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Mario All Grown Up?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-burlesque-shows-please dept.

Nintendo 188

Reggie Fils-Aime, frequent spokesperson for Nintendo, has a piece extolling the way in which Nintendo will disrupt the videogaming market with the release of the Revolution. His editorial uses the movie industry as a comparison, and likens the systems of Sony and Microsoft to 'flops'. From the article: "Nintendo's counterpunch is disruption. We've determined that the videogame market is ripe for revival--and we're looking to make it happen by reaching out to the millions of players still on the sidelines, including those over the age of 35. Early moves have been promising. Nintendogs, a game that allows people to train virtual puppies, has doubled the typical percentage of female purchasers, selling 1.5 million copies in about four months. Not bad, given that Nintendo DS hardware is in 4 million hands." Yeah, it's just more advertising claptrap, but the levels of hyperbole they're reaching is sort of breathtaking to behold.

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Sounds Like ... (5, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711566)

.. Mario's been at those mushrooms again.

Claptrap? (5, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711587)

"Yeah, it's just more advertising claptrap"

In a time where you have other industry elites saying the video game market has topped out (EA), there's no room for growth in MMOG (Richard Garriott), many companies are just going belly up (Atari), Microsoft can't get is product to the street, the PSP is nothing more than a mini-DVD player and one of the major selling points of the PS3 is that it's a HI-DEF DVD player, Nintendo OPENED UP a new market and sold 1.5 million copies of a game to WOMEN in 4 months.

Claptrap? Nah... I think I'd listen to what the guy has to say.

Re:Claptrap? (-1, Troll)

grimharvest (724023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711662)

Probably true. The only problem with this is that if dogs are their thing, those 1.5 million people could have adopted real puppies instead and saved them from being put to sleep.

Re:Claptrap? (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711691)

Tamagotchi don't mess on the carpet.

Who says they didn't? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711726)

Didja ever consider that Nintendogs might be good practice before getting the real thing? (Y'know, before the adopter decides the dog is too much of a hassle and drops it off at the shelter but not before letting it run loose so it makes another litter of 20 puppies?)

Re:Who says they didn't? (2, Interesting)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713168)

You know, if there were negative consequences in the game, I could see that ... but, there aren't. You leave your dog alone for a month or two, and it has fleas. A minute later, no fleas, and he seems to have forgotten all about the alone time.

Your dog can never grow up, never get old, never die, and will never care too much if you dont touch it for years, or not feed it, or replace it with another dog.

Re:Claptrap? (3, Interesting)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711790)

Nintendogs is a pretty ideal solution for those of who currently live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow large pets.

My wife and I have already saved 2 cats (the maximum allowed by our landlord), but large dogs (which seems to be all the local Humane Society has) are out of the question. Even if they weren't disallowed by our lease, I don't think it would be a very nice life to make that dog live in a one bedroom apartment with no yard.

Re:Claptrap? (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711957)

"those 1.5 million people could have adopted real puppies instead and saved them from being put to sleep." —grimharvest

Am I the only one who sees the irony there?

Re:Claptrap? (1)

Muramasa (534108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711986)

Two things,

I doubt there are 1.5 million puppies in Japanese SPCA's.

There is no room for that many dogs in Japan. It's crowded enough already. That's why Nintendogs was so popular to begin with. A lot of people would love a dog, but it's just not realistic.

Re:Claptrap? or virtual dog farm? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712090)

Probably true. The only problem with this is that if dogs are their thing, those 1.5 million people could have adopted real puppies instead and saved them from being put to sleep.

Yeah, but you're assuming they want to:

a. have to clean up after the dog.
b. want the dog to grow up.
c. want to keep the same dog.
d. want to have to drive to the dog park in the pouring rain or snow or the dog gets unruly when they're having to do the laundry and pick up the kids.

Virtual dogs have none of these problems, plus when you have to do something, you just put them on pause. Plus, if you get bored with your German Shepherd puppy, you can buy the Chihuahua version and you've got four new puppies to play with!

Re:Claptrap? (2, Insightful)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712431)

That has got to be the most spurious, lame-brain, killjoy, people-can-have-fun-without-guilt-you-hippy-fuck, misplaced liberal passion-play argument I've ever heard. It's akin to observing someone watching a movie about a child, or playing a game that features children - and insisting that they should be adopting a child instead.

Some call this guilt tranference, or value-projection. I call it: "being a fucking moron".

I think the solution to the shelter problem is to get more virtual pets into more people's hands to determine if they should be allowed near anything with an actual pulse. Someone else alluded to the same thing - but it's worth repeating.

The other solution involves food-processing unless you're insistant to foist your western prejudices against asian countries that value cannie stock for meat as well as companionship. You're not going get all mono-cultural on me as well are you?

Re:Claptrap? (1)

flewp (458359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712856)

But now 1.5 million people can enjoy their favorite dish from their favorite Korean restaraunt! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Re:Claptrap? (2, Interesting)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711781)

Great point. Nintendo, in my opinion, has been seeing much less fanboyism and "claptrap" than the rest of the next gen consoles. The Nintendo bigwigs do seem to be off in a world of thier own, but I do honestly think that the Revolution deserves at least some of the so-called hyperbole it's been given, especially since little or none of that has come from the average gamer, who is far more concerned with the pixel counts and the quality of the next sequel than innovation.

Re:Claptrap? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711939)

If by next gen consoles, you mean the XBox360, then perhaps you're right, although Nintendo still appears to have a very strong fanboy following.

But the PS3? Where are the fanboys? Where's the claptrapped hype?

Re:Claptrap? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712557)

But the PS3? Where are the fanboys? Where's the claptrapped hype?

Duh, just about everywhere? (do you think anyone could beat sony at the claptrap game? Come on, they're the ones who invented the Emotion Engine)

Re:Claptrap? (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713180)

Heh, funny.

Re:Claptrap? (4, Funny)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711832)

...many companies are just going belly up (Atari)...


Atari goes belly-up on a regular basis. How's this supposed to be news?

But if Nintendo... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711631)

If Nintendo tried to compete with Sony and Microsoft on the same level and with the same features, it would lose. Right now we can just expect familiar game licenses with new and inovative gameplay elements (IE the controller) and updated graphics.

Re:But if Nintendo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711868)

And? Isn't that the point -- new gameplay elements being emphasized over "omg the gore is parralax mapped!"?

Re:But if Nintendo... (2)

demeteloaf (865003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711926)

Meh, to me at least, something with fun gameplay, interesting story, and even some gore is a lot more fun to play than a Mario Party 8 with one or two new features...

The growth is all in women and girls (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711647)

Which is why Nintendogs is doing so well.

If game companies don't grok this, they'll be stuck with FPS that noone wants to play.

Re:The growth is all in women and girls (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711871)

No, they'll be stuck with an FPS that only attracts their core audience.

