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Miyamoto Speaks, Nintendo Ditching the Hardcore? 314

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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  • Nonsense (Score:5, Funny)

    by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:06PM (#19850531)
    With the power of the Opera Browser on the Wii, Nintendo has ensured that hardcore will exist forever. Porn on your TV, powered by your console. How is that ditching hardcore?
    OHHHHHH, hardcore GAMERS... My bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      And let's not forget that you can control it all with that wireless 360 motion controller... I dare you to imagine the ungodly interactive porn, won't someone think of the children!
  • No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cromar ( 1103585 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:11PM (#19850591)
    Of course every game on the Wii is not going to be easy.

    For example: I've been playing Gradius III (SNES) very casually lately: about 7-15 minutes every few days. It's hard as hell, so I die within that time period and look forward to the next time I play when my skills will hopefully be a little better.

    Even if all the Wii games are "casual" games, they won't necessarily be easy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ifrag ( 984323 )
      Hehe, just wait till you get to the high speed level. It's probably the shortest playtime level in the game, but likely one of the most difficult to master. Of course, unless you are using save states, that level might not be reachable in your playtime.
  • Strategy guide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zelos ( 1050172 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:12PM (#19850597)
    will we ever again need a strategy guide to complete a Zelda game?
    Why would anyone want a game that requires a strategy guide to complete? That's normally a sign that the game has failed for me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Valdrax ( 32670 )
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You still shouldn't need a strategy guide for the side quests. If a puzzle is so unintuitive that you need someone to tell you how to solve it, then it's not a good puzzle.
        • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:45PM (#19851015)
          As an example of something so redonkulously unintuitive that it makes someone wonder what the hell the game makers were thinking, just look at a game like Final Fantasy 12.

          Obtaining the best weapons in FF12 is literally IMPOSSIBLE without a strategy guide/faq. Hell to get the "best" weapon, The Zodiac Spear, a player has to refrain from opening 4 specific chests throughout the course of the game. If one does not open these 4 chests, a chest in an optimal dungeon near the end of the game will contain the Spear (otherwise it will be empty). The 4 chests you can't open are not distinguished in ANY way and are in plain sight, making the entire process retardedly obscure.

          I enjoyed FF12, but stuff like that made me wonder what the fuck Square was thinking. If Nintendo can make games that don't resort to that kind of bullshit just to sell a $20 game guide, them I'm all for it.
          • by Shotgun ( 30919 )
            I enjoyed FF12, but stuff like that made me wonder what the fuck Square was thinking. If Nintendo can make games that don't resort to that kind of bullshit just to sell a $20 game guide, them I'm all for it.

            They were thinking that you would pay $20 for a game guide. You don't really think that someone just sits down and figures out which 4 of the hundreds of chests not to open, do you? 8*)
        • by Valdrax ( 32670 )
          Most of the reason I use a strategy guide is make sure I don't miss something.

          A lot of side-quests in many games involve hunting for certain items across the world. The locations these items are hidden in may be somewhat obscure. In addition, various dungeons in games will hide certain bits of treasure in strange places.

          Basically, these are exactly the sort of things that I would've picked up on on the 2nd or 3rd replay of a game when I was in high school that made those games great to replay. However, a
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shoptroll ( 544006 )
      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.
      • Eh, after I played through ocarina twice, I borrowed the guide from a friend, mainly to find all those damned skulltulas.
      • by mgblst ( 80109 )
        And that was when I couldn't figure out some pretty damn obvious things in retrospect.
        Funny how that works, isn't it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Gaming is a lot more interesting without something to hold your hand.

        funny, I got a wii so I could play games with my daughter, and I was just thinking the opposite of that.
    • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:56PM (#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 omeomi ( 675045 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:03PM (#19851277) Homepage
        Some people probably couldn't make it through the original Mario Brothers without a strat guide

        What exactly would that strategy guide say? "Run to the right. Jump over anything in your way. Run to the right some more. Continue running to the right..."
        • by jahudabudy ( 714731 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:19PM (#19851441)
          Dude, spoiler alert warning next time!!!! Some of us like the figure out games on our own. Sheesh.
        • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:25PM (#19851517)
          What exactly would that strategy guide say? "Run to the right. Jump over anything in your way. Run to the right some more. Continue running to the right..."

