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Varying viewpoints

April 7, 2008

From Kotaku’s Galactic Multi-Tap.

Why hardcore Nintendo fans are bitter:

Hardcore gamers are angry because Nintendo is again #1 and they had little to nothing to do with it. They are angry because Nintendo has discovered what everyone else knew, the money and marketshare is not with the self confessed hardcore gamers who tend to buy 15-20 games a year, but with the casual gamers who buy 5-10 games and play the hell out of them. They are angry because they are waking up to the fact that all their focused rage means complete dick in the grand plan of things, the biggest blockbusters are just that because causals drive the market and have driven the market from..hell the 8bit years, but have only really gotten attention from the PSX launch.

They are angry because they feel Nintendo is no longer sucking their taint enough with game offerings and thus spew misbegotten slanted talking points like “Minigames lol” “Two GameCubes taped together, lol” and rage like babies without their bottle when Nintendo does small minor things like..not allowing you to do the full range of things with a Gamecube controller that you can do with the Wiimote and scream “Lazy programing. How dare you not cater to me and my refusal to adopt the new controller!” They claim Nintendo’s focus is on causal gamers when the ‘Wii’ series of games that are causal focused amount to a whopping ‘3’ titles, yet when the typical Nintendo mainstays come out, they demand new IP’s and when new IP’s are released by Nintendo or anyone, they bomb in sales because hardcore gamers forget that they are at best 30% of the marketshare and that translates into complete shit for sales. When causal focused titles rack up millions of copies sold, they retreat to sites like this and rage among fellow nerds the crime of it all…the crime that the devs go and make a game that will make money.

These hardcore gamers claim they have supported Nintendo for years, yet they demand Nintendo do things that Nintendo does not do. Valid points they have like poor online are completely washed out because they can’t stop acting like Nintendo’s murdered their wife and child and the endless, endless meme dropping.

It is my belief that most of all, hardcores feel the last days for them at hand and believe that just because causal games sell better that Nintendo is leading the Four Horsemen up from hell to ruin all they hold dear..when that line of thinking is stupid, the flood of causals can only lead to growth and if properly taken care of, many of those causals might fall in love with gaming as these angry, hateful hardcores and thus result in proper sales for games the hardcores drool and masturbate so hard over, yet bomb so hard. –Sixtail

Why casual integration is a not-that-bad thing:

I can understand your stance on Nintendo draining money out of companies more deserving of the money. But I can’t really agree that motion-sensitivity is a gimmick. It can be used in a gimmicky fashion, but the fact is that many developers haven’t even tried to find a creative use for it (albeit they have no reason to as good games sell just as poorly as bad ones (Zack and Wiki)). And although Motion controls have been around for a long time they’ve never been as widely used as they have for the Wii.

Now I’m not saying the Wii is innovative, because it’s not really. But I think things like Wii Sports and Wii Fit are more than marketing. They appeal to people who would otherwise see nothing appealing about video games. Now this might tie back in to your comment about Nintendo taking money away from the industry, but to be fair the majority of people who bought the Wii because it was a “hot” item and was “innovative” probably wouldn’t have ended up buying a 360 or PS3. Wii = $250. 360 = minimum $350 and PS3 = minimum $400. I don’t think those people would be willing to pay $100-150 more for a system that uses your standard controller. Now putting aside those people who bought a Wii purely on hype, we would have gamers who bought the Wii as their video game systems. From what I’ve heard on this forum, most people seem to have either a 360 or PS3 or both in addition to the Wii.

And the fact that it’s attach rate is low means that people are buying more games for other systems, which in turn means that it’s not really taking away that much revenue from the industry. Sure it’s taking away some, but not so significant that it’s having a negative impact. I mean look at the total revenue for the video game industry for 2007. The highest ever, in history. So you can’t tell me all that extra revenue is going to Nintendo, it’s getting spread all around as I see it. Plus Wii games are cheaper to develop for than PS3 or 360 so even if a game doesn’t do too well I’m sure many developers can recuperate their losses.

Now while many people dislike Nintendo’s online system (as I do) there are still some aspects of it that I enjoy. For instance, a very small amount of memory on the Wii coupled with bad online infrastructure means no DLC for Wii games. I’m fine with that, as it forces developers to put all the content they can on the disc and not end up charging me for crap later; but this does have a downside as it stops me from using DLC usefully like with GH3 (Fuck rock band for the Wii!).

