Nintendo isn’t just getting ready for the March 3 launch of its upcoming Switch console. It’s prepping for some football as well.
With billions of dollars on the line in the console segment of the near $100 billion global gaming market, Nintendo is stepping up its marketing game by taking out its first-ever Super Bowl ad for Sunday’s championship matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. While Nintendo has always spent on advertising its games and consoles (typically on family-friendly programming like SpongeBob SquarePants and Teen Titans Go!), seeing the Japanese publisher dive into the pricey Super Bowl ad party (the New York Times reports these cost $5 million a spot this year before any production costs) is evidence of how desperate Nintendo is to prevent the Switch from becoming a Wii U-sized failure (Nintendo’s previous home console tallied up a mere 13.36 million systems in sales).
Nintendo likely feels confident that it will see a return on this major investment due to the results of last year’s Super Bowl commercials, which is when The Pokémon Company debuted a 30-second spot for the Pokémon brand. That ad ended up as one of the most talked about and most watched commercials from the NFL’s big game. Now, Nintendo, which owns approximately a third of The Pokémon Company, is looking to replicate that success for itself.
The Switch ad features the console and its most important launch game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can check out these trailers to learn about more games coming to Nintendo’s new console.
The ad features the Switch console, which is a hybrid between a home gaming system and a traditional handheld like the 3DS. It has a dock for playing on your screen at home and functions as a tablet-like system on the go. GamesBeat has some concerns about the console after playing it at an event in New York City last month, and Nintendo still isn’t detailing the Nvidia chip that runs it — even though GamesBeat has two sources saying it’s the lower-powered Maxwell tech.