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Casual Gaming the Real Next Gen? 80

The Guardian Gamesblog wonders aloud about the ramifications of casual gaming; could it be that the wave of casual and mobile games is the real next generation of gaming? Author Keith Stuart interviews Matt Spall, of UK studio Morpheme, for an insider's perspective. From the article: "People buying the DS to play Brain Training, and Nintendogs are probably not even aware of Metroid or Advance Wars which kind of suggests this might be a one-way street — the hardcore aren't likely to buy these 'ultra casual' titles in great numbers, because they're fairly simplistic, and don't offer a great deal of depth for a hardcore player. Hopefully though, some people who would never normally play games now own DSs, and may 'graduate' to more advanced titles over time. Having said that, the fact that the DS market can support things like Electroplankton, which can keep anyone charmed for ages, is already encouraging."
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Casual Gaming the Real Next Gen?

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  • De(S)Liteful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @01:59PM (#15669360)
    I liked several of the games on the DS and saw its promise (my roommate has one) but decided the oddly shaped and tough to pocket system was not for me... the DS Lite, however, is a different matter. Before, the games may have appealed to someone but the system proved to be a bit of a turn-off -- now the DS Lite opens doors to give the good games a good platform and it all equals a good opportunity for Nintendo. Now... as soon as they release a black one in the US, I will buy it.
    • Re:De(S)Liteful (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @02:05PM (#15669426)
      *Ahem*, I kind of got off-track of my original point to commenting -- I feel that before, it was just not economical for a "casual" gamer to play games. Throw down $300 for a Playstation to play the 1 or 2 games that appealed to you? No way, Jose! Now you can get a DS Lite for less than $150, it comes with EVERYTHING you need (you have to hook a playstation/xbox/whatever up to a T.V. and plug in a controller, etc...), you just throw a game in, turn it on and you are enjoying yourself. It can be taken anywhere, which is important because the "casual" gamer doesn't usally devote time to play games sitting in front of the t.v. (they're silly and have too much interest in this "real life" thing) so pocket gaming is a good way to lull them in. Once they have the system, it's easy for them to say "Well, I normally wouldn't play [hardcore gamer game here], but it looks neat and I do already have the system, so why not".
      • While this may be flamebait, I am going to hazard a guess that the 'casual' gamer probably has more disposable income then a 'hard core' gamer. I know alot of people that would love to be able to spend 20+ hours a week playing a game, getting to know it's in and outs, becoming a proficient player. But, due to having to go to work, it's not possible. I am not implying that hard core gamers don't work, or don't make a decent living, but IMO if you compared the salaries of those that consider themselves 'hard
      • The other thing is that often the full consoles require a second TV in the home, and even with a second TV, it's not the best. I know there's a lot of time's I would like to be playing my GC, but my significant other is hogging the good TV. I could go through the trouble of moving my nintendo to the other TV, but it's sometimes a pain to do that. With the XBox or PS2 it would be an even bigger problem because of their size. With a handheld, you can just pick it up and turn it on.
      • It can be taken anywhere, which is important because the "casual" gamer doesn't usally devote time to play games sitting in front of the t.v. (they're silly and have too much interest in this "real life" thing) so pocket gaming is a good way to lull them in.

        Games are evil, remember that. People who waste their precious, God-given time trying to level up in World of Warcraft are the cancer of society. Fucking social rejects should be out getting drunk, contracting an STD from some random slut or watching foo

    • Forget black, have you seen the "Enamel Navy" one they have in Japan? It's quite possibly the sexiest piece of gaming hardware ever released.
  • by andrewman327 ( 635952 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @02:00PM (#15669370) Homepage Journal
    Casual gamers are less likely to purchase all of those lovely extras for their games, thus generating less money. I do not know many super casual gamers who are out buying the latest SLI pair of graphics cards or multiple expansions to enhance their "Electroplankton" experience. This is a bigger deal for computer games instead of portable or consol games, but it is still worth noting. I do not see casual gaming becoming the "Real Next Gen," as TFA asserts.
    • by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @02:05PM (#15669433)
      They (casual gamers) are also more likely to buy way more units than the hardcore minority. See Worlf of Warcraft's numbers for an example of where the previously MMORPG-ignorant have come in droves at a time when people were shouting "saturation point!!" for the MMORPG market. Casual gamers have one thing that the hardcore do not: sheer numbers. They're a hugely attractive, untapped market. TFA is dead on, imo.
      • I think there's market room for both. The hardcore can dump a grand on a ps3 and a pile of 3d shooters, and there will be several million of these folks.

        There is also an addressable market of several tens of million people interested in spending a couple hundred dollars a year and a couple hours a week on video games.

