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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.'"
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An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming

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  • Makes one wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darundal (891860) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:05PM (#22393768) Journal
    ...How many politicians are going to go after games continually when they gain the same status as movies in the public eye?
    • None. The current crop (crap works too) will be out of office before that happens.
    • None of the politicians will go after casual games. 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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by XxtraLarGe (551297)

        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 :-)
        • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@@@wumpus-cave...net> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:12PM (#22394670)

          Lord help us [xkcd.org] when that happens.

          • by k_187 (61692)
            Something tells me that taking the politicans out and blowing them, won't really help us much at all.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Stefanwulf (1032430)
            A friend of mine is studying to become a laparoscopic surgeon, and she tells me that she often catches herself humming the super mario brothers theme song as she controls the instruments...even switching to the world 1-2 theme if something goes wrong.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by powerlord (28156)
          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 :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by westlake (615356)
          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.

    • by vertinox (846076)
      ...How many politicians are going to go after games continually when they gain the same status as movies in the public eye?

      Eventually, they'll come a day in 20 to 50 years from now when the majority of politicians have played an Xbox/Playstation/Wii while in whatever University they went to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      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 c
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bloomy (714535)
        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

        Not quite. The game industry has exceeded the American box office for several years now. But there's quite a bit more to Hollywood. DVD is currently the biggest piece of the pie. There's also television and merchandising. Is the music industry considered Hollywood as well? Whether it is or not,

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@NospAm.keirstead.org> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:07PM (#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.
    • Wii Play is also pretty good when you're tanked. The only major issue that I have it's only two player.
      • by iainl (136759) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:12PM (#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.
      • Explain to me how playing a game on a system where coordination is a big key, is fun wile you are drunk. Or playing any game while drunk. This is something I just never understood. What is it about being intoxicated that makes playing games more fun?
        • Explain to me how playing a game on a system where coordination is a big key, is fun wile you are drunk. Or playing any game while drunk. This is something I just never understood. What is it about being intoxicated that makes playing games more fun?

          Depends on how alcohol affects you, but for a lot of people everything becomes more fun when drunk. A friend of mine has one drink and everything she hears comes across to her as completely hilarious. Similar to how I've heard everything comes across with a deep, almost spiritual experience when on LSD.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by abigor (540274)
          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.
        • Do you know what "slapstick" style comedy is? Well, basically, drunk people playing Wii is practically slapstic and therefore amusing.

          Plus, sometimes it takes the edge off and lets you cut loose a little... My friends and I, who are all in our mid 20's to early 30's, have Halo parties once every month or two. We get together, we drink, we order pizza, and we play Halo. There's a point where I get a nice buzz going that I really have a lot of fun. I'm not buzzed enough that it affects my playing abilit

          • Agreed. I'm a pretty competitive person and having a few drinks makes it easier to take a loss. Plus, if you get your buddies to drink more than you, they start getting sloppy.
          • by enderjsv (1128541)
            God, you're so right about Halo. I love playing Halo with friends while buzzed, and my performance is rarely impacted by it. Unfortunately, as the night goes on, the buzz eventually turns into authentic drunkeness and that's when I start to suck.
        • You're forgetting the social aspect of the equation. Booze + friends = hilarity. One of the funniest moments that I can remember is playing Monopoly. 'Friend A' is completely ripped and realizes that 'Friend B' has been collecting money from 'Friend A' for at least an hour from a property that 'Friend A' owns. Never would have happened if we were sober.
      • It's also a great game if you're 4 years old.

        My daughter loves playing WiiPlay and Disney Princess Adventure

        My wife and I play it a little, but we tend to play Raving Rabbids and Trauma Centre: New Blood. That is, when we're not playing board games. [boardgamegeek.com]

        Now here's the kicker - my mom and my mother-in-law ALSO play WiiPlay with my daughter.