          How could you expect them to jump? The game is about running to the right. No wonder I kept dying. Damn puzzle games.
        • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:5, Informative)

          by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:39PM (#19851669) Homepage Journal

          What exactly would that strategy guide say?

          To get to the warp zone...

          Mole enemies are invulnerable to fireballs...

          To get over sections full of small jumps, hold the run button and run across.

          Likitu is a pain. The best strategy for dealing with him is...

          Hammer Bros. are an enemy that require precise timing and movement to defeat. The best strategy is...

          Seriously, anyone remember when strategy books were about strategy and not just answer keys? I probably still have my SFII strategy guide somewhere, which goes into detailed strategies that people figured out for playing the various characters in the game. This included sets of combos that were most effective against particular opponents and at what ranges.
          • Re:Strategy guide? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @03:07PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

            by toad3k ( 882007 )
            Speaking of SF2, and this is not exactly on topic, but I found this hilarious sf2 comedy skit the other day and I'm dying to show it to someone who's actually heard of the game.

   isq_hadoken-street-fighter-2-live []

            Some of the other vids that guy did are good too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by zarkill ( 1100367 )

          Well, that might be the original SUPER Mario Brothers strategy guide. The original Mario Brothers strategy guide would have to say "Don't touch the enemies coming out of those pipes. Hit them from below to flip them over. Kick them off the platform before Luigi does."

          or the ADVANCED TIPS:

          "Wait til Luigi tries to kick the enemy off the platform. Just before he does, hit it from below to flip it back over and kill Luigi!"
    • I agree with this wholeheartedly.

      Personally, I think the perfect difficulty for a game is that it always feels like a challenge, but somehow never prevents you from progressing. You should never just get "stuck" on some part of a game with no idea on how to move on for weeks at a time, the only way to continue is to cheat in some way. (And yes, in my mind, looking up info in a game guide is "cheating")

  • by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:15PM (#19850637)
    The solution has been around: "Easy to play, hard to master."

    You don't have to be a pro to enjoy a sport, an instrument, or a game and yet pros can keep engrossed so long as there's room for growth.
    • by dosius ( 230542 )
      And what Nolan Bushnell knew in the early 70s, most game companies seem not to understand 30, 35 years later. :/

    • I think the reason people like RPG with their action is that as the game ramps up difficulty, you can just level your character if you can't fight the boss on your own.
      • Honestly, most people don't enjoy grinding to beat a boss. Zelda has always had the best strategy to deal with that problem. To get to the boss, you need to be right equipment to beat him. That doesn't have to be easy, but it is a hell of a lot more sane and enjoyable than backtracking into another hour or two of random battle hell.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FiloEleven ( 602040 )
          I like the (2D) Metroid philosophy even more: make it possible (but tricky!) to avoid getting the upgrades and equipment that toughens you up. For those who want a real challenge in boss fights, there's the option of a 2% run, speed run, etc. For those who want a challenge in exploration, there's the 100% run. And for those like me who seldom have an interest in , there's a damn fine game in between all that that I can enjoy at my own pace.
  • by p4rri11iz3r ( 1084543 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:19PM (#19850693)
    It seems to be that recently everybody seems to be associating games with a decent length to "hardcore." While I don't entirely agree with this, it serves my purpose for this post.

    If we look at what happened at E3 and where the anticipation seems to be, I note that Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3. Looking at the past, these games predecessors have typically been quite lengthy affairs. Thus, it would seem that these games appeal more to the "hardcore" crowd.

    We also see games like Wii Fit and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Wii Fit, which seems to resemble the mechanics used in Wii Sports and Wii play, will sport short games. SSBB is often seen as a quick, pick-up-and-play-a-round style game as well. These games appear to appeal more to the casual gamer who don't have as much time to play.

    I guess what I'm saying is, whether you're "hardcore" or casual, you have some really great games to look forward to this year and next.
  • 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.
    • Comment removed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:57PM (#19851171)
      Comment removed based on user account deletion
      • Well said!

        I'm not yet sure that all the whining about Nintendo "abandoning" the hardcore is any different from the whining about the GC being too "kiddy".

