Apples and Oranges

So I keep reading about how the Wii is smashing the other consoles, and how it will continue to do so. As a result of this Wii success both Sony and MS are taking steps to somehow appeal to the “casual market”.

Sony is releasing games like LPB (which is great by the way) and MS is rebooting the dash to have more personality. Here’s where the problem comes up, at least for MS and Sony if what they are looking for is that broad appeal the Wii has managed.

Wii is an iPod, in that it’s not a game system, but rather a pop culture phenomenon. None of my friends are gamers, and none of them really know what a PS3 or Xbox is about (except for having drinks and playing RB at my place which doesn’t really count), but they all know the Wii. Well OK Wii sports to be more specific. Wii-ing is even a verb of sorts.

Kleenex, Q-tips, and iPods are all brands of a type of product that have become synonomous with the activity they are associated with. Wii has crossed over into this catogory. It is pointless for Sony and MS to try to position their game systems against a pop culture phenomenon, after all it’s apples and oranges.

And that’s why neither Sony or MS is really trying to position themselves in the Wii’s space. I don’t know why they’d want to. They’ve marked their own territory and are doing just fine. The third party attach rate on the Wii pretty much highlights the fact that Nintendo is operating outside the game industry, in their own new industry. It’s a big industry, but it’s not one the game industry can make real money from.

More so true for Sony, but MS seems to be trying pretty hard with both content, pricing and advertising to carve a piece off from Nintendo. An I don’t just mean the avatars. Certainly MS is no where near abandoning the hardcore, but just look to thier E3 presentation to see how badly they seem want a piece of the Nintendo coat tails.

I just think that Microsoft looked at last year’s holiday season, and realized that when stores are sold out of Wiis, many parents are gonna grab the next best thing, and that is probably going to be a 360 arcade. They want to make the dashboard more accessible/friendly/wii-like for casual gamers.

True, but as long as it’s a side mission for Microsoft and not exclusive like Nintendo, there’s no problem. It’s MS, they love putting their fingers in the pie, and power to them. But they aren’t about to abandon the games industry to do it.

I like sweet and juicy, so I think oranges are probably better, but then, there’s the hassle of peeling or cutting them, whereas apples have a nice crisp taste, less sweet, but still - no hassle!

I think the fruit analogy you’re looking for might be grape-related.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. My grapes are delicious.

Fair point, and I’m sure MS thinks it will be worth it to gain a bit more intalled base. It’s just hard for me to not think that it’s kind of a waste of resources for them.

Obviously you agree with me that Nintendo isn’t really a part of the games industry anymore, so why do anyalsts seem to continue to discuss the Wii as if it is in fact a part of the games industry. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo seems to have developed a whole new product designation and a massive market for it, which is very impressive.

Nintendo’s paradigm has clearly shifted from a games console to some analogous yet seperate experience, and it would be nice to see the games press create a dialouge to account for this shift.

LPB? What is that supposed to mean, Low Ping Bastard?

LBP…sorry I’m dyslexic and I do that sometimes.

Have parents still not learned any better? This is how crappy Christmases are made! Kids are always gonna want to return the “next best thing”, but not before the hissy fit on Christmas morning which ends with Dad yelling at the kid and mom crying in the kitchen.

As someone on the inside, though not part of the marketing organization, my take is that the goal is exactly as publicly stated – to grow the audience of Xbox 360 users. Now, the casual gamers who buy the Wii are obviously a big part of that growth market, but so are music fans, families, sports fans, etc.

Nobody’s saying “we have to be in the Wii’s space!” Rather, the goal is just to grow 360 gaming and the LIVE community in general. Since The Wii’s also growing the market, there’s bound to be overlap.

Just look at the front page of, where the current “LIve your moment” campaign is obviously spelled out: Blockbuster (the “gamer” market), Family, Sports, Music (gaming), and Movies. One of those is also an area where the Wii has had success.

Disclaimer: I’m a mid-level web lackey, and on Qt3 I speak only for myself. None of these opinions reflect those of the Illuminati, the Initiative, or the Star Chamber.

