This is what happens when you give marketing too much power at a company. They come up with highly conceptual names and taglines for products. Sure, they have their reasons and it all makes perfect sense…to them. Unfortunately, the high concept stuff doesn’t usually trickle down to the consumer.
Using all the marketing wisdom of a cane toad high from licking itself, Nintendo has chosen to call their upcoming game console ‘Wii’. That sound you hear is the resounding thud of thousands of jaws hitting the floor in shock at once.
Wii, pronounced “we” or “oui” or “whee” or “wee” or maybe even “why”, supposedly brings to mind the concept of togetherness and is supposed to highlight the innovative controller. “Wii” makes me think of urine.
The console had been code named “Revolution”, but that was evidently too plain for the marketers at Nintendo. Maybe too American. I don’t know. Maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe Nintendo doesn’t think it can compete in America any longer, so they choose a name that primarily appealed to Asians. From an American point of view “Wii” could be an Asian name or character or word.
I can’t see something called the “Wii” catching on in America, no matter how revolutionary the controller might be. Can you imagine one American teen telling another American teen that he or she received a “Wii” as a Christmas gift?
“What did you get for Christmas?”
“I got a Nintendo Wii.”
“You got urine from Nintendo?”
“No, it’s not urine from Nintendo. It’s the new video game machine.”
“Oh. So it’s not urine. It’s crap.”
My prediction is that the Wii will be the straw that breaks the back of the camel that has been carrying Nintendo in the horse race that is video gaming these days. Nintendo will be forced to abandon the hardware market and join previous also-ran Sega in the gaming software industry.