Re:The growth is all in women and girls (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711993)

No, they'll be stuck with an FPS that only attracts their core audience.

That was their core audience.

If you look at unit sales and profitability, you'll see the audience is shifting.

Now, I'm not saying that, for example, the move by Nintendo DS to such other areas will be as successful with Nintendo Revolution. I'm not really sure how the markets are shaping up.

It's possible that US metrics will show FPS to still be dominant, while world metrics may soon show a shift away from that.

But I do know that the growth, as I said, is highly concentrated, even in the US, in the women and girls markets, whereas the boys and men markets are at or near saturation - and many other articles have pointed this out.

Mind you, I'm basing some of this on reports by Konami at their annual shareholders meeting [english videocast] and other data that I've read in the Wall Street Journal. I'm not that into gaming as a business, even if I do own and have owned shares in companies in that sphere.

But, as with all things, gaming changes and moves. Sometimes when you're high on the wave, you can't see the forces at work to cause it to crash - sometimes you can sense it early on though.

Perhaps we're at that point?

Re:The growth is all in women and girls (2, Funny)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712235)

The growth is all in women and girls

So that's why Nintendo put the rumble pack into that new wand-shaped controller.

I keed, I keed...

advertising claptrap?.... (2, Funny)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711648)

Are we talking about prostitution or video games?

will it be open to amature developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711667)

i can never seem to find a reliable answer to this, but i heard that NES was goign to push out an sdk for the revolution? is this true?

Re:will it be open to amature developers? (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713196)

Doubtful. While PC makers actually price their PCs so that they can make money on that and nothing more, console makers underprice their consoles and make money through the games made for it. A free, open SDK would cut into revenues, and also dillute the quality of games on the console. Not that the current slew of FPS and roster updates are really good, but they are consistent, and generally dont crash the system or kill it dead. Not so if they opened it up like with the PC.

Re:will it be open to amature developers? (1)

Chimp_On_Stilts (805726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713343)

Then why is the PC not dead from lackluster user made games? The fact of the matter is that, while many amature games are crap, the crap will be avoided by most people. They will find the good stuff and stick with it. The games that crash/kill your console will not achieve many downloads.

Heck, take a look at the Xbox 1. It has a thriving homebrew scene. Xbox Media Center alone is a reason to buy and mod an Xbox. In fact, its BETTER than the crap on the 360 that is supposed to offer the same functionality. These amatures have produced better code than Microsoft.

I say fling the console doors wide open.

Re:will it be open to amature developers? (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713403)

The PC has many other uses. Very few people buy PCs for only gaming. I do, but I realize I am in the minority. You will also notice that the PC game selection is shrinking. People like consoles because they are relatively simple, dedicated appliances that always work. I go out and buy game X, put it on console Y, and I am done. No putzing around with drivers, figuring out if my sound card likes it, or dealing with system errors. I plug it into my TV, and it works.

I'm not saying that bad titles are the primary cause of the closed nature of SDKs (I would wager the income is), but its definitely something to consider. Especially when one has the company name impressively emblazoned all over the thing, and PR is everything. Its all about perception in the console world.

Re:will it be open to amature developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713451)

console makers underprice their consoles and make money through the games made for it

No, no, no they don't. Nintendo has never sold a console as a loss.

ok (-1, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711693)

NINTENDO is trying to preach to the rest of the industry about how games need to change? That's just bizarre, Nintendo has been behind the times for years, and they're notorious for catering to the 11 year old demographic while the other console and game developers have been avidly going after the adult gamer market.

Re:ok (5, Insightful)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711798)

What a bunch of cock and bull

Adult != blood sex and violence.

Tell me, seriously, what any console did to attempt to attain "adulthood" besides those three things.

Show me ONE, ONE 1st party game with a complex plot no pre-teen could understand. Show me growth towards maturity...

All I saw was a bunch of puberty-like masturbation over big boobs, blood by the gallon, and violence.

(*Note: While GTA does have blood, boobs, and violence...it actually has a story, setting, and a POINT to using those three in a very provacative way. And it wasn't a 1st party title ;) )

Re:ok (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711904)

I think a pre-teen could understand the story, but I thought ICO was very mature and well thought out. It was a first-party title for the PS2 (assuming I remember correctly).

Re:ok (4, Insightful)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711875)

They're not just going after the kiddie market. Some of us don't want or need mature-themed games to have a good time.

I like a good RPG. I've played my share of Final Fantasy and whatnot, but you know what my favorite recent RPG is? Paper Mario. Why? Because it's fun.

Want a pick up and play sports title? It's certainly not Madden. Heck, my dad bought a GameCube for one game after seeing me play Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour. He hadn't played a game since he and my mom owned a 2600, and he was winning tourneys inside of an hour.

That being said, the GameCube does have some more mature games, too. Off the top of my head, there's Eternal Darkness, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, and Resident Evil 4.

Take a look at the Nintendo library. The library is age and taste-independant because they aren't going after the "OMG bump mapping!" crowd. They're after the "That was fun, I want that!" crowd.

Gorier != better. More mature != better. More fun == better.

MOD parent up ! (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713024)

I agree, most people lose sight of that :-)

There are lots of casual or semi-casual gamers out there that only have time for a short game, or want a fun, not-so-complex game.

While I love RPGs and complex strategy games, I find myself playing shorter games or distractions - like a sports game for example - most of the time.

And the GameCube is wonderful for multiplayer. A friend of mine owns all 3 major consoles, but when we gather, if we do play a console, it's a game of Mario Kart / Mario Tennis / Mario Party , or a sports game ( Winning Eleven is all the rage here, and the only non-GameCube game in the list ).

Re:ok (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713220)

Some of us don't want or need mature-themed games to have a good time.
I think one of the problems is the degredation of the term "mature". I very much enjoy mature games. The problem is that most people associate "mature" with "lots of blood and blowing shit up". In fact, to me most of these games are very immature because they substitute depth with "shiny, blood, explosions, boobies".

Re:ok (4, Insightful)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713365)

The only example I really think is needed to prove Nintendo's widespread appeal should be quite obvious. Ocarina of Time had something for everyone: A fairly good story, lots of exploring, easy but enjoyable combat (the boss battle in the Shadow Temple was insanely fun), and the game explained enough that the younger crowd could understand what was going on. Ignoring the fact that Navi was the most irritating sidekick known to mankind, the rest of the game was absolutely outstanding from start to finish.

Moving to a non-Nintendo example of a more "mature" game that didn't require copious amounts of blood would be Freelancer. It was somewhat open ended, also had a decent plot (not the best, but enjoyable), and there was a lot to do between major story points. The game was easy to play without insulting your intelligence, and if you find a good server online, it's actually a lot of fun to get 5 or 6 people together and do some mercenary or trade runs (having to protect the one guy hauling a crapload of moneymaking goods through extremely hostile territory while trusting that whatever friend is hauling the goods isn't gonna do something stupid, like run off and get killed, makes for some intense gameplay).

