Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The "Hardcore Gamer" is Not Nintendo's Core Audience

Nintendo needs to understand that their Core Gamers are not the so-called "hardcore" gamers who huddle around 10,000 versions of the same gun game on PS360. "Core" and "Expanded" audience is relative to each platform. For Nintendo, the Wii's Core Audience is Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, Mario Kart, Super Mario 5, and Just Dance. That is the crowd Nintendo needs to keep happy, and it's the crowd that will decide if Wii U is successful or not.

I get tired of pointing this out, but Nintendo has been bending over backwards to provide the "hardcore" set with the games they wanted - Galaxy 2, Metroid Other M, Sin & Punishment 2, Goldeneye, Epic Mickey, NBA Jam, yadda yadda. Despite all the hype and all the whining, do the PS360 gamers show up? No. They never bother to lift a finger.

Meanwhile, Ubisoft's Just Dance series is now earning nearly a third of the company's total earnings. The company is still losing money overall, thanks to hideously expensive, "hardcore gamer" titles. At some point, the investors must get tired of setting piles of money on fire, when there's much easier money to be made.

I honestly have no idea what the hell Nintendo is doing. They're completely abandoning the Wii, even though it will continue to be the flagship console for the next 9-16 months. It also appears that the Wii is once again the top-selling console worldwide. You'd think Nintendo would want to make some money while waiting for their new investments to pay off. Ah, but that would require effort.

Again, let me repeat my main point. Nintendo's Core Audience are the new and lapsed gamers who have flocked to the Wii Series, Mario Kart, Super Mario 5, and Just Dance. It would be really nice if Nintendo would bother to notice this fact.

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