Why can’t it be both?

Following Nintendo’s press conference last week at E3, there seemed to be a ubiquitous grumble in gaming circles that Nintendo had abandoned the hardcore gamer, in lieu of catering to the casual crowd. Even Nintendo faithful dissented as they claimed E3 a missed opportunity to prove that the hardcore gamer was (still) important to the Big N. I guess I watched a different press conference, because, while not the flashiest, Nintendo’s conference seemed (to me at least) to confirm to me that Nintendo was catering to everyone, in general.

Body Language

One of the most debated points of the conference was Wii Fit. Semi-announced through upcoming games lists as Wii Health Pack, Wii Fit was formally announced during Ninty’s E3 press conference. A game that involves using a balancing board to help the user do fitness related activities, gamers scoffed at Miyamoto being proud of what they saw as glorified exercise equipment that had casual written all over it. I’ll tell you right now, if at all possible, I will be purchasing this “title� on day one, and I would consider myself a hardcore (whatever that really means) gamer.  

I don’t understand why the gaming community doesn’t see this as a product for them as well as “nongamers.� I think some of it has to do with a general tendency toward jadedness among gamers today. Sure we can play Halo 2 for 23 out of the 24 hours of the day, but scoff at those who

would give 30 minutes of their day to a fitness game. I’m not knocking gamers, as I firmly believe it’s a valid hobby, but do you think gamers felt let down by Nintendo when they released World Class Track Meet with the Power Pad peripheral? Well, from personal experience, I was blown away. It was a completely new experience, one that led me to explore other gaming options. Why is it necessary to take an elitist approach to any title that doesn’t put a gun/sword in our hand our produce mass amounts of blood/havoc? I don’t think this title needs the Miyamoto stamp on it, but the fact that he is backing it has to make you at least slightly rethink your attitude. 

It’s a Mi…yamoto!

Miyamoto has challenged the gaming community several times to reevaluate their concept of what a hardcore gamer is vs. a casual gamer. In his 10 questions with Time feature, he was asked about this very subject and replied that Nintendo tries to just consider one group: gamers. However, a comment he makes in response to a question about the future of video games seems even more relevant.

How do you see video games evolving in the future? —Dave Barnhardt, FORT ERIE, ONT.
In the past, video games had a more relevant place in pop culture. What we are trying to achieve with devices like Wii and Nintendo DS is bring gaming back to that relevant role not only in pop culture but also in society in general.

I think there’s a lot of truth in that , and it seems the reason that videogames were more relevant to pop culture when they were first introduced was because there were games that were more accessible that everyone could enjoy. The hardcore gamer (as he existed in the beginning) beat Blaster Master (speaking of…VC!), and taped the entire playthrough via VCR, but the nongamer enjoyed taking a shot at it as well, and then the two had a good time playing a round of Duckhunt together.  It really ties in with Wii Fit kind of bringing the Power Pad full circle. Nintendo’s philosophy with the DS mirrors that original excitement that games brought to pop culture, and the Wii is following suit. In fact, I think most would agree that video games in general haven’t received this much mainstream press in a long time

Lite’s future looks brite…er, bright

I don’t think I’ve conversed with a  hardcore gamer that has felt Nintendo has abandoned them on the DS, even though some of the big name titles this fall start with animal “x� and end with a “z 2 (I’m looking at you Ubi).� That’s because those games are coupled with titles like:

Dementium: The Ward
Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Rune Factory: Harvest Moon
Contra 4
Drawn to Life
Heroes of Mana
Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword
and countless others.
 

With a few (inevitable) minigame titles coming out this fall, why are gamers choosing to turn a blind eye to the equally or even more so impressive list of upcoming Wii games?

Mario Strikers: Charged
Metroid Prime: Corruption
Battalion Wars II
Endless Ocean
Nights: Journey of Dreams
Zack and Wiki
Dewy’s Adventure
Soul Calibur: Legends
Super Mario Galaxy
Medal of Honor: Heroes 2
Super Smash Brothers: Brawl
Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
and more.

This article isn’t about E3, if you couldn’t tell. It’s about a generally negative banter about all things Nintendo ever since the release of the Wii, claiming that Nintendo has chosen casual over hardcore, but why are there only two options: Casual or Hardcore? Why can’t it be both? It seems pretty self-explanatory that everyone involved benefits from an expanded market. Developers/Publishers have more cash for more staff/projects/promotion/etc.; the big three have a larger install base meaning more 3rd party support/more people to play with/etc.; and gamers probably benefit the most as gaming becomes more mainstream(socially acceptable)/more games to play(choose from) and more stringent competition for their dollar meaning lower prices in general.