Either way, the point remains as the previous poster stated. Games don't have to have gallons of blood, giant breasts, or be horrifically violent to be "mature." Shadow of the Colossus is a mature game more for it's dark atmosphere and moral ambiguity than any amount of violence. Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit to those on the other side of the pond) has elements that would bore younger gamers because there's not enough "action". It all goes to show that too many people equate "mature" games with things that children shouldn't be allowed to see, rather than gameplay that engages the individual on a level where being older and wiser is an advantage.

Re:ok (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711935)

11 year old demographic? I think not. You've got some issues to do with whilst I go play Mario Kart DS, a game that is clearly made for EVERYONE.

A barbie game? That's for 11 year olds. Mario's for everyone. Deal with it or begone.

Re:ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711953)

>"while the other console and game developers have been avidly going after the adult gamer market."

What, you mean the immature teenagers who find sex, guns and violence 'mature'? IMHO, adult gamers are 18 year olds with an immature mind who just need to grow up.
Nintendo aims at everyone; from ages 3 onward and that is a hard thing to do as you cannot please everyone. I think Nintendo described it as 'all access gaming' were anyone can play.
It just annoys me when people think Nintendo are aiming at children, just because they don't make a game were the main character isn't some generic rage filled smart mouth guy holding a big gun. Nintendo are really trying to change themselves this generation. My final point is this; does the Revolution look like some 'fisher price' toy? Really, it isn't aimed at children, but everyone.

Re:ok (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712232)

IMHO, adult gamers are 18 year olds with an immature mind who just need to grow up.

OK, why?

Over 18 (well over)
Pay bills on time
No credit card debt
Married
Employed, shows up to work on time, gets good reviews (and no, not at McDonald's, I'm a senior software engineer)
Avid reader
Gamer

So, other than games, how am I not grown up and immature?

Re:ok (2, Insightful)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712499)

I think he is referring to the 'adult gamer' demographic that require sex and/or gratuitous violence for a game to be good. The kind of teenagers who feel playing a Mario game would bring their heterosexuality into question.

The rest of us (who are actually adults) are an entirely different category.

Re:ok (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712571)

I wonder how big that demographic actually is. Of the people that I know that are gamers, I can think of only one that fits that, and that may be borderline (won't play Wind Waker because of the "kiddie" graphics). Everyone else is happy playing a good game, violent or not.

Re:ok (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712685)

Drop in Halo 2 and hop on Xbox Live. You'll HEAR the little bastards. (It's evil)

Remember, these are basically kids who have very little financial responsibility (High school, still live at home) but probably have some income from a part time job. They have money to burn, and an excess of time. It's a ripe demographic, but I think it's being saturated.

Also, I think the industry is partially to blame for the excess of 'Adult' titles out there. There is still a general assumption that video games are a kids thing, and the developers want to change that. They want the shake the 'kiddie' label, and the easiest way to make something 'adult' is to add graphic violence and/or boobies. (Keep in mind that this doesn't apply to all developers, it's just a generalization)

Re:ok (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712714)

Not quite what I meant. There are those out there that think violence is the be all and end all of a game. How many adult gamers (not high schoolers) are in that demographic, relatively speaking? In my experience, it's less than 5% of adult gamers that fit that. Of course, this is in people I personally know and interact with offline, so YMMV.

Less than 20% of games coming out are "M", so I wouldn't call it an excess. An excess of negative publicity for sure.

Re:ok (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711995)

Are you suggesting the market of video games that is acceptable for minors to play as the same as the children's market? Or that all of Nintendo's games are like Pokemon? (In my humble opinion, that is a game for kids)

Re:ok (4, Insightful)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712465)

Nintendo is behind the times... Right...

How many console staples were first implimented by Nintendo? Just in control schemes: Directional Pad, shoulder buttons, rumble packs, analog sticks, touch screens, and soon motion sensors. Yup, they're a follower all right.

As for being the 'kiddy console' you can't be further from reality. Nintendo appears to be looking at the big picture, and offering stuff for everyone. Including the 'adult' demographic. Or is Resident Evil as kiddy game? Seems to me that MS and Sony have a bit of tunnel vision on their market. They're aiming at a very specific demographic: The adolescent male. (These are the kids who are old enough to have some income, and young enough to consider 'kiddy' games a threat to their masculinity)

The rest of us are quite excited to try something new that isn't another WW2 FPS.

Re:ok (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712563)

Just FYI, Xbox has never really targeted adolescent, it's been for adults from day 1. Of course, teens are going to want to play it, but that's not who Microsoft makes games for and that's not who they market the console to.

Sony, I think, tries to be all things to all people. I look at it more this way: Nintendo - Family Friendly, Xbox - Adult, Sony - Little of both.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Spyro the Dragon came out on Xbox, and Resident Evil 4 came out on Gamecube. But for the most part, that's how it lines up.

Re:ok (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713222)

Most of the control schemes you mention were "invented" before nintendo got to them. Dont get me wrong, Nintendo is my favourite of the big 3, but they dont really invent control schemes. Make them popular, perhaps, but aren't the "first to impliment". If anything, the arcade market is (or, at least, was) the innovator.

Re:ok (1)

ohsoot (699507) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713445)

Just in control schemes: Directional Pad, shoulder buttons, rumble packs, analog sticks, touch screens, and soon motion sensors.

I recall using a motion sensor controller with the NES back in the 80's.

Don't forget the POWERGLOVE! [nesplayer.com]

Re:ok (0)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712633)

Nintendo is behind the time, while they've been creating just about every new console gameplay element for the last 15 years or so, both hardware-wise (single digital directional pad, rumble, analog stick, shoulder buttons, ...) or game-wise?

Yah (0, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711694)

Wow, that was indeed a load of crap. Nintendogz did well therefore the PS3 is a flop. WTF?

Nobody disputes that Nintendo owns the handheld. It has done so for a long time and at the moment the PSP seems to be a good second runner but not replacing the DS. If anything I think the PSP is increasing the market or perhaps people just have both it certainly is not distracting from the DS sales.

But so what? The gameboy always sold well. It was the 'main' consoles that Nintendo has been having troubles with. So this is like saying, Pokemon GB/GBA sold well so the Playstation 1/2 were a flop.

Oh and then comes the old sales pitch. Simple. Yes, we are going to reach that part of the market that is to dumb to figure out a lightswitch. Someone should really tell marketing people that there will always be people who claim X is to complex and they will buy X the moment it reaches their level of understanding. Problem is you can't. As long as their are people who are confused by revolving doors or even those who push when it says pull you will have people who can't figure out X.

