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  1. #1
    Senior Member CantGetAWii's Avatar
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    Gamers Still Loyalists?

    Ah the good ol’ console wars. I remember the ancient battles between the Sega fans and the Nintendo fans. Then the Sony fans versus the Nintendo fans (the Sega side had of course withdrawn from the war after the ill-fated Dreamcast). Then the Xbox, Sony, and Nintendo conflict, (with some PC loyalists thrown in for good measure) which still rages today, in the great Next-Gen War.

    Of course ‘next gen’ is now ‘this gen’ but the marketing gurus all thought ‘next gen’ was the way to talk about this coming era in gaming. The truth now is that many gamers are no longer loyalists; the more affluent or lucky among us have multiple consoles and brightly claim that we are Swiss; we don’t take sides and we like the games more than the platform anyway. We can be wooed by any of the sides and are attracted to all of them, given the right incentive. There are still ‘xbots’, for example, and there are ‘real gamers’…..real gamers supposedly being those who support all consoles and the PC too.

    Still the Console Corporates and Forum Fighters are still battling. There’s the graphics and gameplay comparisons between the ‘real’ this gen consoles 360 and PS3 that feature so often on Gametrailers.com (I love those….trying to see the differences can sometimes feel like a search for Waldo/Wally (depending on where you are reading from). “The chick on Devil May Cry 4’s breasts are shinier on PS3″, the “PS3 graphics look more washed out”or “you need a better resolution to really see the difference”…. All in good fun. But the battles I find strangest are the ones with Nintendo’s Wii.

    Despite the initial excitement surrounding the controller system of the Wii it has to be said that Nintendo were behind the eight ball this generation. Most pundits (well the realistic ones) saw the slower sales of the N64 and the perhaps worse sales of the Gamecube and lack of third party support for the systems as a foreshadowing of Nintendo ending up like Sega; a software only developer. That Nintendo can’t seem to keep up with the demand for the Wii system has seemingly even caught them by surprise.cod3suckage.jpg

    This ‘fad’ console, as many see it, is still selling like its successful DS system with no sign of letup; and this is despite a once again terribly poor selection of games. Sure it has some great titles (if you like cartoons and mini-games) but not the gaming library of the 360. This is despite the fact that the 360 Core offers more for the same price, and that the graphics on the Wii and lack of DVD capability should handicap it. The fact is that Wiis are wiing all the way to a lot of homes.

    Microsoft Xbox’s Head of Marketing, Jeff Bell, said : “Clearly, we have a competitor where they win and no one else wins,” Bell told Reuters in reference to the overwhelming popularity of first-party games on Nintendo platforms. “That is not sustainable, it’s never been sustainable.” Of course Nintendo had a response: Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime told Reuters that 60 percent of Wii game sales came from outside publishers in November (not that most were necessarily any good…). You even have Bill Gates talking earlier this year about the future of video games in terms that sounded a lot like the Wii: read this exchange:

    “Imagine a game machine where you can just pick up a bat and swing it or the tennis racket,” Gates told interviewer Walter Mossberg at the D 2007 conference, who remarked (not unreasonably) that Wii Sports already existed. As it happens, that wasn’t quite what Bill meant. “No, that’s not it,” rebutted Gates. “You can’t pick up your tennis racket and swing it, you can’t sit there with your friends and do these natural things. That’s a 3D positional device, this is video recognition, this is a camera seeing what’s going on… The camera will be ubiquitous.”

    Fair enough, then - so, a kind of all-encompassing Wii Remote/EyeToy device, perhaps? (Gamersquad)

    Forums also saw skimirshes between those who see the Wii as deserving of its success and those who simple could not understand it. Here is a particularly astute opinion posted on the Xbox forum:

    “Microsoft is the guy with the fastest, biggest Subaru, and lots of gold chains around his neck… who just does not understand why he’s not pulling the hottest girls. Why not try making games ordinary people can engage with, instead of putting out FPS after violent FPS - great games for gaming fanatics - but if it’s going to keep doing that it has to accept it’s niche position.

    A company like Nintendo which caters to humans, and makes things which are fun and playable and approachable - it will always utterly dominate. I love my 360, because I’m an VG freak, but I’m not holding my breath for it to overtake the Wii, ever!

    We can be snobby and talk about how ‘repetitive’ Wii games are, but that’s analgous to an Opera fan talking about the latest Pirates of the Carribean movie - it’s fine to be snobby, but you’d have to be utterly deluded to expect everyone to move to ‘Call of Violence 6′ type games, which require specific skills to control.”

    Needless to say the thread erupted a bit and got locked. In this comment, though, is where I believe the source of the Wii’s success can be explained. I will easily admit that my 360 is the best gaming console I have ever had. I can also admit that I bought a Wii and that it is very popular with my wife, kids, and non-gamers who visit our home.

    The Wii is selling because it caters to a market that has been left behind in the technological Arms Race for console supremacy. The non-gamer, the very young, and even the very casual gamer are not interested in online, or high end graphics, or complicated button pressing. Realistic MA 15 + games do not attract parents dollars’ while the beeps and boops of the family friendly cartoony Mario does.

    As a gamer, the Wii bores me very quickly. I have more serious gamer friends who still love their Wii, even if the 360 is where they play the most. Retro fun is the reason they cite most when I ask how they can still enjoy Mario Galaxy after all the other Marios they’ve played. But I played those too, and though I couldn’t understand why the Playstation beat both the N64 and Gamecube (both of which I liked better but seemed to hardly ever have games), I now cannot understand why the Wii, which is best suited to mini-style games like Wii Sports in my opinion, keeps selling so well.

