Kerry Hemingway by gabyion


									Kerry Hemingway
Engl. 402.7
L. Sena
October 19, 2009
                           The Corporate Rhetoric of Nintendo

Nintendo is a corporation that has been around since the late 1800s and turned its
production towards electronics in 1975. The company got its big break when it released
the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1983. The release of the Super Mario Bros.
game to go with the system made it a big hit with consumers’ world wide. Along with its
first video game console, Nintendo released the handheld Gameboy in 1989, which
would be the start of its popular handheld franchise. From there, Nintendo has gone on to
upgrade and create new video game consoles and handhelds. For the most part, these
upgrades were met with positive reactions from the public, especially the newest edition
to the Nintendo family: the Nintendo Wii. Even in our present time, Nintendo is still a
formidable video game developer who has recognition and respect all over the world.

The layout for the Nintendo Corporation’s web site has never been one of my favorites.
The home page for the English site found at is cluttered with
pictures. For example, the entire page is on a white background with screenshots and
images of their products covering the page. There are two big pictures of the Nintendo
Wii and the Nintendo DSi that serve as links for the two consoles. Then, there are two
long pictures advertising the games right underneath those. If you scroll down from there,
you’ll see screenshots from DSi and Wii games and there are even more images below
that. The effect is that the eye wanders all over the page, not really sure what it should be
settling on. It is really overwhelming and for a company that prides itself on being
creative and making their customer’s experience enjoyable, this web site layout is pretty

Use of Images
There is no lack of images on the Nintendo Corporation’s web site. In fact, on most of the
pages on the site there are far more images than text. For example, if you go to the
Nintendo DS page at, you will see that almost all of the
words are used as links. The images themselves present an interesting rhetoric, clearly
showing that the company believes that the DS is for children. For example, the picture
on the DS banner at the top of the page shows a young boy smiling at his black Nintendo
DS as he plays it.
 In addition to this, the screenshots and games that are featured on the page all show
childish graphics and child friendly titles. There seem to be no teen rated titles featured
and certainly no mature ratings either. The strategy here is to be as kid and parent
friendly as possible so that this prospective audience is much more likely to buy.
The Wii page uses images in a very similar fashion, which can be viewed at First off, the banner on the top of this page also features
children who are playing with the Wii remotes and their expressions show that they are
having a good time doing it. Most of the pictures on this page showing people also focus
on children and teens, with the exception of the adults depicted on the “Wii Fit” box art.
The screenshots and games featured on this page are also all geared towards kids and
teens with two exceptions. On the very bottom of the page, there is a screenshot from a
“Silent Hill” game, which is a horror genre game. Along with that, there is a picture of
two basketball players competing in a sports title that looks a little more adult then the
other games featured on the page. The placement of these images is interesting because
they are at the very bottom of the page and it is almost as if Nintendo does not want their
consumers seeing them. This may be because they do not want to detract from the child
friendly visual argument that they have constructed so well on other pages.
Overall, the images on the pages remain child oriented and it is very clear who their
marketing audience is.

Use of Text
There is very little text to be found on any of the pages. However, there are some
rhetorical details that can be discerned from the text that is there.
One interesting point is how small the text is on all of the pages, except when the text is
supposed to be giving the user instructions. The Nintendo Corporation clearly wants its
instructions to be legible and simplistic for its customers. An example of this can be
found on the “What is Wii?” page ( where they give a
short explanation of what a Wii is next to a picture of the console. The font is noticeably
bigger than any of the previous text that is on the web site. However, it also seems like
they do not care if their other text is read considering how small the size is. It almost
seems to be placed on the site as an afterthought.
The only significant text on the page seems to be the instructions for their products and
their descriptions of the products themselves. On the “What is Wii?” page, they have a
section trying to answer the question of why someone would want a Wii. The corporate
rhetoric on this paragraph is quite humorous as Nintendo describes the Wii as something
a person “experiences” and not just something that they play. Scroll down the page and
the user will find a paragraph that elaborates on all of their big franchise characters that
can only be played on the Wii. For example, when describing the games that the Wii can
offer the consumer they say, “Wii offers legendary Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda
and Metroid, as well as all new classics like Wii Sports and Wii Play.” By combining the
older titles with the newer ones, Nintendo is clearly trying to please both the older fans
and accumulate new ones by emphasizing the variety of games the Wii has to offer. This
text is definitely part of their marketing strategy and it is interesting to see how their
words appeal to both new and old gamers alike.
Overall, Nintendo is not relying on text to back up their argument about their products.
The text is very minimal on each of the pages and most of the words are just there to
serve as links. Very little content is provided through the text, leaving more room for
pictures and screenshots for all of the pages.

Visual Argument
If a person visits the Nintendo web site, they are immediately surrounded by screenshots
from games, pictures of game systems and kids playing their products. There seem to be
two purposes behind the use of all these images. The first is that Nintendo has a
reputation for being a family friendly company. Some critics claim that this stereotype
has hurt Nintendo’s sales in the past and that the company has been trying to shake off
their family friendly label. However, when compared to other video game developers like
Sony and Microsoft, it is clear that their games are focused on mature audiences and there
is very little there for a younger gamer. Therefore, Nintendo basically has a monopoly on
games for the younger gaming audience and they are taking advantage of it. By showing
all these innocent looking screenshots from their games, they are simply promoting their
reputation as a family friendly gaming company.
To go along with this, the company also wants to assuage parents’ worries about what
their children are playing. When they see all these cute screenshots from the games, along
with kids having fun playing them, they feel more at ease about buying the product. Also,
since Nintendo is selling their products to children they want to make the information
about their games as simple as possible. Thus, they reduce their pages to a bunch of
pretty pictures with few words to entice kids into buying a certain game based on its
Therefore, Nintendo’s use of pictures is all about promoting their family oriented gaming
and all that games that are geared towards children. It is a sound strategy for them to
follow since no other gaming company really appeals to the youngest generation of
gamers. By doing this, Nintendo is most likely hoping that they will make new fans that
will be faithful to Nintendo for the rest of their lives.

Nintendo’s web site shows their corporate rhetoric through plastering images all over
their pages. The images are meant to simplify their rhetoric so that children who visit
their web site see screenshots they like and go tell their parents about them so that they
buy them the game. They want to show that their gaming systems are for families, unlike
their competitors who market their products only to a particular age group. Although the
web site layout leaves much to be desired and the load time can be a pain, the
minimalism on the text and the emphasis on images makes sense for Nintendo’s
marketing strategy. Overall, Nintendo’s corporate rhetoric is focused upon selling their
products to children and their parents and they use their family friendly screenshots and
pictures to prove their point.
                                    Works Cited Nintendo Corporation. 2009. Web. October 18, 2009. Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Web. October 18, 2009.

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