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Can Nintendo Court the Casuals Again?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the i-think-they'll-manage dept.

Nintendo 132

An anonymous reader sends this quote from Eurogamer: "Do you remember the last time? When the Wii launched at the tail end of 2006, it was to an air of excited curiosity that went well beyond the borders of core gamers, with Nintendo conjuring what ran close to a full-blown phenomenon. ... Nintendo's masterstroke, of course, has been resurrecting the ultimate hardcore poster girl with the announcement that Bayonetta 2 is heading exclusively to the Wii U. There's something slightly incongruous about an over-sexed, incredibly violent action game rubbing shoulders with Mario and co., but then again that's exactly what makes the proposition so very exciting. ... There's still one very important section of the market that may prove a little tougher to persuade. Right now it's harder to see the broader appeal of the Wii U, and it's not simply a case of fearing that it'll fail to replicate the success of its predecessor — there's every chance that it could endure the same rocky start that plagued Nintendo's 3DS."

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132 comments

Jumped the shark (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347345)

Nintendo jumped the shark a long time ago. Only a tiny subset of their game library is aimed towards casual gamers. The rest of it is bizarre, Japanese, anime-based titles that are completely incomprehensible to anybody outside of relevant cultural circles. Sure, they'll always have their obsessed fans, but they'd have to make some radical management and cultural shifts to be able to ever appeal to mainstream, casual gamers again.

Re:Jumped the shark (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347399)

That's partly because no one wants to develop a game for the Wii when it's massively underpowered compared to the 360 or PS3.

At this point the term 'casual' gamer really means someone who games occasionally, it doesn't necessarily mean they want to play shitty games with low production quality, they just don't want to spend 3 hours a day every day playing games.

For the Wii basically all of the good games that have a broad appeal are first party nintendo products. That's a problem, because without the ecosystem there's no long term monetization strategy. Although just dance managed to do well as a franchise.

Also, I tend to think the premise of 'are they going to win back casuals' is wrong. I don't think they want to. They sold 100 million Wii's, and then pitifully few games. That's not a good business strategy. Now admittedly, they made money on the consoles, but they'd be happier to sell 50 million consoles and 4x as many games sort of thing. Lots of people bought a wii, wii sports, and one game, and never touched the thing again, all of that unrealized potential turns out to be really really really hard to capitalize on. It's easier to make something people who buy a lot of games want, so you can keep selling them games.

Re:Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347421)

I generally agree with this - but then I think of the incredible Microprose and SSI games I played on the Commodore 64. Every now and then I'll get a ROM to spend a few hours on those. Wii game developers didn't really approach anything as remotely entertaining as those, at least for me.

Re:Jumped the shark (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347581)

Drop the middle man and sell me $20 games rather than $70 dollar one (I live in Sweden) and I may start buying games.

I think I read that 97% of the games played in PCs was pirated copies? No, price wont solve that I suppose but you're pretty lame if you copy a full game you could had bought for $10.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347789)

I think I read that 97% of the games played in PCs was pirated copies?

For us the ratio is about 50-70% piracy, but a LOT of that is in china where you can't sell your game.

Cutting out the 'middle man' and charging a lot less is harder than it sounds. If you're a niche product (think Hearts of Iron from your own Paradox, who happen to publish the stuff I work on), then you can build a direct relationship with the customers through steam and gamersgate and just give up on retail. On the other hand, if you're someone like Bethesda, and selling Skyrim, you need walmart and gamestop to carry your game, and they won't if you sell it from your first party store for a third the price, at which point you sell a lot less games, and it's much harder to get any money at all.

At some point in cost you're better off not selling your game at all unfortunately. The 'per copy' support costs work out to a couple of bucks, pirates don't get support - that's PC at least. Console piracy is a different problem.

Re:Jumped the shark (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348265)

The 97% pirated number comes from an idiotic Ubisoft executive who was lying about how necessary DRM was. Please do no promote this myth.

Re:Jumped the shark (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348443)

That's only kind of true. It depends on the game, but some titles, ya, the piracy rate is easily up in the 90% range. If you only release your game in the US, or France or the like you have to realize that it's going to be pirated everywhere else, a lot.

My biggest piracy gripe at the moment (as a game developer) is when one of my friends pirates a game and says something like 'I spend enough money on games already". As in, they paid for world of warcraft, call of duty etc. All the ones that have an online component you can't get out of, and can get banned from if you pirate. But then the rest of us, who make smaller indie-niche-no massive online service titles are the ones not getting paid, and it's not like EA (or paradox for that matter) just throw us money for being nice people.

Ubisoft is interesting because they don't have a lot of focus in their publishing, they have Assassin creed, splinter cell, Far cry, and then the ANNO series, and Rayman legends and just dance type stuff. For them I'm sure they are constantly grappling with using the profits from the successful games to fund popular but unsuccessful games, and trying balance that out against piracy cutting into particular portions of their business isn't going to be fun. I'd be surprised if the 97% figure is accurate, but I would not all be surprised to hear a 90% piracy rate for some of their smaller titles like shoot many robots and the like. Well that, and they got themselves enormous bad press for DRM so lots of people are pirating their stuff on principle.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348319)

Drop the middle man and sell me $20 games rather than $70 dollar one (I live in Sweden) and I may start buying games.

This won't ever happen and it's stupid to even hope it would (beyond some niche/indy games).

1) Inflation. The 20$ of 1990 was 26,35$ in 2000, 33,37$ in 2010 and 35,25$ today.
2) Development budgets have grown many MANY times over.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348527)

1) Inflation. The 20$ of 1990 was 26,35$ in 2000, 33,37$ in 2010 and 35,25$ today.

Inflation has nothing to do with it. Right now the way our arrangement works (which is fairly standard but not exactly the same as everyone else) - retail chain takes 30%, the remainder is split 50/50 with the publisher, so on a 60 dollar game we make 21 dollars. The '70' dollar figure presumably includes tax, or the added costs at retail due to sweden paying more than in north america. If we could somehow market and fund development for years on our own (bank), advertise distribute etc without added costs we could sell you the game for 21 dollars and make the same amount of money. Theoretically if the game was only 20 dollars we could sell a lot more copies too, but you'd have to sell 2x as many copies to make up for the loss of the publisher, and that's without ever putting your game in retail or on a digital distributor other than yourself.

2) Development budgets have grown many MANY times over.

Sure, but the games business was hugely profitable at one point too. Budgets crept up to meet the income, it's a competitive market, if you can get an edge by having better art, more art, voice, animation, better graphics etc. than you competitor then you spend more money. Without a doubt the huge production cost on games (easily in the 10's of millions of dollars for AAA titles) creates a huge problem in locking people out of the market, stifling innovation and making companies risk averse. If you look at something like SWTOR, which you effectively can't pirate, and cost EA upwards of 200 million dollars to make, that is going to cost them probably a 100 million dollars in losses. Now EA is big enough they can handle it, but that sort of clusterfuck is going to cause a lot of shakeup in the MMO funding space, and after losses like that they will likely be very averse to trying to build a subscription MMO at all, let alone one with a pricing structure no one has tried before (in this case trying to cut the price by 2/3rds to see if you can pick up more customers). Whether free to play will help them recover or not I don't know, but the end game is bad, a new business model won't make it a better game.

