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Hardcore to Be Pushed Aside This Console Generation? 142

Posted by Zonk
from the make-way-for-the-casuals-make-way dept.
Gamasutra asks questions directly of analysts on a semi-regular basis, in a feature they call 'Analyze This'. This week they quiz analysts about the rising influence of casual players, and what this means for the dedicated hardcore gamer. The ubiquitous Michael Pachter: "I think some portion of family growth will come from aging of original Xbox owners, who will have families of their own and will likely play games with their children. I also think that newer features on the Elite, like the 80GB hard drive, will encourage more family activities, like downloading TV shows and movies. In essence, I don't see [Microsoft] trying to cannibalize the Wii audience, so much as to trying to offer an alternative with the Xbox 360 as the home media center. I don't think that there is any real threat to the long-term survival of the Xbox 360."
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Hardcore to Be Pushed Aside This Console Generation?

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  • What?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <slashdotNO@SPAMdanielthompson.net> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:18AM (#19812811) Homepage

    I also think that newer features on the Elite, like the 80GB hard drive, will encourage more family activities, like downloading TV shows and movies.

    Downloading TV shows and movies are family activities? That doesn't sound like a very rich family life to me. Family activities are things like sailing trips, playing scrabble, and laughing at Dad's grilling abilities. Or even waving wands around in front of a TV in a game of Wii boxing...

    • Re:What?! (Score:4, Funny)

      by techiemikey (1126169) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:22AM (#19812843)

      Downloading TV shows and movies are family activities?
      well, they never said healthy family activities
    • Re:What?! (Score:4, Funny)

      by GrayCalx (597428) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:43AM (#19813131)
      I think watching a movie can be a family activity just as reading a book together can be. Obviously you don't want that to be your only family activity, and I think thats the point you were trying to make, that families should be 'active' together... but then you threw out that playing the Wii was a family activity and you lost everyone.

      ANYTHING you do as a family is a family activity, though you could definitely argue that some are healthier than others. Like, a murder spree in the south is probably not going to go over as a Family Activity with many people. But I challenge those people to hack through a couple of femurs with an ax... you can work up quite a sweat let me tell you.
      • by LKM (227954)

        but then you threw out that playing the Wii was a family activity and you lost everyone.

        I'd say that playing Wii (or any console, really, but particularly the Wii) is a "good" family activity because it involves communication, learning how to cope with winning and losing, and learning how to share. Watching a movie, however, is a rather mindless, "selfish" activity.

        I'm not saying that you should not watch movies with your kids, and I'm certainly not saying that gaming is better than going out and play

        • by JFMulder (59706)
          but I am saying that watching a movie with your kids tends towards the "unhealthy" side, and playing games tends towards the "healthy" side, in my opinion.

          Have you ever talked about the finer points of a movie, book or TV show with your parents? Or how fun it was and how much you enjoyed it? Games, TV, books, they're all the same : they are what you make them to be, selfish or healthy.
          • by LKM (227954)

            Have you ever talked about the finer points of a movie, book or TV show with your parents?

            No. My parents read books to me, but we hardly ever watched TV at all. We usually went out and did something outside when we did somthing as a family. Please note that you're kind of making my point: You implicitly admit that the act of watching a movie with your family doesn't really qualify as important. It's discussing the act of watching which is the actual "family activity." Why not start out by doing something

            • by GrayCalx (597428)
              I think his point is, since reading a book or watching tv eliminates any physical activity, its really hard to argue why one is beneficial over the other. Either way you're spending time together, you're talking about what you read/saw and not only interacting but forming opinions and the ability to verbalize those opinions.

              I get the impression that you're still stuck in the days of "TV is bad for you" which, in an era of media, is simply wrong. Sure you don't want your child sitting in front of the te
    • by plague3106 (71849)
      Downloading maybe not, but watching a show or movie certainly is. Just because YOU don't think a family can share those activities doesn't mean its not possible.
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:19AM (#19812813)
    I don't think that there is any real threat to the long-term survival of the Xbox 360.

    This is hardcore. As good as you play your games, eventually the console will be emblazoned with the infamous words "Your deeds will be remembered" and it will stop booting.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:21AM (#19812839) Journal
    Gaming will cease to be a teenage phenomena, it won't be something that kids do that their parents don't understand, being a "gamer" won't put you in some sort of "elite" hobby, you'll just be a normal person.

    Other than that, things won't change, except you'll have more choices. While the casual gamer market is growing and has the potential to be very large, the hardcore gamer market still has plenty of money to spend, the game industry knows that, and they're already set up for and experienced with serving that market. They're not going to completely abandon it to make minigames, the industry is just going to grow to cover the new types of games.