Whether you disagree or not, I’ll personally be touting the title “gamer,� without any further qualification.

wusscore84@yahoo.com'
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About the author:

Floating World – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


  • InfDaMarvel

    Ill be the first to say that a game in which you work out, isn’t at all for the hardcore lazy sit on your ass button mash action loving gamer. Wii Fit is nothing but a Wii workout plan. Some of it looks like interesting little mini games Id play for 1hr tops. And Im sorry, I work out all the time and I dont get to excited about it in the first place. Its a pain in the ass,arm,legs,and abs lol.

  • InfDaMarvel

    Ill be the first to say that a game in which you work out, isn’t at all for the hardcore lazy sit on your ass button mash action loving gamer. Wii Fit is nothing but a Wii workout plan. Some of it looks like interesting little mini games Id play for 1hr tops. And Im sorry, I work out all the time and I dont get to excited about it in the first place. Its a pain in the ass,arm,legs,and abs lol.

  • Floating World

    But people said the same thing about Wiisports…that its good for an hour and then you’ll be bored, yet this has nearly the same style, presentation, gameplay mechanics…

  • Floating World

    But people said the same thing about Wiisports…that its good for an hour and then you’ll be bored, yet this has nearly the same style, presentation, gameplay mechanics…

  • http://www.xanga.com/relaxing_roth Roth

    Hey I have a “Gamer” T-shirt with a NES controller on it. :D/

    I believe all this is going according to plan. Years from now when people look back at this, they’ll see what Miyamoto meant and was trying to achieve at this point with the Wii and DS. Before we know it, we’ll be a unity of ‘gamers’.

    // Roth

  • http://www.xanga.com/relaxing_roth Roth

    Hey I have a “Gamer” T-shirt with a NES controller on it. \:D/

    I believe all this is going according to plan. Years from now when people look back at this, they’ll see what Miyamoto meant and was trying to achieve at this point with the Wii and DS. Before we know it, we’ll be a unity of ‘gamers’.

    // Roth

  • http://wiinintendo.net/index.php?s=MJ MJ

    Wii Fit sucks. Face it.

    On another note, Nintendo is still catering to the hardcore fans, I mean they didn’t kill of Mario, Zelda or Metroid, so what’s the issue?

  • http://wiinintendo.net/index.php?s=MJ MJ

    Wii Fit sucks. Face it.

    On another note, Nintendo is still catering to the hardcore fans, I mean they didn’t kill of Mario, Zelda or Metroid, so what’s the issue?

  • http://www.xanga.com/relaxing_roth Roth

    “Wii Fit sucks. Face it.”

    ^That’s the issue. It’s when experienced gamers come out and dog out a new game aimed for inexperienced or all audiences.
    What Nintendo is doing is pleasing all audience, and that’s that. The experienced gamers act like they don’t want to share or something..

    // Roth

  • http://www.xanga.com/relaxing_roth Roth

    “Wii Fit sucks. Face it.”

    ^That’s the issue. It’s when experienced gamers come out and dog out a new game aimed for inexperienced or all audiences.
    What Nintendo is doing is pleasing all audience, and that’s that. The experienced gamers act like they don’t want to share or something..

    // Roth

  • InfDaMarvel

    Want to share? We want more games that suit the style of gameplay we enjoy. I couldnt care less if my father plays with me, if I dont play it myself.

  • InfDaMarvel

    Want to share? We want more games that suit the style of gameplay we enjoy. I couldnt care less if my father plays with me, if I dont play it myself.

  • Pigeon_Feeder

    personally I agree with Roth

    the reason there making games like wii fit,is for people who have always thought video games were for 30 year old men still living with there parents.Wii Fit shows how even a video game can,at be healthy for hand eye coordination and now with all of your body coordination,and you still shoud’nt complain cuz’ of course there still going to make games for extreme gamers like me and you,such as metroid,mario,zelda,smash bros.,I mean there making so many old remakes just for thewii,like driver:paralell lines,destroy all humans! etc.,and if that’s not eneough to make everyone pleased they even have a system where you can even download your favorite old games from the nes,snes,n64 plus much much more….if you ask me,the wii is possibbly the only system that can truly make anyone happy

  • Pigeon_Feeder

    personally I agree with Roth

    the reason there making games like wii fit,is for people who have always thought video games were for 30 year old men still living with there parents.Wii Fit shows how even a video game can,at be healthy for hand eye coordination and now with all of your body coordination,and you still shoud’nt complain cuz’ of course there still going to make games for extreme gamers like me and you,such as metroid,mario,zelda,smash bros.,I mean there making so many old remakes just for thewii,like driver:paralell lines,destroy all humans! etc.,and if that’s not eneough to make everyone pleased they even have a system where you can even download your favorite old games from the nes,snes,n64 plus much much more….if you ask me,the wii is possibbly the only system that can truly make anyone happy

  • Floating World

    I guess opinions will be opnions…I’ll just say that just because a game like Wii Fit comes out, it doesn’t in any way harm you, so why are you so pissed at it?