Re:Jumped the shark (1, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348739)

1) Inflation. The 20$ of 1990 was 26,35$ in 2000, 33,37$ in 2010 and 35,25$ today.

Inflation has nothing to do with it.

Sure it does. You need to come to grips with the simple fact that the purchasing power of fiat money decreases with time. 70$ today is just 40$ in 1990 money. As a matter of fact, games have gotten LESS expensive since 1990 in real terms, because games back in 1990 sure as hell costed more than 40$.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349123)

You need to come to grips with the simple fact that the purchasing power of fiat money decreases with time.

Which is irrelevant to this discussion. We're not talking about 1990 dollars versus 2012 dollars. We're talking about 2012 dollars versus 2012 dollars.

The discussion isn't 'oh games were so much cheaper in the past why are they so expensive now' because aliquis wasn't accounting for inflation. This is a ' if I buy from a retailer you get 20 dollars, so why don't I just buy directly from you for 20 dollars and skip the 40 dollars going to publishers and retailers'.

You're confusing a monetary issue with a business model one. Lots of companies (notably paradox and Stardock) sell games, or expansion packs for games, for less money online than they did with boxed copies. The upcomming HOI3 expansion is 20 bucks on gamersgate, if they were doing a big retail push it would be 30 everywhere because of the added distribution costs from using the retail chain.

I grant, there is some nominal price rigidity around games, and people don't want to lower the price knowing that customers will pay 50-60 dollars for a new game, but valve with their steam sales has had some success (and some fucking of developers) with selling even new games for a lot less money.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349591)

sales a * price a vs sales b * price b.

Neither of those arguments say anything about that.

Also if the damn FED didn't printed trillions maybe your dollar would keep its value.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349183)

Those numbers are from the same bunch that says more software is pirated than the GDP of the planet times ten or so, really wouldn't put much stock in them. And does Sweden have Steam? if so you are in luck, I've not paid more than $20 for a game in years, most less than $15. hell i just got Crysis collection for a dirt cheap $17, that's four games for less than take out around here, can't beat that.

The problem with Nintendo is, and lets be honest here folks, other than a SMALL handful of Nintendo made titles their software is shovelware city. My youngest insisted on getting a Wii and i tried to warn him but he talked his grandma into getting him one...its in the closet next to his DS and PSP while he spends all his time on PC playing his MMOs. Why is it gathering dust? Simple because once he had the handful of decent titles there really wasn't anything to get that wasn't "rampant stick waggling crap" as Yahtzee put it on ZP.

As we have seen making money on the consoles only goes so far and if you can't get people to buy the software that goes with the consoles the money just dries up. Last figures I saw had the X360 having a sell through of 8 games per console, the PS3 4 and the Wii was something like 2, really pathetic. Hell I know several people that bought one Mario or Zelda and the pack in title and that's it, they got bored and just set the thing in the closet.

So while I'm all for competition there hasn't been anything announced so far that really "wowed" me about the Wii U. Sure the hardware looks cool but like the Wii and PSPs if you don't have anything cool to play on it who cares if the locked down hardware is cool? Hell maybe Nintendo ought to open the thing up to modding and homebrew, i know I bought for the original XBox long after it quit being mainstream because it also made a kick ass media tank, maybe the modders could find enough cool things to do with the hardware to make it worth $300.

All I know is looking at the lame launch lineup I'm glad i got my kids on the PC, last thing I need is another console gathering dust in the closet.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347593)

Like:

Is Zelda worth it and something you really should buy at $20?

Definitely.

Is it a better purchase than something like Angry Birds for $5?

Yes.

Is it something the iPhone doesn't and won't have in the near-term future?

Likely.

Would you rather play real console games on a real console rather than silly simplistic crap on a phone?

Re:Jumped the shark (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348555)

Contrary to what many hardcore gamers seem to believe, casual gaming has nothing to do with quality or price. It has everything to do with time.

Casual gamers simply aren't able or don't want to spend hours learning a game's mechanics, then spend more than an hour on a single level.

Imagine never being able to play gaming sessions longer than 15 minutes. A game like Zelda would be unplayable to such a casual player.

A game like Angry Birds is definitely a better purchase for a typical casual gamer than Zelda, even if Zelda was $5 and Angry Birds cost $20, simply because they'll actually be able to play a few levels of Angry Birds every day.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350071)

Casual gamers simply aren't able or don't want to spend hours learning a game's mechanics, then spend more than an hour on a single level.

Serious gamers don't want the vast majority of their games very long either. That's why a 'big' game these days is 20 hours, and a typical one is 7-10. Looking at my list of games completed in the last 4 months (19 games completely) about half took less than 15 hours, give or take how you want to count Dawnguard.

Serious gamers play one or two games seriously (MMO, online FPS etc.) and then the rest of it they just chew through and move on.

Some of it is presentation and attitude, people think Torchlight, battlefield 3, max payne 3 etc are 'serious' games, but they aren't, you can play them in stints of 40 minutes or so at a time, and then be done all of them in under 15 hours each. Some of it is also self delusion, where a 'casual' gamer who plays farmville 3 hours a day, everyday, doesn't want to call themselves a 'gamer' because those are nerds who spend 3 hours a day playing games. And believe me, we have a lot of data on the so called 'casual' gamer, and they spend a lot of time playing games.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347859)

That's partly because no one wants to develop a game for the Wii when it's massively underpowered compared to the 360 or PS3.

That and Nintendo's developer qualifications scare away small-time developers who would be happy with the lower graphical complexity associated with the Wii. (See Bob's Game.) So these developers stick to mobile phones and tablet computers unless a game design requires physical buttons.

Although just dance managed to do well as a franchise.

Yeah, that song had two sequels: "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha and "California Gurls" by Katy Perry.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348537)

That and Nintendo's developer qualifications scare away small-time developers

That's always a challenge when dealing with console guys. Those crazy requirements are good for consumers, but hard on developers, especially when the Apple App store and Google play just don't have the same requirements.

Re:Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347863)

I was going to argue with you, but now I think you are right. Fwiw, in my house we have all 3 consoles. Generally the ps3 is for most of my fav games, netflix, and bluray. The 360 is for some select titles and some older xbox games, and the Wii is for the "cute" games. I don't see where the U will bring anything to the table we don't already have.

