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Does "Test Market" count as a release?

Does "Test Market" count as a release of a console?  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Does "Test Market" count as a release of a console?

    • YES, It's the start of the system and therefor should be considered as the start of the console.
      24
    • NO, It's just a test to gauge public interest and the official release is the only true release.
      9


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I wouldn't describe nintendo adding more north american markets throughout 1986 as rolling test markets.  Did they stop selling it in one area to put it in another.

Edited by mr_me

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55 minutes ago, 0078265317 said:

According to this it matters.  I guess 85 was considered apart of the release.  Well at least for some.

 

s-l640.jpg

 

Nope,  just a "Test Market".  I couldn't buy one in '85 and neither could you.  And did you know about it in '85?  If it really was "released" in '85, show me a single movie from 1986 that featured a Nintendo in a scene...Someone does that and I'll agree it was "released".

 

These kinds of things muddy the waters when people talk about a release.  IMO, a release needs no "*",  a "Test Market" generally needs more explanation.

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Unless I'm mistaken the NES had a Holiday release in 1986.  It was "Test Marketed" in '85.  I'm not denying any of those things.  I'm simply saying when you talk about the NES release, the time frame is "Holiday Season 1986", maybe with an asterix or a footnote explaining a Test Market (Not General, National release) was done in 1985. 

 

Tell you what,  since perhaps we're just arguing semantics at this point...I believe the NES was released "Holiday Season 1986", and if someone else wants to count the Test Market in 1985, that's fine.

 

 

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Anyone could have gone to new york before christmas 1985 and bought one.  I heard they started adding more markets in february 1986.  And some north american markets didn't get it until 1987.

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3 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Anyone could have gone to new york before christmas 1985 and bought one.  I heard they started adding more markets in february 1986.  And some north american markets didn't get it until 1987.

I'm not disagreeing with this.  Of course I personally don't think most of the nation knew about it.  When the PS2 released, there were extreme shortages of consoles...It took an all nighter for me to get one, but it was the national release.  It made news headlines;  Everybody had geared up for it.  You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting somebody who was talking about the PS2.

 

Most system releases also had pre-release systems that went out to journalists who reviewed them, sometimes 2-3 months before the national release...Print media used to have quite a lag time.  But I certainly wouldn't count those systems as part of the "Release" either, yet there were systems out there ahead of time.

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Preview units that go to journalists definitely don't count.  We're talking about a customer shipment.  There are certificationa and warranty regulations that apply when stuff is sold to the public no matter how small the market is.  A test market is just a small market.

 

And employees taking units home for family and friends doesn't count either.

Edited by mr_me
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I swear some stubborn people here.  It never was pulled from the market, it continued to sell, and then spread to new spaces because the demand was met and under-met so they needed more, and more, and then it was everywhere but that took a long time unlike now.  But as others said, this was the 80s, a couple years off the 83 domestic fall of the market where retail wouldn't touch the stuff so they had it hide it like a VCR and toy in a box.  They started on both coasts in two major markets (NYC, LA) and spread out from there, that's beyond dispute.  Just because people couldn't get it everywhere else from day one didn't mean it wasn't a launch, sure they were testing the waters, but they didn't go...oh well we moved a quarter million units, let's pack it in and try again nationally 12 months from now.  That did not happen.

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Stubborness can be seen on both sides :)

If it's a TEST market, then it is not a "Nationwide release that start in the biggest/most susceptible market first".

I mean no one says that Nintendo should have started selling their systems in the middle of Nebraska or in Death Valley before ramping up to Boston and NY.

But again, what if for some reason, the test market was deemed a failure by Nintendo? Would you still say "oh the NES was released nationwide in the US, for 2 month in 1985, in New York shops only then never seen again"? does that make sense?

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7 hours ago, CatPix said:

Stubborness can be seen on both sides :)

If it's a TEST market, then it is not a "Nationwide release that start in the biggest/most susceptible market first".

I mean no one says that Nintendo should have started selling their systems in the middle of Nebraska or in Death Valley before ramping up to Boston and NY.

But again, what if for some reason, the test market was deemed a failure by Nintendo? Would you still say "oh the NES was released nationwide in the US, for 2 month in 1985, in New York shops only then never seen again"? does that make sense?

It's still a retail release. It's not like Nintendo was just going to stop selling the system. I mean they definitely didn't wan't to over produce stock and not be able to move it fast enough (this is especially true for publicly traded companies). It's the 'test' phase of a retail role out. It allows them to make changes to the retail options going forward. So in that regard, NES was officially released in 1985. I mean it doesn't bother me if someone disagrees with that, but I do wonder what's the point, or agenda, in trying to say that is not official? I just don't understand the point. Is this some sort of categorical thing? If so, then redefine Nintendo's "test market" to mean something. Because trying to shoe-horn all things into one definition, because of some OCD categorical thing, you lose or degrade the meaning. And if that's the case, why even bother?

