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An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the say-goodbye-to-the-hardcore- dept.

Wii 234

Reservoir Hill writes "An article from last week runs down the new mass audience for gaming among families, women and older people. The importance of the mass audience in gaming's spectacular growth is seen most clearly in the success of Nintendo's Wii, which is far outselling its more technically advanced hardware competitors, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. Wii Play was the No. 2-selling game of last year even though it received an abysmal score of 58 out of 100 at Metacritic, which aggregates reviews. The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience. 'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"

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Makes one wonder... (4, Interesting)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393768)

...How many politicians are going to go after games continually when they gain the same status as movies in the public eye?

Frosty Piss for the whole family (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393790)

An article from last week runs down the new mass audience for Frosty Piss among families, women and older people. The importance of the mass audience in Frosty Piss's spectacular growth is seen most clearly in the success of the female drinker, which is far outperforming its more traditionally male-dominated afficionados. Dark, foaming Frosty Piss (steaming variety) was the bestselling brand of last year even though it received an abysmal score of 58 out of 100 at Metacritic, which aggregates reviews. The Times says that as Frosty Piss become more popular hard-core drinkers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience. 'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows bartenders to create ever more complex and realistic drinks, the growth in the now $18 billion Frosty Piss market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.
 

Re:Makes one wonder... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393798)

None. The current crop (crap works too) will be out of office before that happens.

Re:Makes one wonder... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393820)

None of the politicians will go after casual games. The same number will go after the hard core games until those games also receive mainstream status, which is going to be another decade or so at the current rate.

Re:Makes one wonder... (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393904)

The same number will go after the hard core games until those games also receive mainstream status, which is going to be another decade or so at the current rate.
Or when the current crop of politicians are kicked out of office or die. Every year we get closer to Gen Xers (the first video game generation) being in charge of things :-)

Re:Makes one wonder... (4, Funny)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394670)

Lord help us [xkcd.org] when that happens.

Re:Makes one wonder... (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394780)

Something tells me that taking the politicans out and blowing them, won't really help us much at all.

Re:Makes one wonder... (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395098)

I just hope enough of them/us realize that there is no reload option, so we better get cracking on cleaning up the mess our parents left us (Environmentally, Politically and Economically).

Reality: The Ultimate "Hard Core" Ladder :)

Re:Makes one wonder... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393856)

...How many politicians are going to go after games continually when they gain the same status as movies in the public eye?

Eventually, they'll come a day in 20 to 50 years from now when the majority of politicians have played an Xbox/Playstation/Wii while in whatever University they went to.

The reason is simple (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393800)

If you've ever played Wario Ware or Mario Party with a bunch of friends while half drunk, you know how fun it can be.

Games don't have to have top of the line graphics to be fun. Nintendo got it right with the Wii.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393840)

Wii Play is also pretty good when you're tanked. The only major issue that I have it's only two player.

Re:The reason is simple (5, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393884)

So's SingStar, so is Trivial Pursuit and so is Fluxx. So are a hell of a lot of other games, assuming they're any good whatsoever.

Actually, getting drunk with friends is fun even without access to a games console of any kind. It's not the game that is great, but the friends.

Re:The reason is simple (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394136)

Assuming we have any freinds

Re:The reason is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395198)

zoidberrrrrrrrrg! :)

Re:The reason is simple (4, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394542)

Actually, getting drunk with friends is fun [...]
I must be one of the only people on the planet who disagrees. After a few drinks, instead of smiling like a buffoon, I get really depressed instead.

I tend to not drink too much.

Re:The reason is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395082)

>Actually, getting drunk with friends is fun even without access to a games console of any kind. It's not the game that is great, but the friends.

Actually, getting drunk is fun even without access to friends of any kind. It's not friends that are great, but the alcohol.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

VGMSupreme (228396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394394)

Explain to me how playing a game on a system where coordination is a big key, is fun wile you are drunk. Or playing any game while drunk. This is something I just never understood. What is it about being intoxicated that makes playing games more fun?

Re:The reason is simple (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394474)

Explain to me how playing a game on a system where coordination is a big key, is fun wile you are drunk. Or playing any game while drunk. This is something I just never understood. What is it about being intoxicated that makes playing games more fun?
Depends on how alcohol affects you, but for a lot of people everything becomes more fun when drunk. A friend of mine has one drink and everything she hears comes across to her as completely hilarious. Similar to how I've heard everything comes across with a deep, almost spiritual experience when on LSD.
 

Re:The reason is simple (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394482)

Because stuff is way more hilarious when you are drunk. No one cares how well they do. It's all about the laughs. Fun != playing well.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394784)

Do you know what "slapstick" style comedy is? Well, basically, drunk people playing Wii is practically slapstic and therefore amusing.

Plus, sometimes it takes the edge off and lets you cut loose a little... My friends and I, who are all in our mid 20's to early 30's, have Halo parties once every month or two. We get together, we drink, we order pizza, and we play Halo. There's a point where I get a nice buzz going that I really have a lot of fun. I'm not buzzed enough that it affects my playing ability, but just buzzed enough that it relaxes me and everything in the game rolls off easier and it's not as frustrating when you spawn right onto a grenade.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394898)

Agreed. I'm a pretty competitive person and having a few drinks makes it easier to take a loss. Plus, if you get your buddies to drink more than you, they start getting sloppy.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395158)

God, you're so right about Halo. I love playing Halo with friends while buzzed, and my performance is rarely impacted by it. Unfortunately, as the night goes on, the buzz eventually turns into authentic drunkeness and that's when I start to suck.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394988)

You're forgetting the social aspect of the equation. Booze + friends = hilarity. One of the funniest moments that I can remember is playing Monopoly. 'Friend A' is completely ripped and realizes that 'Friend B' has been collecting money from 'Friend A' for at least an hour from a property that 'Friend A' owns. Never would have happened if we were sober.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394856)

It's also a great game if you're 4 years old.

My daughter loves playing WiiPlay and Disney Princess Adventure

My wife and I play it a little, but we tend to play Raving Rabbids and Trauma Centre: New Blood. That is, when we're not playing board games. [boardgamegeek.com]

Now here's the kicker - my mom and my mother-in-law ALSO play WiiPlay with my daughter.