Marketing to them is stupid. Why? Because you are insulting the intelligence of everyone else. Don't believe me? How many of you actually like using dumbed down products with zero options to confuse you? Oh don't get me wrong. They are nice at first, when you are still new and unsure of what to do. And then you move on and want more.

Part of the fun for me in playing a game is learning to play it. I think it is true with any type of game. The basics are simple but as you move on it becomes more and more complex. You can play chess just fine without knowing the more obscure rules like that move where you can switch the king and towers BUT the game will become deeper and more challenging as you learn more.

Same with other games. Say a FPS. A game with no stances is simpler as it saves 1-2 or even 3 buttons to learn BUT having the option makes the game deeper and more challenging.

Oh and as for nintendogz attracting females to play and that being the road to success. Sorry but if women were the road to success the PC would be the top console. The Sims and similar games are dominated by women.

I am not a woman but if I were I would be insulted by this piece. It is effectively saying that women find current games to complex. Taste or a hint they lack the mental capabilities to deal with 12 buttons and 2 joysticks?

The revolutions success and for that matter the success of all consoles will depend on wether it can reach that 'must buy' state. Usually because it is the console that has the 'must buy' game. Will it? So far Nintendo seems very reluctant to actually show games. Or at least I haven't seen any 'must buy' titles announced yet.

Simple is another way to say dumbed down. Sure there will be players who moan about the good old days when you had all you need was a joystick with 2 buttons but frankly if they were a real market we would have games that meet their needs. We don't. Or rather we do. Old games.

Serious Sam was a move to 'old fashioned' gameplay in the FPS genre. It sold well. Apparently not well enough however as it got only a sequell but no clones. Yes it was hailed as a grand return to the good old days, and then people returned to their complex soldier sims with a hundred buttons that are what we expect today.

Nintendo Revolution may be trying to pull a Apple 1 mouse button move. Even Apple nowadays sells a power mouse with an insane amount of buttons. Simple is good, until you learned it and want more. Fisher Price makes a bright and easy cassette player but I don't see it in to many hifi setups.

Re:Yah (1)

ereshiere (945922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711840)

Nintendo's new controller seems anything but simple: you actually move your arms around as you would when utilizing a similar tool in real life. On the PS3 and the Xbox you're twiddling your thumbs. (Will this be the Revolution's marketing slogan?)

Re:Yah (1)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711874)

*WHOOOSH*

the sound of the entire point zooming over your head.

The point was
"When was the last time you saw ANY big push in female/non-typical gamer buying a game for Sony anything, or Xbox anything"

Nintendo isn't saying "OMG LOOK WE CAN SELL GAMES TOO"

Nintendo IS saying "OMG LOOK THERE ARE CUSTOMERS WITHOUT PENISES! Maybe its time the industry grew up out of its current Frat marketing and develoupment cylce before we no longer can awaken from the hangover of the easy booze (male purchasing dollars)"

And I said it, The Sims (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712221)

Have you ever played it and then gone online to search for user made add-ons? You can't move for the women. And this started years ago when the net was still the domain of males. Oh and it sold a lot more copies then nintendogz and it wasn't part of a bundle.

No, nintendogz is a nice game and it may have sold to women but frankly if Nintendo is betting their future on this then they are doomed.

I think you missed both the point of my post AND the original post. It seems to claim that selling 1.5 million games on a handheld is going to doom the PS3 and 360. I claim bullshit. You lap it up.

Re:And I said it, The Sims (1)

jfftck (573230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712362)

I like how you do not even listen to what people say. The point is that Nintendo is making games that cover more markets than anyone else, and that is what will kill the others. It is not saying that 1 game will kill the rest, it is saying that the market needs a shift and Nintendo is the first to do that. You really need to learn how to read before you type. (I know that this is Slashdot and all)

Re:And I said it, The Sims (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712584)

That's a bunch of bullshit though. Nintendo ain't the first by a long shot. What about games like The Sims and Creatures [wikipedia.org] ? Or, for that matter, the female appeal of Black & White? Really, the first computer game to have broad appeal to both genders that I can think of is Tetris, and that was written by a Russkie. Nintendo didn't cause the market shift. The market shifted a long time ago, and people have been valiantly trying to figure out how to catch up since. Some of them, of course, have been steadfastly ignoring reality, and Nintendo is one company that seems to have figured it out finally - but then, the other companies don't do as much in-house game development.

Re:Yah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712748)

"When was the last time you saw ANY big push in female/non-typical gamer buying a game for Sony anything, or Xbox anything"

About a decade ago, Sony realised there was a big market for non-kiddie gamers. Since then, Microsoft and Sega also decided to takeup the online market. Both were never typical console markets before. Nintendo, in the mean time, decided to stick to kiddies and got left behind. Now they are just playing catch-up.

Methinks the lady doth complain too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712036)

Nintendogz did well therefore the PS3 is a flop.

The PS3 is not mentioned in that article. In fact, no Sony system is.

Maybe you should read the article and realize what the word "flop" was actually being used by the Nintendo rep to describe, instead of just reading the slashdot summary and jumping to conclusions.

In either case, you misunderstand the point being made in the article, which was: Nintendogs is doing well. That's all. The PS3 and PSP don't need to sell well or badly for the fact that Nintendogs is doing well to be important from Nintendo's perspective.

Oh and then comes the old sales pitch. Simple. Yes, we are going to reach that part of the market that is to dumb to figure out a lightswitch. ... Problem is you can't.

Well then it sure is odd that all those Game Boy Advances and iPods are selling so well. I wonder who is buying them.

Not Yah, but stick head in sand (4, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712063)

I don't think it's that women find games too complex, I think it's that they find currently offered games:

1. too boring (FPS bang bang bleed bleed no challenge after first time);
2. too involved (takes 30 minutes before it really kicks in, hard to pause, save takes forever);
3. not group-oriented (sure, you can battle faceless opponents worldwide via wifi, but can you play with your neighbors or coworkers at lunch?);
4. too action-oriented not cooperative.

Many studies have shown that most games fail on those counts for women and girls. And last time I checked, they had lots of disposable income to spend on that, instead of on the latest Beach Volleyball game.

Re:Not Yah, but stick head in sand (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712273)

My non-gamer friends (male and female) who come over regularly to play Gamecube games would agree with you.

Specifically, favorites are:
Donkey Conga
Mario Kart
Shrek Super Party

The games are fairly easy to learn (Mario Kart is the hardest), can be played in short spurts (round robin or turn-based), and involve up to 4 players playing together.

(Checks checklist from parent)
Yup, seems to fit the bill nicely.

Now, I personally enjoy more "hardcore" games and so I also own a fairly expensive PC for that purpose. (Well, some components were bought for that purpose. The PC gets a lot of general use too.)

I don't know if the Revolution will be a hit or not, but I like the direction they're looking. A lot!

