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Nintendo: '3DS really has something for everyone'

UK marketing manager on the 3DS launch...

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Has the 3DS been a challenge to market to consumers, given that you have to see it in action to properly understand its capabilities, and also the fact that you've had to get a 3D health message across?

It's been one of the trickier products that I've personally had to work on. We can't show the product benefit in 3D to consumers through TV and so forth, so it did stretch our imaginations a bit. I think what we've found is that when people play it their initial reactions are amazing, so that's why we embarked on our programme of sampling and recorded the TV commercials at the sample events.

There's a lot of debate about whether or not those people you see are actors and they genuinely aren't. These are people we took directly from our sampling events before they experienced it as part of the sampling. We sat them in a separate room, gave them a 3DS and recorded it. What you see in those ads is exactly that. I hope that seeing lots and lots of peoples' reactions is compelling and even if it's intriguing as well, it drives people down to experience it for themselves because then they'll see it first-hand.

What's your reaction to the 3DS reviews so far?

I've been absolutely delighted. It's a rare privilege to work on a product that is so universally loved and accepted. All I can do it try and do everything to get as many people aware of that as possible, to get as many people to come down and try it as possible. Once you see it, you see what an amazing experience it is and that should be enough to convince anyone to buy it whether they're used to playing games or haven't played one in their life. I think people will find something really unique.


DS has become associated with young kids, mums and grans. What do you thing the 3DS launch line-up says about the target audience you're aiming for and whether you think it can recapture the core gamer market?

I think Nintendo has always tried to create products that appeal to a wide audience. Sometimes in doing that, it means we launch titles like Nintendogs or Brain Training and people think that is us not talking to our core audience, but we still create great games for everyone with Mario and Pokemon titles.

I think in the 3DS launch line-up there's quite a wide variety of titles, so whether you are a fan of Nintendogs, Street Fighter, Pro Evo or Ridge Racer you've got those, or you can play more casual games like The Sims or Rayman. Hopefully there's something there for everyone. This is really a machine for everyone.

You've got first party games like Nintendogs and Pilotwings at launch. When can we expect to learn more about big hitters like Zelda, Super Mario and Mario Kart?

It's great that we've been able to announce that all of those titles are in development. I know from personal experience of being on the sampling tours that the game everyone ran to was Zelda, to get their first experience of it in 3D, so we know it's hotly anticipated, and hopefully we'll be making an announcement fairly soon, so people will be able to find out when they'll be able to go and get it.

There was a Nintendo advert running in print back in January that said Mario Kart will be out this year.

I think we've always been completely open that things like Zelda and Mario Kart are in production. We do hope obviously that those games come this year. That's certainly what we're kind of planning on at the moment, but you know, things can always change, and until we actually make a firm announcement about the release dates, obviously it is good to wait and see what that date might me.

The DS had Brain Training and the Wii had Wii Fit, both of which were new properties that helped the systems achieve mass-market success. Is new IP equally important to 3DS and do you think we'll see a similar 'killer app' for the system emerge from Nintendo?

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