        I don't have another console or a faster PC because:
        1. Time management. I just don't have enough time to play several consoles.
        2. Cost. I'm not going to spend my way into debt
        • by samkass (174571)
          My 3-year-old son actually had fun with the Rub-A-Dub Demo on the PS3 we downloaded off Sony Online. It uses the controllers tilt sensors to let you float a duck around the screen to collect little ducklings. You can also jump by flicking the controller up. He loves making the duck bounce around the screen.

          Basically, I think it's as much about the controller as it is about the games. When you have that tactile feedback it's a lot easier to "get" the game quickly.
        • Completely OT, but I wanted to suggest Zack & Wiki. I picked it up for $30 from Best Buy and it is GREAT. I actually stopped playing Mario Galaxy in favor of Z&W.
      • Wii Play is also pretty good when you're tanked. The only major issue that I have it's only two player.

        There's you, there's the girl, that's enough. More than two players is kinky. Just remember to put a rubber on the wiimote.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          Just remember to put a rubber on the wiimote.
          They ship with them already on these days.
    • I like to do stupid things drunk. Doing virtual things drunk is more fun.

      "You stole the girl I was talking to. Lets box."

      Wii is the ultimate drunk gaming machine. Because so many of the games require motor control.

      A fun drinking game (even if it is only 2 player) is the Wii Play shooting game. Winner takes a shot. Play until you're adequately buzzed.

      Hell coming back from the bars playing for an hour and then crashing rocks. You can have a mini 'party' before going out to the bars and it beats just sitting a
      • by Altus (1034)

        I would suggest that Wii boxing with semi accurate Miis makes for pretty good relationship therapy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 hurfy (735314)
        Are there any you can do co-op even if it isn't expecting it?

        I race online (PC only tho) and a couple of us regulars have have created our own variation. Everyone has to stop the bus from finishing the race. Turns a 'violent' race game (flatout2) almost into a co-op mode. On the topic of the headline those guys are actually a few years older than i am at 58 and 49 i think :)

        hurfy/royce/cyclone
        Online gamer for over 25 years, since ASCII darts on a teletype ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jeffbax (905041)
      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
  • by CSMatt (1175471) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:08PM (#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.
    • So the NYT is just confirming what those of us who have played games from the '80 and early '90s have known for years.

      Yep. Maybe with some luck, the lords of the game studios will read the article. As many have already noted, the folks at Nintendo figured this out a long time ago. But hard-core gamers are the folks making most of the games. It reminds me a bit of designers and websites. A few years ago many designers simply made sites for other designers. Now most of the designers have realized that the

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "Yep. Maybe with some luck, the lords of the game studios will read the article. As many have already noted, the folks at Nintendo figured this out a long time ago."

        My thoughts exactly. Don't get me wrong...I am VERY impressed with some of the graphics and sound that many modern games have...but, I think somewhere along the way, the "WOW" factor of graphics overrode everything else, and just simple fun game play took a backseat.

        I mean, look back to the old arcade games, Robotron is still one of the most

        • by Gulthek (12570)
          Name one (just one!) A-list game in which gameplay has taken a back seat to graphics.

          There have always been crappy games, there will always be crappy games, but graphics has never superceded fun!
    • by Goaway (82658)
      PC gaming basically ruined games for over a decade. The lack of a simple and intuitive controller, or usability in general, shifted the focus towards needlessly complex games, leaving us with a stagnated market of FPSes, RTSes and micromanagement galore.

      And boy am I ever glad to see it all finally come crashing down in favour of making games fun again. Good riddance to "hardcore gaming".
  • by Altus (1034) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:09PM (#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 BarneyL (578636)
      Exactly, rate Wii Play on the same standards Mario Galaxy and it doesn't stand up too well.
      Rate it as a nice low price bonus added to a Wiimote purchase and it's excellent value. Reviewers of the game seemeed to miss its point and failed to score it for what it was. But then reviewers tend to look down on anything outside of their definition of gaming. Which is probably why I've never seen a gaming mag review Bejeweled even though I bet it's one of the most played games in the world today.
      In terms of pric
  • by Innova (1669) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:09PM (#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 @12:10PM (#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.

