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Nintendo Businesses Wii

Miyamoto Speaks, Nintendo Ditching the Hardcore? 314

Posted by Zonk
from the strange-week-to-be-a-nintendo-fan dept.
After Nintendo's very ... different ... press conference, you may be wondering what's going on. In a roundtable discussion with Nintendo, folks like Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto discussed Zelda, Mario Galaxy and WiiFit , giving some context to the message the company had on Wednesday. The balance board begged the question from the people there, is Nintendo ditching the hardcore? According to the Nintendo folks, not at all: "Aonuma believes that control can be pick-up-and-play, but that doesn't necessarily mean a game overall has to be easier. But he still states that his 'goal was always to appeal to...a vast audience.' One attendee pushed the issue further, asking if all Zelda games from now on are going to cater to the more casual crowd--will we ever again need a strategy guide to complete a Zelda game? Aonuma says that judging by Japanese sales so far, accessible 'stream-lined play has been effective,' but he wants to see how Western audiences react to the new Zelda before making a final decision on future games' difficulty levels. Aunoma also hopes to venture into new territory and create a wholly original game at some point in his career." For a lengthy treat, check out Kotaku's series of interview clips with Mr. Miyamoto.
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Miyamoto Speaks, Nintendo Ditching the Hardcore?

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  • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Valdrax (32670) on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:17PM (#19850667)
    Depends on what you mean by complete. If you mean that it's bad for a game to need a strategy guide to finish the main storyline, I'd agree with you. If you're saying that complex side-quests are a bad thing, then I'd have to disagree.
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:24PM (#19850751) Homepage Journal
    It seems Nintendo thinks that by releasing a new Zelda game every few years, they are catering towards the "hardcore" crowd. I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer, but I have been a Nintendo fan my entire life. I bought a Wii on release date along with Zelda and quickly beat it. Then I sold the Wii to my brother-in-law as at the time there was still a huge shortage and I told myself I'd pick up a Wii as soon as I could find one. However, I am simply not interested in picking up another Wii until at least Super Smash Bros. comes out. Absolutely no games have interested me. I haven't seen a single game that I would buy if I still owned the system and still, the only thing I'm looking forward to is Super Smash Bros. And now I'm hearing rumors that SSB might not include online multiplayer, which for me, is a deal breaker. I played hundreds of hours of SSBM for the Gamecube during high school and college, but I don't live near any of my old friends anymore, there's simply no way for me to get the full experience out of SSB without online.

    I'm personally feeling alienated, but I'm not really Nintendo's primary focus anymore, I don't think. I enjoy games like Okami, God of War, Guitar Hero, Grand Theft Auto, 2D Castlevanias, and RPGs. I still enjoy my DS, but I can't see myself picking up a Wii again until it's cheaper. I haven't considered myself a "hardcore gamer" for years, but yet I feel like Nintendo has moved on with the Wii. But I can live with that, the DS and PS2 still provide me tons of games I'm interested in.
  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc.r[ ]om ['r.c' in gap]> on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:28PM (#19850829) Homepage
    Is this necessarily a bad thing? Even if they attempt simplified Zeldas and Metroids its not going to mean that traditional ones dissapear forever. For the established gamer Zelda and Metroid are franchises to the casual audience its just another game to choose from. If the game doesnt sell to the usual crowd it will either have to stand on its own as enjoyable title or they will no doubt go back to drawing board and try to recapure the audience they already had. Mario is in a different league, its recognized by non-gamers just like Pokemon and Sonic, so thats not a concern with those titles.

    The Wii could very well be a gateway console for gaming leading people to the harder stuff down the road. I really cant see Nintendo totally abandoning their established fan base, but I can see an extra emphasis being put on grabbing new gamers. There are still plenty of "hardcore" titles in the pipe. Don't worry about it, no need to be elitish about it, the more people gaming the better.
  • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shoptroll (544006) on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:45PM (#19851007)
    Odd. I finished Twilight Princess with only having to hit up FAQs twice I think. And that was when I couldn't figure out some pretty damn obvious things in retrospect. Not I said finish. Not find every damn thing in the game.

    Same thing with the Zelda:Oracle games on the Game Boy Color.

    I think I stopped using strategy guides maybe 6 years ago. Gaming is a lot more interesting without something to hold your hand.
  • by sysadmintech (704387) on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:51PM (#19851091)
    And who are they? Isn't the engine for GTA4 used in a ping pong game? So is Sony ping pong hardcore and Nintendo ping pong casual? Or are hardcore gamers easily fooled? If games are created using placeholders, what does it say about someone who proclaims themselves a hardcore gamer based on the artwork of a chainsaw and blood spatter compared to a spatula and omelet? Are people proclaiming themselves to be hardcore the casual, just not smart enough to know?
    The Wii Fit is a technological advancement of the game pad. A huge detriment of the game pad is that it is only focused on pressing the 4 button set. In order to interactively control a character there needed to be more control. By measuring things like weight and center of gravity, the Wii Fit is much more capable of controlling interactive action than we have seen. When combined with the Wii mote an amazing amount of control can be created. I have a feeling that we have been kept in the dark as a marketing move by Nintendo to release the content slowly but that internally at many developers levels of control in games is far ahead of what we are seeing from the other 2.
  • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:56PM (#19851153)
    That varies by person (not your attitude, but whether or not a game needs a strat guide). Some people probably couldn't make it through the original Mario Brothers without a strat guide. Some people can crank through the most complex game there is with no guide (especially those who have to WRITE those guides in the first place :)). Problem is, what data point is good? If they make a game that anybody who tries to complete it will do so, then for some gamers it's going to be boring as hell. Games to many are about challenge. On the flip side, if it's too complex, the less skilled and casual people will get frustrated and give up.

