Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wii Businesses PlayStation (Games) XBox (Games)

An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming 234

Posted by Zonk
from the say-goodbye-to-the-hardcore- dept.
Reservoir Hill writes "An article from last week runs down the new mass audience for gaming among families, women and older people. The importance of the mass audience in gaming's spectacular growth is seen most clearly in the success of Nintendo's Wii, which is far outselling its more technically advanced hardware competitors, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. Wii Play was the No. 2-selling game of last year even though it received an abysmal score of 58 out of 100 at Metacritic, which aggregates reviews. The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience. 'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming

Comments Filter:
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kHORSEe ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:07PM (#22393800) Homepage
    If you've ever played Wario Ware or Mario Party with a bunch of friends while half drunk, you know how fun it can be.

    Games don't have to have top of the line graphics to be fun. Nintendo got it right with the Wii.
  • by CSMatt (1175471) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:08PM (#22393834)

    'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'
    So the NYT is just confirming what those of us who have played games from the '80 and early '90s have known for years.
  • by Altus (1034) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:09PM (#22393842) Homepage

    But its only 10 bucks. Face it, you were going to get the second controller anyway, why not spend 10 bucks and get a handful of mini games out of it too.
  • by Innova (1669) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:09PM (#22393844) Homepage
    The reason Wii Play sold so well: $10 game with the purchase of a Wiimote.
  • by mattgoldey (753976) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:10PM (#22393850) Homepage
    Wii Play sold so well because it costs about the same as a Wii Remote and it comes with a Wii Remote, so you basically got the game for free. Many people bought Wii Play the same day they bought their Wii console.

  • by gravesb (967413) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:11PM (#22393860) Homepage
    I don't disagree with the general premise of the article, but using Play as a data point is pretty weak. The game itself is only $10, since its bundled with a $40 controller that is required for almost all games. As a bargain game, I don't think it competes at the same level as say Bioshock or Metroid.
  • by iainl (136759) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:12PM (#22393884)
    So's SingStar, so is Trivial Pursuit and so is Fluxx. So are a hell of a lot of other games, assuming they're any good whatsoever.

    Actually, getting drunk with friends is fun even without access to a games console of any kind. It's not the game that is great, but the friends.
  • As soon as someone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:13PM (#22393900)
    shows this new demographics buys games, we can talk about a shift in the industry. Until then, it's just a reporter trying to predict an industry shift that shows no signs of actually happening yet. Say what you will, they might be massively more expensive to product, but hardcore gamers actually BUY hardcore games. I'm 40 and I have spent every free minute since last August trying to keep up with the great load of games for the 360 and PS3 and am currently splitting my time between multiplayer COD4 and Ratchet & Clank Future.
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:14PM (#22393904) Journal

    The same number will go after the hard core games until those games also receive mainstream status, which is going to be another decade or so at the current rate.
    Or when the current crop of politicians are kicked out of office or die. Every year we get closer to Gen Xers (the first video game generation) being in charge of things :-)
  • Back to basics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techpawn (969834) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:15PM (#22393922) Journal
    When you look at board games which do you think do better, the really complex Avalon Hill games that target a very select audience or Candy Land and Life?
    As much as I live Settlers of Cattan and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

    When you make something easier to understand, you're going to get more market share: lowest common denominator, right?
  • by netean (549800) <`moc.rednaxelaniai' `ta' `liame'> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:18PM (#22393948) Homepage

    Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'

    Finally maybe the games industry will realise that great graphis does not equal a great game. It's always been about the gameplay. It's that certain something something that means you can pick it up and get hooked and just keep on playing.

    Where are the great graphics in Tetris, in Pac Man, and others. Games that are constantly played all over the world all the time. They're simple, easy to play, hard to master fun games.

    This is what the Wii does best. Gameplay.

  • sales (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lust (14189) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:25PM (#22394022) Homepage
    Not to mention the Wii Play was bundled with a second remote which together cost less than many of these amazing other games...that had to factor into its sales figures.

    I imagine this also has something to do with penetration of relatively cheap gaming consoles vs. high-end PC hardware - and it's not to say that sales of BioShock were shabby, is it? Just lower.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:40PM (#22394212)
    Exactly. We revived a C64 and played minigolf. Another thing to note: Gamers are begging for cooperative modes but very few games actually have non-competitive modes.
  • by abigor (540274) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:59PM (#22394482)
    Because stuff is way more hilarious when you are drunk. No one cares how well they do. It's all about the laughs. Fun != playing well.
  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:04PM (#22394542)

    Actually, getting drunk with friends is fun [...]
    I must be one of the only people on the planet who disagrees. After a few drinks, instead of smiling like a buffoon, I get really depressed instead.

    I tend to not drink too much.
  • by EtoilePB (1087031) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:07PM (#22394600)
    There have always been girls and women in gaming.

    Gamers have always come in different races and ages and income brackets.

    Someone who plays Tetris for an hour at a time three times a week is a video game consumer, just as someone who raids in WoW for five hours a night is.

    Nintendo hasn't so much blown open the demographics -- though they have -- as they've blown open the debate and the recognition.