Re:Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347427)

Nintendo jumped the shark a long time ago. Only a tiny subset of their game library is aimed towards casual gamers. The rest of it is bizarre, Japanese, anime-based titles that are completely incomprehensible to anybody outside of relevant cultural circles. Sure, they'll always have their obsessed fans, but they'd have to make some radical management and cultural shifts to be able to ever appeal to mainstream, casual gamers again.

"titles that are completely incomprehensible to anybody outside of relevant cultural circles"

jajjajaj

Re:Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347541)

I managed to pick up a Wii shortly after the launch. At the time, most of the games available for it were very good. The problem was Nintendo never put any quality control on third party software. Two years after the Wii was launched, I would guess 80%* of the titles you would see in a store like Target or Walmart, were most casual gamers would buy their games, were absolute shovelware. It doesn't take many times for people to blow $40 on a game like Super Swing Golf for them to give up gaming or switch to another system.

On the flip side, my wife, who is not a gamer in any fashion (although will spend hours in an arcade or bar playing Ms. Pacman if left to her own) actually loved playing the more social Wii games, like Smarty Pants and Mario Party. Nintendo's biggest blunder was not pushing more games like those out.

* 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347781)

The problem was Nintendo never put any quality control on third party software

That's not true at all. Remember the "Official Nintendo Seal of Quality?" In fact, that was one of the reason so many developers were happy to jump ship to the other options when they became available, since Nintendo's "quality control" crossed the line and wandered deep into the category of "censorship" in the NES/SNES days.

Re:Jumped the shark (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348243)

The only requirement for Nintendo's "Seal of Quality" was money. Pay them and you got it. 90% of all NES and SNES games were absolute crap because of that.

Re:Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347623)

Nintendo jumped the shark a long time ago. Only a tiny subset of their game library is aimed towards casual gamers. The rest of it is bizarre, Japanese, anime-based titles that are completely incomprehensible to anybody outside of relevant cultural circles.

The hell? Got any examples of this?

Re:Jumped the shark (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349121)

I gotta agree, kinda hard to see what audience they are aiming for with the frankly bizarre line ups they have been having of late. And Bayonetta 2 as a launch title? Since when does softcore porn fit into the casual player demographic? yeah I can really see the soccer moms sitting down to play Bayonetta 2.

For a funnier take on the Wii U everyone ought to watch Francis the fanboy's take [kotaku.com] on the subject, although by the end you have to wonder if they needed to call an ambulance for his ass, dude really needs to lay off the cheeseburgers.

I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347355)

have you seen the TVii? i watched a trailer on my 3ds last night, it has ABC(ESPN) sports, for streaming, finally I can say f the cable bill!

ESPN authorization (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347873)

it has ABC(ESPN) sports, for streaming, finally I can say f the cable bill!

Are you sure it doesn't A. require a name and password issued by a pay TV provider, or B. query your cable ISP's database to see whether the current DHCP lessee of a given IP address also has a cable TV subscription that includes ESPN?

Re:I want one (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348385)

Some other consoles have offered ESPN streaming, the trick is that you can only stream that if you have a cable subscription that includes ESPN and is provided by the same company as your internet connection. Did you really think they'd let you get away so easily?

One big difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347369)

The iPhone and iPad hadn't been introduced yet. The casual gamers have already moved on to other things.

Re:One big difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347429)

Your fallacy: assuming that they're not ready to move onto something new yet again.

Re:One big difference (4, Insightful)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347469)

Valid point, but there is a niche within the niche. Ever since the Wii Nintendo has been marketing towards the "family night" crowd. You'll see in almost every ad a group of family or friends taking rounds at having a blast at whatever happens to be on the screen. This still appeals to a great number of people and it is hard to get excited about the idea of sitting around in the same room with your iPhones/Droids playing Words With Friends (unless, I dunno, you were having some sort of tournament?).

Physical buttons (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347895)

The one big advantage of the Wii U over is that the tablet isn't the only controller. The Wii U GamePad also has physical buttons, which work better than an on-screen gamepad in some genres for reasons I've described before. Furthermore, extra controllers for players 2, 3, and 4 will be available in stores, unlike tablet computers whose iCade and iControlPad controllers are available only through mail order.

Re:Physical buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348259)

Really? [gamestop.com]

Still mail order (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348501)

Yeah really. I looked at each of the products listed on the page you linked, and here's what I found:
  • Tablet Wireless Bluetooth Controller by GameStop [gamestop.com]: I checked availability, and this product is available for in-store pickup only in select GameStop stores, not in either of the two GameStop stores in my city. So this product is less expensive than the iControlPad but still only available through mail order to many customers.
  • Tablet Wireless Keyboard Controller by GameStop: Unavailable until September 25, 2012. Preorders are not available for in-store pick-up.
  • Play Pad Controller (3 models) by Nyko: Unavailable until October 4, 2012. Preorders are not available for in-store pick-up.

Re:Still mail order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348749)

You must live in Bumfuck, USA then. I see 16 locations that have it in-store all around Los Angeles.

Re:One big difference (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348417)

The Wii's strength among the casual crowd was always local multiplayer. You can't get much of that from the iPad and with the iPhone it's practically impossible. It fills a completely different role than the iP*s, it's not for passing the time on the toilet or on the commute but a main activity in the living room.

The Wii U is a different matter and I don't see it taking off with the Wii's new audience.

I miss my Atari 2600 (2)

joelsanda (619660) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347395)

We had the Wii - managed to score one the weekend it came out. But after about 18 months it became apparent this was going to have some real dumbed-down titles. A few stick out in my mind, most notably the Endless Ocean [wikipedia.org] and Endless Ocean 2 [wikipedia.org] games. I miss those enough I've been thinking of picking up a Wii after the Wii U comes out to replay them, when the price drops.

As for the Atari 2600 I had as a kid - I recall that having a greater variety of games that were almost more challenging. I don't miss it enough to buy the controller/ROM combination, but I distinctly remember titles we traded with friends and played for years. Maybe some of that is nostalgia for long summers and the lack of overall console variety then, but I was distinctly unimpressed with the Wii; with the notable exception the two titles I mentioned above.

When our Wii gave up the ghost I relented and bought an XBox for my son and that's been a great console - a good variety of games and ab online game store worth dropping some dough on. There will have to be something extraordinary for my generally Nintendo-friendly family to even consider by a Wii U. They lost us with the terribly poor game selection on the Wii and DS systems.

Re:I miss my Atari 2600 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347561)

As for the Atari 2600 I had as a kid - I recall that having a greater variety of games...

You mean such diverse titles as Space War, Space Invaders, Space Adventure, Space Attack, Space Canyon, Space Cavern, Spacechase, Space Grid, Space Jockey, Spacemaster X-7, or Space Shuttle: A Journey Into Space? Or perhaps you were thinking of Stargate, Star Raiders, Star Ship, Star Fox, Stargunner, Starmaster, Star Strike, Star Trek: Strategic Operations, Star Voyager, or one of several Star Wars games?