Re:Yah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712171)

dude, learn when to use "too" instead of "to"

Re:Yah (4, Insightful)

mouse_clicker (760426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712237)

"If anything I think the PSP is increasing the market or perhaps people just have both it certainly is not distracting from the DS sales."

Not quite- the people buying PSP's are your normal gamers. The people buying DS's are the non-gamers- Nintendo is the one increasing the market. That's why you have the DS selling as many as 600,000 units in a single week and the top selling software charts (especially in Japan) being *dominated) by DS titles, because Nintendo has tapped into a new market.

"But so what? The gameboy always sold well. It was the 'main' consoles that Nintendo has been having troubles with. So this is like saying, Pokemon GB/GBA sold well so the Playstation 1/2 were a flop."

Can you read? Alternatively, do you just choose not to? You've missed the point entirely. First of all, the Gameboy is marketed at gamers, nothing disruptive about that. Quite different from the DS, which is marketed to non-gamers as well. Secondly, you assume a direct correlation, which, admittedly, is pretty stupid. I believe the implication being made was that the DS's immense success is proof that a market of non-gamers is out there. Beyond that, I don't think anyone he said the PS3 would be a flop for any reason at all. Did you actually read what he said?

"Oh and then comes the old sales pitch. Simple. Yes, we are going to reach that part of the market that is to dumb to figure out a lightswitch. Someone should really tell marketing people that there will always be people who claim X is to complex and they will buy X the moment it reaches their level of understanding. Problem is you can't. As long as their are people who are confused by revolving doors or even those who push when it says pull you will have people who can't figure out X."

Oh wow, your big rebuttal is accusing Nintendo of marketing to retards? You must be completely ignorant- what Reggie and Iwata have been saying all along is that they're trying to draw in people who don't play games period, people who have never felt the urge to pick up a controller. I find it interesting you equate these people with those who can't turn on a light switch or operate a revolving door. That tells me a bit about how you view people not as technologically inclined as yourself.

"Marketing to them is stupid. Why? Because you are insulting the intelligence of everyone else. Don't believe me? How many of you actually like using dumbed down products with zero options to confuse you? Oh don't get me wrong. They are nice at first, when you are still new and unsure of what to do. And then you move on and want more."

Again, you're looking this from your perspective. You need to think like a technophobe, where holding a controller with a thousand buttons is daunting. Not everyone wants to sit at their computer for 20 hours straight playing the latest MMO, some people just want to have a few minutes of fun and then go on and do something else. That's why Wario Ware is popular- it only uses one button! Super Monkey Ball uses *no* buttons! Neither does Katamari Damacy. Quit acting like your mindset is the standard, because it's not.

"Part of the fun for me in playing a game is learning to play it. I think it is true with any type of game. The basics are simple but as you move on it becomes more and more complex. You can play chess just fine without knowing the more obscure rules like that move where you can switch the king and towers BUT the game will become deeper and more challenging as you learn more."

Then don't buy a DS or Revolution! It's as simple as that! Nintendo's new strategy is quite obviously not your cup of tea, so just refrain from patronizing it. I don't see why you have to assume that since YOU don't like it, NOBODY will, and therefore is a stupid marketing strategy. That's rather egocentric of you.

"Oh and as for nintendogz attracting females to play and that being the road to success. Sorry but if women were the road to success the PC would be the top console. The Sims and similar games are dominated by women."

Well... first of all, let's keep in mind The Sims is easily the best selling PC game of all time, so maybe bringing that up wasn't good support for your case. Secondly, The PC, and its games by extension, is inherently a complicated machine. That's why PC games rarely ever sell anywhere *near* as well as console games. And it's also why by far the most played PC games are the short little internet arcade games and solitaire- they're ridiculously simple, so much so that anyone can get into them. Not every PC game has to be World of Warcraft complex.

"I am not a woman but if I were I would be insulted by this piece. It is effectively saying that women find current games to complex. Taste or a hint they lack the mental capabilities to deal with 12 buttons and 2 joysticks?"

No, it's not, at all. It's saying that obviously women don't enjoy the vast majority of games out now (hence why males dominate the typical gamer demographics), so maybe we should try to accommodate them by making some games they do like? What games do more women play than men? Those short little internet arcade games.

"Simple is another way to say dumbed down. Sure there will be players who moan about the good old days when you had all you need was a joystick with two buttons but frankly if they were a real market we would have games that meet their needs. We don't. Or rather we do. Old games."

No. It's not. At all. Read some Ernest Hemmingway and come back and tell me that his ridiculously simplistic writing style is dumbed down. Simple is NOT the same as dumbed down.

As for your second comment, we do have games meeting those requirements- those little joystick boxes with old Atari games in them that you hook up straight to you TV have been selling extremely well. Internet games are doing amazingly well. The DS is blowing everything else away on the sales charts. Obviously there is a market for people who appreciate simplicity, regardless of the fact that you aren't part of it.

"Nintendo Revolution may be trying to pull a Apple 1 mouse button move. Even Apple nowadays sells a power mouse with an insane amount of buttons. Simple is good, until you learned it and want more. Fisher Price makes a bright and easy cassette player but I don't see it in to many hifi setups."

This right here sums up the fallacy in your entire argument, which is that you assume EVERYONE wants ridiculously complex control over everything. Maybe you do. Not everyone else does. Not everyone wants a thousand knobs on their stereo system, they're happy with just one and that gets them by. Arguably, that's the majority, and you my friend are in the minority. The DS is *proof* that there are people out there that don't want to play the normal complex games and enjoy something that's just simple and fun. By your logic, DS sales would be dropping as people craved more complexity, but the opposite is true, DS sales have shot through the roof, to the point where Nintendo just plain ran out of them.

You really need to stop acting like your situation is the *only* situation, because it's not. You would be terrible at marketing, because you wouldn't ever consider the people out there who have a different perspective on your field, and that lack of understanding means you could never get their sale. I'm glad Nintendo has forward thinking people like Iwata and Reggie- they really need it to pull themselves out of their rut.

Also, you consistently misspelled the word "too" as "to," it was getting somewhat irritating.

-Moses

Re:Yah (1)

Swordsmanus (921213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712535)

Sup mods, mod this guy up for a well made rebuttal.

Re:Yah (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712846)

I have to say, that I think everyone is missing something about Nintendo's new controller. It's simplicity is deceptive.

Consider the DS versus the PSP:

PSP analog stick plus buttons.

DS, directional pad, plus buttons, plus touch screen, plus microphone. It has an expansion slot, used for the Metroid Prime pinball rumble pack. (I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo eventually created a gyro controller add-on cartridge, and you can already play WarioWare Twisted on it.)

It has got a more complex control scheme than a PSP.