    No-one has said, in eighty years, "all watchers of movies fit the same demographic." Television has ten networks PER demographic. So why this overwrought, antiquated insistence that All Gamers Are Of The Same Ilk?

    I worked for Gamestop for a year, in 2005, and I developed my own admittedly anti-PC gamer categories. One of the MANY demographcis I saw represented was the fratboy/thug gamer: the white or hispanic males between ages 18 and 24, who were buying every sex and violence 360 title they could snap up. To so much of the world, they are the only gamers. To us, they were about 20% of our patrons.

    If the rest of the world is finally, FINALLY starting to recognize that "gamer" means a lot, LOT more than just the fratboy/thug or the EQ addict in mom's basement, then so much the better.
  • Re:Back to basics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigdavex (155746) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:10PM (#22394640)

    As much as I live Settlers of Cattan and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

    Settlers isn't significantly (if any) more complex than Monopoly, imho.
  • by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:12PM (#22394662) Homepage
    The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience.

    No; adolescent males are becoming an ever-smaller part of the audience. More mature gamers, both older and younger, both hardcore and casual, want something very different from the testosterone-soaked boom-fest FPS of the month.
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@@@wumpus-cave...net> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:29PM (#22394894)

    How much money do you think the Bejeweled people are sitting on?

    There's probably a pending market correction on hardcore games. Graphics are hitting diminishing returns (double the processing power only gets you a marginally better image), and people who are good producing those graphics demand a high salary. The hardcore development houses are inevitably going to scale back when they realize that small puzzle games that are hacked up in a month by one guy are turning the same profit as their hundred-large teams turning out the next Madden game.

    The hardcore market will probably still exist, of course, but I think it's going to have to regress.

  • by jeffbax (905041) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:29PM (#22394904)
    Sure, if you consider party games the epitome of gaming... I, and many others however don't. I know plenty of people who bought a Wii with all the hype, and months later they don't play anything. The games lineup it has going aside from a handful of games is utter disposable crap. Third party sales are for the most part garbage, and it doesn't help people buy the Wii for Wii sports and almost Wii sports alone.

    Nintendo got it right in terms of a successful product, but the jury is still out on its quality as a gaming console. It has little to no online capabilities, is yet again a machine strictly for Nintendo games, and aside from selling like hotcakes has yet to convince me what the fuss is about. In a house of five, we have two Wiis and they both go totally unplayed.

    All bashing aside, I think Sony got it right. Their machine won't explode on you like the 360, its a future proof, very stable and quiet machine. Now its finally $399, PSN has a huge amount of quality independent games in the market and pipeline for often less than 360 XBLA games cost (not to mention a significantly smaller DRM headache, user swappable hard drive, and no bullshit "Points" unit - things cost dollars and cents and don't trap you into having unspent points remain). Developers are really starting to come around to getting things right with the Cell (see the amazing 1st party Uncharted and Rachet, and Ubi and Crytek developers recently), they have awesome storage capacity in Blu-Ray and a standard Hard Disk, and PSN while not as polished yet as XBL doesn't handicap developers with arbitrary game size-limits thanks to a gimped HDD-less version and keep developers like Epic from allowing free AND user-created content.

    All my friends would much rather play Guitar Hero, Rockband, CoD4 than anything on the Wii (and before you mention GH3 or Rockband Wii... there are no downloadable tracks for either which for Rockband is a HUGE missing feature). Additionally, I see way more promise in games like Calling All Cars, PixelJunk Monsters, and Little Big Planet than anything I've seen on the Wii yet. And these games will/do cost around $8 - $10 on PSN.

    Then again, ./ loves to chirp the "Gameplay not Graphics" line while totally disregarding the fact that PS3 and 360 have both over the Wii - but its easy to hate Sony and MS compared to Nintendo right, even when the Wii is totally disregarding all the "fun" with the exception of a few GameCube ports and the same old Nintendo games you've been playing since the N64. /gamer-rant (who had to deal with 3 dead original Xbox's and a now-dead 360 and a horrendous MS customer support experience
  • by powerlord (28156) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:43PM (#22395098) Journal
    I just hope enough of them/us realize that there is no reload option, so we better get cracking on cleaning up the mess our parents left us (Environmentally, Politically and Economically).

    Reality: The Ultimate "Hard Core" Ladder :)
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:39PM (#22395812)
    It is not the status in the public eye so much as it is the enormous amounts of money and investment that are now tied up in the electronic gaming industry. The total annual revenues of the electronic gaming industry or even just the computer and console gaming industries now collectively exceeds the total annual revenues of Hollywood and has for several years now so you can bet your bottom dollar that a portion of those profits will be spent on lobbyists to protect the interests of the gaming industry on capitol hill and to ensure that those profits keep rolling in.
  • by KamuZ (127113) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @05:51PM (#22398084) Homepage
    Oh yeah, if want to be honest, you can sit in every game but then you are not experiencing the Wiimote at all. http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/11/13 [penny-arcade.com]
  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @07:40PM (#22399754)
    Every year we get closer to Gen Xers (the first video game generation) being in charge of things :-)

    What makes you think Gen X won't change as it ages?

    Your great-grandfather held as tight a grip on the keys to his Ford V-8 as your dad did to his '76 Honda Civic.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

Working...