Nintendo looking to turn casual gamers into core gamers

Katsuya Eguchi holding the Wii U controllerMuch of the Wii U already seems unusually daring for Nintendo, but a recent statement from Katsuya Eguchi reveals that they’re planning to do something which many would be quick to call downright impossible.

With the Wii, we wanted to bring in as many new users as possible and have them experience the games, but as a consequence, I think a lot of the core gamers felt that it wasn’t for them, and they started moving away. With the new console and the new controller, we definitely want to bring core gamers back and create new gamers as well. So, with the Wii U, we hope that the players who were introduced to gaming for the first time on the Wii will step it up and become core gamers themselves.

It’s true that many core gamers were turned off by the Wii’s marketing, which focused mostly on trying to push the console into living rooms that had never contained a video game console before. Even though the Wii’s library is chock-full of deep and rewarding experiences, amazing efforts like Super Mario Galaxy or Metroid Prime 3: Corruption simply never made the kind of splash that the likes of Wii Fit did.

It’s been rumoured for a long time that Nintendo is aiming to recapture this core gamer with the Wii U, and that’s no surprise – but it will be very interesting to see how they plan to convert those whose video game horizons end at simulated cycling to people who can spend their entire weekend neck-deep in a massive adventure. The new tablet controller will apparently be the key to making this happen, as it can seemingly be used for just about anything. I suppose casual gamers may be drawn in by its iPad-esque functions like drawing, web browsing, and touchscreen-based games; while core games will find use for it as an off-screen HUD or a creative extension of the TV’s screen.

The issue I see here is that casual gamers are thought of as fundamentally different from core gamers; and thus, play fundamentally different games. I’m looking forward to watching Nintendo’s plans for converting them unfold.

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  1. Good news and bad news

    The problem is two-fold, breaking the notion that certain machines or companies are only for certain kinds of games and persuading people to upgrade from the Wii.

    Even some developers have this daft idea that a Nintendo machine cannot sell “mature hardcore” games. If there is one thing that has been proven again and again, it is that gamers will follow games. The Hardcore did not leave the Wii because the Wii was marketed to families, they left because the Developers refused to bring a continuous supply of “hardcore mature” games. Metroid prime 3, Goldeneye, Silent Hill, in all less than a dozen Mature hardcore” games, over a five year life-cycle. This is not going to build a market. So the prejudice of the Developers became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some are already making the same mistake with the Wii U. Let’s hope Nintendo stay on top of this.

    Persuading Wii “casual gamers” to upgrade is a problem. If such people only bought a small number of games for the Wii, why would they spend on a whole new console? New gamers should be an easy sell, but Nintendo will have to work to bring in a significant amount of up-graders.

  2. reality check

    theres no such thing as casual over here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>hardcore over there, real life doesn’t work like that , you provide for the mass market mc Donald’s is about burgers, but you get salads and veggy burgers and chicken there that could be classed as casual mc donalding….there is no separation there all one thing A CONSUMER BASE that you provide to in retuurn for money,its really not that difficult to work out nintendo is a video game company and we are customers nothing more nothing less the hardcore thing is a marketing myth that only teenagers with fan isues believe

    hardcore used to mean at the cutting edge of something it no longer means that its only idiots now days calling themselves core

    COD ISNT HARD core its casualized version of core a arcade experience with heavy control gimping yet ps3 and x360 fans refer to playing cod with auto aim core gaming this is just stupid as its far from a core experience old cod was core new cod isnt…..

    everyone knows that mose allows true aim and precision but as soon as wii came along this fine control became known as spraying by ps3 and x3600 fans and tried to hail it as casual totally failing to see this as mouse pointing as its on the pc but no desk top required or steep learning curve…

    theres no curser in COD x360 ps3 for a reason its not needed as the games software gimped so aiming by stick is easier and auto mated

    in the pc AND wii versions of cod you aim to the mm by a center courser and the cross hair is spray radius

    on ps3 x360 the spray radius is your aim point its like 20 x bigger than pc and wii

    SO WHO D’casual gamer the 1mm mouse precision player or the aim assisted auto aim no curser player

    il go with pc and wii as core duno about you………..

    • zxride64

      I don’t think his meaning of core and casual is the same as this one. The way it seems to me is that the casual gamer is the person who buys a few games and that is it. A core gamer will buy multiple games of different genres and will continue to buy games throughout the console’s lifetime.

