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Nintendo Aims At Oprah Crowd

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the game-of-the-month-club? dept.

Games 104

Next Gen's DICE coverage includes commentary by Reggie Fils-Aime, who tries to convince publishers to expand the gaming market. Even if it means running ads during Oprah. From the article: "He said that Nintendo would be using new marketing channels, such as daytime television shows, Oprah and Ellen ... In what has become something of a Nintendo mantra, he said Nintendo was seeking to attract female gamers and older gamers. He also warned that the number of teenage males is declining in North America, and high school students are saying their interest in games is declining."

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104 comments

oprah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682349)

is a stupid useless damned coon

Well now I'm confused... (2, Interesting)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682360)

.. is it a good or bad thing that High School kids are becoming less interested in video games?

Re:Well now I'm confused... (4, Insightful)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682392)

It isn't a question of them being less interested, it's a question of that market being more or less saturated, and the gaming industry needing to find new people to sell games to.

Re:Well now I'm confused... (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683124)

and the gaming industry needing to find new people to sell games to.

Um, I think you misspelled "suckers" :P

Re:Well now I'm confused... (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686376)

This is probably the best guess, since video games are quickly becoming the "trendy" fad these days. Just look at how they're represented on TV (i.e., the Spike Video Game Awards, the entire G4 channel).

Re:Well now I'm confused... (1)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14687960)

"trendiness," from a corporate perspective, happens when a market becomes profitable enough to target aggressively. The disposable income of the game-playing demographic segment has risen tremendously in the past 15 years, so it's no surprise that firms want to market to that segment aggressively.

what I worry about, of course, is that so much of that disposable income comes from unsecured personal debt, but that's another economic problem and another discussion

Re:Well now I'm confused... (2, Insightful)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682534)

I don't buy that for a minute. Every high schooler I know plays plenty of games. If the statement is that high school kids are less and less interested in Nintendo, that I'd believe (haven't seen one of those in a while). XBox, PlayStation, and PC games seem to have no shortage of high school audience.

Re:Well now I'm confused... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14683521)

wow, didn't know you knew every high schooler out there. so glad you can provide us with such damning evidence.

Re:Well now I'm confused... (1)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682757)

For the gaming industry, this is a bad thing.. Less customers = less revenue = less profit.

As to if this is bad or good for teenagers, I'm not getting involved in that religious flamewar ;)

Re:Well now I'm confused... (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14687702)

It depends. Are they gaining interest in drinking, smoking, sex, street violence, studying, sleeping, sports, etc... Who knows what's going on with these crazy kids?

Re:Well now I'm confused... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689720)

It's BAD. Think about it.. if they're less interested in games, it's because they're too busy having kids at age 16 and throwing lightswitch raves at the methadone clinic.

The best argument FOR video games, is that every hour a kid spends playing video games, is an hour they aren't spending getting into big trouble. Today's kids are stupider than ever, I'd rather see a teenager hooked on WoW than making baby Cletuses with the trailer trash bimbo next door.

Depends... (1)

franktinsley (865199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682386)

On if you think time spent on myspace.com is better then time spent with video games.

Presumably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682407)

You have to eat as many cakes as you can whilst hyping the books of liars and pop-psychologists...

The #1 reason teens wanting to game declining IS.. (1)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682429)

They're turning into adults! They have other things to doa gaming might be cutting into work time!

Re:The #1 reason teens wanting to game declining I (4, Insightful)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682565)

Kids ALWAYS say their interest in video games is declining when we're in the transition between console generations. Always. When the new systems hit stride, WHOOPS, all of a sudden it's boomtown again. Stop asking kids to participate in polls. It's as useless as student council elections.

Re:The #1 reason teens wanting to game declining I (4, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682679)

Surely you do not mean to suggest that an institution as valuable and entrenched as the Student Council is without use! Why, I remember when I was president of the Student Council I was able to enact sweeping changes to my school that are in effect to this very day. For instance, I promised an end to homework and I delivered on that promise. The students wanted Coke machines in every single classroom and as soon as I was elected I made that happen by dint of sheer will. Also, every day was pizza day and all of our teachers were fired and replaced by highly qualified young ladies from Hugh Heffner's very own School for Buxom Ladies.

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682778)

Funny mods don't affect your Karma. Stop trying so hard.

Re:You know... (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682821)

But a few mods come along with a different sense of humor and start modding negatively and whaddaya know? I'm posting at 0. Besides, I'm not always shooting for jokes. And I don't usually take bait.

Surprise! (3, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682468)

Everyone look under your seat!

IT'S A FREE REVOLUTION!

Actually, that wouldn't be too bad of a campaign. AFAIK, most of Oprah's audience are parents to some extent, mainly females. Giving them all a free Nintendo DS, a free copy of Nintendogs, and a free copy of Mario Kart would probably do a lot of good. While they probably wouldn't be visably extatic on the show (though, you never know), they'll probably adore it once they get into Nintendogs, especially those with a lot of free time. Mario Kart is a great game that everyone can enjoy, and the males will probably be more interested in it than the females.

In either case, the parents, who may not have even known about it before, will find out how much fun it is, and get one for their kid(s), cause "This DS is for the adults (and we don't want you breaking it). Plus, the value of peer recommendations should never be underestimated.

