Hideki Konno, head of Nintendo’s EAD Software Development Group No. 1, has said marketing 3DS will be “very tricky” for the firm.
Speaking with Edge, Konno said within Nintendo there were those who doubted the handheld, until its tech was seen firsthand.
“We did hear doubtful voices,” he said. “We weren’t completely successfully with Virtual Boy so there was a suspicious tone within the company.
“First, I introduced the latest technology – the 3D panel – attached it to the Wii and showed a demo showing Mario Kart Wii and Animal Crossing. In Japan there’s a maxim: a glance is better than a hundred words. Even with words I wasn’t able to convince anyone. So I presented the demo to Miyamoto and Iwata and they were stunned and agreed to take it in that direction.”
Despite winning over naysayers at Nintendo, Konno said the biggest hurdle will be winning over the public.
“We are constantly discussing how to market the product,” he said. “Our internal PR departments are saying that we should use cinema advertising, because cinemas are capable of showing 3D movies. But our key point with 3DS is that you don’t need glasses, which you obviously need to use in cinemas. So we think regular marketing and promotional activities will be very tricky for us. I think that a lot of awareness about 3DS will be spread by word of mouth.
“Consumers can’t see the real surprise without the 3DS in front of them – cool footage isn’t enough – but [when] I went to our booth [at E3] and found consumers being surprised, saying ‘Wow!’, I was relieved to see those reactions.”
Those at E3 were apparently won over enough for the handheld to garner two Game Critics Awards: one for Best of Show, and another for Best Hardware.
Nintendo 3DS is slated for release sometime before March 2011.