everything meticulously organized. This trend adds to Nintendo’s ability to market their merchandise, especially the lines that are not simply games.
In doing this persuasion project and analyzing how Nintendo has persuaded me, I have realized Nintendo’s brilliant marketing strategy, especially within their games (not just their merchandise or ad campaigns). Nintendo knows what their audience wants, what gets them hyped, and almost always carries it through.