And, of course, any kids who were dragged along to the show will scream with delight.

I just looked... (5, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682628)

Nothing there, lying bastard.

Re:I just looked... (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682890)

3 month old chewed gum isn't "nothing". It's worse than nothing.

When I read the title I thought Nitendo is going to make an emulator for Opera's web browser? Cool.

Oprah is less cool than Opera.

Dreamcast (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682799)

I remember Sega gave away Sega Dreamcasts to everyone in a Rose O'Donald show. I thought it was a cleaver marketing idea. If Nintendo gave away Revolutions on Oprah, it would be great PR and a semi-effective Anti-PS3-hype bomb if they drop it before Sony releases, assuming Nintendo launches before them. Though I suppose they might be able to get away with some sort of coupon.

Re:Surprise! (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682979)

True, if you just gave a revolution with some games they may not be visiably excited. But, what if it was given out on an Oprah show about the revolution which also demonstrated it's cool capabilities and controls. Maybe also get a few audience members to try out the system, and then everyone will be excited when they look under their seats and get this super cool revolution that they have been watching.

Nintendo is too smart not to do a multipronged marketting strategy like this with the revolution, especially if they are targetting non-traditional gamers who have pretty much just given up on games and think of them as being for their teenager.

Smart move. (4, Insightful)

kabocox (199019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682472)

Sounds like a smart move by Nintendo. Alot of moms watch Oprah, so if you were making the niche for kid games you would target the kids and the moms. You'd show the mom's all the kid safe games on your system. You'd basically say our system is rated G so you can buy any of our games without worrying about the sex or violence issues that those other systems have. ;)

Re:Smart move. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682550)

I agree, good move. And after this is successful, we can look forward to Oprah: The Video Game!

I'd rather 'Stedman: The Video Game'! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682708)

I'd rather Stedman: The Video Game! Perhaps we could get Robert Smigel to produce and direct it? He could have a dual-life in the game, avoiding Oprah's romantic advances in one half of the game, and being an undercover international man of mystery in the other half!

It'd be sweet! :P

Re:Smart move. (1)

LiquidAvatar (772805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682590)

... and, with the vibrating, stick-like controllers, there could be *other* advantages to marketing towards Oprah's audience...

-1 Lewd

Re:Smart move. (1)

ajd1474 (558490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685121)

Thanks! >:| If my mum buys me a Revolution there will be NO WAY I will play it now!

Re:Smart move. (1)

Taboam (950588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685390)

That makes no sense there not trying to sell it to kids, kids will probably get it anyway because its cheaper. When they show it on oprah they are trying to market it towards older audiances, no not the 16yr old GTA audiance, the real older audiance of people 30-60 and adding this demographic wont take anything away from traditional gamers.

Re:Smart move. (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686992)

That makes no sense there not trying to sell it to kids, kids will probably get it anyway because its cheaper. When they show it on oprah they are trying to market it towards older audiances, no not the 16yr old GTA audiance, the real older audiance of people 30-60 and adding this demographic wont take anything away from traditional gamers.

Um, "kids" in the 13-17 age may have part time jobs where they can get some money. I'm thinking more of the 5-12 age group. Those kids don't have money themselves. You can cross market to them and their moms though. So the kiddies will be begging mom for a new system, and then she sees it adver. during Operah or other "adult womens" show and they see that this systems games don't generally have the social issues of the other two systems. Which one do you think the K-7 grader would get from mom and dad as a Christmas or birthday present? And then there is the price. The Revolution in my opinion will stick to Nintendo's core audience very young gamers.

What I'd be more curious about (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682502)

Does this mean that they're actually going to, you know, be making GAMES targeted at women and other nonstandard gamers?

So far for the DS they've got that Nintendogs thing, and that Brain Training thing coming up. These both did very well with "nongamers" in Japan-- but, while they're some kind of similar effect in America, they seem to be not the same kind of smash hit material with american audiences.

Other than those two games, Nintendo doesn't seem to have any other "zomg aimed at women" games coming up for the DS, and they've certainly announced nothing of that sort for the Revolution-- so far Nintendo's stated plans for Revolution games come down to pretty much "mario smash brothers metroid", all traditionally male-oriented titles. So if Nintendo advertises during Oprah... what exact PRODUCT do they intend on advertising?

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682703)

They could do simple system pushing commericals. Always plenty of games that you can find half second images of that are offensive to no one. As long as they make the system look friendly, nonthreating and overall - fun, It should be fine.

Imagine for a second possiblities:

Scenes of the classic-style family gathered around the Revolution showing an elderly grandmother how, to her surprise, easy it is to use the control remote!

Kids finishing up their homework then skipping over to the Revolution and standing, almost exercising as they use the controller.

Dad playing some generic or Mario based sports game with his friends.


You know, the sappy, good vibrations kind of crap that makes you queazy. It's like advertising crack.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682748)

I don't think you want to target games specifically to women. Just target them for a broad, general audience. Think "G" or "PG" movies. Not all of those movies are targeted specifically for kids (although many are). But they're movies that anyone, at any age, can appreciate.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685968)

I don't think you want to target games specifically to women. Just target them for a broad, general audience.



