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Wii May Be Succeeding in Widening Game Market 184

superdan2k writes "When Nintendo brought the Wii to market, one of their stated goals was to get people who didn't normally play video games using their console. Based on an article from the AP, it seems they've made some headway in capturing the senior citizen market. With the Wii's price point, and it being a good way to get people engaged in physical exercise, it's easy to envision it catching on with other retirement homes beyond the one mentioned in the article."
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Wii May Be Succeeding in Widening Game Market

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  • Indeed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 26199 ( 577806 ) * on Sunday March 25, 2007 @03:41PM (#18480665) Homepage

    If you'd told me a year ago that my grandmother would actually try a console game, I'd've looked at you most puzzled.

    But Wii tennis seems to have near-universal appeal.

    • Me too (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @03:43PM (#18480687)
      But that could because my grandmother is dead.
    • I showed Wii Tenis to my mom. She seemed interested but quit after a little while because she felt it was tiring. The shock was that now my dad wants to know about Wii Bowling.
    • I've never owned a gaming console.
      I almost bought a wii a few months back but decided not to after I found out it doesn't play DVDs, which is absolutely ridiculous. I'll buy one when ver 2 comes out.

      • Re:Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:19PM (#18480905) Homepage
        Not to infringe upon your right to choose: but you decided against buying a video game console because it doesn't play movies?
        • If I might give a possible scenario... some people have to travel light and/or small and when the PS2 came out it was the perfect multi-tasker for DVD and games. I know the dvd portable players are small and cheap these days but those wall warts add up.
        • Not to infringe upon your right to choose: but you decided against buying a video game console because it doesn't play movies?

          Yes, that's correct.
          Like I said, I've never owned a gaming console, and I'm not currently foaming at the mouth to get one. Also, I already have too much clutter around my TV and don't want to make it worse. On top of that, I only have one S-Video connection to my TV. All that adds up to me not wanting to deal with more junk, more cables, etc etc. I think a state-of-the-art console should play DVDs since all the previous generation consoles had that ability. So, I'm either going to wait until the next

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            if you only have an s-video connection, you don't need HD-DVD. save your money. also, not all last-gen consoles could play dvd: the cube couldn't, and for that to work on xbox, you'd have to buy a seperate kit. the wii itself doesn't go HD, it'd be perfect for you, and its smaller than most home dvd players, too: its about the size of 3 dvd case stacked together. you don't need to use the base and store it vertically if you don't want to: fits great on top of other things. the "but it doesn't play dvd!"
            • also, not all last-gen consoles could play dvd

              That's irrelevant, they'd "never owned a gaming console".

              the "but it doesn't play dvd!" excuse is a load of crap, seeing as how you can go to walmart and buy a pint-sized dvd player for less than many special edition dvd releases!

              Yeah, but it's still another annoying separate little box, and another set of leads. And since he only has one connection, he has to change that manually, or fsck about with a switch box, or.... whatever. You can rationalise away that kind of hassle if you're that much into TV/DVD/games/etc, but if you're not, it's the sort of thing that can quickly make an audiovisual setups more of a PITA then it's worth.

              In other words, I totally sympathise with

          • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
            And a cable splitter/switch is what, $5?
            • "And a cable splitter/switch is what, $5?"

              Doesn't matter if it's free. It's another box to worry about, and another item of clutter, which is too much of a hassle for people who aren't into audio/video.
          • The XBox 360 will not have an HD-DVD drive in it... not the next version at least... and the next version may be the last version..
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kjella ( 173770 )
        Well, the Wii is basicly a 480p device through and through. *If* they were to do DVDs, people would probably expect an upscaler and a HDMI output, digital audio outs etc. which would add to hardware cost as well as licensing cost. I know I'd expect as much from any DVD player I bought in 2007, so instead of adding a bad bullet point they skipped it altogether. Fair enough if you ask me.
      • As you can easily buy a usable DVD player (that also does VCD, MP3, JPEGs, CD-Photo, etc), for less than $35, it seems a little silly to not buy a Wii because it doesn't do DVDs.

        I think I wouldn't want the Wii to do DVDs anyways, to reduce the wear/tear on the $250 unit, and take advantage of the fact that they're two separate units (e.g. a separate DVD unit is much easier to use with a Slingbox for example).
      • by rob1980 ( 941751 )
        I almost bought a wii a few months back but decided not to after I found out it doesn't play DVDs, which is absolutely ridiculous.

        You didn't have at least three other things in your house that could play DVDs already? Almost hard to pull that off these days.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mr_Zed ( 996049 )
      I know where you are coming from. There is this old age home in my city that got a Wii for the people and a bunch of old timers love the bowling on the system. The local news did an interview and most of them stated that during their younger lives use to love to go bowling but had to stop because the ball just got too heavy for them. Thanks to the Wii it brings back one thing they loved doing. At the time of the interview they haven't tried the tennis or golf yet but after they hold their first bowling
  • Oh crap, now I can see the medicaid fund running out very quickly....
    • I expect Celebrex to regain all of its previous popularity, and then some. Senior citizens are going to want their range of motion back.
  • That headline could mean either that the Wii is succeeding in a market that is widening independent of the Wii, or that the Wii is having success in trying to widen the market.