I don't have another console or a faster PC because:
1. Time management. I just don't have enough time to play several consoles.
2. Cost. I'm not going to spend my way into debt just so I can play a PS3 / 360. I might get a PS2 this year.
3. I don't want to get into the "arms race" and buy new hardware every year just to keep up.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395138)

My 3-year-old son actually had fun with the Rub-A-Dub Demo on the PS3 we downloaded off Sony Online. It uses the controllers tilt sensors to let you float a duck around the screen to collect little ducklings. You can also jump by flicking the controller up. He loves making the duck bounce around the screen.

Basically, I think it's as much about the controller as it is about the games. When you have that tactile feedback it's a lot easier to "get" the game quickly.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394056)

I like to do stupid things drunk. Doing virtual things drunk is more fun.

"You stole the girl I was talking to. Lets box."

Wii is the ultimate drunk gaming machine. Because so many of the games require motor control.

A fun drinking game (even if it is only 2 player) is the Wii Play shooting game. Winner takes a shot. Play until you're adequately buzzed.

Hell coming back from the bars playing for an hour and then crashing rocks. You can have a mini 'party' before going out to the bars and it beats just sitting and watching TV.

I only wish they came out when I was in college. We usually played NES (SMB3) while waiting for Pizza.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394224)


I would suggest that Wii boxing with semi accurate Miis makes for pretty good relationship therapy.

Re:The reason is simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394212)

Exactly. We revived a C64 and played minigolf. Another thing to note: Gamers are begging for cooperative modes but very few games actually have non-competitive modes.

Re:The reason is simple (1)

sempernoctis (1229258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394766)

Why only half drunk? I don't half-ass it when it comes to my liquor :)

Re:The reason is simple (2, Insightful)

jeffbax (905041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394904)

Sure, if you consider party games the epitome of gaming... I, and many others however don't. I know plenty of people who bought a Wii with all the hype, and months later they don't play anything. The games lineup it has going aside from a handful of games is utter disposable crap. Third party sales are for the most part garbage, and it doesn't help people buy the Wii for Wii sports and almost Wii sports alone.

Nintendo got it right in terms of a successful product, but the jury is still out on its quality as a gaming console. It has little to no online capabilities, is yet again a machine strictly for Nintendo games, and aside from selling like hotcakes has yet to convince me what the fuss is about. In a house of five, we have two Wiis and they both go totally unplayed.

All bashing aside, I think Sony got it right. Their machine won't explode on you like the 360, its a future proof, very stable and quiet machine. Now its finally $399, PSN has a huge amount of quality independent games in the market and pipeline for often less than 360 XBLA games cost (not to mention a significantly smaller DRM headache, user swappable hard drive, and no bullshit "Points" unit - things cost dollars and cents and don't trap you into having unspent points remain). Developers are really starting to come around to getting things right with the Cell (see the amazing 1st party Uncharted and Rachet, and Ubi and Crytek developers recently), they have awesome storage capacity in Blu-Ray and a standard Hard Disk, and PSN while not as polished yet as XBL doesn't handicap developers with arbitrary game size-limits thanks to a gimped HDD-less version and keep developers like Epic from allowing free AND user-created content.

All my friends would much rather play Guitar Hero, Rockband, CoD4 than anything on the Wii (and before you mention GH3 or Rockband Wii... there are no downloadable tracks for either which for Rockband is a HUGE missing feature). Additionally, I see way more promise in games like Calling All Cars, PixelJunk Monsters, and Little Big Planet than anything I've seen on the Wii yet. And these games will/do cost around $8 - $10 on PSN.

Then again, ./ loves to chirp the "Gameplay not Graphics" line while totally disregarding the fact that PS3 and 360 have both over the Wii - but its easy to hate Sony and MS compared to Nintendo right, even when the Wii is totally disregarding all the "fun" with the exception of a few GameCube ports and the same old Nintendo games you've been playing since the N64. /gamer-rant (who had to deal with 3 dead original Xbox's and a now-dead 360 and a horrendous MS customer support experience

of course.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393816)

this has nothing to do with games pushing graphics over gameplay. nope. none at all. really.

Confirming what we already knew (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393834)

'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'
So the NYT is just confirming what those of us who have played games from the '80 and early '90s have known for years.

Yet most game companies don't get it (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394064)

So the NYT is just confirming what those of us who have played games from the '80 and early '90s have known for years.

Yep. Maybe with some luck, the lords of the game studios will read the article. As many have already noted, the folks at Nintendo figured this out a long time ago. But hard-core gamers are the folks making most of the games. It reminds me a bit of designers and websites. A few years ago many designers simply made sites for other designers. Now most of the designers have realized that they're not designing for themselves and their friends, but for a larger audience. Web design has evolved. There are still designer-oriented sites, but for the most part mass market professional sites do a much better job of serving the broader audience than they did even five years ago.

There will still be room for ultrageek games that require the latest hardware and suck up dozens of hours a week. But the race for that juicy mass market is on, and Nintendo has an early lead.

Re:Yet most game companies don't get it (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394498)

"Yep. Maybe with some luck, the lords of the game studios will read the article. As many have already noted, the folks at Nintendo figured this out a long time ago."

My thoughts exactly. Don't get me wrong...I am VERY impressed with some of the graphics and sound that many modern games have...but, I think somewhere along the way, the "WOW" factor of graphics overrode everything else, and just simple fun game play took a backseat.

I mean, look back to the old arcade games, Robotron is still one of the most fun games to play today, yet its graphics and sounds are quite primitive. I have a MAME cabinet at home, with 1000's of games on it, yet anytime anyone, even younger kids that visit with parents, find that is is fun, and it is the most popular game on the machine, even with much more modern games available.

Gameplay should be fun first and foremost. Graphics should only enhance the fun of play. And while a good complex game is fun at times, I'd dare say MOST regular people that want to play games...want to jump in and play, and not have it be a 'job' in itself to learn how to play the game. Not to mention, that the avg. person isn't wanting to get a game, and then have to buy a guide to play it, in order to find so many hidden and completely non-intuitive secrets and objects to enjoy the game.