        It's like any other recreation market. There are cyclists who will drop five grand on a carbon-fiber frame, and those of us who like to take a ride around the lake on our three hundred dollar m
      • World of Warcraft is not a casual game.

        But other than that I agree that there are more casual gamers than hard-core gamers.
        • Not to put too fine a point on it, but Warcraft is extremely casual and easy to get in to...from 1 to 59.
        • WoW is probably the most casual and MMO newbie friendly game on the market...a close second would be CoH/CoV.
        • Actually I would say that WoW is a casual game the way most people play it. The majority of the playerbase (Blizzard's own generous statistics put the number around 75%) never participates in raiding. Yes, there are plenty of people who play to the point of obsession, and it may seem like these are more plentiful if only because they are ALWAYS online.

          The only thing you have to realize about WoW is that if you have a life, you will not be one of the top players on your server, or even in the any of the top
    • I consider myself a casual gamer, and I run a top of the line Crossfire ATI setup with a dual- core AMD64 and 2 gigs of low latency ram. I maybe play a few hours a week, if at that. Why the setup? I am older, I can afford it now, and the games that I do play I want to look great and perform the same. When I was younger I could get away with a lower end system playing new games because I couldn't afford it and the quality wasn't that important. Now I want the 16xAA, high resolution, huge textures. While game
      • I would not consider you to be a casual gamer, rather I see you as a person who games occasionally. "Casual" doesn't mean "not often" (well it does, but I don't think that's the sense it's used with in the phrase "casual gamer") it means you don't go through a whole song and dance to play a game nor do you take it very seriously.
        • Hmmm... good point. I would say that I fit that definition as well. Games are a fun diversion, but I wouldn't go out of my way to play the newest game-of-the-week. I would say, though, that I am a techno-computer geek, and like to keep my computer as close to top of the line as my wallet allows. This does have the side effect of allowing me to play pretty much any game out there, now that I think about it. =)
          • Casual games is typically used for games like Bejewelled, Solitare, Hearts and similar games. If you have a top of the line computer it doesn't seem likely that you'd fall into that catergory. Though you may of course play those games as well. In some ways hard-core gamers is more of a sub-set of casual gamers and a complete different set.
    • Actually, casual players will shell out, but you have to give them the right incentive. Whereas hardcore players will grind for hours to get exactly what they want out of a game (buying and playing through expansions as needed), casual players typically don't want to put in that kind of time or effort and will pay real money for "shortcuts" in the form of in-game money, items, or frivolous extras.

      Seriously, which demographic do you think Rare is counting on to buy pinata sweaters on Xbox Live?
    • by jchenx ( 267053 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @03:07PM (#15670147) Journal
      Bzzt! You sound like a traditional hard-core gamer that doesn't get what casual gamers spend their money on. No, it's not about $200 graphics cards. Or going to the store to pick up a $50 retail title or expansion.

      Casual gamers are the ones who buy those $20 download games that the rest of us scoff at. They also purchase those $3 ringtones, or shell out $8 every couple of months for a new mobile game.

      A little bit here and there definately adds up. That's why casual gaming is one of the largest growth areas of the industry, and why a lot of people are now taking notice.
  • just a thought (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aleksiel ( 678251 )
    casual gaming has always been huge. just look at the crossword puzzle in the papers. i wonder how many millions of people in america do the daily crossword puzzle in their local paper. or how many sudoku books have been sold.

    this is just porting that popularity into a medium where someone can pay a reasonable price for unlimited access to lots of different types of activities and iterations of these activities.
    • Excellent post. I was going to respond elsewhere that games like we're currently seeing have been around since the days of Pacman - easy to pick up but reward time & effort by the more faithful players. Graphics and new technologies quickly trumped that, though, and have been doing so (more or less) for the last twenty years until we're now, as I see it, coming full-circle to a place where the market is ripe for a return to yesteryear.

      The generation that popped all those quarters into Pacman and Gala
    • A lot of people seem to like simple games. Depends how you define casual i suppose. By number of hours per week? that makes our manager a hardcore solitare player...

      I doubt any of these ppl count themselves as hardcore no matter how many hours they play ;) Currently on zone.com (sample of 115,000 ppl online)

      HOT GAMES players
      Bejeweled 2 4,463
      Mah Jong Tiles 2,639
      Solitaire 1,838
      TextTwist 2,694
      Zuma 2,903
      Bespelled 1,739
      Scrabble® Blast 1,948
      Cubis 2 2,115
      Luxor
  • No (Score:2, Interesting)

    by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

    No no no no no no no. This is just wishful thinking on the developers' part.