    "Nintendo's Wii may be succeeding in the widening game market." versus
    "Nintendo's Wii may be succeeding in widening the game market."
    • Someday they may fire the slashdot janitors, who obviously do the work approving submissions, and hire some real editors.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @03:57PM (#18480777)
    Hurry up and rush out that Get Off My Lawn! title for the Wii!
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:37PM (#18481049)
      Wow... Just had a flash of a small, homebrew-ish game played from the point of view of a chair on the front porch... You get to throw porch-objects (shoes, newspapers, etc) at kids that are walking down the street having fun. The girlscout trying to sell cookies somehow made the vision almost real.

      I have -got- to seriously think about this one.
    • Animal Crossing (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples ( 727027 )

      Hurry up and rush out that Get Off My Lawn! title for the Wii!
      Animal Crossing Population Growing for GameCube works on Wii, and Nintendo has confirmed Animal Crossing Thwii for a 2007 release.
      • Animal Crossing Population Growing for GameCube

        I don't believe I've ever heard it referred to as that. The game name is simply "Animal Crossing". "Population Growing" was just part of the cover art...the game title was made to look like one of those city welcome signs ("Welcome to Animal Crossing"), and the "Population: Growing" was just to complete that bit of artwork. It would be kind of like asking someone if they had seen that "Alien: In space no one can hear your scream" movie.

        For a short moment there,

  • And THAT is why I bought nintendo stock. Up 7% since December.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Workaphobia ( 931620 )
      Amen. Now we just have to wait for their next Gamecube so we can sell.
  • Not just seniors... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gothic_Walrus ( 692125 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:04PM (#18480827) Journal
    Lest we forget, the Wii has also captured the elusive 22-month-old demographic, as evidenced by this video. []

    If that's not widening the demographic, I don't know what would be.
    • by Runefox ( 905204 )
      Oh, come on, now. Humans are such a narrow market. Cats [] are where it's at, and Nintendo has them in their back pocket.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by PeelBoy ( 34769 )
        oh man that's a disaster waiting to happen. I hope they don't try to sit down.
  • One good thing about seniors playing w/ the Wii...

    They usually aren't strong enough to pitch the remote hard enough to break the TV.

    [runs away]
  • Do it for the kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:32PM (#18481015)
    I'm normally reluctant to bring a new tech into my house that will make the kids sit around turning into lumps. But with the Wii's apparent success in inducing physical activity and playing games *together*, it offers something that just doesn't seem to happen with the PS/3 or 360.

    So I find it interesting that the Wii cracked its way into *my* home: the home of a gamer who didn't want his kids (previously) to have a console. Now if I could only find one in stores...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dintech ( 998802 )
      Great! As a previous gamer you obviously know how much fun games can be, it would be a shame to deprive your kids of that.

      Even more so since games are a good aid for learning about co-operation, teamwork and sharing. The other social aspect is that kids talk about games in school a lot so this actually helps your kids fit in rather than the urban myth of social outcast loners.

      Aside from that, there have always been multiplayer games. Most of the enjoyment I recall comes from the teamwork in gaming rather th
  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:35PM (#18481027)
    OK, so I'm a member of the widened market. Unfortunately this widened market seems to be soaking up all the Wii's as soon as they hit retailers' shelves.

    Does anyone know when the northeast U.S. is supposed to have a supply to meet demand?

    (I know you can get them at Ebay etc., but they're pretty over-priced. And sells the bundles, but I don't want to drop $650 initially.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MtViewGuy ( 197597 )
      I think Nintendo should publicly admit that Wii demand has far exceeded supply, and should seriously consider opening at least two more production lines--with one dedicated to the USA market ONLY.
    • Even as of several months ago, Wii's are taking hours to sell out now (hell, they had units at noon in Santa Rosa back in January); instead of selling out before the store even opens.

      I scored one by walking into target 90 minutes after the store opened. You just need to know when they're getting a shipment in.

      It's easy. On Sunday morning, get up before Target/Best buy open. Hit their websites, and open up the weekly ad. If the ad mentions the Wii, that means they're putting stock on the floor at open th
  • People seem to forget that the DS started widening the game market with titles like Brain Age and Nintendogs. The Wii is just an extension of that.
  • No Doubt About It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colourspace ( 563895 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:58PM (#18481193)
    My wife, who has never played games in her life is now regularly beating my ass at wii sports. Tennis and Bowling. Shes scored 273 best score on bowling on wii, I've only managed 144 and I've been playing games for 25 years. Go, as they say, figure.
    • 144... dude... you suck at wii bowling.