Re:Confirming what we already knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394200)

It is still a little worrisome, though. If the market is flooded with crappy puzzle games*, aren't we in danger of another slow down in the gaming industry? This may be one time I'd encourage the consoles to be picky about handing out licenses.

*Disclaimer: I love puzzle games, so long as they're fun.

Re:Confirming what we already knew (1)

AIkill (1021773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394808)

Heres what I say.

Let the consoles have the simple puzzle games and games with poor gameplay, replay value, and otherwise simplicity. In the meantime, give PCs the hardcore games that require complexity (Mass Effect, KoToR, NWN series, Company of Heroes, C&C, the like.) That way, PC gaming will live on for the hard-core gamer, and those people who want games that they will be tired of after the first 6 hours can go to consoles and stop clogging up the PC market with poor quality, no replay value games (Timeshift comes to mind).

Wii play might suck (5, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393842)


But its only 10 bucks. Face it, you were going to get the second controller anyway, why not spend 10 bucks and get a handful of mini games out of it too.

Re:Wii play might suck (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393996)

Exactly, rate Wii Play on the same standards Mario Galaxy and it doesn't stand up too well.
Rate it as a nice low price bonus added to a Wiimote purchase and it's excellent value. Reviewers of the game seemeed to miss its point and failed to score it for what it was. But then reviewers tend to look down on anything outside of their definition of gaming. Which is probably why I've never seen a gaming mag review Bejeweled even though I bet it's one of the most played games in the world today.
In terms of price per hour of gameplay it probably ranks as the highest Wii game in my house, my "non gamer" wife (who spends more time playing casual games than I do playing my "proper" games) loves it and can't help but challenge visitors to a cow race or two.
Now excuse me I have to reclaim my fishing high score before she gets home...

Re:Wii play might suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394342)

can't help but challenge visitors to a cow race or two.

Anybody who doesn't understand the article just needs to realize how hard it is to read that and not chuckle.

Re:Wii play might suck (1)

demeteloaf (865003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394414)

Which is probably why I've never seen a gaming mag review Bejeweled even though I bet it's one of the most played games in the world today.

ahem... [metacritic.com]

sure, that's technically not exactly Bejeweled, but the core gameplay is the same.

Sounds like my house! (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395176)

We decided last summer to get a Wii because it was more family-friendly. My wife and I enjoy playing the WiiPlay games and my two-year-old enjoys watching Mommy and Daddy smack-talk each other while they fish and cow race. Plus, it's easy to put the game down, unlike a Final Fantasy game with an endless cutscene that cannot be paused or replayed (sorry if that's no longer true, FFVII was the last one I played.)

Casual games are the biggest market out there. My wife spends hours playing games on Kongregate, more than I spend playing something like Twilight Princess or Far Cry. And I thought I was the hardcore gamer in the house.

I hope that Nintendo doesn't get cocky, now that millions (?) of Wii consoles are in living rooms, and continues to encourage quality games, not shovelware. As long as they can still publish good, single-person games (not crippled versions of other console's games, I'm looking at you Force Unleashed) for gamers like me to play after toddlers go to bed. A diverse catalogue is what is going to keep people playing Wii for the next few years.

Why Wii Play sold well (3, Insightful)

Innova (1669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393844)

The reason Wii Play sold so well: $10 game with the purchase of a Wiimote.

The reason Wii Play sold so well... (5, Insightful)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393850)

Wii Play sold so well because it costs about the same as a Wii Remote and it comes with a Wii Remote, so you basically got the game for free. Many people bought Wii Play the same day they bought their Wii console.

Did Play outsell because it was great (3, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393860)

I don't disagree with the general premise of the article, but using Play as a data point is pretty weak. The game itself is only $10, since its bundled with a $40 controller that is required for almost all games. As a bargain game, I don't think it competes at the same level as say Bioshock or Metroid.

Wii Play? (1)

roscivs (923777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393864)

Wii Play was "best-selling" because it included a controller. Given the choice between buying a controller or buying Wii Play for nearly the same price, Wii Play was a brain-dead choice. That doesn't mean that old people are dominating gaming. I'd be much more interested to see how other Wii games stacked up.

Re:Wii Play? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395068)

You have it all wrong. It isn't about the controller or the game itself. It is about the social interaction that make the game fun. There is no learning curve, no complexity, just simple play. The complex "gamer" world is basically anti-social. The human is a social animal.

Wii returns the social aspect to the gaming experience. This is the reason for it's popularity. When the high end game market figures this out and solves this, they too will experience enormous sales.

Re:Wii Play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395196)

I'd be much more interested to see how other Wii games stacked up.


This is actually the number that you don't hear touted as much. The Wii attach rate SUCKS. People buy the Wii, and maybe a Nintendo game or two, and thats it.

From Nintendo's perspective, this is fine. They still make a profit, and they can point to all of the consoles as a "potential market" for a game developer.

From a Third Party developer's perspective, its a nightmare, and almost all of the third party publishers are having a lot of difficulty.

You just don't get it.... (4, Interesting)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393872)

The new emerging Wii market can't simply be lumped into the same hardcore gaming market.

The Wii market is separate from 360 and PS3 so trying to figure out why Wii is outselling the PS3 and 360 doesn't work.

It's not simply about being a "Gamer" now. The way most Wii games work isn't in any way similar to the traditional gaming market. Stop treating it like the same thing.

Not everyone feels like getting off their ass and actually moving.

Re:You just don't get it.... (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394846)

Not everyone feels like getting off their ass and actually moving.

How many Wii games have you actually played?
Most of them do not require getting off your ass.

Zelda:TP, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, NFS:Carbon, Resident Evil 4, Rayman Raving Rabbids 1 & 2, Wii Play, Wii Sports, Metroid 3, WarioWare Smooth Moves, Mario Party 8, Dewey's Adventure, Lego Star Wars, Big Brain Academy, Wii Carnival, Wii Playground, Elebits.

