With the WiiU Nintendo is trying to bridge the split between the so called 'hardcore' and the 'casual' gamers unintentionally caused by the Wii/PS3. Before the current generation 'casual' and 'core' gamers happily co-existed on the PS2. PS2 offered games like Metal of Honor and God of War for the more dedicated gamers, Buzz and Sing for the very casual and a whole spectrum of games in-between.
PS2 had games for everyone
In the current gen Sony completely lost focus on the casual market, instead focusing nearly single-mindedly on competing with 360 for the core. While Wii offered the most casual friendly device ever seen with it's motion controls and basic intuitive game play. For four year 'core' gamers gravitated to the HD systems while 'casual' players gravitated to the Wii.
A big part of the reason the ‘core’ left the Wii was because in terms of power it just couldn’t hold a candle to its competitors the Xbox 360 and PS3. Due to it’s limitations most of the great multiplatform AAA titles never made it to the console, (Assassins Creed, Metro, Resident Evil 5, GTA 4, Crysis, Saints Row, etc) and the few that did where watered down, often short on features and almost always lacked the downloadable content the HD systems offered. The motion controls often felt tacked on and in the worse cases the games were full of glitches. Many developers didn’t even take the Wii seriously; and some never developed games for it at all.
Wii ports like this didn't help
4 years into the current generation, Microsoft and Sony finally reached out to the casual market by introducing their own motion controls with varying success. Now Nintendo has stated it wants to reunite with the core with the WiiU.
Motion gaming is now standard
Will the WiiU be able to cater to both “Casual” and the “Core”? It’s a question lots of people have been asking lately and with good reason.
Here's our editors' stance on WiiU's appeal to the casual market:
gamerace: Wii was a massive success with the casual market. Let's look at why: Wii offered a controller that resembled a TV remote and worked with simple swings of the arm. It came with Wii Sports, a game anyone, regardless of age and knowledge of games could immediately understand and enjoy. Wii sold on being a system families or friends played together. Sold on physically active game play and fitness games. Sold on simplicity. Sold on price.
Wii's active family image may hurt WiiU
WiiU is the anti-thesis of the Wii. It has a complex controller; it's a dual analog controller (the very thing Nintendo tried to distance itself from with the Wii), plus a motion controller, plus a touch screen tablet rolled into one. It's the Swiss army knife of controllers and as such, may be extremely intimidating to Wii's casual market. While Wii’s marketing always showed families playing together, WiiU is focused on the Gamepad. A single controller. Yes, there's lots of talk of asymetrical gameplay, but that's a confusing message (many people might assume WiiU is just a gamepad for a Wii). The initial impression of WiiU will be it’s a single player device. While WiiU is launching with Wii Fit U, Wii Fit (and fitness games in general) is long past it’s prime. People have tried it and moved on. Plus from what we've seen, Wii Fit U offers little new for those looking to get in shape.
Is asymmetric gaming a plus or minus?
WiiU's other big gun for the casual market is New
Super Mario Bros U which is the second NSMB game this year and doesn't look very different than NSMBWii. Yes, people will want to play it. But I feel they, like myself, would rather play a Wii port of it than purchase a new system. That leaves NintendoLand. I haven’t played it so I won’t say much, expect while Wii Sports showed the simplicity of motion controls, NintendoLand has a much more daunting task of selling both the complex Gamepad controller and asymmetrical play.
Is there such a thing as too much Mario?
KingreX32: You, and others say that the WiiU is too complicated or complex for Nintendo’s casual audience and that they may be intimidated by the new console.
What made the Wii a success (other than the low price) was its controllers; the Wiimote and Nunchuck felt like a step forward, at least that’s what everyone thought at the time. It was cool. It popularized motion gaming. It allowed people to interact with games like they never had before. It was a gimmick and people liked it. In my opinion the WiiU Gamepad controller is no different. It’s new and radical, and I can see many people going for that thing. The possibilities are endless for what you can do on it. Like the Wiimote I think that Casual gamers will think that the WiiU Gamepad is cool and will try to learn how to use it instead of being intimidated by it. That’s my opinion anyways.
