Nintendo is a GIANT. Not only did it save the gaming industry in the 1980’s but it loomed over it as king for decades, defending it’s title over the course of many console generations (The Nintendo Vs. Sega console war comes to mind). Now, the console wars have devolved into a three-way battle, between the champion Nintendo and it’s competitors Sony and Microsoft.
I figure their websites are good starting points to probe and prod this war.
For starters, Nintendo has a very “clean” image. Everything is neat and orderly and WHITE colored. Nintendo took a very apple inspired design choice for their official website:
It has a very family and social group oriented feel to the whole thing. Numerous visual aides show families and friends playing to the style of white marshmallow-y blandness with a “fun for the whole family” attitude. It is so easy a caveman could literally do it.
Now lets look at Sony.
Much like Nintendo, Sony takes the concept of simplicity but adapts it to a more trendy, modern and mature crowd. Sony shows off not just their games, but also their electronics. That, I think, is the key. Their whole website is really more like an electronics store website, showing more of the product than the actual user-base (which is what Nintendo focused on).
Finally, we go to Microsoft and their Xbox One website.
Microsoft took Nintendo concepts and layout for their website, but flipped them on their heads. They took the same organization, but put a completely opposite spin on them. Rather than showing families and friends playing kid friendly games, Microsoft shows more of the games themselves, and the games are very mature (“Metal Gear Solid 5” and “Titan Fall” being the top tier products being promoted).
Overall I subscribe to the belief that Nintendo should begin to focus on more of their hardcore gamer crowd in order to succeed. Nintendo has been suffering as of late, and I believe it whenever I log onto their website. I consider myself a more mature gamer. I am into M-rated games. However, I have my moments of nostalgia where I would want to relive my childhood by looking at old Nintendo games. I go to the home page, and the first things I see are kid friendly imagery and overly simplistic design. For mature gamers, this is a huge turn-off, which I think is reflective of Nintendo and their policies on more mature games.
Social media wise, they all three are the same. They have their official Facebook pages and their fan pages and their have their podcasts. There is nothing special here. Perhaps it is time to think of new ways of reaching out through social media perhaps?