I've played all of these and of those, the ONLY games that really benefit from or require getting off your ass and moving to play would be:

Wii Sports
some levels and modes of WarioWare Smooth Moves
a very small minority of the Rayman minigames

The rest can very comfortably be played sitting down.

As soon as someone (3, Insightful)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393900)

shows this new demographics buys games, we can talk about a shift in the industry. Until then, it's just a reporter trying to predict an industry shift that shows no signs of actually happening yet. Say what you will, they might be massively more expensive to product, but hardcore gamers actually BUY hardcore games. I'm 40 and I have spent every free minute since last August trying to keep up with the great load of games for the 360 and PS3 and am currently splitting my time between multiplayer COD4 and Ratchet & Clank Future.

Re:As soon as someone (3, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394894)

How much money do you think the Bejeweled people are sitting on?

There's probably a pending market correction on hardcore games. Graphics are hitting diminishing returns (double the processing power only gets you a marginally better image), and people who are good producing those graphics demand a high salary. The hardcore development houses are inevitably going to scale back when they realize that small puzzle games that are hacked up in a month by one guy are turning the same profit as their hundred-large teams turning out the next Madden game.

The hardcore market will probably still exist, of course, but I think it's going to have to regress.

Discounting the Wii Play statistics (3, Interesting)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393906)

I love the Wii, but you can't use Wii Play as any kind of reliable metric for the popularity of that kind of game. It's essentially a $10 game bundled with a $40 remote that most console owners were intending to buy anyway.

Like any genre, the Minigame phenomenon is only as strong as the title itself. Raving Rabbids was actually pretty solid; Carnival Games is utter garbage. Unfortunately, publishers see the unintentional success of games like Wii Play and assume that's what people want.

Mario Party is a classic, so that's going to be popular. Raving Rabbids is a solid enough game that makes good use of the controller. Wario Ware is goofy and fun, but is becoming tired and cliche.

Frankly, the less party games we see, the better off the few that remain will be. Otherwise it all becomes shovelware at some point.

Re:Discounting the Wii Play statistics (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394450)

Frankly, the less party games we see, the better off the few that remain will be. Otherwise it all becomes shovelware at some point.
At this point, I would say it really doesn't matter and we'll get good games anyway. According to vgchartz it's at 21mio sold with 44% market share and currently selling more than the PS3 and Xbox360 combined, which means it'll be creeping towards 50%. Yeah, I've heard Wii buyers buy less games than the others but I doubt the difference is that large, senior citizens may not be the big buyers around my friends I think you'll find just as many Wii games as with other consoles...

Re:Discounting the Wii Play statistics (1)

Oreilly34 (695012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394740)

I agree. Wii Play is really a bunch of demo games, and it can't be considered a game title. That's not why I bought it. It shows off various types of control schemes using the Wii remote and introduces two player games. It's how you buy your second remote. I like the hockey and the pool. The kids find the fishing and the cow racing thing fun. The tank game reminds me of the old Atari 2600 pack in. Carnival Games is awful. Its like a PC port to a gamecube dev environment that wasn't debugged before they shipped it, with wii control slapped on. We rented it for 7.99, and I felt ripped off after picking a character, never mind playing the bug infested and laggy games. This is a time to be careful in what you buy, because junk is being developed from PS2 ports and failed PC games by development houses with little experience on a Nintendo platform. If Nintendo wants to continue collecting money on the licensing of games, they better start sharing some insider tips that those guys haven't been using. The Wii, I think, is mainly about expanding the Nintendo DS audience to a console. Its games are going to have a similar hands on feel, with the graphics it has utilized simply for presentation. The DS is the hook for their entire marketing strategy now, since the gamecube didn't manage to do it.

Re:Discounting the Wii Play statistics (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394822)

Yes, hell yes!

Party games were an obscure niche - now it's a dominant theme but they're all crap. It's hardly any different from the FPS craze of the early 90's, when every game was a Doom or Wolf3d knockoff (of inferior quality).

I love the few big party games, but that's enough. Rabbids 3 : yes. Super Flonky Flonk China Party IV : no.

The other big problem with the Wii is the huge number of absolute garbage games like Jenga... who wants to pay $30-40 for the Wii Game that sucks ass, when you can buy the physical game for $12 ? Another one that peeved me was the CSI game: it's your standard "Blade Runner"-style pixel hunt adventure, but it looks and plays like it came straight out of the 90's - eternal loading sequences, choppy graphics. The game itself is decent, when it's not stuck in sloppy-land. My 486 ran smoother!

It simply feels like Nintendo is giving licenses to every half-breed on the planet. They used to guard them carefully, and all the games had to get approved by Nintendo's QA staff before they could release. Now they're running it like the Playstation : 9 out of 10 games aren't worth the media they're pressed on.

Re:Discounting the Wii Play statistics (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395040)

Indeed. The 'article' author is a troll or a cretin. The sales figure for Wii Play are no more indicative of choice than those of Windows Vista. For the majority of purchasers, they're 'freebies' with the hardware.

Back to basics (4, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393922)

When you look at board games which do you think do better, the really complex Avalon Hill games that target a very select audience or Candy Land and Life?
As much as I live Settlers of Cattan and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

When you make something easier to understand, you're going to get more market share: lowest common denominator, right?

Re:Back to basics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394034)

The only reason this is true is because people don't know about these games. if you were to ask some random guy on the street to name a board game that was developed in the last 3 years, I doubt they'd be able to name one.

Trust me, no one is playing monopoly or life because they think those are the greatest games in the world.

Best != desirable (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394996)

no one is playing monopoly or life because they think those are the greatest games in the world.

No, they're playing Monopoly because it's sufficiently fun, 1 to >8 can play, most people already have it, and most people already know how to play it. Starting is simply a matter of "anyone up for Monopoly?", dump the contents on the table, and look up the starting $$$ distribution. The goal is FUN, NOW.