    The only thing that will really change for hardcore gamers is that they'll increase the amount of bitching they do about all those ordinary people trying to pretend that they're real gamers. "They don't know what it's like, they've never played for 14 hours straight, they don't have eight obsolete consoles stacked in their basement, why don't you go play on your cellphone"

    The market isn't shifting to casual games, it's growing to include them. Things might look a little strange right now because publishers are testing the waters a bit, but it'll balance out soon enough. Valve isn't going to abandon Half-life to make bejeweled clones, there will be plenty of MMO's and RPG's in the future. There's not much to worry about.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      The only thing that will really change for hardcore gamers is that they'll increase the amount of bitching they do about all those ordinary people trying to pretend that they're real gamers.

      More annoying than them are the ex-hardcore-gamers, who everytime there's a game console story on slashdot flood it with their smug replies that they only play multiplayer nintendo party games now, and that's all developers should make.
      • More annoying than them are the ex-hardcore-gamers, who everytime there's a game console story on slashdot flood it with their smug replies that they only play multiplayer nintendo party games now, and that's all developers should make.
        Worse yet are the PC ex-hardcore-gamers, who lament that there are no multiplayer party games for set-top PCs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bodrius (191265)

      The market isn't shifting to casual games, it's growing to include them. Things might look a little strange right now because publishers are testing the waters a bit, but it'll balance out soon enough. Valve isn't going to abandon Half-life to make bejeweled clones, there will be plenty of MMO's and RPG's in the future. There's not much to worry about.

      I don't know if it is something to worry about, but perhaps Valve would see it logical, business-wise, to abandon Half-life to make bejeweled clones, along wi

      • by cowscows (103644)
        Well, for many companies, you're right. But for companies with high-value IP like Valve and Half-life, there's much less risk involved even in a 'hardcore game'. As long as they don't ship a complete pile of crap, there's very little doubt that HL3 will move plenty of copies. Factor in the reality that most of the resources that valve has built up over the years are geared towards making that sort of game, and they're really unlikely to abandon all of that in favor a quick, smaller projects. Especially beca
    • I can see some very good things coming of that, though, not least of which is J-game translations being held to a higher standard of quality. Show of hands, how many of you have had a friend/family member/other "non-gamer" comment on low-quality voice-overs, choppy dialogue, or other inadequately-translated elements of a J-RPG or some other J-game? It's happened to me too many times to count; a game will garner raised eyebrows and confused/bemused/mocking/disparaging comments because as a result of its su
    • Gaming will cease to be a teenage phenomena? It already did, years ago. 69% of gamers are 18 or older. [theesa.com] Even limiting it to consoles (thus dropping all the solitaire players), 60% are 18 and over.
    • "Other than that, things won't change, except you'll have more choices. While the casual gamer market is growing and has the potential to be very large, the hardcore gamer market still has plenty of money to spend, the game industry knows that, and they're already set up for and experienced with serving that market. They're not going to completely abandon it to make minigames, the industry is just going to grow to cover the new types of games."

      Personally I question the whole basis of casual gaming on consol
      • by cowscows (103644)
        Now, I see the Wii working in the opposite way. I think it really has the potential to make things more interactive. Expanding on your HL2 example, have you played the Wii game Elebits? It's basically a game that combines the gravity gun from HL2 with an old game show called "finders keepers". You use the gravity gun to pick up and move(throw around) every object in a series of rooms, looking for objects/creatures hidden throughout. And even better, when you shoot something with your "gravity gun"(I forget
  • Who's hardcore? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seebs (15766) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:23AM (#19812861) Homepage
    I maintained a personal branch of Wine so I could have more function keys in World of Warcraft -- Linux supports more function keys, so I remapped them into modified keys WoW could handle. I've learned programming languages to work on games. I semi-regularly put in 16-hour days of gaming when I'm looking to destress. I have not one, not two, but THREE game-playing devices with me everywhere I go.

    I could give a shit about another "40-hour" FPS, but surgery or hypnotism would be involved.

    The Wii is the best thing to happen to my console gaming experience in years. The PS3 is utterly irrelevant to me as a gamer. Yeah, yeah. Cue the people claiming I just can't afford one; I've had one since last December. I run Linux on it. The games are just more derivative crap. The total interesting play time of every PS3 game I've seen put together can't come within a full working week of what I've gotten out of Wii Sports Tennis alone. Paper Mario is the first platformer since the Genesis Sonic era to do something I haven't already gotten bored with.

    You think I should consider kids who can't get off on a game unless it's gory and their parents don't want them playing it to be "hardcore" gamers? I don't. When they're into gaming enough to write games, when they've been playing games more than a few years, then they can talk. Until then, they're just wannabes.
    • by akheron01 (637033)
      Here here! As another hardcore gamer that despises the derivative FPS crap I second that!
      • by Altus (1034)

        No doubt! I might have qualified as a hardcore gamer at one point in my life. I have been playing FPS games since Wolf3D and one of the big things that has driven me away from gaming is that pretty much everything out there is just a derivative of Wolf3D. Sure there has been some good stuff, I loved the story lines in the Marathon series and the AI in Half-life, but I swear, whenever I see quake or even halo there is a part of me that expects a Nazi to come around the corner shouting "Achtung."

        Why play t
    • ... is my awesome Voodoo3 3500 with TV in/out!