        Play the games you want to play, on the systems that they're available. I don't understand what sense of entitlement moves people to argue that Nintendo should be loyal to them as individuals, all the while claiming that what they really want is a conventional controller and long RPG games, which are already available, and the hardcore probably already ow
      • by Mr_eX9 ( 800448 )
        I'm replying to this because I mistakenly modded it down. I really think you're right on the money here. The Wii is becoming very appealing as its base of titles grows, allowing Nintendo to recover from their N64/GameCube mistakes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by grumbel ( 592662 )
        ### 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
    • Ask 3rd parties why they don't want to make games for what will be the most popular and accessible console this generation. I guess they don't like money?
      • Ask 3rd parties why they don't want to make games for what will be the most popular and accessible console this generation. I guess they don't like money?
        Well, given Nintendo's recent track record, it seems reasonable that third party firms didn't think that the Wii would be the most popular console of this generation.
    • Check out Elebits, it's a really good game. Kinda reminds me of Pikman.
  • 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.
    I thought the Japanese players were the hyper-obsessive 'hardcore' gamers who explored every nook and cranny of a game.

    I wonder what's going on with Japanese gaming demographics such that 'stream-lined play has been effective'.
  • Nintendo wants to tap into the casual market for the same reason nVidia and AMD (ATI) make all those low and mid range video cards. You make a heckuva lot more money and get your product into more people's hand.
  • by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7 @ k c . r r . c om> on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:28PM (#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.
  • Hardcore (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GWLlosa ( 800011 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:35PM (#19850899)
    I used to define myself as a 'hardcore' gamer. In college, all night-lan parties every weekend were the norm. Games had to have ludicrous depth and complexity before we'd consider including them.

    Times change. I'm married. 2 kids. 9-6 job in a cube. I now love the fact that so many games that are available are simple 'pick-up-and-play-in-the-evening'. In a way, Nintendo's game console has evolved to match my needs just as my needs changed. I imagine I'm not alone.
  • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @01:40PM (#19850973)
    Nintendo is going right on ahead with its current strategy of attracting non gamers. Doing so has worked pretty decently for them, and like any large company, they like money. They are not going to abandon the core demographic. They are still going ahead with Metroid and Smash Bros: Brawl. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that they are not focusing on the core either.

    My biggest concern for the platform is that that instead of being known as the "Kid Console", they may become known as a non game console.

    I am convinced that it is the 2nd and 3rd generation of Wii titles that will ultimately define the Wii. The first year has, as expected, suffered from a lack of big name titles. The launch was strong, but Metroid, Mario, and Brawl got pushed back too far. And because no one expected the Wii to do as well as it has, no one was developing 'core' games for the platform outside of the launch window. Of course, everyone scrambled to find a place on the bandwagon.

    The casual titles are easy to develop. Core titles take alot more time. Until the first batch of 3rd party core titles come on stream, you will get pretty much what we already have. Kid games, Ports, some 1st party Nintendo titles, and casual games.

    If Nintendo does manage to completely alienate the core gamer demographic, than that kind of title spread is what will dominate the platform. Certaintly entertaining, but that means that those seeking a more 'traditional' gaming experience will have to stick to the Xbox 360 or the PS3.

    • Agreed. I believe that 3rd party games will heavily cater to the so called hardcore crowd.

      That said, I'd rather get my parents interested in playing games than have Really Cool Hardcore Games to play.
    • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @03:14PM (#19852029)
      Actually, anytime a company focuses on a "New Demographic" they, by necessity abandon the old. The Wii isn't going to cater to "hardcore" gamers because it's not designed to do that. Nintendo's selling a lot of them to seniors and parents and you're going to mostly see software that caters to the most common owners of the system.

      Everyone's been crowing about how the Wii is expanding the market, but in doing so they had to choose to abandon the current market. Why? Because what they were producing for the current market wasn't expanding the market. The Wii doesn't appeal to me at all, and not that much to my friends either. That's ok, we're not the target demographic for the Wii. We already have consoles. The Wii was never designed to appeal to us, and the only way it will ever appeal to us is if the games we want become exclusive to it. That's unlikely to happen, both the 360 and PS3 are designed to appeal to us by carrying the games we like to play and offering an experience that appeals to us.

