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Nintendo Switch Marketing Strategies in Australia

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Table of Contents

Abstract

Nintendo is the of the three biggest gaming console companies alongside Microsoft X box and Sony PlayStation. The oldest of the three, Nintendo, was started in 1889 by its founder Fusajiro Yamauchi, over 100 years before the second oldest of the three, Sony, began in 1994. The company engaged in different businesses; however, when the gaming company entered the Australian market in 1993, it was solely an entertainment company. The company has produced many gaming consoles, with its latest being the Nintendo switch lite. The console has been received very positively in Australia as well as globally. This paper will look at how the console is fairing the Australian market by looking at the history of other consoles produced by the company, marketing strategies of the console, and its future in the Australian market.

Nintendo Switch Marketing Strategies in Australia

Introduction

Nintendo ventured into the Australian market in 1993 by setting up the Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd in 1993. At this time, the company was a video gaming company and, as such, came in the market solely selling video game products. The penetration in the market was relatively slow compared to other markets such as the United States. Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd is privately owned by the Nintendo Co., Ltd parent company as a subsidiary company. As a result, the company only licenses and sells products only produced by the parent company. 

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When the company entered the Australian market, it was the biggest gaming company in the world. As such, it was well-received in the Australian market. In 2001 the company made a second console, the Game Boy and GameCube, which saw massive success in Australia and the house (Insider, 2019). This console helped the company cement its position in the market despite the introduction of the Xbox console by Microsoft. In 2005, Nintendo had realized Sony was becoming a competitor in the international market, and such was tried to outdo Sony by introducing the Nintendo DS (Nintendo, 2019). This went all to be the best selling device from the company in all markets. By this time, the company was dominating the gaming industry. This trend continues with the Wii console, which was introduced in 2005.

By 2009, the company was facing a lot of competition from Sony and Microsoft and thus decided to introduce the Wii U in 2012. Unluckily, the console was not received very well, even in the Australian market. However, the company made a significant return in 2017 when it introduced the Nintendo Switch (Rad, 2019). The sale of the console tripled from the previous year in Australia.

Nintendo Switch in Australia 

When the Nintendo Switch was launched in March 2017 in Australia, the company was top-rated in the market. The console was received similarly was Australia as it was worldwide. People were very much excited over the new console. Advertisement and sneak peek had started as early as eight months before the release of the console. Despite massive competition from Japanese rival Sony’s PlayStation, the company made an enormous return in the Australian market. 

Before the launch of the company had experienced a dip in sales in the years before. As a result, the company was desperate to make come back to the industry. Keen did not make a mistake made with the Wii U, and the company took the time to design the quality product. The Nintendo Switch was a whole new console. The most significant selling point and change were that the console promised portability, allowing gamers to play their games even outside. The console comprises three major hardware components, the Nintendo Switch Dock, which connects to a television, the Nintendo Switch console, which is a 6.2-inch capacitive touch screen, and the joy-con controller. This hardware is detachable, allowing three gaming modes, the TV mode, handheld mode, and tablet-top mode. In the latter two, gamers can detach the dock’s console and use the 6.2-inch touch screen. This is what allows the console to be detachable.

There was a massive worry that the console would disappoint before it was launched. This is mainly because Nintendo was venturing into relatively new territory. The idea of a console that would allow traditional TV gaming experience and portability was relatively new. However, Nintendo did not disappoint its Australian fans. The console offers beyond the expectation of the consumers. The TV experience remained the same, even in the handheld mode. The console was a massive success in the market.

Marketing Strategies

When Nintendo ventured into the Australian market in the 1990s, its most significant advertisement mode was magazines, newspapers, other media, and a bit on the internet. However, as advertisement methods changed, the company was keen to change with time. In the 2000s, the company used billboards and big screens to advertise its products. However, in the 2010s, the company shifted to internet advertisement. This very successful as by 2011, 79 % of the Australian population had access to the internet. By the time the Nintendo Switch was launched, this percentage had grown to over 85 % (Stats, 2016). Therefore, the company took this to its advantage when launching the new console in Australia.

To create the hype among Nintendo fans, the company took social media such as Twitter and Facebook to engage with fans. The company released sneak peeks of the console. When the launch was finally announced, the company made a countdown with fans online using these platforms (Evangelho, 2018) (Gilbert, 2020). Moreover, even after the launch, the company engaged with fans online, listening to their reaction and reviews. To continue the hype, the company posted and sponsored the video posts of fans all over the world who had positive reviews for the console.

