Star Power

(And to mixed fortunes – I wonder if The Beatles: Rock Band’s failure to make it to number one despite all the dad-targeted hype has forced Harmonix to rethink their eggs-in-one-basket strategy?)

So Nintendo’s latest celeb-driven marketing assault is no major surprise at face value.

But the fact the company is turning the spotlight on actual gamers – instead of asking rent-a-quote sportsmen to talk about themselves – is interesting. That and the fact it will have no doubt shelled out the big bucks for national treasures Ant and Dec.

Sure, it’s a marketing campaign designed to raise awareness and encourage sales for a product, but putting the focus on those consumers Nintendo has attracted in the march to the top should make for something different and interesting. Coverage showing gaming as an acceptable past time is something worth praising (even if it all turns out to be staged with convincing, anonymous actors).

Of course the bigger questions is whether this push, Nintendo UK’s most expensive ad drive yet, is enough to help Wii stave off the pressure mounting from 360 and PS3.

Retail sources tell us that the slim PS3 continues to sell at a brisk pace, and there has been an uplift in 360 sales. All of which makes good on Sony and Microsoft’s threat to eat into Nintendo’s audience and convert gamers into next-gen players.

Nintendo maintains it is happy where it is right now, meaning the jury is still out on a console price cut.

Instead the firm has chosen to invest more than ever into marketing rather than take the hit on its bottom line that a price cut would create.

We’ll have to wait and see if it pays off.

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