    • Exactly. Wii motes were impossible to come by and the only way you could get one is if you bought Wii Play. I opened up Wii play, put it in the Wii, and played it for maybe 30 minutes before returning it to it's case and never reopening it again. The game was boring. I bet Nintendo knows which games is the most popular, they do statistic gathering on the Wii.
  • by gravesb (967413) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:11PM (#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.
  • Wii Play was "best-selling" because it included a controller. Given the choice between buying a controller or buying Wii Play for nearly the same price, Wii Play was a brain-dead choice. That doesn't mean that old people are dominating gaming. I'd be much more interested to see how other Wii games stacked up.
  • by DigitalisAkujin (846133) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:11PM (#22393872) Homepage
    The new emerging Wii market can't simply be lumped into the same hardcore gaming market.

    The Wii market is separate from 360 and PS3 so trying to figure out why Wii is outselling the PS3 and 360 doesn't work.

    It's not simply about being a "Gamer" now. The way most Wii games work isn't in any way similar to the traditional gaming market. Stop treating it like the same thing.

    Not everyone feels like getting off their ass and actually moving.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602)
      Not everyone feels like getting off their ass and actually moving.

      How many Wii games have you actually played?
      Most of them do not require getting off your ass.

      Zelda:TP, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, NFS:Carbon, Resident Evil 4, Rayman Raving Rabbids 1 & 2, Wii Play, Wii Sports, Metroid 3, WarioWare Smooth Moves, Mario Party 8, Dewey's Adventure, Lego Star Wars, Big Brain Academy, Wii Carnival, Wii Playground, Elebits.

      I've played all of these and of those, the ONLY games that really benefit from
  • As soon as someone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:13PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hardburn (141468)

      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-larg

      • That's rediculous. By that logic, Mercedes should stop selling luxury cars and get into the same market as Kia because, hey, the Kia is produced cheaply and sells at a higher profit margin (no idea if that's true, just making an analogy). The point is if there's a market for "hardcore" (is Mario Galaxy hardcore? Because I bet it wasn't cheap to produce!) games and you can make a profit at it you bet your ass no one is leaving money on the table. That just doesn't make any sense.
  • by Alzheimers (467217) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:14PM (#22393906)
    I love the Wii, but you can't use Wii Play as any kind of reliable metric for the popularity of that kind of game. It's essentially a $10 game bundled with a $40 remote that most console owners were intending to buy anyway.

    Like any genre, the Minigame phenomenon is only as strong as the title itself. Raving Rabbids was actually pretty solid; Carnival Games is utter garbage. Unfortunately, publishers see the unintentional success of games like Wii Play and assume that's what people want.

    Mario Party is a classic, so that's going to be popular. Raving Rabbids is a solid enough game that makes good use of the controller. Wario Ware is goofy and fun, but is becoming tired and cliche.

    Frankly, the less party games we see, the better off the few that remain will be. Otherwise it all becomes shovelware at some point.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Frankly, the less party games we see, the better off the few that remain will be. Otherwise it all becomes shovelware at some point.

      At this point, I would say it really doesn't matter and we'll get good games anyway. According to vgchartz it's at 21mio sold with 44% market share and currently selling more than the PS3 and Xbox360 combined, which means it'll be creeping towards 50%. Yeah, I've heard Wii buyers buy less games than the others but I doubt the difference is that large, senior citizens may not be the big buyers around my friends I think you'll find just as many Wii games as with other consoles...

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Indeed. The 'article' author is a troll or a cretin. The sales figure for Wii Play are no more indicative of choice than those of Windows Vista. For the majority of purchasers, they're 'freebies' with the hardware.
    • love the Wii, but you can't use Wii Play as any kind of reliable metric for the popularity of that kind of game. It's essentially a $10 game bundled with a $40 remote that most console owners were intending to buy anyway.

      Agreed. A better example of a popular Wii game with excellent gameplay but graphics that wouldn't challenge a SNES is Geometry Wars (yes, I know it's also available on XBOX360 and PC, but it really shines on the Wii). It also scores a respectable 80 on Metacritic [metacritic.com].