That in contrast with "the greatest game in the world", which probably requires conneseurship to appreciate, has player restrictions, few have it (from both cost & awareness), and takes 30 minutes just trying to read & explain the rules. Starting is a matter of a sales pitch on why anyone would want to play, figuring out what the heck is going on, and playing several rounds just to get the idea. The cost is complexity and education time ... failing to pull off FUN, NOW.

Indeed, so, Avalon Hill has gone bankrupt? (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394490)

That company must have gone ages ago, after all, you say there is not enough of a market compared to simpler games, so since they were founded in 1958, by now they should have gone belly up.

Ah but no, Avalon Hill has spend decades succesfully making a profit selling extremely complex games. Way more complex then Monopoly, and still somehow making a profit, enough to satisfy the parent company Hasbro. Mmm, were have I heard that name before. Hasbro, don't they also own Parker Brothers, the publishers of Monopoly?

Why on earth would Hasbro publish both a lowest common denominator game like monopoly (fans, please lynch the OP for those words, not me) and extremely complex games?

Because unlike you the managers at Hasbro ain't completely devoid of any business sense whatsoever.

You can't sell the maximum amount of goods if you only sell to the majority. The smart person will identify the various groups that exist and try to meet each of them with their own line of products.

Idiots MBA's often just don't get this most basic premise, they see a the majority market (and often get that wrong as well) and then think EVERY product should be aimed at that market. It is extremely short-sighted especially when that market is already being dominated with an other product. Don't try to out Coca-Cola Coca-Cola. Don't try to out WoW WoW.

This is what Nintendo did with the Wii, realizing they could NOT compete directly with Sony or Microsoft they instead tapped in another segment of the market although it is important to note that the Wii has more "adult" games then the Gamecube had before. Even nintendo seems to realize that trying to shoot for just one corner of a market at the expense of all others isn't smart which is why you got violent shooters on a Nintendo a console giant who in the west once censored blood and anything nasty or naughty.

What gets me in stories like these is that some people seem to think market share is important, it isn't. Profit is. If you can make a living selling a product to 10 people out of 6 billion you got a lousy market share, but are still a success.

It is almost like saying that simple movies get the largest audiences so everyone should make simple movies. TV execs already live by this rule, does gaming have to follow?

Re:Indeed, so, Avalon Hill has gone bankrupt? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394638)

Nintendo actually has done something really bright in this, I don't want to compare them to Hasbro but, We're seeing a lot more "serious" games like CoD coming to the Wii. They've learned to diversify, but, also by creating these simple "candy land-esq" games they're reaching a broader market.
There is always a market for Avalon Hill, but the broader base is your Candy Lands.

-
I've got wood for sheep.

Re:Indeed, so, Avalon Hill has gone bankrupt? (2, Informative)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395088)

Yes, Avalon Hill died about 10-12 years ago.
Printing costs went thru the roof.

Hasbro bought them up.

So now Hasbro sits on about 300+ titles from AH AND about 700+ titles that were Jame Dunnigans SPI (Simulations Publications Inc), plus who knows how many other indy/assorted titles.

But when you say Hasbro Management has BRAIN I disagree. There was quite a lull in the action, but there there are a few companies catering to the old wargamers crowd.

Hasbro should spin off an adult wargames/simulations company and republish these older titles. But probably they are just waiting for someone to publish a game titled 'Diplomacy' so they can sue them!

I get my kicks from DecisionGames.com now.

Oh and the Wii is fun. People like 'wireless' controllers that work right.
But when do I get to use our DSs as controllers for Wii games???

Re:Back to basics (2, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394640)

As much as I live Settlers of Cattan and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

Settlers isn't significantly (if any) more complex than Monopoly, imho.

Re:Back to basics (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394738)

Settlers always makes me think of M.U.L.E [wikipedia.org] which while an awesome game, I can't think of many people who played it. Maybe the idea of settling a colony planet didn't appeal to them like fighting turtles...

Re:Back to basics (3, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394816)


>Settlers isn't significantly (if any) more complex than Monopoly, imho.

I rarely find people who both know the rules of Monopoly and are willing to play the game by those rules.

Whenever I play Monopoly I choose to play banker/auctioneer/referee, and choose not to have an avatar on the board at all (so as to be disinterested and impartial).

When you play the game by the rules and with a designated banker, the game mechanics take a back seat and a role playing element emerges. Also, when you play the game without some of the common house rules, the game moves rapidly forward and tends to reach a conclusion in a shorter time. Many people, and to my experience *most* people have learned the game with house rules that were aimed at redistributing tax money with the goal of staving off bankruptcy, and this has a side effect of making the game much more random, and also, tends to force the game to run much longer than the design intends.

With a full-time banker, another element comes out, and that is a barter/auction economy. But in order for this to work well, the players must adhere to the rules about building and selling. The best way to do that is to broker all transactions through the bank, and to have all auctions operated by a person who is not playing the game.

I encourage people do try this (and the Parker Brothers rules do as well). With a decent referee, Monopoly can become a very satisfying RPG.

Re:Back to basics (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394874)

When you look at board games which do you think do better, the really complex Avalon Hill games that target a very select audience or Candy Land and Life?
As much as I live Settlers of Cattan and Axis and Allies, I see Monopoly on more shelves at homes than of the previous.

When you make something easier to understand, you're going to get more market share: lowest common denominator, right?


We've got Monopoly, Life, some Monopoly JR game, and a couple of those Candy Land type of games. You know the best game system that out sells all three consoles? Decks of cards. You've got more people playing card games than "video games." I've only played those Avalon Hill type of games with one friend back in high school. That guy must have had 20+ of the games and could tell you how to play all of them. We'd start by spending the first hour trying to learn the rules, the next hour trying to setup the board/pieces and 5-6+ hours actually trying to play. I hate to say it, but at least every one knows how to play Life and Monopoly. They may not be the best games out there, but they are the most widespread that you can find other players. Video/online games have the advantage of easily hooking you up with/against other humans. Even if the game's AI is trashy as long as the human multi player part is good you can sell a solid game and nearly always find some descent humans to play against.