      So, yes, Nintendo abandonned the hardcore gamers years ago, but that's ok, we don't expect everyone to cater to our tastes. I don't expect the hardcore games to go to the Wii no matter how well it performs in the marketplace. Even if they try to sell them for the Wii at some point the developers of hardcore games will realize that the casual players who own a Wii won't buy their games because they're not looking for those games, they're looking for easy, casual games.

      This is nothing new, it's been an obvious consequence of Nintendo's "new direction" since the Wii was released.
    • ### I am convinced that it is the 2nd and 3rd generation of Wii titles that will ultimately define the Wii.

      I kind of doubt that there will be any larger change in the games that will be available for the Wii. Third parties are starting Wii development, but they are starting mini/puzzle/cartoon and whatever kind of games, they are not doing the AssassinsCreeds and BioShocks. It just wouldn't make sense to produce that kind of games for a market that is buying the console for a completly different set of game
  • 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 g
  • To me, the hardcore/casual designation is more about who the game is targeted to, not the difficulty level. Example: I consider Guitar Hero a casual game, but the difficulty level is very high on the harder levels. Easy to learn, very hard to master. A typical FPS like Halo is a hard game to learn (for someone new to FPSs), but very easy to master (the single player).

    I define a hardcore game as a game targeted to the age 14-35 male demographic (approximately), and a casual game as targeted to the 6-
    • I think you have FPSes wrong. They are very easy to learn, but unforgiving, but when you go online you start to see that Single player skills are laughable and to truely be good you have to invest some real hard time into the game and know every little detail to the point where it's a sixth sense rather than just skill.

      I feel the Wii right now is a classic Nintendo Console. It's just waiting for it's Mario 64, which looks to be Brawl this time round.
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      ### I define a hardcore game as a game targeted to the age 14-35 male demographic (approximately), and a casual game as targeted to the 6-65 male/female demographic.

      I wouldn't pin down hardcore or non-hardcore on the age demographic, that would be to simplistic. Instead I would pin it down on a games complexity, not just the amount of buttons it needs, but also how many ways there are to interact with the game world and stuff like that. Something like Falcon4.0 is certainly very hardcore, since it simulates
  • This is wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    For the life of me I cannot imagine why Nintendo would want to ditch their hardcore audience. They were the most important audience for the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube, practically the ones who kept the consoles afloat. I don't understand why they would want to cast aside that audience in favor of the casual gamers. Sure, casual gamers are a much bigger audience, but hardcore gamers are dedicated and faithful. Casual gamers will move from system to system; mark my words, once Microsoft and Sony drop the prices
  • "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.
    • Someone mod the parent up. I was going to post much the same thing, and read through the thread to see that nerdup beat me to it.

      It's a sad, sad comment on the industry when a developer 'hopes' to do something original *once* in their career.
  • The Wii focuses on an innovative controller. It's about having controls that are intuitive and easy to pick up and learn.

    I don't think "learning how to control the damn thing" should be part of what makes a game hardcore, which several "hardcore" games are. That is one reason to started getting less and less interested in console gaming when suddenly you had to remember which commands mapped to which of the 8-12 buttons plus D-pad on the controller. That much complexity? I'll just take a keyboard and pl
    • by gatzke ( 2977 )

      Right. Once FPS on my PC got too complicated (beyond ASDW and mouse) I gave up on PC gaming. There is something to be said for a simple interface.

      I personally wish Nintendo would release a high end game+Tivo+DVD system that ran at 1080p. The interface is terrific on the screen and the wiimote is intuitive, I just wish my PVR, DVD, and cable box were half as nice. The 480P looks ok, but it could be better still.

      1080p and more GPU may satisfy the hardcore gamers, I would assume. Or do they need more butt
  • I have never been what people would call "hardcore" about games, but for the right content, I'll work on a game long enough to finish it, and found a couple things about playing non-casual games as a casual gamer.

    I don't like having a clock against finishing every level. MAYBE on one part of one level, a short time limit to achieve a small, obvious goal. If I'm under the gun to finish every level, I just get turned off. Yet, the opposite is true too: I don't want to play if I can't save for the next

  • If you saw their E3 presentation and where companies like EA are putting resources in to then you would know the answer is yes.

    Nintendo doesn't give a rats ass about "Hard Core". They don't even care about "Medium Core".

    Bring in the casual games and mini games! We need a good 20 or 30 Mario Puzzle Battle Party games.

