Next Generation has interviewed Perrin Kaplan, vice president of marketing and corporate affairs at Nintendo of America and asked her about Revolution.
What are you able to say about Revolution's E3 showing, right now?
We will have enough games on show, that will keep people interested until launch. As far as the launch goes, we have so far said 'this year'. At some point soon we’ll be more specific about the date.
At this show and beyond, it’s about people getting a hands-on experience. If you play Revolution for yourself and experience the software, it's much better than me telling you about what our message is all about. It’s kinda like your own rollercoaster ride. It's always going to be different for everyone.
The idea is to get as many people as possible to try it and take that experience for themselves. See how it makes them feel.
Do you think the core games press will be convinced by Revolution?
I hope they will get it. The early reads at Tokyo Game Show were positive. Our request is, 'don’t think about Revolution just in terms of other things you have played'. This is so different - the other systems are apples, this is an orange.
You have to approach it in the spirit of innovation. Those who have played it realize that it is a whole different experience. It’s a little bit of self-discovery in learning how to handle a controller differently and how it works for you.
I think we have pointed this out enough times, so people will go into it with their eyes wide open.
Given GameCube's position in the market, is Revolution Nintendo's last chance in the console market?
GameCube’s reputation suffers much more than its game sales do. Not that it is the leader of the pack but it outsold 360 at launch and during the holiday period and it outsold Xbox.
We have a lot of bundle promotions that offer huge value. It’s far from dead. The perception of it is different from the actual sales and there is still a lot left life in it. Revolution will take a slightly different direction and we hope that it is a very competitive machine in that it offers something completely different.
GameCube’s reputation suffers much more than its game sales do.
What will be the main marketing thrust of the Revolution campaign?
The whole point about touching it and experiencing it and riding the ride is one of our biggest challenges and one of our biggest opportunities. Once it comes to retail, and the viral component of the campaign takes hold, we'll try to bring consumers in to try Revolution for themselves. The machine will be sold through traditional retail outlets, but this part of the campaign is important.
It was a key component for DS as well, and that is really starting to hit its stride.
What will be the 'killer apps' for Revolution?
We hope to have a lot of 'killer apps', rather than just one stand-out. Some of our third party partners have been really impressed with the controller and very excited about the possibilities. Companies like EA, Activision, Ubisoft and THQ are really loving getting a hold of this and creating an experience that is really new and different.
We tell them the direction we are going in, and they understand. They are excited by the chance to work outside the usual lines, they totally get it.
How much of the market will Revolution take?
We aren’t predicting percentages at this point. But I can tell you that we believe we are different and innovative enough to chart our own territory. If you look at the horserace we have high hopes of having a prominent position.
Let's talk about broadening the audience of gamers, which is a favored Nintendo theme. Who are we talking about?
Young teen females are one example. They have been pulled in by Nintendogs, which has been a great success. There are also people like myself, who I'd describe as dormant players. I used to play a lot and then it started to seem like the games all looked the same. Nothing was piquing my interest. But I loved Nintendogs and I love Brain Training. People want to be stimulated and these products are bringing them back in.
Games like Nintendogs are non-intimidating, affordable and different. It plays on the nurturing, emotional nature of the person. It's not really a game so much [as] an experience.
Not a lot, but some interesting stuff there. The mention of the "viral component of the campaign" is enough to merit a post, in my opinion. Maybe she only referred to what they have planned for the campaign. But maybe she is referring to such a campaign existing today.
Source: Next Generation