Re:Back to basics (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394972)

Of course this might have to do with Monopoly being created and sold about a million years before (1935 vs 1995, 60 years head start?) either of those two other games were released. It could also be due to the marketing done for Monopoly, or the fact that Monopoly is sold everywhere, and the other two in niche stores and markets. Only now is Catan and Axis and Allies starting to become somewhat mainstream, but they still have a ways to go. I know I would never play Monopoly now, nor would I buy a copy. If I had kids they would probably grow up playing Catan etc... and then in 10 years you would see Catan on all the shelves.

Anyway the point is it isn't a fair comparison, and you shouldn't make conclusions based on those assumptions. It doesn't mean in order to be successful that you need to target the lowest common denominator (though in many cases you can see some parallels in the film industry). There is some truth in what you say, a game like Axis and Allies isn't for everyone due to length and complexity, so you are limiting your audience in that respect.

Also Candy Land and Life suck and complex Avalon hill games do not!

In all seriousness there are plenty of simple, fun, shorter games out there that no one knows about. I have a buddy that is a board game collector, and has something like over 250 games, most of which are "Euros", many of which you cannot get outside of Germany or where ever.

If you don't believe me check out www.boardgamegeek.com and see how many you recognize, also see how games like Monopoly are rated. I will give you a hint.... "not good". However they are American, and American companies own the rights to produce them, and we live in an American market. It is not the consumers that are making these marketing decisions, but the corporations. Given choice there is no contest.

Also another hole in your argument.... there are about a BILLION version of monopoly... I am barely exaggerating (around 300 by my count). Check it out. Catan (Connected Water Version, Knights and Cities, Seafarers, 6 player Expansion) I think has 4 that I know about (not including language versions, card game or space game which isn't even the same game). So that is kind of like a horrible comparison eh?

Great graphics don't make a good game (3, Insightful)

netean (549800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393948)

Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'

Finally maybe the games industry will realise that great graphis does not equal a great game. It's always been about the gameplay. It's that certain something something that means you can pick it up and get hooked and just keep on playing.

Where are the great graphics in Tetris, in Pac Man, and others. Games that are constantly played all over the world all the time. They're simple, easy to play, hard to master fun games.

This is what the Wii does best. Gameplay.

Re:Great graphics don't make a good game (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394568)

Indeed. One of the games I played the most on my Wii is Geometry Wars: Galaxies. It has "worse" graphics than virtually anything that has been done since the SNES era (well, thats debatable I guess...i think the special effects look cool as hell), but man its fun.

re: same thing worked for traditional kid's toys.. (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395190)

Take a look at many of the "classic" toys made from wood, rope and metal chains. They're all deceptively simple-looking things, until you pick them up and start playing around with them. Then you realize the hidden challenge to them. Cracker Barrel restaurants sell modern "replicas" of many of these puzzle games... things where you have to remove a pole from a knot of rope, for example - or twist things around to unlink a chain. Many of the classic Asian toys were like this too. Simple but ingeniously designed. My friend brought back a flying bird from Japan, for example. It was powered by a rubber band. Very basic deal where you turned a plastic crank in the back of the bird to wind up the rubber-band and then let go. But it was still clever how they managed to create flapping wings that were powered that way, all in a toy that only cost a few bucks to make. It flew really well too. I remember it accidentally landing on our roof several times!

The problem is, the big gaming companies would literally go out of business if they had to wait for each time something that unique and creative was developed. In the 80's, none of it existed yet, so everything somebody wrote seemed like a "first" (unless they were purposely copying off another newly release title). I think most of the concepts were done by the 90's though -- so you had to find other ways to sell a game title. That meant constant improvements on graphics and sound. (Literally, yes, you COULD sell a load of copies of Pac-Man all over again, if you really beefed up the graphics and sound, and made it into some weird 3D, first-person maze runner with really scary ghosts chasing after you, etc. etc. It sure wouldn't be original, but it'd generate sales since it's based on a tried-and-true game formula, but with a whole new "look and feel".)

Playability for the win! (1, Flamebait)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393954)

My kids can play the Wii, my mother in law can play the Wii, I can play.. guess what is the most played console in the house? Oh, and we can all play and interact together. Not all people who want to play video games live in their mother's basements. Games manufacturers are finally realizing this. Enough ultra-graphic-environment-Doom-clones, lets do something different - like actually interact with each other. Just think of "group-play" as a feature that they are working on... like graphics. So the Wii made a huge step in that direction, and didn't need to worry about building state of the art graphics. (yet)

Graphic Superiority (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393964)

Constantly I see games that are visually appealing receiving glowing reviews, but if you want to know what the best game in the history of console gaming is, odds are its on NES. My guess would be Mario. Horrible graphics, bad storyline, greatest game ever. Even today, I can still sit there and play these games and find them very entertaining. Sometimes simplicity isn't such a bad thing.

Re:Graphic Superiority (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394084)

Sometimes simplicity isn't such a bad thing.
For many people "Playing a Game" is a means of relaxation. They don't want to think or do puzzles or remember WHY they're shooting hundreds of zombies. They just want something they can pick up and play and be good at and feel good about themselves. If it's too hard either complex movements or thoughts they won't get that rush that they get from playing.

Conversely, there are those of us here that WANT more of a challenge from our games. A good game will be able to let both people play it and enjoy it.

Re:Graphic Superiority (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394336)

My guess would be Mario. Horrible graphics, bad storyline, greatest game ever.

Few games had great story lines in the timeframe you're talking about tho. Once you get a gamers interest you can afford to put out a couple of mediocre games and still keep their interest. Take Elite for example... A great first game (also with bad graphics even in it's day) and people kept buying the pathetic sequels hoping for another giant like the first game. I think even if a new Elite came out today you'd have strong sales on the older crowd just for nostalgia alone.

History repeating itself? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393994)

So the quality of games are going to start going like back in the early 80s. New studios will emerge to jump on the casual video game band wagon. The market will be flooded with crappy 'family style' simple games that rarely deviate from the simple puzzle/luck game found in some of the WiiParty games.

This development/market strategy continues for a few years. The target audience becomes dis-interested from the same old shit. Companies close down or are absorbed by the larger ones, investors bail.