    Look at the greater casual game industry in general, which is far older and more mature than what we've seen on the DS thus far. Even after years upon years of casual gaming, the vast majority of users are *still* playing their Bejeweled clone #5758, and *still* doing the Solitaire thing. I have seen *very* few casual gamers get into even slightly more complex games.

    IMHO there's a real ache in the industry for casual-hardcore ga

    • by CaseM ( 746707 )
      I find many such games - budget-style games that are very much "pick up and play" yet reward extended "practice" - on the DS and XBox Live Arcade. You can get into them in a minute but contain enough depth (and fun) to keep you coming back for more - games like Geometry Wars and (to a lesser extent) Mario Kart DS, Brain Age, Nintendogs, etc.
      • I loved Geometry Wars, and even Marble Blast Ultra, both of which are heavily skill-based, and at the same time don't demand 3-hour sittings each time you play. My post though, I think, was talking about something a tad deeper. I still pick up an SNES emulator and boot up Chrono Trigger. The graphics may be dated, but the gameplay is superb. I would think it's *very* inexpensive to produce Chrono Trigger in this day and age, even with updated (2D) graphics. Where are these games? The ones that resemble har
        • Chrono Trigger IS a hardcore game, very hardcore. Pretty much any single-player RPG is almost exclusively made for hardcore gamers, as they require many many hours to complete. Even Final Fantasy I takes a good 10 hours+ to beat, and in half-hour dosages at the very least. If I remember correctly, the first time I played through Chrono Trigger, it took me about 28 hours... that's on the short end for an RPG in its day in age (FF6 is a good 35 hour game).

          In its day, Chrono Trigger was a huge game that took

          • Check this out [gamesarefun.com]. That's FF3 DS, also hitting Q4 of this year. Nice quasi-2D 3D style imo, kind of like the new Zelda for the DS. And the airship's back in classic style(one of the things that really, really irritated me about X was the way they did the airship). Also getting Magical Vacation(Magical Starsign here, DS) from Brownie Brown(old Square/Enix 2D artists) and possibly Mother 3(GBA). There's also a dragon quest due out in a blend of the FF3-DS and the DQVIII style coming out at some point.

            There'
          • Damn straight. I work 40 hours a week, and I'm getting my MS, and I like to hang with friends whenever I can...

            But when I have time to game, I occasionally like to play something long and complex. Even though I've been busy, I still have found time to play Oblivion recently (although I'm nowhere near done with it).

            Oh, and I must agree on the music...there's a time for short pop songs, and then there's that hour you set aside on Sunday afternoon to LISTEN to Close to the Edge, or Mahler's Symphony No. 2, o
            • Oh, and I must agree on the music...there's a time for short pop songs, and then there's that hour you set aside on Sunday afternoon to LISTEN to Close to the Edge, or Mahler's Symphony No. 2, or whatever you fancy. There's something unique about getting lost in creations of that magnitude.

              Definitely. I take long bike rides, or car rides and put on whole albums: Tales from Topographic Oceans, Lamb Lies Down, Flower Kings - Unfold The Future, John Adams - Harmonhielere, Bartok - Music for Strings Perc

  • Casual Gaming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caffeinatedOnline ( 926067 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @02:02PM (#15669396) Homepage
    It seems to me that the executives of companies are on the verge of finally discovering a way into the mainstream with gaming. Sure, they are creating games for the 'hard core', which IMO seems to be the 20-something sect with alot of free time on their hands and not alot of money, or the slightly younger group that still live at home, with lots of free time, and daddy's wallet.

    What some companies are discovering, Nintendo comes to mind, is that games do not have to take hours to become proficient in, and many many hours to complete. Those of us in our thirties, the ones that grew up on Atari 2400's and Pong attached to our TV's through RF splitters, don't have that kind of time anymore to set aside for gaming. But we still like to occasionally sit down (stand in line, etc.) and play a little here and there. But our kids have lots of free time.

    Instead of targeting a console or handheld at the 'hard core', make it appeal to both the young and old. There is nothing wrong with having the latest 'OMGL33T' game on the same console as something that takes little time to play.

    As to TFA, I think that they are mistaken in their assumption that someone playing a non hard-core game is going to 'graduate' to a more advanced title. I imagine alot of us have 'graduated' outside of the more advanced titles and are looking for something with a little more depth that doesn't take away from the lives that we live in terms of time.
  • Oh wow, a company is releasing games that can be played in 10 minute intervals. Clearly this is the next generation in gaming!