Simple fun is always cool
Gamerace on core:
Let's just be upfront: Virtually every 'core' game for WiiU is available on PS3/360. Many for months in advance of WiiU's release. There's been pathetic show of support from EA, Activision and Take2 - makers of some of the biggest franchises in gaming. Nintendo has failed (IMO) to demonstrate how the Gamepad will significantly enhance game play on the 'core' games announced. Wii U while graphically superior, is only barely so and most people won't notice the difference.
What do you mean I'm old news?
I'm new on WiiU!
The Gamepad doesn't 'Look' like it'd be comfortable to hold for hours and a second player is forced to use a Wiimote which the 'core' have shunned. I won't comment on Nintendo’s online service for WiiU, since we've yet to see it, suffice to say, Nintendo has a whole lot to prove in that department if it wants to make the 'core' feel appreciated.
KingReX32 on core:
With the WiiU Nintendo hopes to bring back 3rd party support as evidenced in the consoles launch line up, games like ZombiU, Aliens Colonial Marines, Ninja Gaiden, Dirt, Darksiders 2, Assassins Creed 3 and a bunch more will be making their way to the console in the near future. It seems that Nintendo is keen on drawing back the “Core” as most say they have forsaken them with the Wii.
WiiU is bringing the core games
I do agree though that as light and comfortable as the Gamepad controller may be, it will be a pain to hold for prolonged gaming sessions, not to mention its price may also turn off a lot to people who would probably just stick to one instead of potentially buying another. That being said the WiiU is backwards compatible with all Wii controllers and accessories, during multiplayer sessions other players will not be forced to use only the Wiimote and Nunchuck, as they have the Classic Controller, and WiiU Controller Pro to fall back on. This goes for more than just multiplayer games; yes I know it takes away from the Gamepad but I’m sure Nintendo thought of these things when making their decisions with the WiiU.
Controller Pro for Wiimote haters
In terms of games, many people are saying that all the ‘core’ games that are coming out for the WiiU are already going to be on the PS3 and Xbox360, so if you already own one of these systems there is no point to buying a WiiU. It’s an understandable thing to say and it makes a lot of sense, but let’s not forget there are still a lot of people out there who own only a Wii. Those people will have no problem buying these games because they don’t currently have a console to play them on. If gamers who already own a PS3 or Xbox360 have the cash to shell out I can see them buying the WiiU. Why? Because I would, yes I already own the game but the WiiU Gamepad can offer a lot more than a normal controller. As I gamer I would want to see how my games would play on this new console.
I want to play this!
gamerace end thoughts:
It seems Nintendo wants to recreate the PS2 in that it wants to have a system that both core and casual will love. But WiiU may appear too 'core' centric for the casual market and simply has nothing to offer to warrant the core gamer to purchase a 2nd (or 3rd) HD game system. On top of this Microsoft is now very focused on the casual market as well and isn’t going to let Nintendo just run away with it like they did last generation. iOS and Android games (and Ouya) may also keep the casual market with their multitude of fun, and always cheap if not free, games. WiiU is entering a very different market than the Wii with a system that looks more like an attempt to please everyone rather than a system charting it’s own territory in unexplored waters.
It's on like Donkey Kong!
KingreX32’s final thoughts:
It’s a little premature to be claiming that Nintendo will lose their casual audience because of the WiiU. The console hasn’t even launched yet, and I’m sure there are many many other developers out there working on unannounced titles for it. We just have to wait and see, Nintendo is smarter than to let their cash cow casual audience just slip through their fingers.
WiiU will have lots for the casuals
In a Nutshell I personally believe that Nintendo has learnt from past mistakes, I believe that when the WiiU launches, it will be a decent competitive price and that it will balance both the markets it’s trying to cater to well. A consoles hardest time is its first year; there will no doubt be bumps and scrapes but I’m sure the WiiU will be fine. Especially once some more third parties see what it can do and decide to support it.
Something this right, can't be wrong!