Talking Point: Should Nintendo Try to Recapture 'Hardcore' Gamers?

What is hardcore anyway?

The Wii has, undoubtedly, missed out on some triple A releases that have been major sellers on the HD consoles. Despite all of its own exclusives, it is not surprising that Wii gamers have looked on with envious eyes as titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Batman: Arkham Asylum and L.A Noire have graced the Xbox 360 and PS3. There is no denying the fact that these titles, and others that we’ve failed to mention, are high quality games that are critically acclaimed. The Wii’s lack of graphical horsepower contributed to making these releases beyond reach, as unlike other multi-platform releases the developers decided not to spend time and money on producing an SD Wii version.

These omissions undoubtedly fostered the perception that the Wii has simply not served its ‘core’ or ‘hardcore’ audience. It is also noticeable, when writing this article, that we found it much easier to list terrific first party titles than third party offerings. While the output from third party developers has produced excellent games, it is clear that the perception of the Wii, and perhaps motion control gaming in general, has driven developers to cash in with a glut of party and mini game collections. The biggest sellers on the Wii include Wii Fit and Just Dance, emphasising the point that accessible, motion orientated games have been the big earners for publishers and developers. Further support for this argument can be found in the willingness of Sony and Microsoft to join the motion gaming market with the PlayStation Move and Kinect, respectively.

Nintendo have themselves acknowledged that the advertising strategies for Wii failed to show the console in its true light, often relentlessly plugging titles such as Wii Fit while the more traditional, challenging games failed to capture the same attention. It is easy to see why, based on Nintendo's advertising over the past five years, the general public may have come to perceive the Wii as something other than a gamer's machine.

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