    Oh an Electronic Arts, you get it great to. You can produce a bunch of crappy games and not have to pay your developers anything, then sell it for a full price game! Then you can take the sa
  • Press conference (Score:5, Informative)

    by SethraLavode ( 910814 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:42PM (#19851699)

    After Nintendo's very ... different ... press conference, you may be wondering what's going on.

    What's going on is that you witnessed an actual press conference, aimed at the main stream media, as opposed to an enthusiast-oriented hypefest. Nintendo saw the retooling of E3 as an opportunity to return to its intended roots, put on a show, and got their message out to those who needed to hear it. The point of the press event is to build up hype among retailers and the major press, which means communicating your vision, supporting your position, and giving them something to remember. This wasn't about abandoning gamers, hardcore, traditional, or otherwise.

    Nintendo knows that the hardcore gamers get their news from Kotaku, NeoGAF, IGN, or other websites and internet fora. The diehards are the ones who are checking Smash Brothers Dojo daily to keep up with the new updates. The fanboys already check obsessively to keep up with breaking news on what is going to be available. They don't need to be the only ones attended to. Right after the conference concluded, Nintendo's E3 site went active, with new trailers for all the major upcoming releases and with lists of upcoming releases. The fans knew where to find it all, and didn't need for it to be shown on stage. And if they had any lingering questions, the round table session was devoted to fielding questions for and from the hardcore crowd.

    That's not to say the enthusiasts were ignored. The first thirty to forty minutes of the event was dedicated to showing off the upcoming AAA titles for the benefit of the fans. They revealed that three major releases (Metroid Prime 3, Mario Galaxy, and Smash Brothers Brawl) are all coming out this year, with Mario Kart soon to follow. The announced that EA's entire sports lineup will be online, and that Medal of Honor will support 32 player online matches. They showed that they were specifically working with third-parties on accessory support to enhance gameplay options.

    Nintendo then shifted focus and aimed straight for the USA Todays and WSJs out there with the last twenty minutes or so. They brought out the new IP with the broad appeal that is in line with their market strategy, becaues that was the ideal moment to make it known to the world. And they succeeded spectacularly in that the major newpapers were talking about Wii Fit instead of Killzone 2 or Halo 3.

    Nintendo isn't abandoning the enthusiast market. What they are doing is making a conscious effort not to abandon the people who might become gaming enthusiasts, given the right gateway.

  • by ctid ( 449118 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @02:56PM (#19851843) Homepage
    When I was a kid I had lots and lots of spare time but hardly any spare money. I could not afford many games, so if I bought a game I would try to get the most out of it. Having very long games which are fairly difficult suits kids who have time but not money. Now that I'm in my 40s, I have lots of spare money but hardly any spare time. What I tend to do is to buy a lot of games but not really play any of them through. Looking at my pile of PS2 games I would say that I have completed only about 5 per cent. I get immensely frustrated when I can't make progress in games even on the easiest setting. I'd guess that on average I get about 30% of the way through before concluding that I'll get more interest out of the first 30% of a new game than I will from trying to get past some problem in the current game. In my current job I tend to need to play lots of different types of game anyway, so it's not really a big problem for me. However, it is a bit annoying that I don't see the majority of the content in most of the games I buy and I suspect that people who don't need to play lots of games would pretty soon get sick of paying £35 for games if they're only going to see £10 worth of content. Do people like this eventually stop buying games?

    I think that it's not just "casual" games that can support an audience of people like me (assuming I'm not the only one who feels this way). I believe that it should be possible to switch difficulties on the fly inside games and I also think that developers should include a stupidly easy mode so that people like me can see more of what the game has to offer. Of course I can go and look at cheats etc, but if the developers know that people are going to do that anyway, why not just make the facility part of the package? This way, even more traditional games can be played in a more "casual" manner if the player feels like it.

  • For all of the posts about Nintendo going soft, get a 360 or PS3. Seriously the Nintendo has always been the more "family oriented" gaming machine. While they do release some games that might be defined as "hardcore" now adays. It's still pretty much sticking to it's original game plan. With the Wii they added to their model by making it also fun to physically play, and makes it more aesthetically pleasing. I think they're going 100% in the right direction. Going to pick up RE4 for Wii tonight in fact.


What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!