Nintendo has been very keen to ensure it produces excellent games. Nintendo has unique games that solely play on their consoles, with the gaming industry growing and thousands of games across different platforms. Using this to their advantage, Nintendo released great modern games on their new console. Promoting the victims had a direct effect on the sales of the console. This was mainly because gamers knew that to play the games; they would only do it on the Nintendo Switch console.

The Nintendo switch came with the ability to connect to the internet using the console. The company has been able to increase sales by giving Australian gamers the ability to buy game cartilages or online on their official site. The latter offers gamers the ability to access a wide range of games without going to a gaming store. They can also get updates online and even news on upcoming games. This online presence has helped the company to engage gamers directly. 

Lastly, as opposed to competitors, PlayStation and Xbox, the Nintendo switch promised gamers fun. Competing companies have focused more on graphics and the complexity of games played over their platforms. However, Nintendo has continued to produce straightforward, elaborate games that focus on fun. This separates and differentiates it from its competitors.

Target Group

The gaming industry in Australia is a billion-dollar industry. Gaming companies have been very keen to target multiple age groups in the market by producing diverse games that engage all the age groups. According to an article by Mike Williams in 2012, a survey was done in 1252 households to understand the demographics of gamers in Australia. There was a 50/50 split over gender in the survey. The average age was 32, with 75 % of all the gamers being 18 years of age and above (Williams, 2012). It was also found that children between the ages of 6-15 had a good representation, with 94 % of them recorded as regular gamers. 

When the Nintendo Switch console was released, the number of gamers in the country has increased, and the gamers’ demographics changed. This is mainly because factors such as the Australian gaming culture growing and change in the Australian market’s focused age groups. Nintendo Switch was keen to capture all age groups and genders. According to studies, women and girls are more likely to play adventure, strategy, and arcade games than men who play shooter, sports, and action games. To cater to both, the Nintendo offers over a thousand games to ensure both genders have something to play.

However, there has been a particular focus on teenagers and the younger population. This has been a trend for many gaming companies. There are several reasons for this. Teenagers are the next big market for Nintendo. Before Nintendo has created a gaming culture in the country (Keogh, 2019). However, the population playing Nintendo games is older now, so the company needs to look at the current market. Focusing on teenager ensure loyalty for the company for years to come. 

Additionally, teenagers are early adopters of products. According to Issie Lapowsky, today’s teenagers are more willing to experiment; they listen to the older generation less and are unbothered with what mainstream media has to say (Lapowsky, 2014). This is true compared to teenagers in the 1990s. For this, Nintendo focuses on this age group as it is more willing to adopt new and diverse games on the Nintendo switch.

The gaming culture, too, has changed over the years. Children as young as four are introduced to gaming even by their parents. This is mainly because most parents today in Australia grew up playing video games; thus, they are okay letting their children play video games form an early age (Banks, 2016). By focusing on teenagers and young generations, the company can ensure customer loyalty from a very young age.

Nintendo Switch in 2020

Nintendo Switch was designed to be relevant for years to come. Launched in 2017, the console is still appropriate, even in 2020. The secret to this is that the company continues to engage its consumers with a modern variety of games. With the company having much control over games played on the switch console by designing them themselves, the company has continued creating fun games for its consumers. In 2020, Nintendo switch console sales are at an all-time high. The consoles have sold out in Australia outlets. This hugely due to the COVID 19 pandemic has forced many to stay indoors, thus increasing gaming activities. 

There is no official news from the company on future console releases. However, there are talks from various gaming communities over the shift to VR gaming (Lee, 2019). This because this seems the next frontier for most gaming companies. However, the Nintendo Switch will be around for some time, mainly due to the success gained. The only change that is most likely is the possibility of an upgrade on the console’s present version.

Conclusion

Nintendo has come a long way to where it is today in the Australian market. Nintendo switch remains one of the bestselling consoles in the market. This console revolutionized the gaming experience and gaming industry. With its three gaming modes, players could play their games virtually everywhere. Additionally, with its online store, the company made it easy for gamers to acquire new games. This success can also be attributed to its marketing and changes in strategies. With an awareness that the younger generation was more willing to adopt ideas, the company has devoted more focus on this age group. Moreover, with an increase in internet users in the country, the company has focused a lot on advertising the console and games over the popular social media platform. With current strategies, the console is projected to continue increasing its popularity in the country.

References;
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