      It still kick major ass... Starcraft looks awesome!
  • "...aging of original Xbox owners..."

    Uh-oh, I owned an original xbox! And I've aged since I bought it! Does that mean I'm, supposed to have a family?! I'd better get to work! Who knew being 20 would be so much work?!
    • by Surt (22457)
      At age 20, you've likely used up a third of your child having years. Better get cracking.
    • by Fozzyuw (950608)

      "...aging of original Xbox owners..."

      Uh-oh, I owned an original xbox! And I've aged since I bought it! Does that mean I'm, supposed to have a family?! I'd better get to work! Who knew being 20 would be so much work?!

      I cannot RTFA at work, but I did find that statement odd. I typically label gamer generations as such. Atari (70's), NES (80's), Playstation 1/2 (90's-00's).

      Based on that, I would 1) never use Xbox as a generation defining system, not that it wasn't important (like the Genesis and SNES)

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:30AM (#19812959) Homepage
    Gamers carried the console manufacturers before the "casual" gaming boom and will be the ones who carry it afterwards. There are have been numerous casual gaming era's before and though they make for interesting blips in the manufacturers and developers bottom line, they don't last. Anyone remember the early 80's? The biggest contributor to the great video game crash of 83 was the over abundance of crap in the marketplace. Abandoning the "hardcore" gamer market which has higher expectations, demands more complexity and can not be fooled by licensing deals and pretty graphics sounds like a great idea in the short term but in the long term will only lead to disaster for the industry again. There is a place for casual gaming, and a great opportunity to introduce the non- initiated to gaming, but it's just that an introduction.
    • by akheron01 (637033)
      And the biggest problem with gaming now is... all of the crap on the marketplace! The crap is now all of the FPS/sports game crap that "hardcore gamers" are into. I think the real solution is to stop convincing the companies that consumers will buy crap, but you "hardcore gamers" keep doing it!
      • by grapeape (137008)
        Wow i've never heard of Sports games being labled as "hardcore" most gamers concider sports games to be the lamest genre in videogames sure madden sells, but look at the audience it sells to and most of those seem to console owners that have nothing but the previous years madden and a handful of other sports games. Beyond Halo, has their ever been a top selling FPS on a console? I know there are alot of them but most of the ones I have seen end up in the bargain bin after a couple months.
        • Golden Eye for the nintendo 64 which defined the entire genre for a while.
        • Goldeneye. It's still the best selling console FPS of all time(8 million units), and I think it might even be the best selling FPS of all time(half-life might edge it out... not sure, PC sales are tough to track down reliably).
          • by grapeape (137008)
            Oh wow...cant believe I fogot that one. Anyway 3 decently selling FPS console games in 3 console generations doesnt exactly count for much of a glut IMHO.
    • Anyone remember the early 80's? The biggest contributor to the great video game crash of 83 was the over abundance of crap in the marketplace.

      While you are correct, I think it's important to understand that the crash of '83 can't happen again. The factors that made it happen simply don't exist anymore. Those factors are:
      1. Atari did not want to allow third party developers for their console. Third party developers sprang up anyway, and started chucking out whatever they could possibly sell. Since Atari had no licensing arrangements with these companies, there were no quality control checks in place. Today's console makers require licensing arrangements to prevent exactly this sort of problem. (And to make more money!)
      2. Just before the crash, there was a general feeling that the gaming market was going to experience unlimited growth. This was not the case, and there ended up being more game producers than the market could reasonably handle. Gaming did experience quite a bit of growth, however, and the current market size sits at not-quite 200 million consoles. That's an incredibly large market.
      3. The crash would have been nothing more than a slump if not for a man known as Jack Tramiel. He was determined to make his Commodore computers take over the gaming market. Thanks to a price war with Texas Instruments, he was able to smash the price barrier between consoles and computers at just the right time to put everyone else (both consoles and computers) out of business. (Or at least in a world of hurt.) Stores threw out all their console garbage and started carrying computers. Computers and consoles coexist at a similar price point today, but computer gaming has been largely deemphasized over the years.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        "can't" is a such a strong word. I'll agree to 'is highly unlikely', though.

        1) You're saying that console makers won't impose extreme demands on third parties? No AO-rated games (Manhunt 2) etc? Region-lock? Huge buy-in (devkit) fees? Have you seen how many homebrew games exist now on modded consoles/handhelds?
        2) I was just thinking that there were SO many games coming out I couldn't possibly play all the ones I've pre-ordered for any decent length of time, let alone all the ones I want to. I'd say
        • Your comments are a bit strange, but I'll take them on one by one:

          You're saying that console makers won't impose extreme demands on third parties?

          Eh? I believe I said the exact opposite. The market crashed because Atari didn't impose licensing restrictions. Today's console makers impose licensing restrictions to prevent that issue.

          Have you seen how many homebrew games exist now on modded consoles/handhelds?

