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Hello, Nintendo. It's Nice To Meet You!

By aquizero on Jan 29 2013 11:02 AM
I would like you to raise your hand if you have ever watched a Nintendo Direct presentation. Did you raise your hand? If so, why? This is an article; I can’t see you raising your hand. I'll assume that you have seen at least one Nintendo Direct for the sake of this article. Before I ask what you think of them, I would like to share my opinions with you.

When I compare Nintendo’s approach for delivering information to its competitors, I think of a large retail chain. When I walk into a large retailer, I can pick up a flyer or ad filled with information of the hottest goodies. Occasional advertisement signs may landmark the shopping aisles or even boast prominence on the in-store televisions. Basically, I have access to the information. I know where to find it, but the delivery method is stale. This is how the competitors currently relay information. Now, Nintendo have redefined how companies should deliver information. I would compare them to a mom-and-pop store. When you walk into a store like this, you are instantly greeted by someone who is most likely the owner. They do their best to make you feel welcomed by offering assistance to their selections. They explain what they have and how it compares to others. With open arms, they even welcome your suggestions in an effort to make improvements. This is the kind of hands-on interaction Nintendo is providing its customers.

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Ever since Nintendo began offering its fans Nintendo Directs, I have felt more connected with the company. It makes me feel good to know who Reggie Fils-Aime (President of Nintendo America) and Mr. Satoru Iwata (President of Nintendo) are. I honestly feel as if I know them on a somewhat personal level. I feel connected with them. I can’t shake the image or Mr. Iwata holding up a banana and staring at it! I also was elated when I received a personal Swapnote (Nintendo 3DS) from Reggie on February 21st, 2012, letting me bear witness to his writing style. Of course, this may not mean much to some but it is just another way I feel rooted with Nintendo.

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This is not to say that all Nintendo Directs are wonderful, though. Some were filled with re-hashed, basically useless, information. On the other hand, there were others that made us excited for what’s to come! The last Nintendo Direct, or should I say Wii U Direct, really impressed me. Not only were exciting games revealed, but Nintendo let me know that they were listening. They're working hard to give us what we want, and doing their best to fix what isn't working properly. What more can a customer ask for than a company who listens and works to fix our issues?

Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts on Nintendo's information delivery techniques to its customers, via Nintendo Directs? Are they utilizing other effective methods as well?

Sound off below!


About the Author

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Benjamin is a true gaymer. For nearly a decade, his interest in Nintendo has grown exponentially! He's not extremely skilled at any particular genre of games, but mostly enjoys RPG, strategy, and fighting games. His true obsession within the Nintendo universe is Pokémon, followed closely by Zelda. Ever since he watched the first episode of Pokémon, he's been hooked. To this day, he plays the main-series Pokémon games and watches the anime religiously. He's as close as it comes to being a Pokémon Master. His true passion for Nintendo makes him excited to write new topics for you!

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Comments: 7

I like the Nintendo Directs too :)
Though sometimes they are at an ungodly hour LOL
I look forward to the meaty ones and tend to ignore the mini ones, as they've mostly dealt with NSMB2 DLC and other minor things that didn't interest me at the time.
But I think it's a great PR move on their part. Even if they don't reveal too much in some of the Directs, it usually shows they are aware of people's questions about games and stuff (and its great when they say "we have heard..." or "we are aware..." it gives the impression they are listening.
I agree that this is a good move for Nintendo.  They know exactly who they are marketing to, and how to impress them.
Kikkoman, a well-known company that makes soy sauce, has a  short film about their company (watch it here), that I thought of when I read, "What more can a customer ask for than a company who listens and works to fix our issues?"

There's a part in the video when they're talking about how issues that workers had at the Wisconsin plant were quickly fixed. I think this is universal. People, whether customers or workers, want their problems to be addressed. Any institution risks alienating their members/patrons if they don't act to rectify situations. And that's just bad business! ;D

Nintendo still has some problems (digital download preservation, 3DS often ignoring left-handed gamers, challenges of current economy, and challenges of creating games in HD to name a few) but as long as they continue to work towards solutions, they'll continue to do well. I like how Nintendo Directs can keep us informed of the work they're doing to answer our concerns.