Tetris DS [nintendo.com] , then. I suspect the classic strategy will still work.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684734)

Recipe for success: get just ONE truly alpha-female type playing video games. Then, some of her group will start playing games. Suddenly, some outsiders start playing games. Another alpha-female sees the first one using games to cultivate a better social group, so the second one starts playing as well. This all starts snowballing, and suddenly games are the subject of major feuds and victories for female social groups.

You may think I'm joking, but this entire theory sounds rather plausible to me.

The only problem is getting one truly alpha-female type playing video games.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685021)

My wife got hooked on WoW. Previously, she didn't really consider herself much of a gamer (maybe the occasional Sims game). Now she plays more than I do, and tells her friends about it. (And some of her friends were already playing it to begin with)

So yeah, it happens.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684782)

There's plenty of games that women would like on the DS - Nintendogs, WarioWare, Meteos, Trace Memory, Sims, Animal Crossing, etc - the problem is that women don't think of gaming as something for them. Start marketing it to them, and they'll give it a chance and probably like it.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685768)

nintendo is smart. there are actually MANY female oriented games on the DS, but the catch is, you'd never know it if you're looking for "Barbie horse adventures." and thats a good thing. Games like "barbie horse adventure" is insulting to gamers, and insulting to women. games like "nintendogs" and "animal crossing" can capture the female non-gamer eye.. and then there's plenty of other games for everyone else that they might be interested in trying, too. Nintendo does things differently, and that is why they are succeeding.

Re:What I'd be more curious about (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693576)

I'm at work, so no links, but everything in the following comment is real.


The response to your question depends on what exactly do you think are games that should be targeted at women?


It's a "well-known fact" that women like puzzle games, and Tetris has always been popular with everyone, regardless of age, race or gender. So they can market Tetris DS.


Or, perhaps they can market Cooking Mama (also on the DS) a cooking game. Except, wait, that would be sexist.


I don't know. How about Kirby Canvas Curse. I mean, come on, it's a game where you draw rainbows. That's not just a major mechanic in the game, it is the mechanic of the game. Come on, chicks like rainbows right?


Of course, you could market Pokemon Blue/Teal/Peridot/Burnt Sienna...I mean, assuming they avoid shows with a high, right wing Christian audience, because I have it on good authority that Pokemon are the spawn of Satan (no, really, I was at Wal-Mart, helping a lady choose a portable gaming system for their little boy, and she assured me, and my Jewish friend, that pokemon were the work of the devil...and if you can't trust a random person in Wal-Mart about the ultimate nature of evil, who can you trust?).


I think Nintendo has the right idea. It's not so much a matter of what games you market, but how you market them. A simple game like Animal Crossing can get the sci fi geek, the MMO item collector, the Sims fanatic, the Bejeweled freak, and the kid who just wants a game to play...but it all depends on how you present it to them. It helps to present it on a show they actually watch, as opposed to on channels they only turn to when absolutely forced. If you blather about how great something is on ESPN, half the women will immediately associate it with the natural disgust they feel for that channel. If, on the other hand, you say the exact same thing on Lifetime, women will be more inclined to take an interest in it, just because a) they associate it with something they enjoy now and b) they feel like you actually took the time to display an interest in what they want (even if you actually didn't).


Marketing is a strange beast, and altogether depends less on what you're selling and more on how you sell it.

Does this mean that Dr Phil is coming to Nintendo (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682512)

Will we be having the guy pop up in the middle of our games and lecture us to "GET REAL" and get a higher score, don't quit, and other psychobabble like that? Will we get more than 3 colors, to accent the room the console is located in?

Re:Does this mean that Dr Phil is coming to Ninten (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682583)

I'd pay very well for a FPS in which I could shoot Dr Phil.

Re:Does this mean that Dr Phil is coming to Ninten (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683064)

Dr. Phil plays tennis, so I'd imagine some sort of Dr. Phil tennis game but with bad knees.

Imagine that! (0)

Onuma (947856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682535)

A high school teenager wants to stop playing video games so much, go to a party, and get laid?
Who would've guessed?!

Re:Imagine that! (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14687195)

A high school teenager wants to stop playing video games so much, go to a party, and get laid? Who would've guessed?!

Who are you, and how did you end up posting to Slashdot?

game interest? (1)

nickyj (142376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682569)

"...high school students are saying their interest in games is declining."

Let's see, back in HS I cared about two things while others cared about three. I cared about having fun activities (billiards, bowling, friends) and girls. The third thing which was popular in my HS was drugs. With the cost of gaming, who wouldn't rather spend that money on any or all of the three I mentioned?

Re:game interest? (1)

icroak (663353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684059)

And why can't this be "...I cared about having fun activities (billiards, video games, bowling, friends) and girls."???

No, it's NOT the kids! (5, Insightful)

larsoncc (461660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682587)

Several folks here are pointing out that it's great for Nintendo to go after "the mom crowd" - that it's good marketing to get the product in front of moms, who will buy Revolution for the kids.

NO NO NO!

His whole point seems to be DIRECTLY marketing it to these moms. The games being TARGETED at 50 - 60 year olds. An excercise for your MIND.

Get it?

You know - it's that whole market that is completely ignored right now.

Yes, moms are a great way to get at kids.

BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

Re:No, it's NOT the kids! (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683534)

Calm down, it's going to be ok. He's not talking about targetting to mom, and only to mom. Nintendogs and Brain Training will not be the ONLY games for this system. Think back to the teaser video where they revealed the Revolution. People of all ages. They're still going to shoot for the traditional demographic, just not as blatantly exclusively as MS and Sony. Nintendo will still be making Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc. It's a fool's errand to try to make EVERY game fit EVERY audience. It's pretty much impossible, except maybe with something like Tetris or Katamari Damacy. But just as there will be games that most moms don't care about, like Metroid, there will be things like Brain Training, that your average high-schooler won't even pause over.

Re:No, it's NOT the kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14690463)

Lets see...

Oprah crowd, Excercise for the mind...

The phrase "Too little too late" springs to mind.

Nintendo wanting more females to play games? (1)

kyle (in stereo) (949060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682605)

Thats a-okay in my book.

Re:Nintendo wanting more females to play games? (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683739)

Good lord, that's a step towards /.ers having sex!

It's new era, my brothers!

(yeah, sorry, I know "/.ers don't have sex" is a tired gag)

Re:Nintendo wanting more females to play games? (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693584)

That's okay. The day Nintendo is able to get me sex is the day mankind has reached the pinnacle of technology.

Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (3, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682675)

For example: analysis of the Japanese marketplace indicates that their economy is coming out of a long recession. Why? Japan has a dangerously low birth rate. Japanese women are educated and entering the workplace at a breakneck pace. They are not marrying and they are not having children. They don't feel the same amount of social pressures to succeed that the men feel, so they experience less stress and have loads of disposable income. For these reasons, the JApanese economy is becoming pegged to the spending habits of professional working age women. They overconsume ALL ACROSS THE BOARD.

If Nintendo chooses to focus its efforts on this group in Japan, it's only fair to assume that a similar trend will emerge here, given the standard delay of 5-15 years between our cultures.

We mirror Japan in other ways. JApan has a high suicide rate amongst males specifically. The US suicide rate amongst males is steadily rising. We've mirrored them in reality television shows and the steadily increasing amount of time spent watching it (The Japanese watch the most television in the world). The US is becoming increasingly a-religious as its urban centers grow, mirroring a largely secular Japanese culture.

I've done some freelance work for MTV and its no big secret there that their second biggest audience is urban professional women. They are a critical mass audience.

It's always funny that slashdot guys complain about not meeting/having chicks. The numbers are totally in your favor, dudes.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682897)

So we have hello kitty, schoolgirl-uniform-wearing models, dress-up maids at net cafes, used undies in vending machines, tentacles, and Godzilla to look forward to in the next 5-10 years?

Is that good or bad?

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686003)

Good.

But hasn't Hello Kitty already made the transition?

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

Profound (50789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683015)

>> The US is becoming increasingly a-religious

Ha!

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

NeoBlazeSJX (943994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685853)

It's true, actually. Especially around major cities, many younger generations are caring less about religion. It's just the relatively few, but extremly loud religious zealots that make it seem otherwise. The fact that said zealots often end up in Congress doesn't help much either.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14688651)

Agreed... I think someone is actually doing a study about correlations between urben centers and agnostic/atheistic beliefs.

Government listens to old people because old people vote. And old people and undereducated people are more religious. Government caters to them because they do the talking.

It's why the US wants media to get into fundamentalist countries. Nothing will destabilize a devout muslim country better than a few girls gone wild videos and american idol.

completely unrelated - I saw a documentary on the guys who flew the 9/11 planes. The night before they did the deed - one of the guys ordered a porn vid in his hotel room. One of the other guys ordered in for a hooker. The reason it was important to note was because one of the mandates they got in terrorist training was to "not let American mores corrupt you." By the time they did the deed - they were wearing down. They'd gotten drunk - they'd done some gambling in vegas.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683350)

And then there are trends which aren't shared at all, like the rapidly escalating prison population in the US.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683396)

It's always funny that slashdot guys complain about not meeting/having chicks. The numbers are totally in your favor, dudes.

They are? Last I checked, the male to female birth ratio was around 1.05 males per female. Of course, men die sooner than women, so by the time you're 60 or so, there are probably more women than men.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683880)

not quite. by the time you're 35 - the female/male ratio in US is 6 to 4.

Re:Oprah Crowd = $$$$$$$$$ (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684024)

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_ United_States [wikipedia.org] )

Sex ratios: (2005 est.)

        * at birth: 1.05 males/female
        * under 15 years: 1.05 males/female
        * 15-64 years: 1 male/female
        * 65 years and over: 0.72 male/female
        * total population: 0.97 male/female

It looks like it never becomes 6:4 as you claim. Maybe you have some source to cite?

high school (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682707)

offcorse they are losing interests in gaming
they are 2 busy to have unprotected sex now that a new effective aids medicine has been discovered

What do the fanbois think? (3, Insightful)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682717)

As much as I like the direction Nintendo is taking, trying to bring some new innovation to the industry with their radical new controller, and their emphasis on making it easier for everyone and their grandparents (literally!) to get into games ... I wonder what the typical Nintendo fanboi is thinking. Do they understand and appreciate what Nintendo is doing? When I say "fanboi", I'm referring to those ardent Nintendo supports in forums who consider themselves hardcore gamers, are often immature (fans of l33t sp34k and the like), and want the big N to kick the crap out of the PS3 and the 360 in every possible way.