          Have you seen many of them for sale in Walmart? The market crashed because of a glut of titles on the

      • by bigdavex (155746)

        Atari did not want to allow third party developers for their console. Third party developers sprang up anyway, and started chucking out whatever they could possibly sell. Since Atari had no licensing arrangements with these companies, there were no quality control checks in place. Today's console makers require licensing arrangements to prevent exactly this sort of problem. (And to make more money!)

        Keep in mind that Atari itself released ET for the 2600. We can't blame that on licensing agreements; it was

        • ET really did get a bum rap. I know that it is everyone's favorite game to dislike, but the game wasn't as bad as everyone remembers it. A more sensible argument was that it missed the target market of action-game players that Atari had cultivated. Pushing an adventure game on them was probably a mistake, though it would have been less so if HSW had had a bit more time to tweak the gameplay. (Mostly to prevent you from falling in holes.)

          Since E.T. was released right around the same time as the crash, its ha
          • I never really thought the atari port of pac-man was that bad. Considering the tech they had to work with, it was actually pretty good. Defender was much the same way.

            The console just didn't have the power of an arcade cabinet. Of course, it also didn't cost several grand either.

            Want to see a difference between arcade and console that will make you cringe from a gameplay standard, look at Crystal Castles. Great arcade game (which used the trackball controller) turned into a fairly lame joystick controll
            • I never really thought the atari port of pac-man was that bad. Considering the tech they had to work with, it was actually pretty good. Defender was much the same way.

              See what I mean? You guys are just so forgiving.

              Take a look at these games:

              Ms. Pac Man [atariage.com]
              Jr. Pac Man [atariage.com]
              Stargate [atariage.com] (aka Defender II)

              Now tell me, was it really so impossible to make a Pac Man with the right maze and a character that turned his head, or a Defender in which the ship disappeared every time you fired?

              I've programmed for the 2600. Its limita

          • by bigdavex (155746)
            I have to admit to never playing ET. I played and enjoyed Defender, but I honestly thought the Pac Man port was crap.
    • You see, i highly disagree with you. Not that this hasn't happened in the past, but that hard core gamers can't be fooled with pretty graphics and sounds. How many games out on the market now are "Oh, it's extreamly similar to halo, but the graphics are better and you get to use cooler weapons"? Even if the casual gamer market does burst as your predicting, it will help create new genre's and more variations on gameplay that will help stay around after the crash. That being said, i don't believe the cas
    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:59AM (#19813373) Homepage
      In my opinion, it is the hardcore gamer that has low expectations; always buying the latest well-known brand of FPS, RTS, RPG, platformer, fighting game or whatever. As long as the graphics are better than the previous game and there's ever more of everything familiar. The kind of stuff the PS3 and X360 offer.

      The casual gamer, on the other hand, requires new stimulation and new experiences. Casual gamers want to see new gameplay, new ways to interact with the medium; the kind of stuff the Wii offers. These are definetely a form of "expectations" too, an IMHO a lot higher expectations than those of polished recycleables.

      Whether the casual market will be a mainstay of the console market is hard to tell. Developers will have to keep coming up with new ideas and will have to be competitive in a far less "measurable" way than how they've been dealing with hardcore gamers.

      The past generations of consoles have been largely pushing increasing processor power. The Wii broke this mold by focussing on new ways to interact, and it'll be interresting to see whether they made the right bet. The market Nintendo "created" will be less easy to satisfy than the hardcore market and we'll have to wait and see whether their controller is just a novelty or the first step into the future of consoles.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I agree with you half way... I think the hardcore gamers do like unchanging gameplay... they want the FPS the plays like that other FPS they love that plays like that other FPS they love and is by that developer they love in that franchise they love... etc. etc.

        Casual gamers will just play whatever looks like fun and move on when it stops being fun

        On the other hand I think hardcore gamers demand more of a deeper plot and character development... they want to play Halo 3 not just because it's the gamep
        • by Mex (191941)
          Did you just imply that Half Life and stuff like Counterstrike are good "mental stimulation"?

          Because, goddammit, I think g0at53xfuck3r would like a word with you.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm just curious... why do you insist on using apostrophes where they're grammatically incorrect? For example, "say's" should have just been "says" and "era's" should have been written "eras". When trying to decide whether or not to employ an apostrophe, ask yourself if you're working with a noun and denoting possession or if you're making a contraction. If the answers are both no, then don't use one.

      I've noticed that this is a very common problem amongst American posters. Aren't they teaching appropriate a
    • by Hitto (913085)
      So your theory is that in 1985, over 60 million hardcore gamers were there to buy the NES, which was a hardcore-only console as we all know?
      I've been a gamer ever since I could hold one of those funky rotating things you used to play pong, and find people who consider themselves "hardcore" to always be either :

      - 13-year-olds who think the best game in the world is GTA.
      - Guys who take their videogames way too seriously (kinda like those star wars fans who know the name of obi-wan's first gilf
      • by grapeape (137008)
        Your reading a bit too much into that...I don't concider myself a "hardcore" gamer by that definition. Your defining fanboy's, IMHO a "hardcore" gamer is one who likes depth, replay value, storyline, a different experience and overall fun. I want Oblivions, ICOs, Halos, Ikarugas, Guitar Heros, etc. What I dont want is 50 versions of the same old thing.