It's got a ton of control options, but the "simple" games, such as Nintendogs, use the touch screen because it is very intuitive (this is why the mouse caught on with PCs).

But the touch screen itself is a complex piece of technology compared to what came before. However, its complexity is hidden from the user. Does anyone remember Seaman for the Dreamcast? In that game you have a hand you control on screen using the joystick and various buttons. It is a clunky, clumsy control scheme, though the game is still good. Now, imagine Seaman on the DS (or Revolution). The control scheme is the same, but it appears less complex to the user. On the DS, you use your own actual finger or the stylus to tap on the 'glass.' What's really happened is that you've gone from a more primative control to a more sophisticated one.

Like the DS, the Revolution control will have an expansion slot. The Revolution control will be able to duplicate the function of a Wavebird, and will also be able to do other stuff. Nintendo is attempting to appeal to a wider audience by removing the clunkiness that inhibits current control schemes making it possible to get to the game without fighting the interface.

I've been playing a lot of Killer 7 lately. When I play it, I think how much better a game it would be if I used a Revolution controller. (That specific example is tailor made, but I also think a more conventional title, Metroid Prime would control better.)

I don't count Sony out, I'm sure they won't die without a fight. (And if they sense their death approaching, I'm sure they'll try to drag down the video game industry with them, because they are right bastards.)

Re:Yah (1)

Overneath42 (905500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712793)

I really wish I had mod points to mod this down right now. People like you are exactly representative of the market that Nintendo isn't marketing toward - people who don't understand that there is more to gaming than the same rehashed genres and sequels with ever increasing "features."

Games don't have to be overly complex affairs. Some of us just don't have time to sit and devote hours of our time to learning and mastering a complex game. I used to be into complex RPGs that required insane amounts of time when I was younger, but these days I just don't have time for that any more. I want something I can pick up and play right away, and which I can comfortably play for half an hour or so and just have fun with.

That's where Nintendo's strength is - they've figured out that there are a lot of people like me that just want simple, quick, easy-to-access fun.

One Condition (1)

some guy on slashdot (914343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712901)

Beat Trauma Center: Under the Knife. Then you can come back and tell me that Nintendo's interface designs are for retards, if you really want to. In fact, I defy you to even beat Pac-Pix.

Re:Yah (2, Insightful)

smilinggoat (443212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712913)

Part of the fun for me in playing a game is learning to play it. I think it is true with any type of game. The basics are simple but as you move on it becomes more and more complex. You can play chess just fine without knowing the more obscure rules like that move where you can switch the king and towers BUT the game will become deeper and more challenging as you learn more.

Same with other games. Say a FPS. A game with no stances is simpler as it saves 1-2 or even 3 buttons to learn BUT having the option makes the game deeper and more challenging.


I disagree. I am a 21-year-old male and I find contemporary console FPS and GTA-like games confusing, over-complicated, difficult to control, and on the whole poorly designed. I don't want to have to remember what a million buttons do. I always get killed because I hit reload instead of shoot. When I sit down with a console at a friend's house to have a casual match, I get my ass kicked because the buttons are too numerous and cumbersome (ok, yeah, I also suck, but give me a n00b bonus, heheh).

Contrast that with games like Donkey Konga, Mario Party, and PacPix. I have had an insane amount of fun playing those games with friends and alone because I can pick it up, play it within 1 minute, and have a great time. A complex and engrossing story and concept should not imply or require complex controls.

Polarizing (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711695)

Every time I enconter the phrase "polarizing (group1) and (group2)" I think that people really need to play with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polaroid [wikipedia.org]

Wrong numbers for DS sales (4, Informative)

dstone (191334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711710)

The article says "Not bad, given that Nintendo DS hardware is in 4 million hands."

Maybe they're talking about just one market (seems unusual though, considering the DS and its games are regionless), but many I've sources [msn.com] claim a DS sales figure of at least 13 million units. Which means it's in around 26 million hands.

Re: These are not the DS sales you're looking for (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712022)

well, you're probably only counting US titles.

A lot of people play Mah Jong and Karate games on DS handhelds in Japan, for example, or sports games which are very popular worldwide - with networked DS fantasy sports teams.

When reading analyses of markets, always ask yourself - which market? US? World? Euro? Japan?

I normally presume we're talking world market.

Not quite (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712320)

The article you linked to:
The Japanese gaming company had sold about 4 million Nintendo DS units in North America and more than 5 million in Japan since the game systems U.S. launch in November of 2004.
Considering Reggie is the spokesman for NOA, it makes sense for him to quote NOA numbers.

Re:Wrong numbers for DS sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712342)

I have three arms, you insensitive clod!

Re:Wrong numbers for DS sales (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713040)

If the average player plays about 4 hours and 20 minutes a day, it would be in 4 million hands and 11 million pockets at any given time.

Right number actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713191)

About 4 millions sold in the US (Reggie works at NOA) and each DS in only one hand as the other holds the stylus to pet the Nintendog.

The market is alive and well (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14711747)

We've determined that the videogame market is ripe for revival

How can the market be ripe for revival when it's not even dead? Unless if that was meant to read Nintendo's console market. I have seen no signs of Sony's and Microsoft's consoles suffering from lack of sales.

Re:The market is alive and well (1)

suspected (907639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712229)

How can the market be ripe for revival when it's not even dead?

Revival from stagnation

I have seen no signs of Sony's and Microsoft's consoles suffering from lack of sales

Microsoft lost money on their xbox and is very likely to lose money on its xbox360

Re:The market is alive and well (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712610)

Besides, the reason you don't see a problem with lack of sales in the Xbox360 is Microsoft's lack of production. There's nothing to see!

Re:The market is alive and well (1)

tighr (793277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712347)

I think that in this context, revival was meant to express a desire to bring the market out of monotony. Even with a game like Nintendogs, the video games market has been one rehash after another. Beloved games like GTA are on their fifth sequel, there are 13 Final Fantasy Games, The most anticipated game on the Xbox is Halo 3, and people can't wait to get their hands on an HD quality PS3 so they can buy re-releases of all their favorite DVDS. The market is in need of a revival, which he thinks the new Nintendo controller can deliver. Whether or not Nintendo can deliver fresh content on their new system has yet to be seen, but the least we can do is hope.

Re:The market is alive and well (2, Informative)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712461)

Would like to point out that there are FAR more than 13 final fantasy games.
Sure, 1-12, and X2.
Then Tactics.
Then Tactics Advance.
Then all the weird chocobo adventure/Gameboy titles that really sucked.
All the re-releases, like Final Fantasy Origins and Dawn of Souls and such...
Don't forget about the tons of new FF7 stuff coming out. (Dirge of Cerebus, Advent Children, w/e else)
And last and least, Final Fantasy Pong. What? Hasn't come out yet? Well, it will.