  • Floating World

    I guess opinions will be opnions…I’ll just say that just because a game like Wii Fit comes out, it doesn’t in any way harm you, so why are you so pissed at it?

  • Alan

    Sorry to argue with you but when was Super Smash Bros classified as a minigame?

  • Alan

    Sorry to argue with you but when was Super Smash Bros classified as a minigame?

  • VMR

    I guess when everyone who plays nintendo games suddenly were not considered real gamers. “sarcasm”

  • VMR

    I guess when everyone who plays nintendo games suddenly were not considered real gamers. “sarcasm”

  • kevbo

    Nicely written article again by Floating World… I like to see these kinds of articles since they get people’s minds flowing ;-}

    I do agree that it seems like some gamers are getting angry when they hear people getting excited for different games like Wii Fit. I also agree that it doesn’t harm us gamers since they also come out with more mainstream games as well. Nintendo has always been the pioneers to try new and different things so I like to keep an open mind with them. Some things fail but the things that work, work well. I would like to add that I feel the Wii has made video games more acceptable to women, since i have several girl friends who play the Wii but would never play any other system…

  • kevbo

    Nicely written article again by Floating World… I like to see these kinds of articles since they get people’s minds flowing ;-}

    I do agree that it seems like some gamers are getting angry when they hear people getting excited for different games like Wii Fit. I also agree that it doesn’t harm us gamers since they also come out with more mainstream games as well. Nintendo has always been the pioneers to try new and different things so I like to keep an open mind with them. Some things fail but the things that work, work well. I would like to add that I feel the Wii has made video games more acceptable to women, since i have several girl friends who play the Wii but would never play any other system…

  • kevbo

    Sorry for the double post but I forgot to add…
    MASTER BLASTER KICKED ASS!!!!
    I really hope they get that one on VC

  • kevbo

    Sorry for the double post but I forgot to add…
    MASTER BLASTER KICKED ASS!!!!
    I really hope they get that one on VC

  • kevbo

    Sorry for the double post but I forgot to add…
    MASTER BLASTER KICKED ASS!!!!
    I really hope they get that one on VC

  • Floating World

    Seriously..I almost forgot about it. Also…more obscure, Clash at Demon head..anyone?

  • Floating World

    Seriously..I almost forgot about it. Also…more obscure, Clash at Demon head..anyone?

  • Floating World

    Seriously..I almost forgot about it. Also…more obscure, Clash at Demon head..anyone?

  • Will

    There are always naysayers FW. The thing is that Nintendo has always done their thing and went against the press. Have they gone a little far with this Wii Fit thing, maybe but it doesn’t matter because
    1. It will make a ton of money regardless
    2. This is obviously another glorified demo title like Wii Sports and Wii Play in order to introduce the board.
    3. The potential for that board can be further tapped by anyone making games for the console

    I think the later is the point no one thinking about. Think about games like Time Crisis where you have to duck behind boxes. Or stealth games where you have to balance across rooftops or tight ropes. Think about the possibilities for virtual reality Nintendo is pushing for. The problem is that often gamers are used to their sequel after sequel and it takes stark contrast sometimes to revitalize everything. Remember what people said about Link in Wind Waker and now its an instant classic. Or what was said about a 3D Metroid…. um I think that turned out classic too. Or what about a fad system that was supposed to have had its clock cleaned by the PS3. Are we seeing a trend here?

    Ultimately we know not all ideas work but the great thing is that Nintendo is never going to stop being innovative and introducing the world to different ways of playing video games. Imagine playing games with no rumble features, (how dynamic that made things). And how about Track and Field, would we have DDR without that classic NES pad? Do you think Sony or MS are pushing for these new ideas or are they the true conformists?

  • Will

    There are always naysayers FW. The thing is that Nintendo has always done their thing and went against the press. Have they gone a little far with this Wii Fit thing, maybe but it doesn’t matter because
    1. It will make a ton of money regardless
    2. This is obviously another glorified demo title like Wii Sports and Wii Play in order to introduce the board.
    3. The potential for that board can be further tapped by anyone making games for the console

    I think the later is the point no one thinking about. Think about games like Time Crisis where you have to duck behind boxes. Or stealth games where you have to balance across rooftops or tight ropes. Think about the possibilities for virtual reality Nintendo is pushing for. The problem is that often gamers are used to their sequel after sequel and it takes stark contrast sometimes to revitalize everything. Remember what people said about Link in Wind Waker and now its an instant classic. Or what was said about a 3D Metroid…. um I think that turned out classic too. Or what about a fad system that was supposed to have had its clock cleaned by the PS3. Are we seeing a trend here?