  • Back to basics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techpawn (969834) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:15PM (#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?
    • That company must have gone ages ago, after all, you say there is not enough of a market compared to simpler games, so since they were founded in 1958, by now they should have gone belly up.

      Ah but no, Avalon Hill has spend decades succesfully making a profit selling extremely complex games. Way more complex then Monopoly, and still somehow making a profit, enough to satisfy the parent company Hasbro. Mmm, were have I heard that name before. Hasbro, don't they also own Parker Brothers, the publishers of Mon

      • by techpawn (969834)
        Nintendo actually has done something really bright in this, I don't want to compare them to Hasbro but, We're seeing a lot more "serious" games like CoD coming to the Wii. They've learned to diversify, but, also by creating these simple "candy land-esq" games they're reaching a broader market.
        There is always a market for Avalon Hill, but the broader base is your Candy Lands.

        -
        I've got wood for sheep.
      • Yes, Avalon Hill died about 10-12 years ago.
        Printing costs went thru the roof.

        Hasbro bought them up.

        So now Hasbro sits on about 300+ titles from AH AND about 700+ titles that were Jame Dunnigans SPI (Simulations Publications Inc), plus who knows how many other indy/assorted titles.

        But when you say Hasbro Management has BRAIN I disagree. There was quite a lull in the action, but there there are a few companies catering to the old wargamers crowd.

        Hasbro should spin off an adult wargames/simulations company a
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigdavex (155746)

      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 techpawn (969834)
        Settlers always makes me think of M.U.L.E [wikipedia.org] which while an awesome game, I can't think of many people who played it. Maybe the idea of settling a colony planet didn't appeal to them like fighting turtles...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fishbowl (7759)

        >Settlers isn't significantly (if any) more complex than Monopoly, imho.

        I rarely find people who both know the rules of Monopoly and are willing to play the game by those rules.

        Whenever I play Monopoly I choose to play banker/auctioneer/referee, and choose not to have an avatar on the board at all (so as to be disinterested and impartial).

        When you play the game by the rules and with a designated banker, the game mechanics take a back seat and a role playing element emerges. Also, when you play the game
        • by bigdavex (155746)
          I agree that house rules generally make Monopoly longer and less fun. I can't, however, imagine any way that I could play it that would make it what I would call a role-playing game.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      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?


      We've got Monopoly, Life, some Monopoly JR game, and a couple of those Candy Land type of games. You know the best game s
    • by DarthVain (724186)
      Of course this might have to do with Monopoly being created and sold about a million years before (1935 vs 1995, 60 years head start?) either of those two other games were released. It could also be due to the marketing done for Monopoly, or the fact that Monopoly is sold everywhere, and the other two in niche stores and markets. Only now is Catan and Axis and Allies starting to become somewhat mainstream, but they still have a ways to go. I know I would never play Monopoly now, nor would I buy a copy. If I
    • by Prien715 (251944)
      As much as I live Settlers of Cattan [sic] and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

      Monopoly is more complex than Settlers of Catan -- the rules are longer, there's more pieces (bills are pieces too!), and there's math requiring percentages for (un)mortgaging. Monopoly has been around since '35 while Settlers has been around since '95. In my current gen of friends, Settlers is actually more popular even among non-gamers (except for collections of "branded" Monopoly
  • by netean (549800) <emailNO@SPAMiainalexander.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:18PM (#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.

    • by Shados (741919)
      Indeed. One of the games I played the most on my Wii is Geometry Wars: Galaxies. It has "worse" graphics than virtually anything that has been done since the SNES era (well, thats debatable I guess...i think the special effects look cool as hell), but man its fun.
    • Take a look at many of the "classic" toys made from wood, rope and metal chains. They're all deceptively simple-looking things, until you pick them up and start playing around with them. Then you realize the hidden challenge to them. Cracker Barrel restaurants sell modern "replicas" of many of these puzzle games... things where you have to remove a pole from a knot of rope, for example - or twist things around to unlink a chain. Many of the classic Asian toys were like this too. Simple but ingeniously
    • by Sciros (986030)
      Great graphics make a good game better. That's all they can do, but it's not something to take for granted. Visual appeal can go a long way when you're talking about visual interactive media.
    • The only problem with bringing up such outstanding classics as Tetris, Pac Man, etc. is how much time can you really spend playing each of those games? I'm not just talking about one single sitting, but multiple sittings over the course of a week or a month. The point is that those are good pick up and leave games when you're bored once in a while, but then you tend to not play them for a longer period of time while finding something else to do. Granted for people who only play games a few times a month,
    • by grumbel (592662)