    It's like the people who come up with a new genre of techno music for each song. It's called variety, people.
    • Because there are more dollar signs attached to this segment of the market than ever before, and it's fascinating to watch. e.g. imo "Casual gamers" made WoW a juggernaut hit, not the hardcore crowd...publishers saw that and said "Holy shit, we've got it bass-ackwards!" and a new demographic is born that appeared almost, almost out of nowhere - WoW's runaway success has taken everyone by surprise.

      This mainstreaming of videogames really hit me yesterday when I was in the dr's office lobby and 3 out of the
    • Not to call you an idiot or anything, but first of all, it's not Techno, it's Electronic music (Techno is a made up word by people who don't understand the differences between different forms of electronic music). The names mean a lot.

      You must shop at the music stores where they only have Rock, Alternative and Electronic (wait..nvm...they still know it's not techno)

      Secondly, Casual gaming is becoming a huge industry hit. The only problem is that until now it's all been free/shareware and free trials. I spen
  • Arguably World of Warcraft is the best example of how good a casual game can do. Sure, once you get to 60 your options as a casual gamer become more limited. But as your leveling up, one of its greatest strengths is that all players can get on and get something done, even with a limited amount of time.
    • by Don853 ( 978535 )
      Except the average time to get one of those 60's is what, 250-300 hours of gameplay? That might be 'casual' compared to other MMORPGS, but it's one hell of a time sink compared to Tetris, which is what I think of as casual gaming.
      • I wouldn't quite say that. When I get into the "zone" in Tetris DS the hours can slip away pretty fast too.
      • I'd wager that the average summed-up time of Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc among casuals is equal if not greater than 250-300 hours. WoW doesn't destroy your progress in any way so the casuals can play it in 15 minute bursts if they choose so. In fact that's one of the great strengths of MMORPGs, unless you want to do something with a group you can just jump in and quit at any time without looking for savepoints or anything like that.
    • World of Warcraft used to be a good example but the way the development team has gone with their game they have now alienated most of their user base.
    • once you get to 60 your options as a casual gamer become more limited

      Last I checked, you couldn't even *get* to 60 as a casual gamer.

      I play CoV/CoH, and I'd have to consider myself casual when it comes to it. I play maybe once a week for a few hours at a time. In the 9 months I've had it, my highest level character is only level 35. Each level in these games takes more and more time to accomplish. So when I sit down to play, I often play a lower level character because it's a lot more fun. That level 35 tak
  • Undoubtedly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spykemail ( 983593 )
    In terms of big money, casual gaming is undoubtedly the future. Just as "family" movies consistently dominate more audience specific movies at the box office casual games will eventually start to dominate hardcore games.

    As time goes by, a larger and larger percentage of the population plays video games. Yes, there is the young male crowd (including some older ones who continue being "hardcore" :) but the real size of the market is everyone - men, women, and children - not just young males. If you can sell a
    • I'm not sure I'm HardCore, I like to play games (mostly rpgs and similar, sometimes platformers or Katamari), but there's a problem with many of them.

      The problem is the games aren't designed for those of us that have half an hour to an hour to play. Well at least in games with some depth. I can't commit to 2+ hours between save points, or long levels. In fact I've heard similar complaints from others I've talked to online. Two Towers got fairly bad marks because of the sparse savepoints in Helm's Deep

    • Your site there doesn't even have a Quake 4 section. Is that "realism"-shooter-only or what?
      • Is started off as a CS site, we're slowly expanding to non-CS related FPS of all kinds. I will forward your interest in that game to the powers-that-be, they're always thinking about which games to add.
  • I bought a DS because of Electroplankton (mostly from the respect for the artist and his SimTunes) but I don't think it's keeping people charmed for ages... (I do wish it was more SimTunes like, somewhere closer to a tool than "just" a toy...)

    Casual Gaming is interesting though. I heard how those "10 in ones" are a monstorously huge market. Too bad there's not more of an indy movement w/ standalone hardware...
  • not sure.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tont0r ( 868535 )
    Im not sure if this will be what defines 'next gen'.

    One reason is where is the line drawn between hardcore and casual? its not a black and white world folks. I consider myself a casual gamer because I play for about 2 hours a day. Ask my girlfriend though, and Im a hardcore gamer. Ask my other friends who play WoW all day, and im casual. So does that mean people like me will define it? Or people playing brain teaser will define it? There has to have a line drawn somewhere.

    Another reason is that this is not
    • If you spent 14 hours a week weight training would you be casual?

      What about jogging?

      How about cooking?

      Painting?

      These are just a few hobbies I can think of off the top of my head, I would not call somebody who did any of them for 14 hours a week casual. A lot of people argue it is the type of game, which can be argued, and in the terms the industry talks about it is the case; I still think it is more accurate to look at time and think of it as a hobby.