      Your wife would still kick my ass though.
      • No joke. She'd kick the ass of everyone I know.
        My top is 221 here, and average only about 160-180. Just barely enough to keep that pro rating. :P
  • So my buddy picked one up a few weeks ago, and we started playing Wii tennis. It's a fun game and we'll play for an hour or two at a stretch. However, we've figured out that you can pretty much 'flick your wrist' instead of moving your entire arm to swing the racket, and be just as successful in the game. In fact, if one of us tries to play as if they were actually playing tennis, 99% of the time they lose.

    I'm not saying that you *couldn't* play this game and get some exercise, I'm just saying if you thi
    • by timster ( 32400 )
      I don't understand this mentality. If I didn't want to play the game, why would I be playing?
    • by snuf23 ( 182335 )
      I personally have never unleashed death with my wii remote but in the first couple of weeks i experienced:

      My son sending a wii remote whipping directly in front of my head.
      A 3 year take a whack from a bowler.
      A dog take a whack from a bowler.
      Several beers knocked off tables.
      One remote slammed into a wall via a tennis backhand.

      So I personally advocate kinder, gentler wii-motions while playing.
      • I whacked the dog during bowling, too. He thought the wiimote was his beloved laser pointer, come out for a spin.

        This did not lead to kinder, gentler Wii-ing. It led to the dog learning the difference between the wiimote and the laser pointer.

    • by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
      But how much fun is it to play tennis like that?
      You might as well play Pong in an emulator. It costs a lot less money and is probably more fun.

      The whole point of certain games is to play with energy, and there is absolutely no reason to play them if you dont play like that.
      • by lazyl ( 619939 )
        After the novelty of playing tennis on your couch wears off (which it will after about two weeks or so) the only thing left to keep the game interesting is the challenge of getting best score you can and beating all the AI opponents. Getting a high score in Wii Tennis is %100 timing of your swings. After a bit of experience you learn that you can only get consistently precise timing using small motions. If you want a score near 2000 then you need to learn sharp, precise wrist actions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BarneyL ( 578636 )
      You forget there are five games in Wii Sports. I agree that the tennis game is relatively light exercise.
      Boxing on the other hand is a completely different matter, with it's remote and nunchuk action if you want a workout that's the one to choose.

      And of course there are other games, Rayman Raving Rabbids has plenty of games that require frantic high speed shaking of one controller or the other (or both in some cases).

    • by hey! ( 33014 )
      How long before you get four controls, one for each hand and one for each foot?
  • Kudos to nintendo and all but I live in fear of the day when gaming becomes widespread. Just thinking about how very very few even remotely interesting things get released for TV fills me with horror of what could happen to gaming.
  • Top rated games (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:26PM (#18481789)

    Interesting to note that after only a couple of months release the PS3 has 19 games [] with a metacritic rating of 75 or above yet the Wii has only 9 games [].

    (The Xbox 360 has 79 games [], but then it has been out for over a year, so not a fair comparison).

    I'm sure there are plenty of reasons, especially revolving around the new controller and how to make best use of it - and to be fair, I'm not qualified in any way to comment - but the statistics do show that for whatever reasons the current portfolio of Wii games rated "excellent" is smaller than that of a system which has been out for a much shorter time.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw this into the pot for some discussion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by OberonBob ( 903510 )
      And how many of those highly rated PS3 games are exclusives vs how many on the Wii?
    • by timster ( 32400 )
      If anyone could say with a straight face that game criticism in general had risen above the level of trash, metacritic ratings might be a little more interesting.
    • Re:Top rated games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alzheimers ( 467217 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:52PM (#18483099)
      Common Wii review:
      Pros: Fun for all ages, lots of replayability
      Cons: Control scheme takes some getting used to, outdated graphics, no blood

      Common PS3 review:
      Pros: Amazing Photorealism, Super Ultra Deadly Combat 9 almost as good as Super Ultra Deadly Combat 7 (Super Gore Edition)
      Cons: Didn't we play this last year? (And every year for the past 8 years?)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xtracto ( 837672 )
        Cons: Didn't we play this last year? (And every year for the past 8 years?)

        Uh... yeah, similarly to how we played The Legend of Zelda, The Adventures of Link, A Link to the Past, Links Awakening, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle Ages, Oracle Seasons, Four Swords and The Minish Cap before Twilight Princess...