 

For the record, and I know this is anecdotal, I played the NES in early 1986. My brother's friend owned on. We lived in Tucson at the time (which had a population of like 400k, so not a big city be any means). It was purchased there. It took me over a year to save up and I got one in mid 1987.

Edited by turboxray

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It was by Nintendo's rationalization fairly clear considering how many raging fanboys there are about them and their history writing published books down to internet drivel on a fan page.  It was and wasn't a test, it was a launch, but to get a feel for acceptance they went with the two biggest markets on each coast in 1985 as they had limited supply and limited retails with the balls to take the risk.  If I recall they nearly or did have to pay them to take the stock pretty much as no one would gamble on it, they had to sell or Nintendo, not the retail would have been out some real money.  Nintendo was committed, but they also were secondarily committed to pulling the plug if the market wouldn't accept it, that was the test.  The test wasn't like well we will make a couple hundred thousand units, see how long it takes to move if ever, and then decide in the next year or eighteen months to move forward -- now that's a test.  They just decided to jump out of the plane with a parachute that's all.

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17 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

 They just decided to jump out of the plane with a parachute that's all.

Why would you jump out of a plane without a parachute.. 😂

Edited by turboxray
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11 hours ago, turboxray said:

Why would you jump out of a plane without a parachute.. 😂

They're Japanese, honorable suicide? :D

  • Haha 2

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On 1/5/2020 at 11:52 PM, turboxray said:

It's still a retail release. It's not like Nintendo was just going to stop selling the system.

Then, it was not a test release, just a limited release.

That's different.

And then I agree, if Nintendo was just making a limited market release, and not a TEST, then it does count as the official release date.

But then it was not a test, it was a small-scale release.

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Doesn't matter either way.  Test market, small market, restricted markets, limited markets, soft launch, rolling launch; in all cases the thing is released to a market.

Edited by mr_me

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On 1/4/2020 at 4:13 PM, GoldLeader said:

I'm not disagreeing with this.  Of course I personally don't think most of the nation knew about it.  When the PS2 released, there were extreme shortages of consoles...It took an all nighter for me to get one, but it was the national release.  It made news headlines;  Everybody had geared up for it.  You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting somebody who was talking about the PS2.

 

Wasn't that Nintendo (playing with power) tv commercial played heavily in '86? I mentioned on "finding out" from that article in Replay - think it coincided with talk of the new Nintendo VS. system arcade... I need to find that issue again. Now I do recall getting some of the "black box series" at our local Walmart and Kmart in '86.

 

I'm thinking most of the NES owners did get their system in '87.

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Does "Test Market" count as a release?

 

No. The term itself literally says otherwise. :P

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4 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

Does "Test Market" count as a release?

 

No. The term itself literally says otherwise. :P

Can you explain what you mean.  How do you test something in a market without releasing it in that market?

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On 1/11/2020 at 3:53 AM, mr_me said:

Can you explain what you mean.  How do you test something in a market without releasing it in that market?

It's not what I mean; it's what the term means. Test markets are essentially big focus groups. Going into the test marketing phase, there hasn't been a final decision to even proceed with a broader regional or national launch yet.

 

It's inaccurate to label a test market date as a "release" when the product was only available in one city, in limited quantity, for a matter of weeks or months.

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A test market is not a focus group, a focus group is a focus group.  Had the NES been cancelled after the new york test, it would still be a released product.  It was sold to consumers, would have warranty support, and follow all regulations and certifications required of any product.  Is there a rule that says you can't sell a localised product if you want, or for how long it sells.

Edited by mr_me
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Well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_M35

 

Prime example on the top of my head. This car has legal existence, can still be found, exist officially in French administrative services, is road legal, the sale of the car to customer bound Citroën to provide a warranty...

Yet this car is NOT a commercial release. And if they still exist it's because after selling them (yep, unlike what the english article may suggest, people paid money for them) Citroën had no legal way to get them back. They ended up buying them back, save for a few that the owners wanted to keep.

 

Say what you want, but this car was available to the public, in limited quantity, in a short period of time, was certified, legally existing, yet... It's not a commercial release.

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The Citroen was not sold so in that case there was no market of any kind.

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The NES was *not* a "test release" or a "test market". The launch just began in New York, then slowly expanded.

 

“We’re launching in New York,” Yamauchi said, his daughter translating, “because that’s where success happens.”

 

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/62232/how-nintendo-conquered-manhattan-1985

Edited by R.Cade
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12 hours ago, mr_me said:

The Citroen was not sold so in that case there was no market of any kind.

What part of :

14 hours ago, CatPix said:

(yep, unlike what the english article may suggest, people paid money for them) Citroën had no legal way to get them back. They ended up buying them back, save for a few that the owners wanted to keep.

Didn't you got?

They were sold, not leased, not rented, not given for a trial. People that got a M35 from Citroën got it legally as any other car, hence why Citroën had to buy them back from the testers and some legally refused to give it back.

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