I used to be a fanboi when I was kid, arguing with friends that "64 bits is better than 32!" and dissing the PSX whenever I could (although I secretly caved in later, because I had to get my fill of Square games). I'm sure there are a lot of these kids today, who still think that Link is the bomb (although they hated his kiddie look in Wind Waker), that good graphics = good games, coolness is everything, and that anything less is just lame. I'm not sure these fanbois appreciate that Nintendo is aiming to bring in Oprah or their moms into gaming, and deliberately "dumbing down" the game experience to do so.

It's obvious to me that Nintendo is aiming for a difference audience than Sony and Microsoft. The latter two are still placing a lot of emphasis on having a more powerful console, better graphics, everything in HD, media functionality, etc. (Personally, I don't think that's a BAD approach, but it'd better not stop the most important aspect, which are the games themselves) It appears that Nintendo is opting not to go that route. So what if the console is not as powerful? It'll cost less. It'll also be more innovative, and you'll still get those wonderful Nintendo games everybody loves so much.

But I think there's the danger of upsetting the "fanboi" audience, since Nintendo is no longer playing the console wars the same way as everyone else. I understand what they're doing, and I imagine most of the /. audience does as well. I think it's risky, but it can be damn effective. But if the ardent Nintendo fanbois don't, and the "gaming buzz" starts to sway negatively for Nintendo, I'm afraid it could mean bad things.

We already know that 3rd party support for Nintendo could be better (referring to the GameCube, NOT handhelds, which continues to be stellar). I will also say that most Revolution purchases will STILL come from gamers, at least in the beginning. (I honestly don't see parents picking up a Revolution for themselves anytime soon ... it'll have to start by getting it for their kids and THEN maybe seeing the benefit for themselves) If that doesn't happen, then Nintendo is in for another disappointing console cycle (again, not referring to handhelds, where the DS > PSP)

Anyone else get this feeling? Or am I smoking something here?

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

Ghost429 (828987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683152)

I'm going to have to disagree with your defenition of Nintendo Fanboys. While I'm sure there are a large number of 13 year old, l33t sp34k, graphics = good game out there rooting for nintendo, It seems to me that most of the people who hate nothing but flashy graphics with no content are the ones rooting for Nintendo to put some creativity back into video games. All the forum trolling 13 year olds have their Xbox 360's and like playing NFL 2004/5/6.

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683210)

I'm not sure about that. I think the best place to find those forum trolling, 13-year old, Nintendo fanbois is at GameFAQs [gamefaqs.com] . I've had to use their message boards, from time to time, to find out more information on certain RPGs that I play. I definately get the feeling that there are a lot of Nintendo and Sony fans there (not very many Xbox gamers though). You can check out various polls to see this. Anyway, they're not exactly the brightest bunch ...

Re:What do the fanbois think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14683636)

don't base your opinion of a group on the registered members of a community; it's a statistical sampling error because they're volunteering to be asshats. for a true statistical sampling, you can't go wrong with a no-topic, un-age-ranged, no-registration required ...4um Concerning notHing... or mAybe you caN.

Re:What do the fanbois think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689626)

It seems to me that most of the people who hate nothing but flashy graphics with no content are the ones rooting for Nintendo

It seems to me that most of the people who are rooting for Nintendo have come to accept that they'll never have flashy graphics or games with "mature" content.

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683153)

You're right. I think what Nintendo is doing is really dangerous. They're putting their chips on the line. But, I think it might pay off in the end. Just looking at the Japanese market, they've apparently done a good job of selling Brain Training to old people and Nintendogs to girls. Nintendo knows how to make a fun and interesting game, and if they can get non-gamers to give up their anti-game prejudice, they can make a lot of sales... But yeah, this may end or may not end up leaving fanbois in the dust. It all depends on whether or not they're able to do this new strategy while continuing to make the kind of games that fanbois like. It will require a lot of good resource allocation and fine balancing of how much to invest in each game. If it works out, Nintendo could herald in a new age of mass involvement in games not seen since the NES. If it doesn't work out... Well, the Dreamcast still has some fans, right?

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

BlueSteel (597448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683546)

The Revolution will be a fanboi's wetdream. Something that I think a lot of people are forgetting about the Revolution is the downloadable game component. Turn the Revolution's controller sideways, and I think you'll notice it looks oddly familiar.

Nintendo has said that one of the features of the Revolution will include the ability to download Nintendo titles from their previous consoles. Talk about backwards compatibility! This is a fantastic selling point which would appeal to people like my dad who used to spend hours playing Super Mario World, but has trouble playing some of the more modern games. I predict this feature, combined with it's low price point, is going to sell a ton of Revolutions.

Suck them in with the classics, then sell them some easy to play nextgen games. Maybe I'm just overly optimistic, but I think the guys at Nintendo have put together a very compelling featureset for their next toy.

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685003)

Nintendo has said that one of the features of the Revolution will include the ability to download Nintendo titles from their previous consoles. Talk about backwards compatibility! This is a fantastic selling point which would appeal to people like my dad who used to spend hours playing Super Mario World, but has trouble playing some of the more modern games. I predict this feature, combined with it's low price point, is going to sell a ton of Revolutions.