Re:The market is alive and well (1)

barawn (25691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713210)

How can the market be ripe for revival when it's not even dead?

The Japanese videogame market has been in decline since 1999. The US videogame market slowed (it might've actually declined, I can't remember) in 2005. Yes, a large portion of this is due to the fact that it was a transitional year, but they've had transitional years before that weren't nearly that bad.

This isn't the first (or second) time Nintendo's seen this trend.

The man does have a point (5, Insightful)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711754)

We (gamers) are being sequeled to death...

we all know this... Usually we blow it off by casting the shame towards the genre we don't like as much...or point to the fewer and fewer glimmers of originality.

But this does not stop the truth we all well know.

Something needs to change.

Maybe its the publishers, maybe its the develoupment model/cycle.

Nintendo is trying to change its machine to be able to do something more than push out one polygon/sprite/bit more than its competitors.

Last time they were our saviors (NES)...maybe..just maybe...they are trying to save us again before the industry REALLY needs it.

*NOTE: trying to save us does mean they can still fall on their asses trying, not to mention how much money they made last time they *were* right ;)

Re:The man does have a point (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711951)

Is having many sequels really such a bad thing? It's a safer buy for the consumer. "I liked Sly Cooper, I bet I'll like Sly 2 as well." It makes for easy logic. It's like looking at the box and thinking "I like mech games, maybe I'll give this 'Ring of Red' a go."

Besides, some of us actually like sequels to our favorite games. That being said, as with any game purchase, research first.

Re:The man does have a point (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712017)

We (gamers) are being sequeled to death...

You mean like with Mario Party 7?

(Disclaimer: I have nothing against Mario games)

Re:The man does have a point (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712942)

Nah, I think they meant more like Final Fantasy XII. How many times can it really be the Final Fantasy?

good=disruptive (4, Insightful)

spoogle (874602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711807)

What they are really saying is that their new work will be disruptive by:
  • making games which are good as opposed to crappy
  • making games which do not follow the same tired old gameplay mechanics

I was explaining to someone (who does not play games) the other day what computer games are about, and since I like FPSs so much, I was explaining FPSs to her. But I felt kind of embarrased because I don't approve of or particularly like shooting things. Shooting things = tired gameplay mechanic. Violence = tired gameplay mechanic.

Compare two different concepts for Nintendogs: 1. raise and train cute puppies, 2. shoot lots of cute puppies. I rest my case, QFD.

Julian

Re:good=disruptive (1)

TadZimas (921646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712322)

You can shoot puppies in Nintendogs? Hot Dog, I need to gets me a DS!

Re:good=disruptive (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712805)

Concept 3: Raise and train cute puppies to fight and kill other cute puppies. Network it, of course. Best of both worlds!

Gaming needs shaking up (3, Insightful)

uzusan (951058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711856)

in these days of gaming that are just re-hashed vesions of previous generation games, we need a bit more innovation. there are a lot of innovative games out there, but they dont seem to be getting the prominence that they deserve. However, most companies seem content to pump out unnecessary-sequel 5, without regards to innovation. it seems even the companies normally renound for innovation are falling under this spell.

even nintendo itself. they have a lot of great titles, but seem to be increasingly padding it out with rehashes of previous stuff. Im a massive fan of mario, but do i really need another version of super mario bros? a game that was amazing on the nes, but why should i buy it on the DS? or the GBA? sure if they do anything new (like they did with mario kart ds) then ill consider it.

i would love to play an completely new mario game on the DS, not one that looks like its just a level redesign (from the few leaked shots ive seen so far). maybe im becoming jaded and looking at the gaming past through rose tinted glasses, but to me it seems that the games industry needs a good swift kick up the behind and get its ideas in shape (and give those designers who actually have loads of good ideas a chance).

Re:Gaming needs shaking up (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713388)

Traditionally, Mario platformers have relied on heavily restructured gameplay functions, offering something new that breaks new ground and makes it a distinct experience. It's not revolutionary per se, but neither is it a rehash.

Now, Mario Party on the other hand....

The Princess All Grown Up! (2, Funny)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711933)

The hell with Mario, I want her!

Re:The Princess All Grown Up! (1)

Tab is on Slashdot (853634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713017)

Andy? Is that you?

Re:The Princess All Grown Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713060)

"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14711984)

because gameplay is weak and games are intimidating and hard to use? It's true in my case. More to the point, previously "hardcore" gamers are, I think, being pushed into the "non-hardcore" camp.

Games are what brought me to the PC from Unix platforms in the late '80s and early '90s (well, games and Linux). I am the ideal market: male, 20s-30s, very technical, able and willing to assemble my own systems and very, shall we say, "intrigued" by ever-faster and sexier hardware.

For a long time before I started with PC games, I was a rabid text-based adventure and Nethack fan. But the graphics and variety of PC platform games were just too sexy to me and by the mid-to-late'90s, I was what I would consider to be a hardcore gamer: SMP, relentless video card upgrades, lots of RAM, RAID for faster level loads, CD changers to play multi-disc games more smoothly, 21" monitor, etc., moving into console platforms, buying just about every game that came out...

But it all tapered off somehow. Games would feel less engrossing, or the keyboard learning curve would be so high that I wouldn't play it after I'd bought it. At first, it was just one or two games that I wasn't bothering to complete, but by the time I had the latest 10 or 15 titles in my hands and a system that could play them all, yet I hadn't finished any of them and found myself preferring to do other things instead, I realized that this gaming thing was becoming a worse investment since I didn't seem to be enjoying it as much... and my game buying tapered off.

In retrospect, though I played a bunch of FPS games all the way through, the games that I find most memorable (and that I still own long after most of my game library has gone the eBay way) are the games that today's "hardcore" gamers ruthlessly mock. I still own Myst, Riven, Zork Nemesis, the Ultima series (including Ultima IX: Ascension), the King's Quest series (including Mask of Eternity), and so on. In short, they're primarily adventure-driven games whose interfaces and schemas are not so complex that one must spend two weeks in "learning curve" mode before actually having any fun.

I have some friends who still game all the latest titles, but I've tried them and they're just not that entertaining. There's nothing for the imagination there. You simply mindlessly flail about on your keyboard with ultra-complex controls while trying to blast things. Rather than being revealed to you through experience, evidence, and events (as was strongly the case with, for example, Myst or Riven), stories are simply told to you in annoying pages-long sessions of reading or long monologues by animated characters that I don't care about and that punctuate the otherwise mindless action.

In short, most games aren't fun anymore. The past is full of great games in dead genres. Text- or command-based adventure (i.e. Infocom games, early Sierra games), text-based RPG (Nethack, Rogue, et. al.), graphical adventure (Myst, Riven, Sanitarium, Obsidian, Grim Fandango, a million other amazing titles), action-adventure (Ultima IX: Ascention, Mask of Eternity, Nocturne), action platform/scroller (NOX, Gauntlet, Flashback), strategy (Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic, Alpha Centauri).