  3. Good news and bad news

    Nintendo would certainly like there to be no difference, in fact they are pushing the machine as no different from a T.V., you pick and choose the genre, they provide the hardware.

    Some people like some kinds of games and some people like others, if developers do not provide enough of one kind of game for the machine, it will not attract the market that likes that kind of game. Simple as that.

  4. alex

    what nintntendo is oing is the right thing but they need to do somthing else wich is produce or crate a new ip mature so people stop seeing nintendo as a kid company i love nintendo and i love mario but utill nintendo dicede to invest money in a m game made by nintendo people will have the mentality that nintendo is for kids

    • xemnas

      one word metroid

    • Nintendo+Apple

      Yeah! Go Metroid! That’s the only thing that’s gonna attract hard core gamers.

  5. Nintendo+Apple

    The people at Nintendo think that hard core gamers are going to get a Wii U and get a lot of games just like that but, it’s not that easy. Lot’s of people (including a lot of friends of mine) think that Nintendo only makes little kiddie games and family games because they did that with the Wii. It might not even be the Wii U or the next system after, that attracts the hard core gamers.

    They’re going to have to really push M games into the market for their system. They’re also going to have to get companies to make them M rated games exclusively for the Wii U. The only thin right now that’s going to attract hard core gamers is the Metroid series.

    • zxride64

      what about a realistic zelda

  6. Oldergamer

    Unless you’re a North American RPG fan. Then there’ll be nothing RPG related at all ’cause, you know, the market for such in NA is well nigh nonexistant and certainly no source of revenue for NOA.

    No NA RPGs on the Wii SHOULD equal, no NA RPGs for the Wii-U.

    Just ask Reggie, he’ll tell it like it is.

  7. Good news and bad news

    I’m sure a Metroid for the Wii u will come, but Nintendo really need third party devs to bring the mature content and succeed with it.

    I saw a poll, I’ve forgotten where it is -sorry, on what games were most anticipated for the Wii U. Though I fully expected to see Nintendo titles at the top of the poll, I was shocked and disappointed at how large the gap was between Super smash bros (50%) and Batman; Arkham city (2%). This level of support will not encourage third party devs to bring mature titles.

  8. its al in the brain

    example of a hard core during the ps1 n64 era the ps2 gc era and before the mouse was hailed as the precision pointer that was the best in the right hand and it was accepted by all console gamers that this was set in stone fact

    the second analog stick of the gc pad and the wave bird was hailed as the best for its sweet tight feel like the left thumb stick was

    ps thumb sticks were always called loose crappy unrefined as thats the truth

    everyone agreed a mouse like interface was needed for core experiences

    wii came along as did ps3 and x360 ONLY ONE SUPPORTED A NEW PICK UP AND PLAY GAMING MOUSE the other two supported old fashioned obsolete control pads only

  9. alex

    i now metroid is good but is not a M reated game plus nintendo will not made a metroid m reated (cuse they all ready made metroid other m …jajajajajajaj)cuse metroid is for mature ,younfgs and kids players …what i try to say is they need to create somthing like geaof war but nintendo or get a game like mad world doit in colors and nintendo be the publisher somthing that people say waooooo i never imaging nintendo doing this type of games or publishing somthing like this without stop and forgot there ips like mario i dont want a mario reated m i want mario,zelda ,metroid,don king kong just as they are just use ur money ,power and resource to do somthing else that blow the minds of hard cores gamers…sega didi it they have sonic but also house of the dead and condem….thas what am talking about

  10. Jmaster720

    Not with that piece of gimmick you have in your hands :\

  11. Good news and bad news

    Most people who have actually used that “piece of gimmick” say it is comfortable and easy to use, but then they are not simply making assumptions based on their own childish petulance.

    • Jmaster720

      Look man All I wanted for the past 6 years was an HD GameCube not a motion waggle device not a Ipad with buttons! I mean I’m saying I don’t like the touch screen but I would just prefer a “More” comfortable gamecube controller with a touch screen slapped in the middle than I giant tablet I’m just tired of all these gimmicks an want Nintendo to really return to the hardcore audience not making games super easy with a guide or something *Cough SMG2 Cough* so far they haven’t proven to me that they want to return to the core audience. just look at the E3 trailer -_-

  12. Good news and bad news

    Well all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t knock it until you try it, with the majority of people who have actually played with this controller saying it is comfortable to use, doesn’t that give you some optimism?