Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2014

Email: How the hardcore view Nintendo consoles

The hardcore’s view of Nintendo consoles is something of great amusement.

The N64 did bad because it had outdated cartridge technology. Yet the Saturn had discs and did even worse.

The Gamecube failed because it didn’t have a DVD player or online play but not because the games were poor because it had the best games ever and it was back when Nintendo was creative and did amazing things like Celda and Mario using a water pack.

The Wii was a fad and only sold to people who bought it for Wii Sports and never touched it after that. Wii Sports was a tech demo that wouldn’t have sold if it hadn’t been bundled. 3rd party support for the Wii sucked because it didn’t have HD. And it’s clear that it was a fad because after 2009 sales went down.

The WiiU’s failure was clearly because it was aimed at the casual market who had moved on to tablets and smartphones and they’re not selling because of bad marketing.

Also I wish I could find it again, I stumbled across a blog from someone who claimed that the Gaming Crash of 1984 was just a myth because EA was doing such great things with home computers.

It wasn’t a Gaming Crash of 1984 but Console Crash. Arcades were still doing well and PC gaming was growing with PCs.

The further back you go in time, it is amazing how much the ‘hardcore’ don’t know. They view the SNES as having amazing games. But the SNES was in market trouble because of those ‘amazing games’. Genesis was doing so well due to sports games and other games the hardcore do not like. Nintendo had to go non-hardcore on the SNES and put out all the games hardcore hate like the games for kids, sports games, smaller games, and not just epic adventure games.

The hardcore always get the NES wrong. From their vantage point, everyone played Super Mario Brothers and then went on to play Mario 2, 3, Metroid, Zelda 1, Zelda 2, Dragon Quest 1, 2, 3, 4, Final Fantasy, Double Dragon 1, 2, 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, 2, 3, Contra and Super C, Mega Man 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Gradius and Life Force, Ikari Warriors 1, 2, 3, and so on with the list of common NES games you see listed. But the truth is that there were two other big crowds with the NES. One came and exited at the beginning. These were older adults who came mostly for the simple NES sports games and simpler early NES games. It is not a coincidence that Wii Sports Golf courses are the same exact design of NES Golf. The other group came later with the NES and these were little girls. It is why as the NES was sputtering out, the last games were being made for girls. These girls were getting into the NES due to their older brothers or families.

Then there is the Atari 2600 which the hardcore think everyone bought just to play Berzerk and Yar’s Revenge. The truth is that people bought it to play games like PONG and Space Invaders. The Wii commercials showing people delighted as they play video games was inspired by the Atari commercials that did the same. I love that Atari song!

If you go to the Hardcore Gamer Discussion Forums (because hardcore always love having ‘discussions’ which is just them talking in circles and believing all society is saying it), you will hear how amazing the X1 and PS4 are selling. “PS4 is selling faster than the Wii!” The truth is that there won’t be definitive conclusion on their overall sales until we have a year’s worth of data. Given that every economic indicator is red, it would amaze me that there would be a consumer electronics anomaly with something selling very well. This isn’t like iphones where people need to have a cell phone. It’s a game console.

There are certain industry people who are very sensitive to the pointing out of these bad economic indicators. Whenever someone brings up the point, they get shouted down quickly with saying “Just because Wii U crashed doesn’t mean the entire industry crashed.” There are two other Generation 8 consoles to consider. There is the 3DS, which isn’t exactly healthy, and the Vita, which has crashed. If Sony is so smart, then why is the Vita such a failure?

In prior generations, the handheld market serves as prologue to the home console market. Gameboy dominance meant one console dominance. Game Gear gave a respectable competition to the Gameboy just as Genesis gave respectable competition to the SNES. DS used expanded market to outsell the PSP which did a respectable amount of sales. In the same way, the Wii used expanded market to outsell the PS3 and Xbox 360 which did a respectable amount of sales.

So far in the handhelds, you have Vita which is dead (like the Wii U) and the 3DS which dominates. But the 3DS domination is very hollow. No one is making much money off the games, the 3DS is shrinking from the DS (yet the 3DS outsold the DS at first too). The entire lack of discussion of the handheld market isn’t hardcore gamer led but viral market led. Constant excuses are given how the handheld market has no relationship bearing to the home console market. Yet, the entire history of dedicated gaming disagrees.

Most of the hardcore are going to be given spoon filled cliches from the viral marketers, and they will repeat those verbatim.


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