        Or what about Mario Party 1 trough 8

        Or Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 2 Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, , Super Mario Bros. 3 , Super Mario Bros. Deluxe , New Super Mario Bros. Super Ma
    • by Tom ( 822 )
      You're right. The selection is still surprisingly small. Aside from Wii Sports (came with the console) and Wii Play (came with the 2nd controller), I own only three games (Zelda, Rampage and Rayman). There's 2-3 on my watchlist which I'll buy when they arrive. But that's about it. It's a bit sad.
      • Well, You should give Sonic, Excite Truck and SSX Blur also a second look, all of them excellent in their own. Also for rental I really can recommend kororinpha not a buy title but also excellent in its own, although too easy for a buy title and too short, but ideal for rental. I also have high hopes in Tiger Woods Golf.
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      Its the DS vs PSP all over again, just look at this little graph: acritic.png []

      What this shows is that the PSP gets better quality third-party titles and that the average PSP game is better then the average DS one, which this however fails to show is how much impact a game has on the market.

      Both Nintendogs (83) and Brain age (77) for example scored rather low, but they did have quite a large impact. While many higher scoring PSP titles didn't have much impact
      • Actually this is a good point, at least in the case of the sports games it still pays off, the control scheme of tiger woods alone is a good enough reason to go for the wii version, but sports games is pretty much the only genre here except adventure and rts games which can profit immensely from the new controllers.

        At least the wii has higher hopes of getting more exclusives due to the relatively low production costs for the games.

        Anyway back to the DS Nintendogs basically brought the DS back from the
    • Heaploads of cash paid to reviewers, games sent en masse to review magazines before they are out, and such.

      you know the drill - its the usual marketing stuff. except, apparently nintendo does not do it anymore, but microsoft, and sony still play by the old rules.
    • by LKM ( 227954 )
      I guess Wii games tend to be somewhat simpler, and they're definitely less astonishing graphically, so you'd expect them to get lower ratings even if the games themselves are more fun.

      And obviously, devs are still learning how to use the Wii remote. Additionally, many publishers didn't really take the Wii seriously until now.

      Compare this to the DS vs. PSP results. I would guess that the PSP has more top-rated games than the DS, even though most people will probably agree that the DS has a much better games
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by penp ( 1072374 )

      Interesting to note that after only a couple of months release the PS3 has 19 games with a metacritic rating of 75 or above yet the Wii has only 9 games.

      Not to say that these numbers don't show anything, but I've always been one to argue quality versus quantity.

      Look at how many of those "top 19" games are cookie-cutter sports titles [] available on other consoles? I wouldn't count that as a testament to the "PS3's greatness" (was NFL2k6 really that much different from NFL2k7?) as these titles always do well, because they appeal to (more of) a non-gamer demographic. I'd also like to note that one of these sports titles is also in the top 9 list of Wii game

  • And she hates computer/console games (with one notable exception - she played Grim Fandango for a couple of hours). She asked me today when I was going to grab one. She thought I we should get one for her parents.
  • by Forrest Kyle ( 955623 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:42PM (#18483021) Homepage
    I get tired of hearing about how I should buy a wii because of how much someone's grandmother likes it. Should I start watching Matlock too?

  • Sounds like a game title waiting to happen. Could contain all sorts of activities and games that promote specific movements/exercises.
    • This title is currently in development by Nintendo (the name seems to be unclear, sometimes Miyamoto seems to call it "Wii Fit" or similar names).
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:18AM (#18484859) Homepage Journal
    I know for a fact that my Wii has people hooked who are no gamers. From my wife to my neighbour, everyone who's tried it loved it, and yes it's the controllers, the fun-factor, the "fuck the graphics, let's try to make an actual game instead of a tech demo for our graphics engine" attitude.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TeamSPAM ( 166583 )

      I have to agree. My friend is a casual PC gamer and didn't own any consoles. He and his wife came over for dinner and we played some Wii bowling. She liked the Wii and mentioned that they might need one. Within 2 months, my friend got his hand on a Wii. That a sale from a person that wasn't really considering any of the next gen consoles.

  • A friend of my ex bought his mother an XBox 360 a couple of months ago; last I heard, she was hooked on first person shooters.

    She's 65.
  • "My grandmama could beat you at this..."
    (Al due apologies and considerations to Larry Johnson)

    Well, thanks to new technology soon your Grandmama and many countless other octogenarians may in fact be the person beating you at something at any given moment in time...

    I'm waiting for the first time I'm playing some FPS against some other people online (which the Wii doesn't have right now, but I am sure will at some point...) And I get fragged in a most compromising and embarrassing way, and instead of a teabag
  • Physical Therapy ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by reachums ( 949416 )
    My Friend's Father recently suffered a head trauma and is having problems with his balance and is a little slow to react. They are thinking about getting a Wii so he can work on his balance and his reaction time with the Wii Sports. It's a fun way to achieve those things, he is already using my friend's DS and Brain age to try and speed up his reaction time.

    I think that using the Wii as a Physical Therapy tool may be unorthodox, but honestly I think it might help him.
  • .. till some pensioner confuses their TV remote with their Wii remote and spends the entire day wondering why the Mario is hosting the Jeremy Kyle show.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.