I also had an Atari 2600 as a kid, but fail to share your level of nostalgia.

Recycled titles (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347913)

Or perhaps you were thinking of Stargate

SG-1 or Atlantis?

Star Fox

Could players do a barrel roll?

Re:I miss my Atari 2600 (1)

Tempest_2084 (605915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348309)

Other than having the word 'Space' in their title, most of those games have nothing to do with each other and are very different. Still, it's silly to compare the Wii and 2600 library.

Re:I miss my Atari 2600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347661)

ebay is your friend. 2600s are available, and with tons of carts. You big problem is HDTVs and the Atari's RF output. I modded mine for about $35 to have composite and s-video out, gaining stereo too.

The games sadly are quite shit, but you can get a causal session out of them in a few seconds. Turn on, and you're away. The graphics are awful, but that's expected, but the lack of pausing is terrible. I haven't build a freeze circuit yet, others have tried with various levels of success.

We have a PS3, 360, Wii, NES and 2600, plus the usual i/pod/pad/phone with a nexux 7, droid and galaxy S3, and laptop/PCs (the macs aren't used any more). The Wii is the one the gets no usage in our family. My 4 year old girl like slabs and kinetec, 8 year old boy is PS3 and slabs only. Even the wife, who loved the idea of wiifit, never uses all that "fitness" gear. With all the options available for us, it's interesting to see just how low those in my family see the Wii. It's the same with my family, friends and neighbors. The Wii gear isn't even of interest in garage sales.

Wii U is DOA. PS3/360 level of tech, but more RAM, that's not going to win over the gamer that isn't a Nintendo fan, neither is it going to interest a "casual" that already has a Wii gathering dust.

Re:I miss my Atari 2600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347871)

Vice City skewered the Atari 2600 pretty effectively in their degenatron ads:

Man: The degenatron gaming system plays three exciting games including Defender of the Faith, where you save the green dots with your fantastic flying red square.
Kids: Cool!
Man: Monkey's Paradise, where you swing from green dot to green dot with your red square monkey.
Kids: That's rad!
Man: And Penetrator, where you smash the green dots deep inside the mysterious red square.
Kids: Wow!

I played the atari when I was a kid too, can we at least agree that that was NOT the pinnacle of video game entertainment. graphics and controls do matter.

Two Words: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347401)

Adult peripherals. That's right, a pocket pussy or a vibrator hooked up to your wii. I know, I know - Nintendo is family friendly. LOL. They're Japanese, some of the kinkiest fuckers you'll ever meet. I was at one strip club where the women dressed like pre-pubescent school girls. For the right price, the half-drunk business men would "rape" them. More often than not, they brought their wives and daughters to watch!

Anyhow, wii pocket pussy and wii vibrator.

can nintendo release a new game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347477)

or are they going to be stuck releasing updates of Super Mario and Zelda for the next 60 years?

Re:can nintendo release a new game? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348489)

They release plenty of new games but whenever they announce multiple games everybody only cares about the Mario and Zelda parts, the rest gets overlooked (with the exception of some of the Wii Whatever games). Yet games like Excite Trucks/Bots, Fluidity, Xenoblade, Sin & Punishment, Pushmo, Picross 3D, etc generally receive a lot of praise by critics. Of course there are also duds which I won't bother trying to remember right now. Stuff like Steel Diver.

Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347503)

As far as I can tell, the definition of a "casual" gamer is "anybody who isn't a 15-30 year old male". I mean, I still hear of puzzle adventure players (who tended to be middle-aged women) being seen as casual gamers, while the people who play really quite simple hack-and-slash games (which appeal more to younger men) are considered hardcore. The mistakes, I think, are:
1. to aim most video games at a particular demographic and then wonder why nobody else is getting interested in them, and
2. hire young male game designers and wonder why they can't write a great game that appeals to older people or women.

It definitely has nothing to do with the difficulty or intracacy of the game.

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347567)

I like that you think that men can't possibly understand women. "Make a sexist, baseless root assumption. Then build your worldview GOGOGOGOG"

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347589)

It's not that they can't, it's that the kind of guys who try to become video game designers usually don't.

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347601)

What simple hack-n-slash is considered hardcore?

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348507)

All of them. Hardcore these days means something like "not absolutely mainstream". The term's been watered down heavily by marketing divisions.

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347639)

I think it's to do with the complexity of the game. For example:

Skyrim = casual
Nethack = hardcore

The more hand-holdy, the more casual. Some puzzle games can be hardcore indeed. Most shooters are casual.

Re:Who is a "casual" gamer anyways? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347727)

No, it's much simpler. Hardcore = games I like, casual = games I don't like.

Are you like asking me on a date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347527)

Why yes, yes of course. But I play the doctor. And I don't wear gloves.

already sold out (4, Informative)

tuffy (10202) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347619)

Best Buy and Target have already stopped taking orders for both the deluxe and regular systems, and Gamestop has sold out of the deluxe systems. So it's already eerily similar to the Wii's pre-launch situation, and that console was very hard to find for months.

So no, there's little evidence that a rocky start is in store.

Re:already sold out (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347959)

Best Buy and Target have already stopped taking orders for both the deluxe and regular systems, and Gamestop has sold out of the deluxe systems. So it's already eerily similar to the Wii's pre-launch situation, and that console was very hard to find for months.

So no, there's little evidence that a rocky start is in store.

Yes, and even the rhetoric is similar. Both pre- and post- launch, as sales of the Wii consistently far outpaced those of the XBox 360 or the PS3 [wikipedia.org], self-defined "gamers" continued to talk about the Wii as if it were a minor player in the market. It's like these guys are sitting there covering their ears and shouting "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!".

Re:already sold out (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348445)

It's like these guys are sitting there covering their ears and shouting "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!".

If I had a few billion dollars for every time the "hardcore" proclaimed that Nintendo's latest gaming system would be (or is) a flop and it ends up (or is currently) dominating ... I'd be Nintendo since the just before the launch of the DS.

What I find really funny is that they tend to want Nintendo to make a console that is on par with the most powerful of its generation, while not taking any risks on 'gimmicky' controls or features -- the Gamecube strategy.

Which still made Nintendo money, just not nearly as much, so you know.

Re:already sold out (2)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348003)

The main questions will be how many of those will wind up on eBay, and further more how many will be returned to the store within 30 days if they aren't able to be sold for a profit?

Re:already sold out (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348613)

They had the same problems with the PS3 when it released. After people were making cash hand over fist with the 360 people ordered as many PS3s as they could. I personally know someone who got stuck with 9 of them. Is the demand high because people want the console, or because people are hoping to make a quick buck? Even with the iPad 3, most people seemed to be ordering to make money. I will not consider preorders a solid indication of the long term demand of a product.

Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (3, Informative)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347629)

...with lots of automated violence. It's more casual than something like Pikmin by miles.