With the success of the 360's Live Arcade [slashdot.org] ... yeah, it's a good sign that this feature will do well. There are still a lot of questions to be answered though:

1) How much will the games cost?
2) Will it be only Nintendo-published games, or will there be 3rd party titles as well?
3) How many games will be available at launch? And how many can we expect to be added every month? (I can't imagine ALL of them will be ready at launch)
4) Will there be non-retro/new games available as well?
5) What additional features can we expect for the retro games? (Achievements, multiplayer, etc.)

The fact that Nintendo has mentioned this feature already gives them a leg up over Sony, who hasn't talked about any similar plans for the PS3. I guess we'll know more about this feature in a few months (during E3 in May, at the latest).

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684757)

I used to be a fanboi when I was kid, arguing with friends that "64 bits is better than 32!" and dissing the PSX whenever I could ...

Um, so you're still a kid now. OK, maybe you're a "young adult" (like myself), but that doesn't make you exactly "not a kid".

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14687684)

I'm not a fanboy, but I do see there are reasons for everything. Plus I've consistently felt that Nintendo has had more games I want than the other systems. But I haven't been an active gamer in a few years, either.

Prior the the release of the GameCube (now verging on 4-5 years ago), Nintendo's president (Iwataki, I believe) and Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the lead developers, expressed serious concerns about Sony and Microsoft getting in the game. It wasn't so much because competition was unhealthy for Nintendo, it was the direction major game developers were taking the industry. Nintendo saw a future where every platform would look alike -- development studios would create one game off one codebase, port it to three different platforms and everyone would get the same game experience. IGN (back when I was a subscriber) even did head-to-head reviews of the exact same game on two to three different platforms and judged which platform a gamer should buy the game for. Unsurprisingly, since Nintendo never really emphasized the horsepower of a system, the Gamecube came in at the short end of the stick.

Things that Nintendo did during that time, like licensing Resident Evil exclusively for themselves, were sort of just precursors for what the Revolution is. (side note: imagine how much of an uproar that would be caused if, say, Microsoft licensed exclusive rights to Major League Baseball.) They decided that since you can't very well differentiate yourself based on a system and a handheld, joystick-like controller... differentiate yourself on the experience.

Nowadays, Sony and Microsoft are fighting for the market that Nintendo used to own, and many (if not most) of those gamers could at one time be described as Nintendo Fanboys. Wasn't everyone a NES fanboy in 1988? I think the parent is asking if Nintendo is risking losing its remaining fanboys with the Revolution, and I'm saying that they've already lost so many, it's worth betting the farm on something new. By no means are they a failing company, but this is an opportunity that the company has probably been preparing for since the introduction of Microsoft into the gaming arena and the realization that the hardcore gaming market would just be an arms race. It's a big market, moneywise, to ignore, but the reason Sony and Microsoft aren't copying this idea, this time around, is because their accountants and managers won't let them.

Anyways, I don't hope either way whether or not this works out for Nintendo, but at the same time I don't think this will end up like the Newton. Consider how many people considered the DS to be a failure at launch...

Re:What do the fanbois think? (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693613)

I understand what you're saying, but I think Nintendo isn't quite taking as drastic a route as you're thinking.

What Nintendo has always done, up to this point, is make games targetted at everyone, regardless of age, race or gender. And to an extent, this has worked for them.

I think (and this may just be totally in my head, and not in fact what Nintendo is doing, but the things they've been doing with the DS lead me to believe this) is that Nintendo is going to try targetting everyone as they have before, but instead of making a single game targetted at everyone, they will instead make multiple games, with different target audiences.

Again, with the DS for example. You have Mario Kart DS, a game that is not going to immediately sell to casual gamers. While it is a big sell for casual gamers once they pick it up, if it's not something they know about, and have played, they aren't going to pick it up. So Mario Kart DS is for the hardcore, fanboi market.

Nintendogs is aimed at an entirely different market. It's not even aimed at the casual market, because it requires a level of dedication. But it does appeal to a wide group of people, not all of whom are gamers.

You have the upcoming Tetris DS, which literally appeals to everyone. Even more, it's the ultimate casual game. You can play for 2 minutes, or for 5 hours. It can eat time like nobody's business, and you never feel like it was really wasted.

And then take Metroid Prime Hunters, an online FPS. This is dedicated to the young, hardcore, I am a l33t gamer crowd.

To a certain extent, Nintendo is dispensing with the "make one game for everybody" model, and going with the, "make games cheaper, so we can put out several different games targetted at different markets".

And I really think this will work out for them. Think of it this way. Hardcore gamers (and especially fanbois) are used to waiting a year or two between their hardcore gaming fix in a particular franchise. In the time it takes for Nintendo to make one Zelda, they can make 20-30 Tetris', or Nintendogs' or Electroplankton's, and probably make all of them combined for less money than it costs them to make Zelda.

Not only will each of those 20-30 titles sell to the markets they're targetted at, but the hardcore gamer, while waiting for his Mario, or Zelda or Metroid Prime Hunters, will also pick up a few of those games because they look interesting (and we need something to tide us over for all the waiting).

If you think about it, this is the model that has made the playstation so popular. The playstations gets hundreds more titles than any other system, and while a good 70% of them are total crap (a higher percentage than on any other console), there are still enough good ones to convince people to buy the system. One good game of God of War will totally wipe from your mind the 5 games that got a score of 2 out of 10 on gamerankings.