Gaming goes back to the hardcore again.

GG?

sales (2, Insightful)

Lust (14189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394022)

Not to mention the Wii Play was bundled with a second remote which together cost less than many of these amazing other games...that had to factor into its sales figures.

I imagine this also has something to do with penetration of relatively cheap gaming consoles vs. high-end PC hardware - and it's not to say that sales of BioShock were shabby, is it? Just lower.

Complexity and Fun (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394070)

Sometimes complexity gets in the way of a fun experience. Both have their place. Sometimes you want a game you have to master and struggle with. But if it is too complex, I lack the time to master it as I get older. For those reasons, the Wii seems to fill a badly needed niche.

Wii Play = Second Controller (0, Redundant)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394114)

People don't buy Wii Play for the games, they get it to get a second controller.

D&D vs. aD&D` (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394132)

The wii vs. ps3 and xbox 360 remind me of D&D vs. aD&D. D&D is way more accessible than the sometimes cumbersome rules and other overhead of AD&D. The wii is similarly accessible to a much larger audience, and once the hardcore gamers have bought their one 'must have' ps3 game, their purchases are done, whereas a family system can fuel years of continuous purchasing.

Re:D&D vs. aD&D` (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394182)

Are we going to have this same fight between 3.5 and 4.0?

good omen (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394166)

for games to take off with non gaming crowds it requires a new way of thinking from them. rather than passively watching TV/films and listening to music, they should want to take part in their chosen game. virtual soap operas? virtual Will Smith adventures?

and who knows, if everyone starts taking part in things (life, elections, etc) the world might become a better place.

Re:good omen (1)

archammer2 (1041754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394436)

virtual Will Smith adventures?


I can see it now. "Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Game"

58% an 'abysmal' score? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394180)

Can my fellow UK slashdotters join me in a moment of silence for Amiga Power. The magazine that was smart, funny, and knew how to use a percentage scale properly.

Re:58% an 'abysmal' score? (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394452)

How about the fans of game journalism join together in silence for all the old magazines that once engaged in erudite criticism. "Computer Gaming World" under founder Russell Sipe and successor Johnny Wilson was another. G

Oh Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394330)

Balls out boys! It's Wii strokin' time!

This has more to do with Gaming media (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394382)

I think that there has been a mass market for games all along, except that the gaming media refused to believe that the market exist. The gaming media writes for a very select audience - the demographic that spends money to get the best gaming hardware, wants games that last longer than 10 hours of total gaming or more than 15 minutes/session. This is the same gaming media that says that it's not about graphics, it's about gameplay, yet will give mediocore scores to anything that doesn't have the most advanced graphics of the time. This is the same gaming media that heavily criticizesgames that come with an easy default settings as being too easy

All the while, there has been a genre of games that this same gaming media chose to ignore, and often ridicule - i.e. often in reference to low cost games such as Deer Hunter, simple adventure games like Myst, compilations and remakes of old games, Flash games, and kids games like the Barbie properties. People who like these types of games had to find them on their own, without any help from the hardcore gaming media.

All the while, Nintendo went blissfully on even though that the gamecube and n64 were largely ignored in the ps2/xbox war. And now, it's somehow become news and a surprise to everyone that there are more people than just the hardcore gamer that loves games too.

I don't know about all of you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394402)

... but playing with my Wii and playing with my family are two mutually exclusive activities.

ironically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394524)

ironically, most true Hardcore gamers first got into gaming with Hardcore games like Super Mario Brothers on the original NES...

Nintendo has always and always will be a fun, family oriented system. The other systems don't do that as well. Most true "hardcore" gamers from the first generation of video game consoles are now getting older, getting kids... They, ironically, don't want their kids to play games like GTA Vice City since that'd get the kiddies in to finding out about stuff like the Hot Coffee Mod that daddy used to play... Gamer Wives also have something to do with some of the new trends...

Old media hates games-as-art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394586)

From the article:

Film, books and music (and food, for that matter) have been around long enough to have developed highly sophisticated cognoscenti whose tastes have little to do with the mass audiences that still drive those markets. Food critics have as much sway over Red Lobster as book critics do over Danielle Steel.

With this article and others like it, the media ate campaigning hard to make gaming a "mass-market only" medium. Imagine if from the beginning that mass produced summer blockbusters had the clout they have today. There would be no Citizen Kane. Hitchcock would have directed musicals and comedies of errors, if he could get a job. If books received the same treatment, the "classics" would all be boddice ripping fantasy tales of romance. Works like The Grapes of Wrath would have had small print runs compared to the equivalent of a Stephen King tale or John Grisham lawyer thriller. To this day, the Times edits romance novels out of its "best selling" books list.

TV has been relegated as an opiate for the masses for decades now. Games have the potential to make people think, but old media wants to lump it in with TV as purely a social platform instead. The second people stop playing Wii Sports, they will be first to declare that gaming is dead.

Even their coverage of the top ten list is questionable/dishonest. "Guitar Hero" made the list, which is pretty good for a 3 year old game. Guitar Hero 2 and 3 may have made the list, or the GH franchise, but *not* Guitar Hero. Because it is a "social music game", the sequel part of its title mysteriously disappeared.

On the list itself, the article says Wii Play was #2 and Mario Part 8 was #10, but what about the rest of the list? Halo 3, CoD4, and Assasin's Creed made the list, but it doesn't say where. And it felt obligated to point out that BioShock, Mass Effect and God of War II didn't make the list while failing to point out that all three were console exclusives (while GH and CoD4 were not), Mass Effect was on the market for a little over a month in 2007, BioShock was sold out for a solid month after its release, and God of War II was an M-rated tiltle, barely marketed and for a "last generation" system.

Well past time to acknowledge (4, Insightful)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394600)

There have always been girls and women in gaming.

Gamers have always come in different races and ages and income brackets.

Someone who plays Tetris for an hour at a time three times a week is a video game consumer, just as someone who raids in WoW for five hours a night is.

Nintendo hasn't so much blown open the demographics -- though they have -- as they've blown open the debate and the recognition.

