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The Future of Players

In the future no one will be a "gamer." But how's this for a head trip: Everyone-from your grandma to your kid sister-will play games. As electronic devices merge, connectivity becomes pervasive, and everything goes mobile, gamers will find ways to integrate games into everyday life. "All throughout time people have played games," says John Welch, president and CEO of casual-games site PlayFirst.com. "It's only until they became electronic that we started to exclude a part of the population.... The first thing to realize is that we can throw out the word 'gamers.' It means nothing in a world where everyone plays..."

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MK_Red3599d ago

I really REALLY hope that future isn't that dark filled with casual gamers and hardcore becoming more and more of a little minority.

bootsielon3598d ago

The only thing that means is that gamers will be more. I don't think hardcore gamers will disappear, nor that they will ever decrease. They are the same target demographic: Your typical 18-35 male geek. Geeks will always exist, males will always exist, and that target demographic will always exist. In fact, the hardcore crowd has potential to grow if the industry grows.

I know that sounds contrary to my profound hate towards the Wii, but it's not. The reason I dislike the Wii is because it's not expanding its audience; it's simply fracturing it, and while new gamers are joining, it won't give them the oportunity to have many hardcore titles, and hardcore gamers will be screwed with either having an underpowered piece of junk (or a turn-off, in more gentle words), or "hardcore" consoles with not enough focus from 3rd parties.

PS2 is an all inclusive console. Nintendo DS is an all inclusive portable. But Nintendo Wii is not. It's exclusive to casuals, new gamers, and "what the hell let's give it a go" players. There will be some hardcore gamers on Wii, but not that many. There will be some hardcore games but... simply put, most hardcore gamers will never be completely satisfied by Wii's output. Kiddy content, Adult content getting banned, mini-games, party games and last gen ports are destroying Nintendo's reputation among hardcore gamers. Mario, Metroid and Zelda won't be enough to the hardcore, since the hardcore are looking for innovative gameplay concepts and storylines, intellectual property. By innovative gameplay concepts that means the controller doesn't matter much unless you're taking off functionality (the dreamcast controller was certainly inferior to the PS1 dualshock; the gamecube controller lacked one button; the genesis didn't have enough buttons; the Wiimote lacks tons of buttons; the DS lacks at least one analogue sticks, while the PSP lacks two extra triggers and another analogue stick/nub, perhaps a touchscreen too).

I hope the industry expands and is united, instead of segregated, because the last thing can only mean mediocre games due to not having big enough install bases. But if a console that unites every gamer succeeds, there is no reason for hardcore games to vanish. Once near-perfect reality simulation is achieved, costs can only become stable and diminish, since engines will hardly change much. The only thing that will happen after that is future optimizations and performance extras. The industry will thrive, from then on, solely on content, just like TV, radio, movies, magazines, books and music do today.