Nintendo's greatest strength has always been their first party titles. With this strategy, they can essentially emulate the PS2's success in-house. What's more, they can use it to reach a wider audience, which means they sell more consoles. And if they sell more consoles, more 3rd parties will make games for their system, which will sell even more consoles, and well, I'm sure you can figure it out from there.

It's a clever ploy, but it remains to be seen if it will work out the way they're hoping.

These aren't experts (1)

fastgood (714723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682742)

warned that the number of teenage males is declining in North America

It's an exact science to 'predict' the teen male population for the next dozen years.

Take the current 13-19 sample size and project out each year by dumping the group
that turns 20 and replace with the population of those who were twelve.

Demographics people have acted surprised for the past 40 years at age-dependant
statistics for the baby boom generation, even though its size is a known entity.

Phenomena like "crime waves" can be predicted by boom/bust population cycles.

Re:These aren't experts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14683296)

When boomers were young: Radical changes
When boomers are old: Radical conservatism and booming house prices.

Moms and tech... (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682751)

I think it's interesting that Nintendo is going after older women at all. This demographic is regularly behind the times in many new techs that are considered the hottest thing among their children. This generalization can even extend to single women around this age. These people often look at things like text messaging via cell phone and trends such as Myspace/blogging as a waste of time. As such, I commend Nintendo for being adventuresome and targeting a group that is certainly off the beaten path when it comes to tech marketing.

Re:Moms and tech... (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682796)

ur so wrong my 65 year old mum is far more into gaming than my 42 40 year old bros and my 70 year old dad. Prising the PSP out of her hands sometimes... a difficult task. welcome to my world!

Re:Moms and tech... (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682881)

Wow. I think that's an exception though...

Re:Moms and tech... (2, Funny)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684909)

ur so wrong my 65 year old mum is far more into gaming than my 42 40 year old bros and my 70 year old dad. Prising the PSP out of her hands sometimes... a difficult task. welcome to my world!

I'm surprised your mom can still walk straight, much less play games, after having 42 children in one year.

A Million Little Marios (2, Funny)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682789)

Controversy as Mario went on to Oprah to promote his new Revolution game Million Little Marios about Mario's mushroom addiction, Doki Doki hallucinations and his "friendship" with Toad. The Smoking Cannon has learned that in fact, Super Mario 2 did not really exist, Mario is in fact a carpenter, not a plumber and most shocking of all Mario is in fact Japanese not Italian.

Re:A Million Little Marios (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14683796)

Mod this dude up. LOL.

For anyone else wondering... (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14682861)

what the heck oprah IS, see this wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

Apparently it is some sort of talk show.

Re:For anyone else wondering... (Alternate Source) (2, Informative)

macserv (701681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683331)

The Uncyclopedia version [uncyclopedia.org] is much better.

Re:For anyone else wondering... (1)

Physician (861339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14691155)

Is that a joke or is Oprah only recognized by everyone in America?

In other news, Tom Cruise loves his Nintendo DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14682915)

Sources suggest that he spends all day playing his DS in the closet.

This is a great idea (4, Interesting)

sien (35268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683070)

A few years back I was on a late night flight across the US. I went to the bathroom and on the way back noticed the blue shimmer of PDAs almost everywhere. And there was something else - without exception that I could find, there were all playing solitaire or some game.


These were adults who had, or whose employer had, shelled out hundreds of dollars in part so they could play 'Drug Wars' or whatever on a plane.


Similarly, on a plane to Australia from Thailand there were again, heaps of older men (and it was offputting) coming back from Thai holidays. This time, many, many of them had Gameboys.


Who hasn't seen their, or someone else's parents or grandparents playing a raft of card games on their computer.?


Nintendo is dead right. Many adults want something to play while waiting for things and riding on public transport. And with the DS you could do some interesting things - hey, on Oprah you could run a competition to do something while the show was running and then call some woman and give her credit for whatever. It'd be like voting for reality TV on steroids.


If Nintendo can take away the game playing is for younger folk stigma on their devices, particularly on their handhelds they could well exploit or create a large, successful new segment of the market.

Re:This is a great idea (1)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14683657)

Well, the trick is to remove the stigma. My brother, who's a high-level corporate guy, has no problem playing solitaire or sumsuch small "game" on his Blackberry. I don't think I've ever got him to touch any of my consoles. Once he picked up the PSP, but the DS was just too much "I'm not an adult" for him.

In America, games==not adult. This may not be true for many of the slashdot crowd, but go try and play a DS in a business suit in your company lunch room. No one will say a word, but you will be thought of differently. Shame that.

Re:This is a great idea (3, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685927)

Give it 10 years. People who grew up with games are getting older and not letting go of them.

Re:This is a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14690599)

Similarly, on a plane to Australia from Thailand there were again, heaps of older men (and it was offputting) coming back from Thai holidays. This time, many, many of them had Gameboys.

Older men, Thai holidays, Gameboys? The potential for sick jokes is endless.

How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14684403)

How long before they start advertising for Maury?

"In the case of 3 month old Mario Jr., Mario... you are NOT the father"

*Peach runs off stage in tears*

Re:How long before... (1)

beetlefeet (866517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14684868)

Er, his NAME is "Baby Mario".