    The solution, and it's a simple one, is for manufacturer's to just realize that there are different market segments, and make a variety of games that appeal to each different segment. The market WANTS some really, really hard games. It wants some dirt easy ones. It wants some long games, some short games. It wants some violent games, and some non-violent ones. Give 'em what they want.
  • by nerdup (523587) on Friday July 13, 2007 @12:58PM (#19851181) Homepage

    "Aunoma also hopes to venture into new territory and create a wholly original game at some point in his career."

    That's a pretty shameful statement on the current state of the 'art' in videogames. I suppose it's a natural result of the big-business nature of videogame and movie making, but the number of 'safe' sequels being churned out is frankly embarassing. Show some guts people and take a chance or two. Our culture will thank you for it.
  • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by porcupine8 (816071) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:01PM (#19851877) Journal
    Having helped design a large puzzle hunt, I can tell you that the puzzles that were SO unintuitive that the majority of players needed "walkthroughs" to make it were definitely the WORST ones, no matter how clever they seemed once you knew how they worked. A puzzle with an "aha" step that is a complete nonsequitur and not a standard "thing to try when you're solving a puzzle," with no information on how to get there, that relies entirely on reading the constructor's mind, is a BADLY WRITTEN PUZZLE. The puzzles that people enjoy the most are consistently the ones that are challenging but give you at least some clue of how to get from one piece to the next without making it too obvious.
  • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:03PM (#19851915) Homepage
    ### Super Mario Brothers. Metroid. Zelda. Later, Super Smash Brothers, Paper Mario...

    There was a time where Nintendo was not about endless sequels. All those games Nintendo has for the Wii are the same stuff they already had for the Gamecube, not even the graphics are all that different. If Nintendos games would have a continuous story line that might not be that bad, but Zelda is the same thing over and over again and it gets tiring.

    Whatever happened to games like Pikmin, Starfox, YoshisIsland, StuntRaceFX, Waverace, PaperMario and stuff? I don't mean sequels to them, I mean fresh ideas with new characters, gameplay elements and stuff like those had back when they where originally released. There is absolutely nothing in the Nintendo line up that provides the same feeling that I had when watching the first seconds of Starfox, Mario64, PaperMario, Pikmin and friends. Today all Nintendo games feel like been there, done that.

    I didn't buy a SNES to get a NES-redux, I didn't buy a N64 to buy a SNES-redux and I didn't buy a Gamecube to get a N64-redux. With the Wii however it totally feels like Gamecube-redux, hardware specs are way closer then they should be and so is the provided gameplay. Nintendo has that revolutionary controller at hand and the best they can come up with is adding waggle to Gamecube Zelda... not stuff that gets me excited.

    That Nintendo has, yet again, this time more successful then ever, alienated all third parties makes the Wii of course not exactly look more interesting either.

    PS: Yes, I am purposely ignoring all that Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Nintendogs stuff, since "hardcore" games are the topic, and those just don't fit.
  • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:07PM (#19851951)
    Oh yes. I remember even buying a Street Fighter II strategy VIDEO (VHS) that I must have watched 20-30 times :). At the end it had a preview for Super Street Fighter II, which just left me slobbering. Being the aspiring little kid that I was, I even started writing my own SSF2 clone in QBASIC. It didn't get very far (I had figured out how to draw shapes and clear the screen, then redraw them for animations, but I hadn't yet figured out what a loop was, so for my intro, which was all I ever managed to get working on it, I sat there manually typing out new positions of the shapes for pages and pages before giving up). Almost embarrassing to tell that story now, but I was only like 9 years old at the time. I promise I can write a proper loop now. Occasionally I can even get them to terminate :D.
  • Re:Softcore (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ShaggyIan (1065010) on Friday July 13, 2007 @04:06PM (#19853173)
    The problem is semantics. Namely, the definition of "hardcore".

    I don't mind playing through a long RPG, as I can pick it up and put it down when I have time. Playing the main story isn't hardcore to me. Playing through the main story, all the side quests, collecting every widget, gizmo and trading card, in an incredibly time consuming desire to finish 100%? That's "hardcore" to me (and tedious, boring, generally worthless, etc.).

    Judging by the E3 discussions, most folks seem to think hardcore means an awesome looking 1080p FPS where you "blow stuff up REAL GOOD!" From your description, you think most of those are casual. I call them hardcore lately, roughly translating to "not interesting".

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann