This week Apple and Nintendo are both making major product announcements at separate press events on September 12 and September 13 respectively. This potential conflict has some PR experts thinking Nintendo may have erred.

“My main thought is that Nintendo has a bigger PR problem than the date of its press conference,” said an anonymous PR veteran. “The biggest issue Nintendo has is the lack of anticipation or confidence. They have not created enough excitement and confidence among both consumers and developers, nor has their quiet given people the sense that a delightful surprise awaits. There seems to be a cloud hanging above them of ‘concern.’ They did not do a great job after E3 of bridging toward the fall. If they want this press conference to succeed, making people believe that there will be a surprise or proof of a big flagship title may help. Highlighting their focus on third party or any other innovations would also help.

“It seems that Nintendo does not think of Apple as a true competitor, and they seem to be relying on the fact that their intense focus and disregard of the rest of the market will prevail again. It’s interesting Nintendo is doing their press event in New York; that feels like a statement of appealing to the mainstream press, the mass market (as opposed to Silicon Valley or the game developers). But Apple is already mainstream and doesn’t really need that, of course. It’s possible Nintendo believes reporters who cover interactive, games and tech will simply cover both events, and since they don’t seem to really think they are in the same business as Apple, they may be surprised.”

“From here on out they need to really close the gap, make a statement and gain consumer confidence for the retail launch,” the PR veteran concluded.

To our own PR director Meelad Sadat, the timing might not be as much of a problem. “This might be a case of different vibes for different tribes,” he wrote. “The iPhone launch will surely get coverage on game sites, but at the end of the day it’s a smartphone. It’ll get launch coverage and a follow up piece or two to have its hardware dissected. With the Wii U, we’re getting the first next gen console. I think with game press and for the people who religiously follow game news, they’ll get their fill of Wii U coverage.”

“Whether this was an orchestrated showdown at high noon or a couple of gunslingers who bumped up against each other at the bar, neither should blink,” he added. “That’s my advice. Can you imagine the headlines ‘Apple’s new iPhone sends Nintendo running for cover.’ Maybe as a headline that needs an edit, but you get my point.”

Sadat notes that Nintendo still has some challenges for this new press event. “As for impact, unfortunately Nintendo’s introduced a piece of hardware that’s only raised questions since it was announced. There are questions around the system’s capabilities compared to this generation, GamePad issues and how it might slow down game performance, and of course price point. The latter comes down to what it costs to take the system home with two controllers, whether that’s a GamePad and Wiimote, and a game. If that’s climbing towards $400-$500, look out. If I’m a hardcore gamer, do I spend that money or wait to see what powerhouse next-gen console Sony and Microsoft are planning ”

“If I’m looking at making this the kids’ best Christmas ever, is it with this pricey, cumbersome looking game console or an iPad (or even the iPad mini, which very well could be on deck for Apple’s upcoming event) — continued Sadat. “Nintendo’s event needs to be a wonderfully orchestrated, entertaining affair that answers troubling questions. I think I just talked myself into catching the live stream.”

Source: GamesIndustry International