The Nintendo Wii enters the world of gaming feng shui by appealing to their dark side.
It’s a strange thing, but gamers across the world are turned on by strange aesthetics – particularly, black consoles. It can be argued that because the Atari 2600 – the first modern home gaming console and itself a spartan-black device – set the tone for gamers seeking out black versions of their favourite game systems.
Playstation and Xbox have consistently answered the call for a black console option. Nintendo, however, has held fast to their trademark light grey colour choice from even the early days of the NES.
Nintendo’s colour choice has been more than just a personal preference. While Playstation and Xbox have sought to target mature adult gamers, Nintendo has consistently marketed its consoles as family-oriented. And because the black consoles have been sought after and used chiefly by adult gamers in recent years, Nintendo’s light grey/white housing seeks to have it stand out from its competitors as a more family-focused console.
And let’s face it: this has been a winning strategy for Nintendo, with its Wii having emerged as the favourite family console of the big three.
But Nintendo is finally ready to throw gaming pros a bone, and are set to reveal a black version of the Wii.
So, what are gamers getting from their black Wii that they were not getting from its lighter-shaded sibling? Well, the benefits are rather intangible. Now, all of a gamers’ gaming paraphernalia will be black: black Playstation, black Xbox, black Wii, black gaming PC, and perhaps a black plasma television. While the average Wii family may not be able to relate to this level of obsession with the colour black, it has obviously proven to be a big enough market for Nintendo to add some black into their plastic moulds.
Also, Nintendo is plumping up the black Wii console package with a few more features that will seek to attract new Wii customers who are not black-crazed. The black console package will include not only the Wii Sports game, but also will feature the popular Wii Sports Resort follow-up, as well as a Wii MotionPlus to go along with its black controller.
Will the black Wii give Nintendo a significant jump in sales? Most likely, yes: serious gamers will buy the black Wii for nothing more than its collectability, as well as its integral feng shui role in their game-inspired interior design flair. Also, it’s an opportunity for Nintendo to effectively re-launch the Wii without having to revamp it. Given the success of the Nintendo Corporation over the past two decades, we shouldn’t question the company’s ability to give its committed gamers what they are looking for.
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