Nintendo has begun airing its first commercial for the upcoming Wii U console in the US, and it reveals a lot about the company’s marketing strategy moving forward and also what its target audience is for the impending new games/entertainment platform.

The minute-long spot features a bunch of short clips of families playing games together, with high-energy music in the background. There is no explanation as to what the console’s features are. Instead, viewers just get to see families sitting together and having fun.

The only people in the commercial who look like they’re over 18 are parents, with the exception of a cheesy clip of a man and a woman watching a movie together via the Wii U. In other words, this commercial is targeted at one audience — parents. It just slaps them over the head and shouts, “You’ll be an awesome parent if you buy this for your kids.” If you are a gamer, the ad barely tells you anything. So of course Nintendo is going after the crowd that it has always gone after, which is young kids and families.

Potentially the biggest problem for Nintendo in the next console cycle and beyond is that the family-friendly niche is not as strong a competitive advantage as it used to be. Gone are the days when buying a non-Nintendo console was reserved for the hardcore gamers. It’s very possible to see someone who has no interest in gaming go out to the store to buy an Xbox 360 because they want to be able to watch Netflix, video chat with friends and family, and stream music all from the TV in a seamless and user-friendly way.

It leaves the Wii U carving out a very isolated part of the market, but it is not without intrigue. The machine will no doubt be one of the hottest tech gifts this season simply because it is new and carries the Nintendo name, but the real question is whether it has staying power.

via Eurogamer