Now you make a good point. The PS3 is creating more advanced hardware/software integration with their video game system, the 360 is creating a more versatile online infrastructure, what is the Wii doing? I would say that in those two categories it’s doing nothing. But I would still care to argue that it’s expanding the audience for video games more than the other two. Yes the Wii has a low attach rate, but a large amount of the people buying it are newbies to gaming; they aren’t gonna buy more than 2-3 games a year and that’s fine by me. The point isn’t that the people who bought the Wii as their first console begin playing video games fanatically. The point is that they realize “hey, perhaps video games are more than just a violence-inducing, child-like activity…perhaps it’s a medium of entertainment that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.”

Shows like Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres displaying the Wii for their brainless audiences to observe as being an exception to the violent video game stereotype is a positive push for the industry. The Wii is like GH for casual gamers who don’t want to play musical video games.

And for the record I agree with you about Eye of Judgment. That’s actual innovation, but I believe that the Wiimote creates an opportunity for innovation even if the idea of motion-sensitivity isn’t innovative itself. –NeoAkira

Nintendo’s real motives:

@ Sunjammer:
Shortsighted is shrugging off Sony and making little effort to work with all but the biggest Japanese third-party devs. Conservative is refusing to invest in improved console hardware or service, maintaining out-of-date content standards and refusing to take even small fiscal risks. Xenophobic is not caring about, and even fearing, markets outside of Japan because nobody in their top management quite knows what to do other than keep trying to sell units – no first-party understanding, or even desire to understand, what Western markets want.

Changing controller shapes isn’t breaking rules. Sega made a much greater effort in the 16-bit days to push technology forward but didn’t have the business model or resources to stay with Nintendo. Sony made a much greater effort in the 32/64-bit generation to push core console technologies – graphics, storage, audio – forward. Microsoft made a much greater effort with the Xbox to push online gameplay to the same level as PCs.

While Sega’s bundling modems and Web browsers with their console, Sony’s adding FMV on cheap media and Microsoft’s mastering online gaming networks, what does Nintendo do with the Gamecube? Shit all over their own modem and broadband adapters by making no effort to sell them, and shit all over third-party demands for a high-storage format by going with the smallest disc capacity possible. Why? They thought load times were more important than rich content. They thought there was no market – and in Japan, there wasn’t – for online gaming to justify the expense.

And what rules has Nintendo broken? They kept such strict prohibitions on blood and gore through the N64 era that they cemented themselves as a “kiddie console” in the West, and they rode the cartridge format so far into the ground that they entered the disc era with no experience and few third-party friends.

So Nintendo makes a console that finally supports the Internet, and what do they do? Ride inadequate storage into the dirt and cement themselves as a “kiddie console” with inane friend codes built to save the children. So long as each unit sells for a profit, Nintendo doesn’t care. They give you a big-bang interface “innovation” – shoulder buttons, analog joysticks on a gamepad, a light gun without the gun stock – and sit on everything else hardware-related.
Obviously Nintendo cares about the world outside of Japan. But they won’t ever let anything top the Japanese market as their key to a steady profit. If that means irrationally half-assing features that are low priorities to Japanese gamers – online functionality, graphics, platform inclusion in multi-platform third-party releases – so be it.” –Obo

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2008 2:56 pm

    Let’s not forget all “hardcore” gamers were once “casual” gamers… What? Are you going to tell me that Donkey Kong or PacMan were ever “hardcore”? Ten years for now, a twenty-something will be buying Chicket Shoot on the PS4’s online marketplace… just for the memories.

  2. DrewMG permalink
    April 9, 2008 11:15 am

    Here’s why I’m angry at Nintendo (fans):

    1) Nintendo keeps releasing editions of their franchise games that are very dissimilar to previous versions of these games. Twilight Princess is Ocarina+1, Brawl is Melee+1, Mario Kart is Mario Kart is Mario Kart is Mario Kart, and Prime 3 = Prime1&2 + slightly better controls.

    2) Nintendo fans feel so incredibly vindicated by the Wii’s success, that they have decided that now is an excellent time to use a “sales chart” argument to counter every single criticism one lays against Nintendo, giving the big N an invincibility star amongst critics.

    3) Sales chart data does not indicate quality, and Nintendo fans don’t seem to make the correlation. The best music is heard by 10% of the people. The best movies are seen by 10% of the people. The best art is generally not as marketable as the most *popular* art, and thus when we see Wii games racking up sales, it speaks NOTHING toward the quality of the game design. As someone who has been playing video games since 1984, I think I have a pretty good idea of what makes a great gaming experience, but Nintendo fans tell me that the sales charts invalidate my opinion. Fuck that.

  3. DrewMG permalink
    April 9, 2008 11:16 am

    Sorry, I meant “very similar” in the first paragraph. D’oh.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    April 9, 2008 6:51 pm

    I agree on the sales charts argument: it is not a valid one! On the contrary, in every media, the popularity of a piece is almost always inversely proportional to its quality. That is because any work’s audience shrinks as its art gets more sophisticated.

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