        The article made the point that game complexity was going away in favor of more Brain Age, Tetris and Nintendogs. The Wii is great example right now, I ha
        • I want [...] Ikaruga

          Whoa. Someone else who likes that shooter. Didn't expect to see that here. :-)

          Have you seen how much the Gamecube version of that game goes for these days? I've seen incredible prices on Amazon, well over $100 a piece. eBay isn't much better with used copies going for about $50. I can't help but think that Atari was a victim of bad timing. If they re-released it now, it would be a much greater success than it was back in 2003.

          • by grapeape (137008)
            Yep I have the Dreamcast version as well as Radiant Silvergun for my Saturn. Oddly enough im really not that into shooters usually, but those were just mesmerizing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Hardcore gamers are killing the industry. Seriously. You people are fucking awful for it. Hang in there, I'll explain why. There's going to be a ton of film analogies in here, so bear with it. 99% of the 360 and PS3s lineup is a retread of a retread of a retread, with next to no refinement. The best of the best of a given years releases will incrementally improve something. Everything else is a graphics upgrade, maybe a setting that hasn't been used in a while, a character swap, some new guns, a new
  • A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:32AM (#19812983) Homepage Journal

    Sony will ultimately do quite well with the PS3, as it is likely that Blu-ray will win the high-definition movie format war.

    I agree that Sony will win the HD format war, but I don't believe that it will convey any real advantage to Sony. The uptake on HD formats has been incredibly slow. Even if Sony were to wipe out HD-DVD tomorrow, they would only inherit a very small piece of market share.

    Most observers misunderstand what's going on with the Wii at present: that once a household purchases a Wii, it will never purchase another console. I completely disagree with this analysis.

    In my view, the Wii is bringing in a wider demographic than has ever been exposed to games before, and a meaningful number of them will now consider purchasing a more "hardcore" system. Once the PS3 and the Xbox 360 price points decline to a competitive level -- the magic number is probably around $199, this wider demographic will be more likely to consider purchasing [one] as the second console in the home.

    I have to disagree. If the PS2 proved anything, it's that very few gamers will support more than one console in their home. The hardcore types had a Gamecube (only $99!) as well, but that didn't stop the GCN from being the worst performing console that Nintendo ever released. (~22 million units worldwide) Microsoft didn't fare much better, just barely edging out the Wii's sales. (~24 million units worldwide)

    All this adds up to a single, inescapable conclusion: The casual market is a zero sum game. There can only be one winner who takes the lion's share of the market pie.

    Guitar Hero is perhaps the best example of a game that non-gamers can enjoy, but will still be popular with the enthusiast and core gamer. The Wii, the DS and the PS2 are changing the dynamics of the industry, with the mass market becoming a primary driver rather than an end-cycle afterthought.

    This is what a lot of people keep missing. The PS2 continues to go strong because it appeals to the casual gaming crowd. It may have initially sold well because it was a cheap DVD player, but that offered the market a way to reach the casual gamer. (Whether it was understood at the time or not.) Those customers are extremely happy with their $120 DVD/Tetris/Guitar Hero machines, so why should they spend $600 for a PS3? The answer, of course, is that they're not going to. They may purchase a Wii, but it's only because it provides gaming possibilities that their existing machine doesn't. And they don't need to break the bank to get one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EMeta (860558)
      I usually agree with you Mr. Batman, but here I must disagree. The PS2 was the only console in the households because it had far and away the best games of the era. Yes, it missed a dozen great games that came out on the other platforms, but it had hundreds of enjoyable games itself, and the other consoles didn't really offer anything different. (Until Xbox Live, but that exploded rather late). In this generation we have consoles with completely different gaming purposes. I might buy a 360; I might get
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        The PS2 was the only console in the households because it had far and away the best games of the era.

        I don't think we really disagree. My point is that the PS2 got it start from being a cheap DVD player. Which catapulted it into the role of a casual gaming machine. Which has become a self-perpetuating engine of sales thanks to the large library of casual games.

        The point in history I'm discussing is specifically the chicken and the egg solution that the PS2 used. You can't sell consoles unless you have a lar

      • by xero314 (722674)

        And I don't know any gamers serious enough to already own a PS3 or Xbox360 who don't also want a Wii.