      Where are the great graphics in Tetris, in Pac Man, and others.

      Which version of PacMan do you prefer, the arcade one or the Atari2600 port? Graphics do make better games. Graphics alone however are not enough to carry a game alone, but they do improve games, sometimes a lot. When you look back at the great games of the past you will quickly realize that almost all of them had great graphics for their time. And even Tetris can be improved with better graphics, a simple look at more modern versions like the DS one or TGM should quickly show that or if that isn't enough

  • My kids can play the Wii, my mother in law can play the Wii, I can play.. guess what is the most played console in the house? Oh, and we can all play and interact together. Not all people who want to play video games live in their mother's basements. Games manufacturers are finally realizing this. Enough ultra-graphic-environment-Doom-clones, lets do something different - like actually interact with each other. Just think of "group-play" as a feature that they are working on... like graphics. So the W
    • by budword (680846)
      There is nothing wrong with Mom's basement. Don't put us down. Besides, I moved into the spare room upstairs last year. But do you think I could get a date now ? Damn.
  • Constantly I see games that are visually appealing receiving glowing reviews, but if you want to know what the best game in the history of console gaming is, odds are its on NES. My guess would be Mario. Horrible graphics, bad storyline, greatest game ever. Even today, I can still sit there and play these games and find them very entertaining. Sometimes simplicity isn't such a bad thing.
    • by techpawn (969834)

      Sometimes simplicity isn't such a bad thing.

      For many people "Playing a Game" is a means of relaxation. They don't want to think or do puzzles or remember WHY they're shooting hundreds of zombies. They just want something they can pick up and play and be good at and feel good about themselves. If it's too hard either complex movements or thoughts they won't get that rush that they get from playing.

      Conversely, there are those of us here that WANT more of a challenge from our games. A good game will be able t

    • My guess would be Mario. Horrible graphics, bad storyline, greatest game ever.

      Few games had great story lines in the timeframe you're talking about tho. Once you get a gamers interest you can afford to put out a couple of mediocre games and still keep their interest. Take Elite for example... A great first game (also with bad graphics even in it's day) and people kept buying the pathetic sequels hoping for another giant like the first game. I think even if a new Elite came out today you'd have strong sale
    • by grumbel (592662)

      but if you want to know what the best game in the history of console gaming is, odds are its on NES.

      Actually I would very much doubt that. Other then MarioBros3 there really isn't much on the NES that can compete with later games on the SNES. A Zelda3 beats a Zelda1 in almost every aspect, FF3/6 beats FF1 and its the same with most other games. The only reason why MarioBros3 can hold up is because it was a very late game on the NES and could thus make the most of the available hardware and is aside from lack of more colorful sprites is mostly equivalent to SNES games (multi-dimensional scrolling, worldma

  • sales (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lust (14189) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:25PM (#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.