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347699)

If you play the game on "Normal" or any of the various "Hard" modes, I wouldn't call it "casual" at all.

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347785)

Only played Bayonetta on one-hand mode, I take it? It's not the hardest game of its type, but it's far, far from Ninja Gaiden 3 levels of dumbed down. Unless you believe that the genre as a whole is casual and "button mashing", in which case you're a moron.

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347831)

A slight diversion from topic, but what exactly is that genre of game called, anyway? I usually see them referred to as "Devil May Cry"-style, which doesn't seem like an actual genre, just a way to express what it is in comparison to a well-known game so that you don't have to say what the genre is and then explain it...

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348227)

Hack-and-slash / beat-em-up? Unless you mean something specific for the focus on agility & avoiding being hit, in which case I don't have a good name for it either.

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348531)

The common term is "character action" which tells you about fuck all about the actual game but seems to mean roughly "more evolved beat 'em up" since most actual beat 'em ups from the arcade era are actually pretty awful games with the depth of a puddle. Basically if it's third person and has melee with a combat system that's not too basic it's character action (if it's more about shooting it's a third person shooter, if the combat isn't as important as exploration and puzzle solving it's likely an action adventure like Zelda).

Re:Bayonetta is a button mashing game... (3, Interesting)

crafoo (591629) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348909)

No it's not. It's a 60fps arcade-style game with a deep block + counter-attack + positioning combat system that requires very specific and tight timing. Yes it has easy-modes for the casual gamers but Bayonetta is most certainly not a casual game. Some enemies cannot even be beaten on normal or above difficulty with using witch-time effectively. Calling it more casual than pikmin and automated is baseless hyperbole. Back that up son if you want to be taken seriously.

This again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347643)

Seriously, folks have been saying Nintendo will put itself out of business for how long now? And it has yet to happen. Don't hold your breath, you'll just be disappointed.

Re:This again? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347747)

no, but they get a little closer every generation

Re:This again? (3, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347971)

Haha. No. The Wii/DS generation was extremely profitable for Nintendo and far more successful than the Gamecube/GBA generation before it. Now the 3DS hardware is profitable again and Wii U hardware is supposedly profitable right from the start, so Nintendo's prospects are pretty good.

Sony, on the other hand, is in serious trouble. If anyone's getting out of the console business, they'll be first to go.

Re:This again? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350141)

Sony, on the other hand, is in serious trouble. If anyone's getting out of the console business, they'll be first to go.

Actually, Sony's console business is doing pretty well, making money on both hardware and software especially the latter. Sony's losses are due mainly to getting completely hammered in the tv market. (Koreans set took it upon themselves to drive Japan out of the TV market and by all appearances are now just mopping up.) What Sony can't afford is another disastrous specs war with Microsoft. I expect, next generation neither will be foolish enough to try to cram state of the art hardware into a space that just can't dissipate the heat. Next generation will be about leveraging bespoke game properties like Little Big Planet and Playstation at Home and not trying to take over the world. Basically, Big Console had its last hurrah and the torch is now passed to mobile and indie gaming.

Lost to me. (0)

p0p0 (1841106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347659)

This is the absolute least interested in a Nintendo product. It's shown me nothing interesting or worthwhile yet. I'm still not entirely sure if this is a a revamped Wii or the proper successor. The Nintendo I knew fell sick with the N64, got a little better with the Gamecube and then suddenly died with the Wii.

Their milking of characters is no longer a funny joke, but a sad reality. I never look at the Wii catalog and see anything that peeks my interest. I still believe the motion controls to be a silly idea (except once, ONCE, where I enjoyed using it as the gun in Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles). Their targeting of only children and families leaves me feeling cold and unwanted in their vast wasteland of crap.

I've probably just grown up and out of their demographic, but I still have their previous iterations to enjoy, but this one has absolute no redeeming qualities to me and seems like a bigger waste of money and time then the Wii before it.

Re:Lost to me. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347901)

I'm sad that Sega is giving them the only release of Bayonetta 2, but that's all I've lost. I won't be buying a Wii U until I can get one for $50 behind the counter at Publix, if even then[0].

They've managed to not just "milk into boredom" but actually antagonize me into abandoning their core franchises that I've been a fan of since The First Days. First, the abomination that was Metroid: Other M, which took all of the "cool points" that the prime trilogy had earned for itself and flushed them down the crapper.

Then Twilight Princess with it's stupid gimmicky motion control scheme[1] was bad enough, but the new one which had not only more of the same crap, but required me to buy a new controller, too? It became the first Zelda game in 25 years (except for one of the CDi games) that I didn't play. I'm thirty-*mumble* years old, work on a keyboard for 8-12 hours a day, and the last thing I want to do in my relaxation time is flip my aching arms, hands, and wrists around like I'm having some sort of fit.

Of course, Mario's been sort of "meh" for years. Mario 64 made a nice comeback for it, and then down it went again. The only Kid Icarus since 1991 is so stupidly designed that it requires you to have a stand for your portable game system, since the guy who came up with the control scheme apparently had 3 hands. Star Fox and Mario Kart haven't had a decent iteration since the 64, either, and DKC's hope left with Rare.

I don't speak for all "core" gamers, or even all of the old school demographic, and don't claim to, but IMO, they'd BETTER court the casuals, and not half-ass it this time, since they've burned most of the goodwill they earned in the 80s and 90s.

[0] Which isn't meant to imply that I will buy either or both of the XBox360+1 or the PS3+1. But those are different rants, and I'm trying to keep on topic. :)

[0] Which was COMPLETELY unnecessary (as evidenced by the fact that it was also released on the Gamecube), which makes it a textbook example of a "gimmick," lest I be accused of fanboying.

Re:Lost to me. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348581)

Mario has seen a high recently, while the GC/GBA era was pretty meh for him the Wii saw the Galaxy games (extremely positive critical reaction, Metacritic score at times the highest of any game in the database!) and following the DS iteration got New Super Mario Bros Wii (extremely high sellers, the DS one broke all Mario sales records, the Wii one still sold over 20 million showing that the general public still loves this style more than the 3D style) and the 3DS got Super Mario 3D Land which also got a ton of praise and sales. If you don't like any of those then Mario just isn't for you.

DKC got DKC Returns which was widely loved. Probably more than anything Rare has done since the split from Nintendo (though Viva Pinata and Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts deserved more recognition than they got).

The Broader Appeal of the Wii U (2)

qbitslayer (2567421) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347695)

it's harder to see the broader appeal of the Wii U

The broader appeal of the Wii U is that it is no longer just a video game/fitness machine, it is now a TV set-top box and an intelligent TV remote as well. It is an aggregator of multiple internet-driven entertainment choices. The opportunity for Nintendo to may serious money is immense. I can sense the determined hand of Reggie Fils-aime ( Nintendo US CEO) behind Nintendo's newest push.

