Has Nintendo really been claiming that the WiiU is supposed to attract mainstream and core gamers equally, though? I've heard a lot more talk from Nintendo within the last year about reclaiming core gamers, but not so much about the expanded market that they loved so much with the Wii.JordanElek
It's called the Wii U. That alone explains that the system was built on the intent of at least trying to have some appeal to the mass market. Otherwise, Nintendo would have dumped the Wii branding altogether, especially since it's not hard to see that so many "hardcore" gamers can't stand what Wii stands for. Let's not forget New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii Fit U, Nintendo Land, and I'm sure more upcoming games that Nintendo will be devoting time, money, and resources into trying to encourage the masses to make the jump to the system. The execution so far has been questionable at best, but I don't see how we can even question the idea of the market still having some importance with Nintendo's plans.
What I've gathered from Nintendo lately is that they learned from the Wii that the expanded market is fickle and far from dedicated, while core gamers are intensely dedicated. Sure, they sold a ton of Wiis, and three or four of their games shattered sales records for them, but that's obviously not a sustainable path, and the WiiU seems to me like Nintendo's acknowledgement of that fact.JordanElek
Honestly, I never really understood the argument that the expanded market is somehow more fickle than the "core gamer" market. Before Nintendo's Blue Ocean approach with the DS and Wii, Nintendo's grasp on the market declined with each passing console, despite their consoles becoming more powerful and complex. I think it's safe to say that without the expanded market Nintendo obtained a few years ago, we'd be having a different conversation right now. Sony has experienced the a similar downturn with the PS3 this gen, despite having the most powerful system on the market. And with upcoming gen, I would say that it's been up for grabs all this time, assuming that next gen works out for ANY of the hardware makers. All of this is tied to the "core gamer" and the expectations that come with trying to win that market. If that isn't the definition of fickle, I don't know what is. If anything, the expanded mainstream market is the only market that has proven itself to NOT be fickle, since it hasn't really catered to for longer than a handful of years.
Still, maybe you're right in saying that this is what Nintendo believed. That said, we KNOW that the 18-35 dedicated gamer demographic, a.k.a. the "core gamer" market, hasn't been too kind to Nintendo since the NES, when the company was pretty much the only player in town. So far, it doesn't look like things certainly aren't going to get better in that regard, either. Another thing is the term "core gamer," which as used in today's video game industry has never been Nintendo's "core" market. The very things that make that specific part of the market have never been the reason why Nintendo's systems and its most successful games have succeeded. So if what you say about Nintendo's assessment with its new console is true, they seem to have missed some important things along the way.
The WiiU is also a continued acknowledgement of the "dead end" approach to console development that Nintendo talked about with the Wii. "Faster and flashier" is a dead end due to exorbitant costs for developers. And I'm starting to think that Nintendo may have simply been one generation too soon with that philosophy. This gen was difficult but manageable for developers, but next gen seems like it will be practically impossible for anyone but money-soaked publishers to make any kind of large-scale games.JordanElek
When it comes to avoid the "faster and flashier" mindset, I think Reggie would like to have a talk with you. :P That's actually a joke in part on my behalf, but I think it does say something about the puzzling state Nintendo's in these days. We could speculate all day along about what the Wii U lacks or who the Wii U is trying to attract the most, but there's still much about the Wii U's strategy that doesn't add up. Again, they basically killed the Wii on purpose to get to this point. Reggie says that Sony and Mircosoft has to react to them, yet Nintendo [over]reacts first. Suddenly, Nintendo has jumped head-first into an environment it has wisely avoided for years, and even having years to witness the struggles of other developers, they still came into the HD game development situation unprepared.
I don't know... I think at this point I'm rambling a bit, but what is obvious to me that Nintendo's direction has changed over the past few years and appears to be taking the company down a darker path.