Give It Up, Hardcore Gamers

A site I used to frequent more than daily recently posted the June NPD numbers. The number aren’t what I’m really interested in (i.e. Nintendo prints money). However, the comments on that post chafe me just a little.

It seems as if hardcore gamers cannot accept the fact that there has been a paradigm shift in the gaming world. Let me make it simple: the Wii is a success and is here to stay, Sony still has to prove themselves with the PS3 (Yes, they do. If you don’t think so, you are in denial—show me the numbers next month), and Microsoft seems to be missing all the cues to stay afloat with the 360.

It also seems as if all the companies are copying each other: avatars and Miis, achievements and trophies, motion controllers, instruments, etc. You name it, but I only really see one innovation that’s driving all the momentum. It’s that thing that hardcore gamers call a gimmick.

I truly believe that hardcore gamers are a dying breed. Hardcore AAA games will keep being sold for a premium (and don’t get me started on the “Collector’s” editions that some games just have to have), and the casual waggle games will still fly off the shelves at an incredible rate at a cheaper price.

My big surprise for the June NPD was that the Wii Lego Indy made the top ten list and the 360 version didn’t.


  1. flamingsquirrel says

    did you NOTICE how much MGS4 outsold everything?

  2. Did you NOTICE I noticed that?

    Did you NOTICE anything else new on that list?

    Did you NOTICE that I said we’ll check back in a month?


    I think the 360 has reached critical mass—whoever is going to own one…does. It only makes sense that the Wii (does it have a critical mass?) and PS3 (can it keep the momentum?) outsells it. Sony needs another MGS4-like title. They lost the exclusivity of their other flagship franchise.

    Take all the top ten numbers by system and total it. One title does not domination make.

    Note: a lot of 360 gamers are on their multiple systems.

    Just a little disclaimer: I an not against any company nor am I a fanboy. I play what is fun—to me. I can get a PS3 for $30 and I’ve not jumped. One reason is that if I keep waiting, I’ll just get another SKU. Eventually, Sony will sell what it wants (or the gamer, please). If I do get it, it’ll be for movies.

  3. I’d hate to see a future where Wii Sports Resort thrives and Resident Evil 5 flops.

  4. @Joseph – Exactly. However, did you notice what that game needs in order to play effectively? Sneaky Nintendo. It also looks like they may be making a Wiimote with the accessory built in. What happens in a year to all those people who have four remotes?

    Of course, the fad now is to have the most controllers and “instruments”. Go figure.

  5. I noticed a trend during some of the E3 interviews this year that companies aren’t calling them ‘hardcore’ gamers, just ‘core’ gamers.

    On the one hand, I have absolutely no problem with the Wii printing money for Nintendo and a lot of people having fun with their little waggle games and such. In my opinion, the more people who are willing to treat gaming as a valid form of entertainment instead of turning their noses up in the air when you mention videogames is a change in the right direction.

    Hell, I’ve got relatives (mostly on the in-laws side of things) that, after years of treating me like a leper when I’d show up with my PS2 and plonk away at Final Fantasy whatever, actually asking me about the Wii and what it costs, etc., with the real intent of getting a system… and these are people in their 50’s!

    The only part of the Wii revolution that even remotely concerns me is that devs will stop trying to do interesting things with the new motion controls and just churn out Carnival Games and its ilk for the next 5 years. It saddens me that most of the solid content on the Wii these days are the Wiiware titles. I am interested in a lot of those games as they are something new and different and use the Wiimote in interesting ways.

    What irked me about E3 this year was the fact that, as you said, everyone seemed to be copying each other. When the highlights of what is supposed to be a GAMING EXTRAVAGANZA are announcements about movie downloads or Mii rip-offs, it bugs me.

    And you’re absolutely correct about both the PS3 and 360 not quite getting it. The PS3 is a great system for the few first-party games that really shine on it. Other than that, it’s a solid blu-ray player and that’s about it. The 360 is still a rattling jalopy compared to the PS3’s Formula 1 race car on the hardware side of things but it’s got a lot more to offer on the game front.

    And don’t get me started on the price points. Both the PS3 and 360 are still far too expensive. I think that most gamers who are going to buy one of these systems at the current prices have already done so. There’s nothing to tempt someone who has held out this long to drop the cash that either company is asking for their systems. $299 (or less) is what both the PS3 and 360 need to sell at these days in order to start luring the people who are sitting on the fence.

    I know that I waited until recently when I found a 60 GB PS3 for $360 and even then I traded in $300 worth of games. If I’d had to actually spend the $360 on the system, I would have let it go…

    /end ramble

  6. All-in-all this may not be a bad thing. We’re seeing more people buy the Wii’s and actually play them. Maybe this is what it will take to get people to understand that videogames are not a children’s hobby. Of course, we’re going to have to put up with the casual game waggle crap before the industry starts to really take advantage of the Wii’s potential.

    My biggest gripe is that only Nintendo has made decent games utilizing the controls. Everything else has just been frustrating.

    Also, no shock, Microsoft is always a little slow to react. If they survive, and I think they have the money to hang in there, we’ll see a major shift in their next platform.

  7. I’d argue that other companies HAVE used the wiimote controls well. Look at Zack & Wiki or No More Heroes.

    I am annoyed at MS trying to shoehorn in more motion control stuff. After spending time with the PS3, I’ve only found one game that uses the Sixaxis controls well and about 2 that use it moderately well. Otherwise, it’s a waste.

    If you haven’t built your console around the motion capability (like the Wii was), don’t try to stick it in. If I want to play a game using the motion controls, I’ll fire up my Wii. If I want a traditional experience, I’ll use the other two behemoths in my living room.

  8. The only unique fun I’ve had with the wiggle stick was with WarioWare and Metroid Prime.

    However, there are some games even that Nintendo has made where it feels tacked on. Super Paper Mario, and dare I say it, Mario Galaxy come to mind.

    I’m not knocking the ‘chuck, just the wiggling.


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