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Analyze This: Will Hardcore Gamers Be Pushed Aside In This Console Generation?

They are the professional analysts whose job it is to research, keep track of, advise their clients, and opine to the media about the gaming business.

Analyze This cuts right to the chase: Rather than reporting on a subject, and throwing in quotes by analysts to support or refute a point, Gamasutra offers up a timely question pertaining to the business side of the video game industry and simply lets the analysts offer their thoughts directly to you. Each person's opinion is his own and will (probably) not necessarily agree with their fellow colleagues'.

Microsoft recently announced that it would broaden the customer base of the Xbox 360 by trying to appeal to the family demographic. Sony has also indicated that it would market the PS3 to a wider audience beyond hardcore gamers, by publishing more casual games and introducing Wii-like peripherals.

Obviously, Nintendo's success with its DS and Wii appear to be looming heavily over its competitors. Gamasutra.comwe asked Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, Ed Barton of Screen Digest, and Billy Pidgeon of IDC:

Is it now becoming crucial for Microsoft to appeal to a wider demographic, in order to ensure the long-term survival of the Xbox 360?

Does Sony need to take a similar approach with the PS3?

Can either the 360 or PS3 stick to selling to the hardcore gamer first, and then pull in a wider audience once it has reached a critical mass in sales? This happened for the PS2, but can this strategy still work today?

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BIadestarX3670d ago

If you only own a wii: Yes.
If you own a PS3 or Xbox 360: No.

Anyone do not agree with me... I'm letting you know... I don't consider Metroid as hardcore as Halo3 and Zelda as hardcore as Final Fantasy and Mario as Metal Gear.

Dudeson423670d ago (Edited 3670d ago )

But it took me about half as long to beat Metal Gear Solid 1/2 as it did for me to complete Mario Sunshine. Take from that what you will, but people don't need to be dying in a game in order for it to be "hardcore".

I'm with you on Zelda/FF because Zelda simply IS more straightforward than FF is, Zelda is more streamlined, but does that make it less "hardcore"? Thats a matter of opinion.

ShadowFlare - The MarioKart argument is null and void at this point. They're just fun games to play, thats all. There has been at least 3 Final Fantasy games for each playstation so far and I'm sure the PS3/4/5/6/9 will be no different. Why? because people enjoy them, and as long as people enjoy playing a game enought to buy it then the companies will continue to make them. They ARE a business after all...

Two of the three systems reside in my entertainment center at the moment and a 3rd is on it's way so I really don't care which systems get the "hardcore" games, I'll just buy games wherever they fall, but I really get sick of people dropping games into classes like "hardcore" and "kiddy" because it's just pointless. Elmo Learn To Count Numbers is kiddy, Mario is not.

HowarthsNJ3670d ago

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about hardcore Halo players.

Halo is more mainstream than Zelda or Metroid ever was. It's way up there with Madden in the mind of pop-culture american males.

xbox360elitegamer3670d ago

I think a hardcore audience will attract more customers, for Microsoft and might keep the 360 alive, after all Microsoft been through, they need something fast to get back there lost customers, or find new ones, and this might help.

Shadow Flare3670d ago (Edited 3670d ago )

This articles question is incredibly stupid. The ps3 and 360 have hard-core gamers catered for very well. The wii however is producing games for people who don't like games, its a very shallow system which the price reflects. Even the 'hardcore' nintendo games aren't for hardcore gamers. A hardcore nintendo fan is what i'd call a battyboy. I have more of a problem with nintendo then i do with microsoft. Seriously nintendo fans must be BORED. Getting the same game franchises over and over and over and over. Theres been a mario kart for every nintendo console. How many mario games are there? Why is the wii selling so well???

[edit]

DeltaP42, i knew someone was gonna bring up the Final Fantasy arguement. Every single Final Fantasy game is completely different. They are all incredbly deep, different stories everytime, different characters...completely different. Mario Kart, you drive around and shoot turtles. Cor, hardcore. Mario is a kids game. And they're all the same. Run around, jump on mushrooms. But its the sheer quantity of mario games that get me. There must be like 40. And they are all basically the same. Look at the selection of wii games available right now. They're incredibly hardcore aren't they? *cough*. I would define a hardcore game as a very deep game or an FPS. Play length time has nothing to do with it. The closest thing Nintendo has to that is Zelda, everything else is for non-hardcore gamers

unsunghero283670d ago (Edited 3670d ago )

And it's pretty clear neither of you has ever played the Wii.

1) What is the DEFINITION of a hardcore game? Do you have one? Let's settle with "a game that is deep and presents a challenge for the player, be it a high level of difficulty or extremely long game length."

2) Metroid Prime 3, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Battallion Wars II and Super Mario Galaxy all fall into that category. It seems that your definition of a hardcore game is "Has great graphics." To say that is to say that every single hardcore game of the last gen is not legit.

3) I am a primarily Nintendo gamer. I own a Wii and a moderately high-end PC. The truth is that YOU, a non-Wii-owner, seem to be more concerned than most of the people that actually own one. I, and I know many people that agree with me, am thrilled about the upcoming holiday season and am unimpressed by Halo 3 and skeptical about KZ2.

The reason the Wii is selling so well is quite simple: it's different. It's innovative. People like new products, and it doesn't matter if they're hardcore or casual. And those same people are sick of people around N4G who haven't played Wii telling eachother how bored Wii fans must be, when really most of us love our purchases.

Most Nintendo fans don't go on the internet, probably because they're too busy playing (or finding a) Wii. Most MS fans are probably going online to get their 360 replaced, and most Sony fans probably need reassurance that Resistance and Motorstorm won't be the only things they can play for the next year. As a result, I think that the Nintendo fans are severely under-represented on N4G.

ItsDubC3670d ago

"I would define a hardcore game as... an FPS."

By far the funniest quote of the day.

OoOLeafsOoO3670d ago

My definition of a hardcore game is a type of game that an 8-year old kid or a soccer mom can just pick up and master. Can an 8-year old kid or a soccer mom master Gears of War or Resistance in half an hour? No...Can an 8-year old kid or a soccer mom master Mario Kart or Mario in half an hour? Yes. A Hardcore game is something that takes time to master, or to even be okay at. The Wii has no hardcore games.

ericbs3670d ago

Makes sense. My brother won't master Gears of War but he is good at Viva Pinata (and he loves that game). As long as there is a good amount of games that would fit your definition of a hardcore game (Mass Effect, Bioshock, Gears of War, ect) then i'm happy. I also like the increased amount of family friendly games. I like playing my brother and sisters in a few racing games and helping them out at Viva Pinata. My sister that has never played a video game in her life, was interested because of Viva Pinata and now she likes playing.

I don't think hardcore gamers will ever be forgotten because sooner or later these casual gamers will want to play more hardcore games. These casual games will get people interested in video games, the hardcore games will be waiting for them once they are ready.

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Salvadore3670d ago

If you own a Wii, yes and if you own a PS3/360, no.

Rooted_Dust3670d ago

Yeah this will work...just as soon as MS and Sony lower their product price enough to compete with Nintendo. I really hate arguments like this, like the ones where cellphones take over the gaming industry. If you want to keep selling games to real "gamers", then casual mini-games aren't going to suffice.

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