Objecting Nintendo, vol. 2
Let me expand on the first part a little bit.
“When Nintendo talks of delivering games that suit casual gamers and games that cater to hardcore tastes, those hardcore gamers tend to be the more, um, receptive kind.“
What i meant by this was, if you lean to the casually hardcore side of the fan spectrum, Nintendo doesn’t really care about you. They might put out some games that grab you once in a while, but when they say “core gamers”, they aren’t referencing you. They’re talking about the other guys- the ones who go apeshit for anything Zelda. The same guys who run (most) fansites and rule Nintendo’s message boards. Needless to say, they aren’t talking about you when they say “casual gamers”, either. Don’t expect too much.
About the fan subdivisions…
There are much more types of fans than these, for any console or company. It just so happens that the 3 i mentioned are the largest groups: the people who care a little, those who care moderately, and the ones who care too much. Blake commented:
“Being a cult brand (which Nintendo obviously is like Apple, Harley, etc) has nothing to do with marketing. Nintendo is simply more cult than Sony, MS when it comes to gaming, hence there are outspoken, ilogical thinking fans, just like there are with Apple and Harley and the like.
That shouldn’t negate the good things that cult companies do, which does help them achieve cult status, but you have to take what they dish out with a some salt. These companies are smart, and they play up their cult status, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I AM a Nintendo enthusiast. That is, for me they’re a good fit for the games I like to play. Period.“
Nintendo is cult in every sense of the word. Their fans are devout, eat up (almost all of) what they’re told, and march along. Apple has the same thing going, but that’s an overused comparison that i don’t want to perpetuate.
Their past successes, mistakes, and business decisions have given them cult status, but marketing and PR maintains the image. The way they’re marketing Wii shows that they want to deliberately stay cult: undercutting the other systems with seemingly oddball tactics; releasing an underpowered-by-comparison unit with newfangled controllers; talking up the simplicity of new games as a hearkening to the past; playing to the current trend of being retro; and calling it a “new generation” console rather than next gen. That’s all marketing, and it’s all bull to keep the super fans rabid.
The problem with being an enthusiast is you more often than not leave yourself vulnerable to a company willing to blindside you with their stratagems, even if you’re not “gung-ho Nintendo”. Also, if all you know is consoles, the scope is limited to who’s involved in that space, so being partial is dangerous. There’s not much choice, therefore ignorance flourishes. We should look beyond the visions of 3 companies to find something more than just plumbers and guns, and i don’t mean the mainstream PC scene. Nintendo’s a nice fit for me, too, but they’re way too far from perfect for me to invest so much into them.