Also, can I just say that although updates might take a lot of time and money for Nintendo, we always get them free of charge? There are so many Nintendo games that offer downloads that could nickel and dime us, but don't, and I'm really grateful because I feel like I'm getting more for my money (money that I don't have much of these days).

I have a theory about the magic of Nintendo Directs. Nintendo Directs help to create an illusion of closeness using technology, specifically video. If you've ever watched the host of a television show say, "Thanks for letting us into your living room," then you become aware of the power of video to connect the audience across great distances to the world on the other side of the screen. So although we're getting scripted, PR-approved, edited moments with Nintendo representatives, we still feel that connection and that closeness.

In conclusion, I'm glad in today's world, which is increasingly connected in unprecedented ways, that we get a chance to hear news and information from the source. Directly from Nintendo's President's mouth, we're hearing about what to expect at E3 this year or what they're excited about at Nintendo Headquarters. And for a fan, it's that much more fun and unique.

(So I think the banana moment is a part of Japanese visual storytelling, specifically in comics, where something is presented that's entirely non sequitur as a form of transition. I remember reading about it used in manga in the educational graphic novel Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. Also, it was pretty funny, being so unexpected.)

The end, wowIwrotealotsorryaboutthat.
i feel the same way i love that they are listening to us!
* Raises Hand *

Great article, Benjamin. It's not a subject that many actually give much thought to. That goes for me as well. Before reading this, I never really thought too much about how Nintendo is delivering Nintendo Direct presentations to reach out even further to their fanbase.

I love what PastaFriend says here:

View PostPastaFriend, on 30 January 2013 - 12:19 AM, said:

I have a theory about the magic of Nintendo Directs. Nintendo Directs help to create an illusion of closeness using technology, specifically video. If you've ever watched the host of a television show say, "Thanks for letting us into your living room," then you become aware of the power of video to connect the audience across great distances to the world on the other side of the screen. So although we're getting scripted, PR-approved, edited moments with Nintendo representatives, we still feel that connection and that closeness.

It's true. Using video media to connect with a consumer base creates a more personalized environment. It's more meaningful, emotions can be seen, the tone and passion can be heard and everyone connects to the event together. When you've finished watching a Nintendo Direct presentation, you leave knowing that you witnessed something. People, generally, are very good with associating memories with something they've seen. More often than not, I believe it's harder for humans to remember something if it has been presented via context.

For example, in Japanese class, our professor has taught us to remember what the hiragana characters look like by associating them with different images. If she hadn't done that, I'd likely still be trying to memorize some of them. In essence, fans leave Nintendo Directs with a similar, more vivid memory and lasting impression.
It's interesting how the Internet is not only changing gaming with ideas like Miiverse, an "empathy network", but also the way companies themselves interact with consumers. A Nintendo Direct is like a Press Release/Conference without the press. Is that good or bad? I think it eliminates the risk of saying too much and ultimately that's a good thing. Nintendo is in full control and they like that. I have to say, I like that too. They're the director, essentially. We're the audience along for the ride and it's nice to have great surprises. Like Pokémon X/Y! "Surprise! We've been working on this for a few years (I'm assuming) and soon you'll be able to buy it! Hooray!!!"

View PostKevin, on 30 January 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

For example, in Japanese class, our professor has taught us to remember what the hiragana characters look like by associating them with different images. If she hadn't done that, I'd likely still be trying to memorize some of them. In essence, fans leave Nintendo Directs with a similar, more vivid memory and lasting impression.

I like that. Also, I better take a Japanese class for my dream of living in Japan someday.

View PostPastaFriend, on 30 January 2013 - 09:50 PM, said:

I like that. Also, I better take a Japanese class for my dream of living in Japan someday.

You can do it! You can do anything! My advice would be take formal education if you're able to. You'd be surprised at how many grants and scholarships are out there waiting for you!