EXECUTE Betteridge's Law of Headlines (4, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347737)

No. But it goes beyond just the law, for a number of reasons:

  • Economy.
    Wii was introduced before the housing bubble burst and long before the global economic recession. People had the idea that they had money to spare, whether or not they actually did. This helped fuel generic consumer interest along with the "newness" that is motion controls. In addition, the new price points puts Nintendo out of that "sweet number" they had in 2006. The $250 price point for the Wii at release in 2012 dollars is $285; the cheapest model is $299, and wages haven't kept up with inflation.
  • Wow-factor.
    Motion controlling was a big thing when the Wii released--while it was not exactly new tech, Nintendo managed to mainstream it and make it work (sort of, the Wiimote Plus greatly improved this but still had issues.) Furthermore, the controllers for other consoles were seen as "intimidating" to your average consumer due to the myriad of buttons and inputs on them (whether or not this is true I don't know, but it was common thought both then and now). The Wiimote was extremely simple and could be used as a controller harking back to the NES days.
    The Gamepad doesn't offer anything in the "wow-factor" to pull consumers in. Touch-screens have been around for quite some time (the original DS had a touch screen, after all) and everyone is tablet-crazy these days so it acts like a me-too. In addition, it integrates all those scary buttons. Furthermore, at least to someone like myself who is a regular gamer, the controller looks horribly clunky (my understanding from reading testimonials of those who have been able to hands-on is that it actually works decently, but that's not going to stop perception of those on the outside.)
  • Power.
    The Wii U is, from my understanding, about as powerful as the 360. While I can understand that Nintendo wants to focus on user interface, they can't ignore that having a lower-powered system hurt them greatly this last gen. It wasn't the controller, it was the system processing power that kept a lot of otherwise-multi-console games from coming to the Wii (and when they did they were relatively bad). Nintendo has caught up, but as soon as the PS4 and XBox720 come out (supposedly in the next 18 months), they'll be lagging behind once again. Furthermore, by tipping their hand this early, it gives Microsoft and Sony a chance to integrate whatever features into their next system and likely do it better (the Kinect and Move have their own issues that will likely be firmed up and integrated better for the next console cycle).
  • Games.
    A big selling point for the Wii was that it came with Wii Sports. The Basic (read: cheap) version of the Wii U comes with no games (except whatever demos or utilities they have on the system, like TVii), which only intensifies the economic issue. This may be intentional, though, as the tie-in (how many game were sold per console) for the Wii is extremely low, especially compared to the other consoles. By forcing "casual" consumers to buy games off the bat they can increase that number this time around; many bought the wii, played Wii Sports, and then never bought another game.

Nintendo also has a lot of uphill battles with 'core' gamers, too:
--Their online capabilities seem to still lag entire generations behind the competition (those horrible friend codes will apparently make an appearance on Wii U [ign.com])
--Aforementioned power
--A number of AAA games they have announced are mere ports of games have been out for some time
--Internal Storage is limited to a max of 32GB, important as digital sales increase; however, this can be expanded (supposedly easily)
--Games, games, games, games. Nintendo didn't learn from the 3DS, apparently--the launch window library is fairly "meh", and we don't even know launch titles except for NSMBU

I've been a devout Nintendork for my life, fighting many a troll online for the Gamecube and trying to shoot down nay-sayers before the Wii was released. However, Nintendo is making a lot of mistakes with this generation; I'll still buy a Wii U at some point, likely, but there is nothing that makes me interested in standing in line day-one like I did for the Wii. I hear echoes of this in the online circles I run in. If gamers can't even get excited for the console, why should casual consumers?

Why there are buttons on the GamePad (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347953)

The Gamepad doesn't offer anything in the "wow-factor" to pull consumers in. Touch-screens have been around for quite some time (the original DS had a touch screen, after all) and everyone is tablet-crazy these days so it acts like a me-too. In addition, it integrates all those scary buttons.

So for a touch-screen-only device, how would you recommend making effective control for a platformer without scary physical buttons? I tried playing a game using the on-screen gamepad paradigm on a tablet, and I kept missing the buttons because I couldn't feel where my thumbs were relative to the buttons [pineight.com]. That frustration is part of why the Wii U GamePad still has buttons instead of relying on a single flat surface with a capacitive sensor.

Re:Why there are buttons on the GamePad (1)

RyoShin (610051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348513)

My point wasn't that it should be touch-screen only. My point is that by incorporating the regular layout with an otherwise-familiar touchscreen, they bring in the "too complex" factor that can scare off casual consumers, especially the older crowd. I don't think it's a bad idea for a controller, but it's not helpful to capture the casuals. (Also that having a touchscreen isn't a big deal these days.)

I actually like the idea of controller with a touchscreen; I was quite sad that the GamecubeGBA link didn't go very far. However, I don't think Nintendo's implementation is a good one. But the question being asked here is if Nintendo can capture the casuals, not about the merits of the system overall.

They are counting on a gimmick the 2nd time around (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348621)

And that is dangerous.

The motion control on the Wii was largely a gimmick. While there were a few games that made really effective use of it or could be made well without it, most didn't. They just translated certain gross motion in to the equivalent of a button press, they didn't really do much special. However for all that, it intrigued may people and they wished to have it. The gimmick worked.

Ok fair enough, but that kind of stuff tends to be very hit or miss. People can see a gimmick and say "meh" even if it is new and original. It is rather impossible to predict to what level people will care. However as you say if they've seen it before, then they are less likely to be interested as with touch screens.

So I don't think it is a good idea on Nintendo's part or likely to do well for them. People just won't care, the gimmick won't sell. It'll be left to perform on its own merits and as you say, those are a bit lacking.

I think a better idea would be a cheaper system (those tablets cost a non-trivial amount), better online service, and better launch titles. The power/graphics issue isn't a big deal so long as the games are good and the online service is good, particularly if the price is right which wouldn't be hard to do with lower spec hardware and no silly tablet.

We'll see. I was wrong on the Wii, I didn't think it would catch on like it did, so I've certainly been wrong before. However it is less likely lighting strikes a second time, particularly since tablets are nothing new.

Giving up on motion control (2)

dlsmith (993896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347825)

I think the main thing that disappoints me about the Wii U is the way it completely abandons motion control. I bought a Wii for Wii Sports. I had minimal interest in classic Nintendo titles, and absolutely no interest Xbox/PS3-style games. Then there was MotionPlus and Tiger Woods Golf, and that was fun for a long time. EA makes the same game on other platforms, but I have zero interest in mashing buttons together in order to simulate a golf game.

Since then, I've bought a handful of different games, some of them with pretty traditional controls (with lame waggle "enhancements") (e.g., Galaxy), and that's been fun, and I love Nintendo's creativity in a lot of their titles, but, still, the motion controls in something like Skyward Sword are far more interesting to me than anything else.