    I don’t find the games all that fun and quite repetitive compared to those on the 360. But perhaps it is this simplicity that appeals in a gaming world where online-only multiplayer and fancy game gimmick effects and button combos are so important. The fact is that people who may not have become gamers are at least being introduced or even re-introduced to gaming.

    Microsoft may find a way to appeal to some of these gamers. Some of them may gain the confidence to move into a more complex gaming world like the 360 provides. But even if they don’t, the fact is that it helps to mainstream gaming and that helps to shatter the overused “geek” image associated with video games. And that to me is a good thing, even if some like to wear the “geek” tag too proudly. So in the end, Microsoft and Sony may not mind that the Nintendo little piggy does well, even if they, like me, are a bit mystified.
    Decent little article talking about those "Next Gen Warz".
    Last edited by CantGetAWii; 01-04-2008 at 10:20 AM.

    CantGetAWii
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  2. #2
    KryKidd Pikachu256's Avatar
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    Very Good Article.
    My Favorite Sentence In The Whole Article. IMO, So Don't Flame Me.
    As a gamer, the Wii bores me very quickly.
    I Haven't Played My Wii In Weeks. =[
    KryKidd


  3. #3
    Sonic + Brawl = Ownage Wiimoto's Avatar
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    Lol I'm not a wii fanboy or anything but I say people stop dissing other peoples consoles and just buy what they want. This is a wii forum, im sure there are ps3 and xbox360 forums out there. I'm really happy with my wii, I'm not a hardcore gamer, and besides I have a cpu with alot of great games on it, why should I buy something less powerful and worse online? PC + Wii ftw.



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  4. #4
    New Wii Addict Bumble14's Avatar
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    That was a great read.

    Personally, I think people have gotten away from the whole "console loyalty", and have gotten more into game loyalty, and I believe it is more of a generational issue than it was back in the Nintendo vs Sega days. Let me explain:

    I grew up in the 80's, and the NES was the first gaming console I was exposed to at about 6 years old. Therefore I grew up with the Mario's, the Zelda's, the Metroids, in depth puzzle games, simplistic sports games. Eventually I saw the rise of the 16bit days with the Sonic games, the NHL Hockey series, and others that trademarked those years. My high school years saw the N64 rise to prominence with Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Mario 64, Zelda, etc...games that defined genres and generation. As soon as the Playstation gave rise to the PS2, and the Xbox was born, that is where gaming to me went down hill.

    Here's the problem: It's not like the Xbox and PS2 were bad systems, or had terrible games, it is just that for some reason the industry shifted away from creating games for the sake of making games, to making games with big budget hollywood production values for the sake of making big money. That is where the industry has flopped for me. As soon as developers lost touch of the fun games could provide by challenging us with puzzles, or mind bending challenges (like in the Mario's and Zelda's), gaming gave rise to a new generation of gamer....a generation I like to call the "Halo" generation.

    The Halo generation doesn't understand the "Mario Generation" (us 80's kids) because they were never exposed to the type of games we were. The Halo generation's idea of an all time classic is, you guessed it, Halo. Now Halo was a super game, and a game I still play to this day, but when you compare the meat of the game, along with it's core gameplay dynamics to a game like say Super Mario 3, or Zelda Ocarina of Time, there really is no comparison.

    Since the advent of Halo, and other games of that generation, the industry has been slipping into a trend of mind numbingly bland gameplay in videogames (i.e. go here, kill all these guys, collect this, kill these guys, watch 10 minute cutscene, kill more guys, collect item). I know these are the core fundamentals behind basically every game made, but what today's games are lacking are the intagibles that made the "old" days great. How about multiple level exits like Super Mario World? Where are the hidden items that effect gameplay like warp zones? To this day, almost 20 years after it's release, I will sit down and play Mario 3 for an entire day while title's like Halo 3, COD4, and Mass Effect just sit on my shelf...why? Becuase it is just that good and innovative to this very day--how many games released in the last 5 years can make that claim.

    My whole point is that I think there is more of a generational battle going on here more os than a console battle, and it is very much game dependent. You will have people arguing that the Wii is a kiddy system because Mario is a kiddy game, when in fact I bet a lot of Wii owners are over 25, latching onto the system because it allows us Mario Generation'ers to rekindle our youth. On other systems Gen Mario prefers games with tons of depth, gameplay variety, and innovation, and are fans of games that have high replay value/staying power... whereas Gen Halo likes games that are quick, provide lots of in your face moments, all the bells and whistles, and are ready for a slightly touched up sequel less than a year later because they are "bored" with the game. The Halo Generation would never spend their time finding every level exit in Mario World, or even explore Star Road for that matter--it's all about instant gratification to those gamers, and can you really blame them? Look at the trends of the games they have been nursed on--they didn't have Mega Man 2 or Kid Icarus like we did-they know nothing different than "today's" games.

    There is a part of me that wishes the good ol days of the console developer battles were still going on, and that brand loyalty mattered. Unfortunatly, in todays world of non exclusive games, I just see battlelines being drawn in the sand over specific titles rather than actual systems.
    Last edited by Bumble14; 01-04-2008 at 11:48 AM.

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