No-one has said, in eighty years, "all watchers of movies fit the same demographic." Television has ten networks PER demographic. So why this overwrought, antiquated insistence that All Gamers Are Of The Same Ilk?

I worked for Gamestop for a year, in 2005, and I developed my own admittedly anti-PC gamer categories. One of the MANY demographcis I saw represented was the fratboy/thug gamer: the white or hispanic males between ages 18 and 24, who were buying every sex and violence 360 title they could snap up. To so much of the world, they are the only gamers. To us, they were about 20% of our patrons.

If the rest of the world is finally, FINALLY starting to recognize that "gamer" means a lot, LOT more than just the fratboy/thug or the EQ addict in mom's basement, then so much the better.

Are they finally figuring it out? (1)

GeekZilla (398185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394658)

" ...the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"

I continually look for games that my 11-year old son and my wife and I can all play together and those are rather hard to find. I would rather the entire family play together on the 360 instead of my son playing on his XBox in his room, my wife watching TV in the living room and with myself playing GOW in the basement.

We used to play Crash Team Racing together, but it didn't appeal to my wife too much. ACME Arsenal looks promising though co-op mode is only 2-player and my wife isn't big on multi-player, "kill everyone else" battles (available for 1-4 players in A.A.). Of course, we haven't tried it yet-maybe she would enjoy it. Funny, silly, simple games (like, perhaps A.A. is) are what appeals to her. We enjoy playing Toe Jam and Earl (now available for the 360 too), but again, it is only 2-player co-op.

At the very least, we always look for 2-player co-op games that we can play. "Destroy All Humans 2" and "MW: Lone Wolf" are games that my son and I enjoy playing together, but unfortunately, "Ace Combat 6" is only 1 player. Fortunately, we have Halo 1, 2 and 3 to enjoy and GOW when he gets older. However, when we look for new games, it seems we find many more single-player games than 2-player co-op (or 3 player co-op). If MS hopes to make the Xbox the center of the family living room, (which they do), then they need to hurry up and do it (this article [thenewstribune.com] says that is what they are planning to do. I'm still waiting.

Ah, the 'hardcore' problem again... (2, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394662)

The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience.

No; adolescent males are becoming an ever-smaller part of the audience. More mature gamers, both older and younger, both hardcore and casual, want something very different from the testosterone-soaked boom-fest FPS of the month.

A related topic (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394666)

I wrote about a similar demographic shift [beryllium.ca] a few months ago, with regard to parents becoming more involved in video gaming with their children (and how the Wii and games like Guitar Hero help that process immensely).

Re:A related topic (1)

doti (966971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394760)

parents becoming more involved in video gaming with their children
Or parents becoming more involved in video gaming despite their children.

http://community.livejournal.com/wow_ladies/838090.html [livejournal.com]

I've just had an epiphany (2, Interesting)

Poseiden (575105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394720)

Up until just now I've always wanted more people to get into gaming. Before the Wii I wanted more people to game simply because its one more thing that we could all share in common. But now I realize that once the entire population games we are headed in a very bad direction. What happens when we are all playing Second Life?

Giving even one ounce of attention to a virtual reality takes an equal amount of attention away from physical reality. It's another opiate for the masses that opens the flood gates for a total control. We all know how video games are addictive (WoW?). So what happens when government funded psychologists start to highly recommend playing an alternate reality game as a stress reliever? Or as a way to safely fulfill fantasies in a way not disruptive to society? Then we are set up for a government funded Second Life (America's Army?).

This is scary. Beyond belief. Just because a movie hasn't been made on it yet doesn't mean that it's not starting to happen.

Do you see this happening? If you do, are you working for a company that is part of the gaming community aggregately pointing in this direction?

Of course it will happen, it means more $ for them.

wiitired (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394798)

So I guess that the new demographic Nintendo is going for are the wiitirees? Mario Shuffleboard? Early Bird Revolution? Mario Kart will include an Oldsmobile with the left blinker left on? Wii Sports includes "Getting the kids off the lawn" and Bingo?

I for one welcome our MMO Bowling Leagues (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394870)

And think that a Wii-enabled Light Saber Dueling League is not far behind.

Is this gaming? Sure.

Is it FPS? Usually not.

Is it about time? Yes.

Now excuse me while I use my Wii light saber to chop the head off of the guy who keeps stealing my team's bowling ball bags ...

*bzzzt* *thud*

May help niche games in the long run (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394952)

This could help hardcore games by reducing pressure on them to appeal to a wide audience, since there's no way they could compete with the general-audience games coming out now. It's a common process, where one splits into two, allowing better targeting for both, where before the one had to meet the needs of both markets.

The Future of Console Gaming (1)

Joseph Hayes (982018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395124)

I for one look forward to the next generation of consoles. I've been a gamer ever since I was 7 years old, and now at 28 I am getting that little kid feeling all over again. I played Wii Sports after Thanksgiving Dinner with my 7 year old cousin, 45 y/o Aunt, and my Grandpa. A little toasted, and well... high, I took a moment to reflect while relaxed in the chase lounge waiting my turn to "bowl". I saw a really good time being had by 4 generations of family (myself included). As a gamer, it was a beautiful moment because what was once "my thing", referring to gaming, was being heavily enjoyed by people who I would convince to play Call of Duty 4 with me. I think we've finally reached a point of acceptance in gaming as another entertainment form thanks to the innovation of Nintendo. That being said, look at Microsoft *ducks*. Xbox Live on the 360 is simply the best gaming I've ever had in my life. Now that my friends are scattered across the country, XBL allows us to play together, and message/video conference very easily. I realize this has been available on PC forever, I've been doing it... but to be able to chill out in front of the fireplace on the couch instead of a office chair that I'm in 8 hours a day at work too is awesome. To get to my point, the 360 despite it's hardware flaws is innovative in a whole other direction, some might call "hardcore gaming". The future will just get better. Imagine the posibilities of taking Wii interface innovation and combining it with an Xbox live experience.

They're buying the controller not Wi-Play (1)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395170)

Wi-Play is selling because it comes with a controller. You know the ones that were as hard to find as the console.
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