Enter Wii U. Doesn't do anything to push the motion control technology forward. Doesn't even ship with motion-sensitive controllers or a sensor bar. All that is abandoned in favor of a touchscreen melded with traditional gaming controls. I have a hard time seeing how new games (the next Zelda, for example) are going to improve on the experience I enjoyed the last time around -- because now Nintendo's going to be all about producing games that take advantage of the new controller. How do they even release a new Sports for the Wii U? Seems like that title is just put on hold...

Re:Giving up on motion control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41347849)

The Wii U does ship with a sensor bar for use by the IR/motion-sensing pad.

Re:Giving up on motion control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348535)

It does support the existing wiimote+ although I would have liked to see more advancement in the area of motion controls. Perhaps the addition of a visual motion detection system to work together with the wiimote. I played FPS style games way back in the day (ie. quakeworld). To me motion control felt like the first new thing in gaming since the advent of 3D and online multiplayer (ie. quakeworld).

Re:Giving up on motion control (2)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348617)

Nintendo did a pretty crappy job of actually using the motion controls and third parties were often even worse. They forgot that motion controls require adjustments to game designs if you don't want them to feel tacked on (standard game designs are built around buttons and assume characters that can perform everything perfectly so motion controls get turned into on/off affairs where they're obviously inferior). Motion controls add many more ways for humans to mess up and that should be incorporated into the gameplay instead of treated as a problem. The golf games are some of the few games that did it right, because they're trying to simulate an imperfect action anyway (with clunky workarounds for controllers) they're a great match for motion controls.

For example you can't have a game about a superhuman dude slicing hundreds of enemies apart with canned combos and then bind those combos to waggle, that's stupid. The human controlling the game won't be able to keep up and the waggle is just stupid either way. You gotta take away some of the unrealism to add proper motion controls, instead of canned combos have direct sword controls and balance around what a player can be expected to handle, instead of armies of enemies have a more realistic count so the fights can afford to be more involved.

Of course none of this is written in stone but it's a start. On the other hand Zangeki no Reginleiv had you kill hundreds of dudes with motion controls by letting you do extra stuff with them, e.g. instead of just swinging your sword in a fixed arc you draw lines on the screen with your swings and enemies take damage along those lines, both allowing you to hit multiple enemies at once and aim for specific limbs. The game doesn't really work without motion controls (you can try using the classic controller but it's a bad idea). Yet games where the motion controls add instead of detract from the game are rare.

Re:Giving up on motion control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348631)

Wait... It's compatible with the Wii motion controller. And well, since a bunch of people already have a Wii, why ship with another motion bar? Just use the one from the Wii. And I thought the new Wii U gamepad had a motion bar built in?

I for one will buy the WII U (4, Interesting)

Wattos (2268108) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347841)

I will gladly give my money to Nintendo for the Wii U. I am a gamer, with a huge passion for games. Finally Nintendo will provide next-gen gaming on their consoles. Nintendo, compared to Sony and Microsoft, is a company for gamers.

They dont charge you for online play (Looking at you M$), they dont charge you for additional storage by selling you some proprietary hdd. They dont remove features after the sale ( install other OS??) and they dont go in rage mode and start suing their customers. They also did not have any security breaches...

For me it is quite clear, if there will be a game which comes to all consoles, Ill be getting the Wii U version (unless there is a PC version ofc)

Re:I for one will buy the WII U (1)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348051)

While it's nice for them to not have any of your personal data to lose if they ever got hacked. It makes digital purchases for them worthless.

People have lost or had their 3DS stolen and Nintendo can't/won't transfer the licenses for any digital purchases to their new console.

Microsoft plug the removable HDD into another console, or do through a process to transfer the data to a new HDD.

Sony is actually the most friendly where you activate the console to your account and then can access the content you purchased. They also give you the ability to deactivate all consoles on their website should it break or be stolen.

Re:I for one will buy the WII U (2)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348641)

Next-gen is such a nebulous, marketing bullshit term. Going by the strict definition it's always the console that's not released yet so you can't buy a next-gen system. So yeah, the Wii U is next-gen until it's released. Then it becomes current-gen and the Wii becomes last-gen. To a marketer next-gen is their own system and everything else isn't (Sony: "Next-gen doesn't start until we say so!").

Is Nintendo EVER going to make a phone? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347861)

What Nintendo really needs to do is make a family of kick-ass high-powered Android phones with proper game controls, then make them usable as game controls for the Wii-U.

Re:Is Nintendo EVER going to make a phone? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348655)

Why? The Android software market isn't very profitable currently.

Re:Is Nintendo EVER going to make a phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348683)

What I want to know is why doesn't the controller have Android?! That's a few thousand games Nintendo would be getting for free for their crowd!

Casual gamers are on their phones. (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41347903)

No.

Casual gamers are playing games on their phones. NIntendo fucked themselves over by not bothering to put out any titles at all for the Wii during its entire run.

Oh sure, you had a couple of Mario games, one Zelda, and... No More Heroes? I think that was about it. The rest were junk, they never released a "greatest hits" $20 version of any titles until early in 2012, and there's nothing compelling in the library.

Jerk off over the hardware all you want. No games -- no sales.

And again, people who want to play a game casually for five minutes at a time are going to whip out their phone and play a $1 game.

Cost of owning a phone (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348067)

people who want to play a game casually for five minutes at a time are going to whip out their phone and play a $1 game.

Provided they have a phone. True, a grown-up interested in video games can almost be assumed to own a smartphone nowadays. But any game rated E or E10+ includes kids as part of its intended audience. A phone capable of gaming costs well over $1,000 once you factor in an iControlPad and the cost of cellular voice and data service for two years. I'm under the impression that a lot of parents can't afford this for their kids, so they buy each kid a flip phone on a $80/year prepaid carrier as a pay phone replacement ("this is for getting a ride home; use the land line at home for long calls") and a DS/3DS for gaming.

Re:Casual gamers are on their phones. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348669)

I'm trying to figure out what kind of filter you're using that includes Mario, Zelda and No More Heroes but ignores all the other good Wii games (not saying NMH was a good game but what exactly made you pick THAT ONE?).

Re:Casual gamers are on their phones. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349631)

I see you had trouble filling out the list too. ;)

Doesn't really matter, my ex took the Wii when she moved out and I bought an XBox instead.

Nintendo Lost Me, a Hardcore Gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41348325)

Nintendo lost me, a hardcore gamer due to only releasing "kiddie" games. I waited and waited and waited for decent adult games and Nintendo never delivered. FAIL.

I should also point out that I hate motion controllers.

I'm casual, want more, no DVD, no deal, too little (1)

myvirtualid (851756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41348455)

We're a family of casual gamers. We don't game a lot, and when we do they tend to be games many can play together (Rock Band, Glee, etc.). We also play more traditional head-to-head games, but all gaming comes in spurts, days/weeks where we do it a lot followed by months where we don't. The Wii worked for us.