    Ultimately we know not all ideas work but the great thing is that Nintendo is never going to stop being innovative and introducing the world to different ways of playing video games. Imagine playing games with no rumble features, (how dynamic that made things). And how about Track and Field, would we have DDR without that classic NES pad? Do you think Sony or MS are pushing for these new ideas or are they the true conformists?

  • Will

    There are always naysayers FW. The thing is that Nintendo has always done their thing and went against the press. Have they gone a little far with this Wii Fit thing, maybe but it doesn’t matter because
    1. It will make a ton of money regardless
    2. This is obviously another glorified demo title like Wii Sports and Wii Play in order to introduce the board.
    3. The potential for that board can be further tapped by anyone making games for the console

    I think the later is the point no one thinking about. Think about games like Time Crisis where you have to duck behind boxes. Or stealth games where you have to balance across rooftops or tight ropes. Think about the possibilities for virtual reality Nintendo is pushing for. The problem is that often gamers are used to their sequel after sequel and it takes stark contrast sometimes to revitalize everything. Remember what people said about Link in Wind Waker and now its an instant classic. Or what was said about a 3D Metroid…. um I think that turned out classic too. Or what about a fad system that was supposed to have had its clock cleaned by the PS3. Are we seeing a trend here?

    Ultimately we know not all ideas work but the great thing is that Nintendo is never going to stop being innovative and introducing the world to different ways of playing video games. Imagine playing games with no rumble features, (how dynamic that made things). And how about Track and Field, would we have DDR without that classic NES pad? Do you think Sony or MS are pushing for these new ideas or are they the true conformists?

  • Will

    There are always naysayers FW. The thing is that Nintendo has always done their thing and went against the press. Have they gone a little far with this Wii Fit thing, maybe but it doesn’t matter because
    1. It will make a ton of money regardless
    2. This is obviously another glorified demo title like Wii Sports and Wii Play in order to introduce the board.
    3. The potential for that board can be further tapped by anyone making games for the console

    I think the later is the point no one thinking about. Think about games like Time Crisis where you have to duck behind boxes. Or stealth games where you have to balance across rooftops or tight ropes. Think about the possibilities for virtual reality Nintendo is pushing for. The problem is that often gamers are used to their sequel after sequel and it takes stark contrast sometimes to revitalize everything. Remember what people said about Link in Wind Waker and now its an instant classic. Or what was said about a 3D Metroid…. um I think that turned out classic too. Or what about a fad system that was supposed to have had its clock cleaned by the PS3. Are we seeing a trend here?

    Ultimately we know not all ideas work but the great thing is that Nintendo is never going to stop being innovative and introducing the world to different ways of playing video games. Imagine playing games with no rumble features, (how dynamic that made things). And how about Track and Field, would we have DDR without that classic NES pad? Do you think Sony or MS are pushing for these new ideas or are they the true conformists?

  • Floating World

    I meant to mention how one of Micro$ofts big reveals was the viva pinata party game.

  • Floating World

    I meant to mention how one of Micro$ofts big reveals was the viva pinata party game.

  • http://loadedgamer.com/ WickeD

    Microsoft and Sony both have expressed greatly how they wish to appeal to the overall market as well, with fun house hold mini games and such. Nintendo just got the jump on them and people are hurt by it not being all about the bad ass games. You have to remember its all about the $$ in the end. Not pleasing “fanboys” or “hardcore” gamers.

    I how ever would like to see more shooters of all types for the Wii. For the wiimote to pull a mouse gamer in has to say something about hardcore gaming right there. If you asked me I would say “PC shooter games are the definition of hardcore gaming” any one who has competed seriously in quake, ut, cs would no doubt say the same thing.

    I’m real excited about both the DS and Wii game lineup for the end of 07 however.

  • http://loadedgamer.com WickeD

    Microsoft and Sony both have expressed greatly how they wish to appeal to the overall market as well, with fun house hold mini games and such. Nintendo just got the jump on them and people are hurt by it not being all about the bad ass games. You have to remember its all about the $$ in the end. Not pleasing “fanboys” or “hardcore” gamers.

    I how ever would like to see more shooters of all types for the Wii. For the wiimote to pull a mouse gamer in has to say something about hardcore gaming right there. If you asked me I would say “PC shooter games are the definition of hardcore gaming” any one who has competed seriously in quake, ut, cs would no doubt say the same thing.

    I’m real excited about both the DS and Wii game lineup for the end of 07 however.

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