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“Nintendo is dying!” they said. “Nintendo needs to market the Wii U!” they said. “Without marketing the Wii U is doomed!” they said. From the highest rooftops down to the lowest smoothed cobblestones of the dank streets of Bourbon, everyone yelled in unison “Nintendoom!” Only, the joke is on all the doomsayers, because the Big 'N' isn't taking the eighth-gen lying down.
Yes, Nintendo is going to commercial the crap out of Mario Kart 8 in America. How do we know? Well the television ad above gives you a good enough view of the action and an idea about what to expect from the marketing campaign.
Nintendo's biggest failure to date for the Wii U has been a lack of marketing presence. A lot of people still think that the Wii U is a tablet add-on for the Wii (heck, even I originally thought that when it was first announced.) A lot of people have no idea that the Wii U is 100% backwards compatible with the Wii, meaning that you can carry over your entire library or start a fresh one with a bunch of cheap, used copies from Amazon. A lot of people also don't even know that all your Wii accessories are also compatible with the Wii U, meaning that split-screen and couch co-op gaming doesn't require brand new controllers like the Xbox One and PS4.
Sadly, it's been Nintendo's inability to sell the wider market on the Wii U's affordability, compatibility, accessibility and functionality that has hurt them the most with selling the console.
Thankfully, Nintendo is taking steps to make up for the ditch they've ended up in, and they're starting with Mario Kart 8's global promotion campaign. The game is being hailed as the prime-time mover and shaker to help get the Wii U out of its sales rut and moving hardware in competitive sales figures comparable to the Xbox One and PS4.
If the above sounds about as far-fetched as Al Frankin and Bill O'Reilly becoming tag-team advocates for bipartisanship, then you're not alone. However, the early numbers for Mario Kart 8 are beginning to show that the Wii U is, in fact, not dead.
Amazon has been consistently selling out of the Mario Kart 8 bundles, and the U.K.'s GAME has also suffered pre-order stock shortages of the limited editions as well. Nintendo even sweetened the deal by joining forces with Best Buy, who included $10 cash-back gas cards with pre-orders of Mario Kart 8.
The television ad above, courtesy of Nintendo Enthusiast, shows that the Big 'N' is finally starting to take the console wars seriously.
Proper marketing and the right bundle deals will help surge the sales of the Wii U, especially in light of the Xbox One's recent price-cut and the removal of the NSA Spybox.
If you thought you had an idea of where this console war was going, you really need to think again.