But that was then.

Since then, we've slowly gotten tired of more and more remotes, more and more devices, and we've slowly discovered more and more on-line distractions. Hey, we just finally signed up for Netflix a few weeks ago, partly because we didn't have a decent device for it - we don't enjoy being our own tech support anymore. What changed is that we got Apple TV to make it easier to show pictures to friends, and Apple TV is a bit of a gateway device....

Which brings us to the Wii U. I want something more than the Wii, something more than Apple TV, and I want fewer remotes and few devices in my living room. Recent announcements of the Wii U having universal remote capabilities and integrated media streaming capabilities made me very excited!

But guess what? The lack of DVD and Blue Ray capabilities is a deal-breaker.

My living room is cluttered. The tech is good enough that one device can do it all. So I ain't buying a device that doesn't. If I add one device (a U) I want to remove two (the old Wii and my DVD player).

People are calling the Wii U the first eighth generation console. Nope. It's the last seventh. Or the only 7.5. To be next-gen, you have to raise the bar, and the Wii U doesn't: it has some cool features, but it doesn't come close to being truly new, a true replacement for what we have, a new way of doing anything.

Universal remote? Been there, done that.

Touch screen? Ditto. Game transfer? Yup. Networking? Social? DVD? Streaming? Motion control? Yup, yup, yup, yup.

You want to get "the casual gamer", the folks like us and many like us? You give us one device that does all of the above, and more, without being intrusive, without binding us to you (like Apple does - hey, we've already got iTunes, like Google wants to, etc.). I'd buy that. And if you can throw in something really mind blowing, many more would buy it.

But the U is just "meh" enough for me to wait to see what's next.

I'm probably not the only one.

Re:I'm casual, want more, no DVD, no deal, too lit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349011)

I believe we rate console generation by hardware capabilities. The hardware in the wii u is very capable and it is a true eight generation console; however all those extra features are not related to the core task of playing games. Guess what, those extra feature cost alot to license. In fact, you will have to at least 10-20 dollars per device to support those features.

From what you just said, supporting the casual gamer is not worth it. They do not buy games. Third party publisher will be unhappy that their games do not sell. Nintendo will have to beg Sony or other license committee to support those things which will raise cost making their hardware crappier that will otherwise buy better parts. Nintendo will die as a company if it continue to support causals, since they already left.

Lower Power (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349051)

How did having a lower power machine help Nintendo in the last console generation?

Will Microsoft and Sony bring 500-700 dollar machines to market this time?

Will concentrating on the user interface pay off like it did last time for Nintendo?

Consoles sold from last generation:

Wii 96 million, XBox360 68 million, PS3 66 million.

Re:Lower Power (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349413)

How did having a lower power machine help Nintendo in the last console generation?

By having the cheapest machine on offer, and still sell it for more than it costs to produce. It also helped by making the developers concentrate on the games, instead on graphics. But developing software licensing is a hell, so this last one didn't help as much as it could. (If something kills this generation of game consoles, it will be licensing.)

Will Microsoft and Sony bring 500-700 dollar machines to market this time?

If they do, they'll fail. That price was a problem for the last generation, people didn't get wealthier since then.

Will concentrating on the user interface pay off like it did last time for Nintendo?

That's the safest bet. Altough I doubt Nintendo did the right decisions this time. I may be wrong, it is possible to use the U controler to make great games that'll disrupt the market again, I just think they won't (and Id love to be proved wrong).

They saturated the non-gamer market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349831)

A lot of non-gamers bought wiis!, and everyone took that as proof to how broad the gamer market could be!

Except that they didn't buy anything more. Okay, maybe they upgraded from Wii Sports to Wii Sports Resort, but that's about it. The great gaming revolution never came.

Of course, to try and create a great gaming revolution, they had to completely abandon the gamers, you know, the ones who made video games a success to begin with. Even their direct reproductions have gotten worse and worse. Let's take Donkey Kong Country, there were two things to do in the game, Jump and Roll. However, with these two things they made an incredibly beautiful, fluid, fun game. What did they do for the remake?, instead of having a simple button to roll, you have to press down and shake the controller, taking a simple, elegant move into something extremely annoying to do with absolutely horrible precision.

Let's take smash brothers, another shinning light, but when using the wii-mote and nunchuk, it's really easy to turn your hands in, making the analog controller very inprecise, simply because you have nothing to compare the directions with. My solution was to buy the "classic" controller, so I could use the d-pad: there is no way to make the "classic" controller use the d-pad as it's movement control, leaving you with the same imprecise analog stick. Nevermind that half of the characters work nothing like they did in their own games.

Twilight Princess was very, very similar to the the (much better) Ocarina of Time, the major difference was to make room for the imprecision of shaking your controller to attack, the combat of the game, (one of the core gameplay elements), is no where near as fun or challenging as it was in Ocarina of Time. The game wouldn't be playable if they did.

They are adding things like Bayonetta, (nevermind the fact that switching between consoles for a direct sequel is a way to lose all of the fans the game had to begin with), but keeping their marque games as childish as ever. Bayonetta isn't out of place on the PS3, because while they have cartoonish games, many of the cartoonish games take themselves seriously. They understand that people want old-school gameplay, but have grown up since they first place SMB way back in the day. They want to take the characters seriously, (as newgrounds and youtube mario parody's should prove). But no, Mario is just as vapid as ever, and adding Bayonetta is basically like adding pornography to a kids' channel, (if you've played Bayonetta, you'll know how close to being literal that is).

The Wii has essentially become the joke among consoles. No one is going to believe the Wii-U surpasses current generation consoles until they see Nintendo make one that is at least close to par. The only thing keeping Nintendo afloat is Pokemon, (which in all honesty has barely changed since they were first invented).

In short, why don't you try going pg before jumping to xxx, and why don't you try making half-decent games instead of making a hardware revolution; in all honest, you have a lot of catching up to do until you are even considered viable, so do that first.

Take a note from Sony: the SIXAXIS turned out to be pretty imprecise. It didn't work out the way they thought it would, and so instead of forcing it on everyone, they let them use it if they want, (there have been some great uses out of it, but because there is no requirement to, they can make sure it actually fits in with the game).

Court people who actually buy games, (you know, GAMERS).

Don't force people to come over to your console, i.e. by taking a PS3 game and making it's sequel a Wii-U only game, instead start with some ports so people actually have a choice. Once people consider your console viable as an actual gaming platform, then buy out the games and make them Wii-U exclusives.

Same old thing. (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350155)

I'd like Nintendo a whole lot more if I didn't hate the Mario world so much, and it's all about the fucking, boring, racist and campy mascot everywhere on every title in every iteration. It's not funny. It's not sexy. It's not cute. As a pop culture icon, it's just as dull as it's always been and the only reason left to insist on it (in the US) is to pander to Generation Xs and Generation Ys who think they're Generation Xs.

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