Thursday, July 01, 2010

Not Ready

There's a new X-Box 360 out, it seems. They call it the "slim", after the PS2, but it doesn't look much different to me. Anyway, the advert tells us that it has a hard drive, wireless connectivity, and is "ready for Kinect", Micro$hite's more-subtle-than-Sony-but-not-by-much attempt to jump on the Wii bandwagon.

One reason the Wii has succeeded is because Nintendo have reached out beyond video game fandom. Their adverts show actors pretending to be real people, playing the games with their families, and showing how the games work. Simple. Micro$hite's advert doesn't even say what Kinect is, let alone show it in action; I know because I do follow some gaming news sites, but the audience they want to poach from Nintendo are not going to be avid readers of video game journalism.

(Never mind the suggestion that being "ready for Kinect" suggests that Kinect itself is not ready.)

Just showing pictures of the machine, with no indication of what it does, is no good at all. Those weird adverts from a couple of years ago with the drooling idiots with holes in their heads were better than this. But then this is the company who gave their machine a name with no meaning whatsoever, so marketing is obviously not a strong point.


  1. Kelvin! Your Anti-360 prejudices are showing. - Got enough actors pretending to be real people for you?

    For another thing it is not being called the 360 slim by Microsoft, that's an unofficial name. It's just the "New Xbox 360".


    I think it's also a bit unfair to call Kinect a 'rip off' of the Wii's control interface. I'm sure they were inspired by it, but rather than coming up with a clone like Sony did, they used it as a springboard for a more advanced interface mechanism - though I appreciate we have yet to see how well it works.

    If anything it's closer to the Eye Toy from PS2, with a stereoscopic 'eye' and audio recognition.

    I'm no rampant Xbox fanboy (though I do own one - the wii games have never appealed to me much) but I do think your post here was a bit weak.

  2. Ah, but that's not the TV advert is it? The TV advert is the one I described, which is also the one they showed at the 360 Slim's launch seminar thingie. It's all very well and good to have this stuff on their website, but that's not great advertisement technique.

    We all know the Wii people are actors, but at least Nintendo are getting out there, showing people having fun with the Wii; the 360 Slim advert shows the machine, not in action, not even plugged in, as if just looking at it will be enough to get people to buy. This is not how you poach the Wii's audience.

    I admit, I don't like Microsoft, and I don't like the X360 much, but even the most ardent fan has to realise that their marketing is awful. If it wasn't, they wouldn't be a coming distant second to an inferior product.