  • The wii vs. ps3 and xbox 360 remind me of D&D vs. aD&D. D&D is way more accessible than the sometimes cumbersome rules and other overhead of AD&D. The wii is similarly accessible to a much larger audience, and once the hardcore gamers have bought their one 'must have' ps3 game, their purchases are done, whereas a family system can fuel years of continuous purchasing.
  • Can my fellow UK slashdotters join me in a moment of silence for Amiga Power. The magazine that was smart, funny, and knew how to use a percentage scale properly.
    • by Cadallin (863437)
      How about the fans of game journalism join together in silence for all the old magazines that once engaged in erudite criticism. "Computer Gaming World" under founder Russell Sipe and successor Johnny Wilson was another. G
  • I think that there has been a mass market for games all along, except that the gaming media refused to believe that the market exist. The gaming media writes for a very select audience - the demographic that spends money to get the best gaming hardware, wants games that last longer than 10 hours of total gaming or more than 15 minutes/session. This is the same gaming media that says that it's not about graphics, it's about gameplay, yet will give mediocore scores to anything that doesn't have the most adv
    • by Don853 (978535)
      I don't know about that. The Stardock [metacritic.com] games always get pretty good reviews, and they certainly don't have the most up-to-date graphics. It probably depends a lot on the genre and the platform. It certainly is true, however, that you won't find games from a company like Stardock unless you're going out of your way to look for them because they aren't very heavily marketed.
  • by EtoilePB (1087031) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:07PM (#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.
  • " ...the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"

    I continually look for games that my 11-year old son and my wife and I can all play together and those are rather hard to find. I would rather the entire family play together on the 360 instead of my son playing on his XBox in his room, my wife watching TV in the living room and with myself playing GOW in the basement.

    We used to play Crash Team Racing together, but it d
    • by PitaBred (632671)
      So get a Wii. Seriously... there are a ton of games that are available for it, and it takes more than just mashing buttons. It's what finally got my fiancee into actually wanting to play games. The XBox is a frat-boy toy. It's not made for families or groups of people.
  • by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:12PM (#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.
  • I wrote about a similar demographic shift [beryllium.ca] a few months ago, with regard to parents becoming more involved in video gaming with their children (and how the Wii and games like Guitar Hero help that process immensely).
  • wiitired (Score:5, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:21PM (#22394798)
    So I guess that the new demographic Nintendo is going for are the wiitirees? Mario Shuffleboard? Early Bird Revolution? Mario Kart will include an Oldsmobile with the left blinker left on? Wii Sports includes "Getting the kids off the lawn" and Bingo?
    • by powerlord (28156)
      You laugh now, but I hear "Zelda: The Legend of Social Security" is going to ROCK!

      The preview I read mentioned some of the new and innovative ways Nintendo is using the Wiimote/Nunchuck to simulate rolling a wheelchair, balancing a checkbook, ordering new dentures, catching sounds for a hearing aid (unique new mini-game!), and moving in a queue.

      I can't wait!

      I also hear Nintendo is including a new "PillTime" Channel to remind those frequent players when its time for their meds.
  • Wi-Play is selling because it comes with a controller. You know the ones that were as hard to find as the console.
  • Apparently I am "hardcore". I mean, I play Sam and Max and Puzzle Quest, but I also enjoy Mass Effect and Half Life 2 (single player). I can't pull off a headshot to save my life, but still, since I don't particularly enjoy a certain vendor's hardware or games, I'm some sort of "hardcore" type, an irrelevant dinosaur, a dying breed.

    So great, fine, I really just don't care any more. If the market segments significantly along these lines, maybe it'll segment more ways and we'll stop lumping in all people w
  • Um depending on what you classify as "Older", I believe that intersection has passed sometime ago.

    I am 30 years old, and still play video games. So do most people I know. I grew up in the Nintendo generation, (really all console and computer gaming really from C-64 to present. Thats Celceo vision, Atari, Nintendo, 64, Cube, Wii, Neo-Geo, Turbo Grafix 16, Sega Gennsis, Saturn, Dreamcast, X-box, x-box360, TRS-80, 086, 286, 486, Pentium, 1,2,3,4, AMD equivalents, 64bit, Dual Core). If I actually tried to list
  • There's been a lot of ink on Wii Play and the innovative controller. But it bears repeating. It's not just that the Wii is family friendly and attracts a lot of non-traditional gamers, it's that the controller lets you interact with the game on a whole new level.

    When you have to swing your arms to swing a sword or tennis racket, you're engaging whole other parts of your brain that bring you into the experience. Working up a sweat playing tennis against my wife is something that's never happened to me before

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