Sheesh

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689949)

Yoshi....You ARE the father!!

Keep in mind that huge change is on the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14684595)

we will soon be entering a time where the majority of adults and parents have had direct experience with video games. this will change/mature the entire industry. the same thing happened with movies. they weren't taken seriosuly until the people who had seen them as kids grew up.

Now that's what I call stragety! Vol. 8 (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685024)

He also warned that the number of teenage males is declining in North America, and high school students are saying their interest in games is declining.

So, instead of the obvious solution -- make games that don't suck -- they'll just try harder to market games that DO suck. Makes sense to me!

4) Profit!!!

Oprah sez: show me your best moves! (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685497)

My fearless prediction?

Nintendo commissions an exercise program that uses a controller you step on. Sound familiar? Only unlike DDR pads, this controller has a second level so that you can do something similar to step aerobics. Also unlike DDR, the music isn't hyperactive techno and J-Pop, but smooth Jazz and R&B. And Oprah's brand is all over the program.

Suddenly fitness-minded women all over America buy Nintendo Revolution consoles bundled with the step controller and Oprah's Fitness Dance Studio game. If Nintendo manages to get Revolution out in time for the Holiday Season this year, watch Sony and Microsoft get jealous as the Revolution gets a New Years Resolution-fueled spurt of sales just as PS3 and XBox 360 cool down.

My evolution in video games / "other controllers (1)

rickthewizkid (536429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14692436)

The interesting thing is that as far as I can recall, no Nintendo controller other than the "normal" controller got used very much.

Thinking back to the NES, there was a few innovative gadgets you could hook up, such as the ROB robot, the "Zapper" light gun and the "Power Pad" step-on mat (like DDR)... all very cool addons but only used by a couple of games. Since I got the NES for Christmas 1990 (if I remember correctly), the "fad" of having the power pad and Zapper was starting to fade. My mom said that she would have got me the power pad set but the saleskid at Toys R Us told her that it was discontinued. At the time I was in sixth grade and since I was no good at sports, my time was divided between playing Nintendo and playing with my Commodore 64.

Then came the Super NES, with its "Super Scope 6" - I've only seen one of them and from what the owner told me, there was only one game for it. Of course, there was a mouse for it, but the only two games I can think of that used it was the painting game that came with it, and the NES version of SimCity also used it. This came in, about 1992 (the system had in fact been released the year before so I am not sure if my memory is correct) and I did have a few cool games for it, such as the Donkey Kong series, and the Zelda and Mario titles of course. I did have a few other games, as well as my siblings (both younger) also had "their own" games to play as well. At the time I got it (Junior High) the computer was starting to become a tool to do homework on as well as to play games on. As time went on I ended up spending less time with my Nintendo and Super NES.

And, of course, the N64 - I was graduating high school when this system was released so I dont know that much about it. While I did enjoy the Mario game for it, and of course, the Zelda games, I never really paid much attention to the "other" controllers that were released. I did not in fact own one until 1999 or so, when I got it used at a local Funcoland. Of course I had played a few games on it, since when I was in college, a few of the dorm-mates had one. One day I stopped in the Funcoland on the way to a service call and decided to pick up a N64 and visit my friends Mario and Zelda again for old times' sake.

Now I have a GameCube, and while I do in fact have a wireless controller, it is, still, in fact, a "normal" controller. The fact that the GBA can be connected to the GameCube and become a "second" display as well as another controller is kinda cool. I've used that a few times, again, in Zelda and Animal Crossing. Other than that, (and the copy of Harry Potter and the something or other) those are the only games I own for the GC. It's kinda sad really but, there are not that many games I see that really interest me.

When I go to the mall with $50 in my hand, I look in the video stores to see if there are any games that interest me -- I can't say that I want to play many of the games I see. Most of the time, that $50 ends up going to the local Barnes and Noble or to the computer store.

I've often thought about why I don't play games as much as I used to - and the answer is that most of the games, at least to me, are the same. I mean, I see sports games (ESPN ${ATHLETE_NAME) ${SPORT_NAME} ${YEAR} series) the fighting games (like Mortal Kombat and the like), the racing/car driving games (like the Grand Theft Auto series), shooters (Doom, Quake, Halo, Dans-Mod, and most of the X-Box titles), and the RPGs (like Zelda, Ultima, Final Fantasy etc) When I used to play the NES games, every time I rented one at the video store, it was like nothing I had ever played before. Now, most games are the same.

My thought is that games are too focused on the "graphics" (look at this system - we can make blood spatter in seventeen different ways!") but in the "oldschool" systems, the focus was on gameplay - the graphics were nice, but the game designers could not rely on that to make people buy the game.

Of course, this is just my opinion, and again, this is coming from someone who is lucky to get an hour of video game time played per week. Feel free to disagree with me :)

Just my jump-here-to-get-a-1UP's worth...
-RickTheWizKid (now 28!)

There goes another... (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685547)

Another good headline spoiled by reading the summary (luckily, not the article).

Here I figured RockStar had paired with Nintendo, and come out with a new game where you shoot up the audiances that fall for the "Violence hurts children (ok, ok, only when it's real violence.... against them...)" line...

hmm.... idea...

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