I can't really think of any FPS, pure role-playing, racing, or sports computer games that are at the top of my list... Yet that's all that's on the market today. Compare to 1997, when the shelves were full of imaginative games in many genres. It's as though the improvement in graphics has pushed the "reality" paradigm to the forefront, leaving no room in the marketplace for "fantasy," which is really the only reason I ever played games to begin with. I want to go to other worlds that don't bear too big a resemblance to mine, and to enjoy myself while I'm there (i.e. it shouldn't feel like work).

Instead, today's games have a very high learning curve (trying to learn to play one of them feels like being in school, you can't just pick up as you go, and the controls demand full attention, not leisurely playing while you much your pizza and chat with your roommate about politics), and they're all about putting the player in hyper-tense situations in what seem like very real places. In short, it's no fun: playing today's games is like going to work.

Recently I've found that the oldies-but-goodies are where it's at. The other night I finished playing Blackstone Chronicles again (a B-rate click-adventure from the '90s) and have a few pretty nice Nethack characters going in Qt Nethack. And I'm not missing Fable or the Elder Scrolls or any of the million overgraphical pay-thru-the-nose MMORPGs at all.

In short, I've been turned into a "non-hard-core gamer" by a boring game market. If somebody starting making basic story-driven (not puzzle-driven) click-adventures again like Myst/Riven/Blackstone Chronicles/Obsidian, or even text adventures that reminded me in some way of the old King's Quest or Space Quest series, I'd be buying them again. Maybe even paying $50 each. But no way I'm shelling out $50 for what amounts to Quake XXVII or Everquest MCMLXVII.

Re:"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712205)

To you I have only one thing to say. Well, two things. Alright, three including this declaration, but that's not important. First, well, you pretty much nailed it. Less gratuitous blood (reasonable blood is fine), more action and, dare I say it, thought. Although that's close to saying that music today should have a melody, damn these kids today... You were especially correct about the fact that you used to be able to sit and hang out with friends, casually playing Zelda/Mario/whatever, with moments of interesting (often to all around you) action. Not so any more, for the most part.

Second, for a stroll down memory lane: http://www.homestarrunner.com/disk4of12.html [homestarrunner.com]

Re:"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712369)

You're just getting old. Games today are better than they've ever been. I'm confident in saying that the DS is the best handheld ever (it has some point and click adventures too if that's your thing). The PS2 and Gamecube between them cover a breathtaking variety of gameplay styles, and do it well. PC gaming hasn't had much of note out recently (apart for MMOs, which I find very dull), but PCs are backwards compatible all the way to Pong and Spacewar so it's hard to say they're getting worse, and the mod scene for some games is incredible.

(I'm 25, been gaming for about 13 years, and occasionally feel the same choking tendrils of false nostalgia that have a grip on you.)

Re:"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712504)

What makes you think it was the industry that changed and not, say, yourself?

I know, personally, my attitude towards games has changed a lot. I used to be able to play Tribes for 20 hours straight in college. I used to beat every RPG I bought, even the horribly buggy ones, and I bought every RPG I got my hands on.

Recently, I bought Dungeon Lords, a great RPG in the old-school PC style, and I got about 6-7 hours into it before just stopping. Why? I'm not going to pretend the games changed... is there much difference between Dungeon Lords and (say) Daggerfall? No, not really. But I'm a lot different, and that type of game just doesn't appeal to me as much anymore.

Anyway, admittedly I didn't read your long-ass post, but I think all you are experiencing is nostalgia.

Re:"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712698)

Considering you didn't read his post, it sounds more like short attention span syndrome to m... ooh, shiny!

Re:"Non-hard-core gamers" aren't playing anymore (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712919)

### but I think all you are experiencing is nostalgia

There is of course always a bit of nostalgia when talking about games of the past, but things definitvly have changed as well, for most part probally simple because the industrie got a whole lot more 'professional', thus every game has to appeal to the 'target audience' and the little crazy ideas never make it very far if the publisher doesn't think they follow certain 'standard'. This is probally most obvious when looking into the early days of gaming, C64, Amiga and such where there was a wild mix of genres around, today on the other side genres are quite fixed and only few games try to break the barrier and those that do get sequeled and cloned to death (see Prince of Persia, GTA, MetalGear, ResidentEvil, etc). Often those games that actually are innovative are recreations of games from the more or less distant past themself (see previous list). Part of this is certainly due to the technology, which is simply at a stage where there isn't any room left for huge jumps, so I will probally never again stare totally amazed at the screen as I did with AnotherWorld, DonkeyKongCountry or Mario64, but a large part is also simply due to the publishers trying nothing new. Just look at those genres that are popular today, most havn't changed much at all since their inital invention, ie. Doom, Dune, Diablo, sure finetuned here and there, new unit types, but nothing radical different and even the simplest improvments often took years, even as long as decade. In first person shooters for example the player was for a long long time just a floating arm with a gun, only recently some games, such as Riddick, try to fix that issue.

Another issue which I find very sad when looking at the past games is that a lot of genres simply have been mostly lost and forgotten. Coop play disappread almost completly once 3d was introduced, while it was almost a standard component in the 2d times. Games that require or even allow the use of a joystick are also almost non-existant these days. 2D-Jump'n runs are completly dead on the big consoles and even the handhelds get mostly just recycling ware of the old days. Good stories are seldomly seen these days in games and they almost never blend into the gameplay, but are just cutscenes, while in the past you often had quite good ones, thanks to the adventure genre, but even games that weren't typically story-telling often had them (WingCommander, StrikeCommander, etc.) and not just cutscenes. Strategie games that go bejoint Dune/Warcraft-style are also quite seldom (Syndicate, UFO).

Of course not all is lost and there are still coming out plenty of good games (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Katamari, Yager, Fahrenheit, etc.), but a new FIFA, NeedForSpeed, SplinterCell, etc. titel just can't get me excited at all. Nothing wrong with a good sequel, but if the same series is milked for a decade with each successor only containing minimal improvments over the old one its no wonder that some people start to complain.

Video games these days just to often feels like "been there done that", while to many nice places of the past got lost and forgotten.

Mario is still a youngin' (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712210)

Just listen [ebaumsworld.com] to the way he talks and is very obvious that he has not grown up.

He may look like an adult, but he is still a teenager at heart.

That old revolution controller video showed.... (1)

NXprime (573188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712773)

I don't think people realize what kind of games the revolution is going to offer.

I mean it hinted at a lot of things to come...
1. Conduct your own orchastra/symphony.
2. Cook food. Chop up food quickly... ect.
3. Cool sword fights.
4. More natural type of baseball bat swing.

A real revolution? Yup. :) I want to see what this cooking game idea looks like. :)
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