        I don't currently own any of them but once I do decided to purchase one it most likely will not be a Wii. I know a number of people who have a Wii and have played one a number of times. I'm not saying the Wii is a bad console, I'm just not seeing any games announced that appeal to me, outside of a few virtual console releases of old Sega games, which I already purchased once. Graphics aside I just don't see anything that compares to Lair, Heavenly Sword, Eye of Judgment, Folklore, Ratchet and Clank, and

        • by 7Prime (871679)
          Actually, you're the kind of person Nintendo hopes to see more of: where their console is so prodominant that many people don't feel the NEED to buy them, because all their friends have them. They may not make any money off of you, but you're a good sign for their marketing.
          • by xero314 (722674)
            Again, I'm not nocking the Wii, more just waiting to see what happens, but I don't see it having the market share that the PS2 has/had. Console traditionally sold for single player use, something you did when you weren't hanging out with friends, so the only market competition were arcades, PCs and other consoles, basically the same exact market. The Wii, being designed and marketed as a party game has a heck of alot more to compete with, like board games, poker, sports and drinking. When I get together
            • by 7Prime (871679)
              Well, the PS2 is kind of an unusual phenominon. It basically ran, without competition, for about 3 years. Even the GBA doesn't have it's numbers. It's doubtfull we'll see those kinds of numbers for a VERY LONG TIME, if at all.
              • by xero314 (722674)

                It's doubtfull we'll see those kinds of numbers for a VERY LONG TIME, if at all.

                Since the PS2 only outsold the PS2 by 20% I don't see that as such a lofty goal. Though I am curious how you come up with the idea that the PS2 ran without competition for 3 years? It either ran without competition for 5 years, which would say nothing else in the last gen was competition, or it ran without competition for a year, meaning the Dreamcast was not competition, or it always had competition since the dreamcast was released before it.

                • by 7Prime (871679)
                  Well, after about 8 months in, the DreamCast was no longer in the running, and the XBox and GCN came in about 3 years later (or was it 2?) So maybe 3 years is an exaduration. But between the time after the DC kicked the bucket to the XBox/GCN release, the PS2 was all by itself, and by the time the XBox and GCN launched, it was so far ahead, that many developers wouldn't dream of switching.
                  • by xero314 (722674)

                    the XBox and GCN came in about 3 years later (or was it 2?) So maybe 3 years is an exaduration

                    As another reply already pointed out, even discounting the Dreamcast it was only 1 year in the US and 1.5 years in Japan/Europe before all three consoles where available.

                    by the time the XBox and GCN launched, it was so far ahead, that many developers wouldn't dream of switching.

                    At the time of the GC and XBox release the PS2 had a 10 million unit head start. In this generation the XBox had a 5 million unit head start. In a generation that sold over 200 million units, a 5 million difference is not much. Nintendo has show in this generation that with the right first party support you can make the strides you nee

      • by 7Prime (871679)
        Depends upon how you look at it. The PS2 had about 10x as many games as the GCN or XBox. But pound for pound, the GCNs library kicks the SHIT out of the PS2s library, it was just tiny. Of course, the basic number of good games is what really counts, because you can weed out the shitty ones.
      • by LKM (227954)

        The PS2 was the only console in the households because it had far and away the best games of the era.

        I just don't see it. I've never owned a PS2, but I bought a PS3 and I'm now buying all the games I've missed. I bought about two dozen PS2 games - the games that everyone considers the cream of the crop of PS2 gaming - and so far, I'm disappointed. Stuff like Ico, which is supposed to be super awesome, seems borderline unplayable due to the botched control. A lot of games have incredibly bad graphics bec

        • by xero314 (722674)

          the games that everyone considers the cream of the crop of PS2 gaming

          You mentioned Ico and SoC, both of which classify as some of the most dramatic cinematic in any video game. Not sure what your issue is with the controls of Ico since I have played it and read many reviews and never heard one complaint about the controls until now. It also seems that you missed many of the truly acclaimed games, by both players and critics such as God of War 1 and 2, or Any of the first 3 Ratchet and Clanks, or the Jak series with the highest polygon counts of any character up till then.

          • by LKM (227954)

            You mentioned Ico and SoC, both of which classify as some of the most dramatic cinematic in any video game.

            Sure, fighting a Colossus is a dramatic cinematic experience, but the rest of the time, you're basically running around in an empty world doing nothing.

            Not sure what your issue is with the controls of Ico since I have played it and read many reviews and never heard one complaint about the controls until now.

            It feels like a first attempt at a 3D game. As if it was meant for the PS1. The control i

            • by xero314 (722674)
              Sounds like a difference in opinion as to what constitutes good graphics. There are those that like detail, which I am assuming you do, and those that prefer sense of scale, and artistic vision, which is where I, and other ICO/SoC fans tend to be. At the time that ICO came out it had top notch lighting effects and what, without close inspection, was made to appear as individually textured bricks. When you get deep into the game just take some time to look around, feel the sense of scale, look down an unde
    • by dlZ (798734)
      I have to disagree. If the PS2 proved anything, it's that very few gamers will support more than one console in their home. The hardcore types had a Gamecube (only $99!) as well, but that didn't stop the GCN from being the worst performing console that Nintendo ever released. (~22 million units worldwide) Microsoft didn't fare much better, just barely edging out the Wii's sales. (~24 million units worldwide)

      I have to agree that most gamers will only have one console. The truly hardcore will get everyth
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Pope (17780)

        The younger but growing up gamer generation seems to understand that new systems will probably be out every 5 years or so, and don't seem to mind that part too much

        But that's the way it's always been! 5 years is the standard video game generation, and Microsoft's and Sony's recent attempts to shorten that should only invite contempt. I'll also throw out there that calling XBox 2 the "360" as a way to try to capture the PS3's name and try to convince gamers that it really is part of the same generation is no

    • While i agree with you, i just need to correct one thing. The game cube wasn't Nintendo's biggest flop. That honor belongs to the Virtual Boy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Virtual_Boy [wikipedia.org] selling a wopping 900,000 units worldwide.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        I'll also mention that, while not selling very well, it still made Nintendo lots of money... and everyone who had it was extremely pleased with it (myself included), and paved the way for the Wii.

