Nintendo just announced that the name of their newest box, code named “Revolution”, will be Wii. And we think it is brilliant. Via CNN (just ‘cause they need the link):
Nintendo officially ditched its long-used codename for its next generation machine Thursday, revealing Wii as the final name for the product. Pronounced like “we” (or “whee,” I suppose), the name is meant to emphasize that “this console is for everyone,” Nintendo said in a flash video which introduced the name change…
…The unusual spelling is meant to symbolize both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play…
…The core gaming community is already making its opinion known – and it’s a resounding thumbs down.
“Here, I’ll do it: Worst console name ever,” wrote Chris Remo, an editor at Shacknews.com, whose sentiments were immediately echoed by dozens of users. Forum members on Gamespot.com, IGN.com and other gaming sites expressed similar thoughts…
…The Wii will make its public debut a little less than two weeks from now at E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo), the annual trade show of the video game industry. At that same show, Sony will unveil more details about the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft will talk about its future plans for the Xbox 360.
So why announce the name now and not at the show?
By letting the gaming community vent now about the name, they will be less distracted as launch titles for the system are announced and initial reports about what it’s like to play the games begin to come in.
Also, said Kaplan, “We want people to understand our approach before we get to E3. [Also], it’s really noisy at E3 and I don’t think we would have had the chance to explain how we came to the name.”
Wii has got to be the most savvy name announcement we have seen in many years, and it could be the most viral name announcement since Yahoo! Sure, the buzz is a all negative ( News, Blogosphere) but that’s part of the beauty. Because we don’t believe that Wii is the real name. We think Nintendo is setting you all up to be Punk’d at E3, generating a massive amount of positive buzz when the scam and the real new name are announced.
Crazy? Here is the first clue, “By letting the gaming community vent now about the name, they will be less distracted as launch titles for the system are announced and initial reports about what it’s like to play the games begin to come in.” Allowing your audience time to vent is not SOP in a name announcement, and also telegraphs that Nintendo knows what a stinker this name would be. Second, it’s not possible to engineer a worse name for this product.
Third, and this is a big one, there are no trademarks registered by Nintendo nor by any dummy corp in the U.S or over there for Wii. This is unprecedented for Nintendo and it is not possible that his is an oversight. If Wii were the name, they would have registered it. In fact, no new trademarks have been registered by Nintendo at all. This leads us to conclude that Nintendo has in fact registered the real name under a dummy corp, which is SOP when trying to keep a name a secret prior to launch.
Given that their video game audience is the same demographic as Punk’d, the whole campaign is perversely elegant. Except of course for failing to make the illusion complete by registering a TM for Wii.
And yet, some “naming experts” just don’t seem to get it.