No, because the kids wants an Xbox 360 but the parents know better and thinks that nice white thing that the Johnsons bought with that splendid bowling game would be so much better…

I agree that the Wii is a category by itself by now. Nintendo and Microsoft is advertising on national television here and whle Microsofts uses great imagery and the joy of playing Rock Band Nintendo is selling the Wii by showing generic stock photo families smiling and playing Wii Sports - the game that came ot when the console was released. That’s still the best they got?

And because of the audience and perception we get games like de Blob, which would work better on a traditional console and benefit from HD, only released on the Wii, because that’s where you go with “kids games” and gaudy colours.

I like my Wii, but it wouldn’t be my pick if I could only own one console. So I wish that Microsoft and Sony will grow their install bases, so games like de Blob, LBP (imagine that on a Wii?!) and Viva Pinata can find a home here too.
I don’t want all the colourfull “simple” games on the Wii and all the generic shooters and racers split amongst the other two.

Wouldn’t mind having Sam and Max season 1 on the 360 (or PS3) myself.

While Nintendo is making money hand over fist with the Wii I think they’ve got to be concerned with post-Wii. Most fads (not saying the Wii isn’t good in its own right, but its success is in fad-dom) tail off and often don’t bring their base to the next version. Or have a backlash…

Old topic but since my blood pressure rises everytime I think about it I will share my 2cents again:

I think this casual bullshit will bite those companies in their greedy butt in the long run.
I know my non-gaming friends that occasionally get hyped by some electronical shit like “Guitar Hero”. Then they ask me what they need to have this at home. They buy the PS2 + the game + the guitars and than a while later the stuff is in boxes in the cellar and they forgot about it.
Same is happening / will happen with the Wii.

At the end only the core people will stay with gaming and then Nintendo will have to come back and beg them for forgiveness along with all the other retarded companies that jumped on the “casual” bandwagon.

That’s going a bit far - because the Wii still have plenty of games, that us “core” people can enjoy as well.

but I do agree that the Wiis popularity amongst nongamers is likely a fad and instead of being replaced by the Wii 2 it might get replaced by something else entirely when the fad ends.

I don’t know what planet all you guys live on, but where I live, Wii purchases are firmly being driven by younger gamers. Most parents don’t know anything about the games at all. If there’s anything “driving” them to buy the Wii, it’s simply that it’s cheaper. But in my conversations with friends’ kids, all I can tell you is they will happily talk about the Xbox and PS3, but when you say the word “Wii”, their eyes light up and they smile.

So all of this “Oh, it’s not a real game console” foolishness just seems, as someone else alluded, like sour grapes. The fact of that matter is that the market thinks it’s a real games console, and so far the market likes it better than the alternatives.

However, with an XBox at $199 ($50 cheaper than the Wii) I think the price argument can be negated. Sure, it has no HDD, but that can be remedied with $20 (at least for now, not sure how long that will last).

Speaking from my experiences at work, those that got Wiis were mainly because they had read about them and how hard they were to get and decided based on that that the Wii was the console they should get. I’m not sure how much input the kids are getting.

From personal experience (Wii, 360 x2, PS3, DS x2, etc. etc.) the Wii gets played once every couple of months (at best), the PS3 never, and the 360 the kids and I fight over. Ages 8 (almost 9) and 11. Believe me, I’ve tried to steer them to the Wii, and Super Mario Galaxy helped for a tiny bit, but in general they’re back to the 360 quickly. =/

Peter, you seem to be talking about younger kids than Hanzii is. I think Hanzii is really talking about people 13-18 or so.

Anyway, I don’t own a Wii, but I have nothing against casual games at all. It brings more gamers into the market, who are likely to try other games. If it gets people through that barrier, that’s great. I don’t think MS or Sony will stop supporting AAA titles like Bioshock and Gears of War. Those games sell great too, and as noted 3rd party games don’t sell well on the Wii. Nintendo is doing their thing, and maybe it is a fad. But I don’t think there’s much negative to it, even in the long term.

Also, those of you who are opposed to family friendly games are really missing out on some great stuff. I love my DS, especially games like Rocket Slime, which are considered more kid-oriented I suppose.