        Usually a consoles' true popularity isn't felt until the next generation. The N64 did pretty well, but it made a lot of enemies. Therefor, Nintendo had to sit in the "time out chair" through the GameCube era. But everyone who had a GameCube loved it, and Nintendo has now been forgiven for their arrogence during the
    • by GWBasic (900357)

      I agree that Sony will win the HD format war, but I don't believe that it will convey any real advantage to Sony. The uptake on HD formats has been incredibly slow. Even if Sony were to wipe out HD-DVD tomorrow, they would only inherit a very small piece of market share.

      The only thing to consider is that giant TVs are dropping in price. Last december, a top-of-the-line 46" flat LCD cost more then $4000; now it's about $1600. Likewise, a 70" TV that used to cost almost $8000 is now just over $4000.

      Regular DVDs just don't look very good on giant TVs.

  • The hardcore gamer is a myth of the industry.
    • Re:It's a Myth (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ProppaT (557551) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @10:09AM (#19813523) Homepage
      Unfortunately, it's not a myth of the industry so much as it's a myth of gamers. They fight over the meaning...some think it means FPS players, some think it means those who play only the most obscure of games, some think it just means people who play absurd hours of games. It's just like any club of sect of society...for some reason certain people like labels and feel strength and security in numbers.

      The sad thing is, as a 28 year old life long gamer, starting with a Commodore 24 and currently owning practically every home game console to be mass produced since (save the PS3 and the Xbox 360), I wouldn't even consider myself a gamer at this point. While I play games and own over a thousand, it seems that these days it's not about playing the games themselves so much as it is having the best gear, best graphics, most violence, cinematic sequences, etc. I used to smile when playing games, now it's all too serious and realistic. I've actually gotten anxiety from playing some of the newer games, and that's not really cool.

      In that sense, maybe I AM a casual gamer. So, in this day and age, can a veteran gamer who's been gaming nearly 25 years be considered a casual gamer? I suppose so, by definition.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        I used to smile when playing games, now it's all too serious and realistic. I've actually gotten anxiety from playing some of the newer games, and that's not really cool.

        Why is that necessarly bad? Shouldn't you feel some anxiety playing Resident Evil? That seems to be the point of the horror genre, whether it be game, movie or book.
  • by MeanderingMind (884641) * on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @10:03AM (#19813439) Homepage Journal
    Pachter:

    Most observers misunderstand what's going on with the Wii at present: that once a household purchases a Wii, it will never purchase another console. I completely disagree with this analysis.

    In my view, the Wii is bringing in a wider demographic than has ever been exposed to games before, and a meaningful number of them will now consider purchasing a more "hardcore" system. Once the PS3 and the Xbox 360 price points decline to a competitive level -- the magic number is probably around $199, this wider demographic will be more likely to consider purchasing [one] as the second console in the home. I think the tried-and-true strategy of focusing on the hardcore gamer audience first, and expanding to the wider demographic later in the cycle, will again work for Sony and for Microsoft.


    What Pachter is forgetting is that the casual market very rarely buys more than one console, which completely screws up the whole "hardcore first, casual second" strategy he's suggesting for the 360 and PS3. That simply won't "work" in the way he thinks it will, because by the time the 360 and PS3 are ready for casuals the vast majority of them will already be playing the Wii. That the Wii has also attracted some number of hardcore players is the icing on the cake.

    It will "work" in the sense that Sony and Microsoft might turn a profit, but not in any sense they'd like. It's a strategic failure to let a competitor horn in on your turf while simultaneously leaving them to frollic freely on theirs. The "tried and true" strategy worked previous because everyone was doing it. You don't have to delve far into history to see how often the "tried and true" got usurped as humanity moved forward.

    By the time the 360 and PS3 hit the "magic number", it will already be too late. Assuming the PS3 drops at the current rate, that's a $100 drop every 8-9 months, putting the now $499 PS3 at $199 in August 2009. That's 2 full freaking years of letting Nintendo run amok with the casuals. Sony is going to need exclusive rights to Spore in order to rip casuals off of the Wii by then. Nothing short of that kind of casual star power is going to cut it.

    Barton:

    We expect PS3 uptake to be slow. However, we also feel that the adoption curve will endure for a longer period than previously witnessed in the console industry. Sony believes the expected lifespan of the PS3 will be eight to ten years. The issue one must consider is whether it is better to have a short period of relatively low hardware investment followed by four years of growth, or a short period of losses sustained on hardware sales early in the cycle followed by eight to ten years of growth. It is arguable that Sony's strategy will garner significant, long-term publisher support.


    An 8 to 10 year lifetime might work, if the PS3 attracted the casual crowd. The casual crowd isn't quite as obsessed with aging graphics as the hardcore, and so will keep an older system long after hardcore players have shelved or sold it. The inherent problem here is that the Wii and DS are picking up all the casual players. Unless Sony can find a way to break them away from Nintendo's offerings, the 10 year lifetime won't happen. 4 years from now the hardcore will move onto the next big thing. The Cell is a neat processor, but it is not enough to keep up with the advances that will be made as time passes.
    • Sony believes the expected lifespan of the PS3 will be eight to ten years.
      According to one Moore and his law, in three years there'll be another $600 machine with 4x the processing power. Just saying.
  • Yum Yum (Score:2, Funny)

    by dintech (998802)
    I don't see [Microsoft] trying to cannibalize the Wii audience

    I hear Steve Balmer eats three Wii users for breakfast, a Sony executive for lunch and banquets on 8 Google workers for dinner. For dessert he he eats puppies and ice cream.
  • Ever try catching those stupid fish in Zelda? took me forver - way harder then anything else I've played!
  • I know a lot people, especially women in the 20ies, who love the WII but never really played video games before. My best friend's wife wanted one for her birthday...and she is one of those extremely high maintence girly girls that normally wants a new Coach purse or a day at the Spa. But this year she wanted a Wii. It's a great party box.

  • It seems that casual gamers here are seen in a negative way. Like local coastal surfers calling out the posers from the valley I feel that hardcore gamers look upon us casual gamers from some sort of elitist platform. Sure, on one hand you get to spend all your extra time involved in some fantasy that you wont walk away from. But on the other hand you spend all your extra time involved in some fantasy that you can't walk away from.

    As a casual gamer I don't play many games. I don't have level 70 wizard

  • Would complain about the mass addition of new people into their hobby.

    Sigh.
  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tarlus (1000874) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:25PM (#19815413)

    ...will encourage more family activities, like downloading TV shows and movies.
    Is this really where society is today? In my childhood, the whole point of family activities were to keep us away from brainlessly watching the TV.
  • When PopCap ports their catalog to the Wii, I'm there. Actually I might want a port of Puzzle Pirates as well. I can't stand Nintendo's party games.
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @01:53PM (#19816581) Homepage Journal
    I'm a serious gamer, but I'm tired of the "hardcore" crowd. It's becoming a cliche like the "extreme sports" fad. I'd like serious, involving games... but I don't care about shit like high-end graphics, or shock-value elements like lots of blood and sex everywhere, that the hardcore crowd seems to be getting at. I'd like a game that will immerse me in its game world, or tell a good epic story, or something to that extent.
  • Is this bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by illegalcortex (1007791) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @02:44PM (#19817141)
    As a longtime gamer (starting with Atari), I'm not sure this is a bad thing. These days, it seems the "hardcore" gamer is the one who perfects their Halo or Half-Life skill, or who sinks 8 hours a day 7 days a week into WoW. In other words, hardcore now means large-time-investment. For those of us who love to play games but just don't want to invest that much of our lives in them, it would be a good thing. I liked to play WoW, but having to skew towards the "hardcore" players made the game less fun to casual players like me. So it would be great if it opens more niches like an "MMORPG for casual players."
    • I used to be an avid arcade games player...I used to spent about 1-2 hours on arcades per day, with my friends, trying out many different games. But now arcade games are dead. What shall I do? I can't spend hours on WoW, it's boring. I need quick game fixes, preferably on co-op games. I only play PC games in 'god' mode as as that I can admire the latest fx.

      Nintendo has the solution for me: the Wii. Casual gaming is the most entertaining form of gaming: no stress, just having fun with your mates in the livin
  • It's funny how the commenters can't even make up their minds what exactly this mythical "hardcore gamer" is. GTA is a hardcore game! But no, a lot of girls play it, and it sold a quantillion copies, so it must be a casual game. Bejeweled is hardcore, because people are obsessed with it and play it for days at a time! But it's an online flash game! It can't be hardcore!

    People think FPS are hardcore, but FPS are one of the most common genres. How can FPS be hardcore if everyone plays them?

    I consider myself

  • What is a 'hardcore' gamer?

    My first video game was Dark Castle on my Dad's Mac SE in 1987. I was three at the time, and I've played video games ever since. My first games console was a Sega Master System II (I lived in New Zealand, where Sega was generally bigger than Nintendo). Since then I've owned a lot of systems. I generally play FPS and RPGs, though I'll happily play other genres provided the game is good. While I haven't upgraded to a PS3 or Wii yet (lack of software I want) I currently have a 360, G

That does not compute.

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