      Of I wouldn't call you hardcore, but certainly pretty se
  • Portables like the DS are more likely to be bought by the 'casual gamer' simply because they can be played in short bursts, then put back in the pocket/handbag/on the coffe table or whatever and forgotten about. They're simple, cheap and easy to use.

    This is not the case with consoles. They're fixed to one location (how many people go to the trouble of moving a console and all its assorted cables and gubbins from one room to another?), more expensive (well, PSP aside :p) and the controllers scare off most
    • You're forgetting the largest platform for casual games: the PC. This includes download and web games. A large number of folks spend their days on sites like Pogo, MSN Games, Real Arcade, etc. Many folks do play during work, others are homebodies (retirees, stay-at-home parents, etc.). The number of concurrent users on these sites are fairly staggering, up to 200,000 simultaneous users at times. Yes, the PC is a fixed location, but it's also something that you can multi-task easily. Do work, and play a few
    • But all these casual gamers that buy a portable DS and enjoy then 'fun' games, will then be very tempted to buy a console (Wii).
      Nintendo is being very clever at preparing new customers it hopes will be console buyers in the future.
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @02:50PM (#15669955) Homepage Journal
    I had an informative, insightful, interesting paragraph to respond to this story with... but I'm not going to post it. You see, I'm one of the new, exciting, extreme breed of casual Slashdotter, and I'm just not as into posting to Slashdot.
  • ...I was next-gen with Pac-Man and Tetris in the mid 80's. Sweet. Now I need to break out Donkey Kong Jr... and maybe the math edition too!

    <watches next gen status fly out the window>

  • by PhoenixOne ( 674466 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @03:27PM (#15670316)

    "might be a one-way street - the hardcore aren't likely to buy these 'ultra casual' titles ... some people who would never normally play games now own DSs, and may 'graduate' to more advanced titles over time."

    My mom, who bought a DS for Brain Age, is not going to "graduate" to Metroid. I have friends that are addicted to Spider Solitaire, they are not going to "graduate" to Unreal 3.

    On the other hand, I've seen plenty of my friends, who use to be hardcore gamers, start playing casual games. When you get girlfriends, jobs, car payments, a wife, kids, etc. suddenly it becomes much harder to justify the time and money needed to be hardcore.

    If anything, hardcore gamers graduate to become casual games with lives.

    • And that is the point only Nintendo seems to understand. Casual games aren't "bait" to trick you into getting Metroid. Metroid sells itself to just about everybody who's interested in playing it. Casual games exist solely to sell casual games (and DSs) to people who don't care about running around various alien worlds killing things. To people who don't want to have to play for 4 hours to get the big gun, only to play for another 4 hours to get the slightly bigger gun.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm halfway through
    • While she will probally graduate to Metroid she may instead graduate/move on to WarioWare, Meteos, NSMB, or even Nintendogs to name a few. Brain Training is so popular because its intuitive, and the games I mentioned are pretty straight forward and don't have complicated controls. This is what Nintendo or whoever is expecting to happen with casual gamers, not going from easy to ultrasuperhard games (as my mother refers to them).
    • While she will probally not "graduate" to Metroid she may instead graduate/move on to WarioWare, Meteos, NSMB, or even Nintendogs to name a few. Brain Training is so popular because its intuitive, and the games I mentioned are pretty straight forward and don't have complicated controls. Nintendo or whoever is expecting casual gamers to say, "Hey this isn't so hard, I've heard a lot of good things about Meteos, maybe I'll give it a shot." and with DS games between 20-35 casual gamers can stand to take a ri
  • That's not to say that revenues from casual gamers will exceed those from extreme gamers, or even FPS or MMORPG gamers.

    But as a previously mostly untapped market, based on what has been happening in a number of countries, and specifically with the Nintendo DS, casual gaming is where the next growth area is.
  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:48PM (#15671092) Homepage Journal

    Columnists commonly group gamers into two wildly generalized stereotypes: the "casual gamer" and the "hardcore gamer". Now, for a second, let's forget about the extreme ambiguity of the label "hardcore", and the wide variety of demographics within the "casual gamer" catagory, and ask ourselves, "just really, what are we talking about?"

    Are we comparing the amount of time put into video games? Are we looking at how people define themselves, socially, in terms of video games (ie: "I consider myself a gamer")? Are we talking about the TYPES of video games that different groups of people play (ie: Elektroplankton vs. Suikoden V vs. Half Life 2)? Even, possibly, are we looking at how a person views video games as an entertainment genre (is it a ligitimate form of entertainment equal to that of litterature and cinema)?

    From a marketting perspective, it's not quite as simple as casual/hardcore. There are many gamers who will never leave the PC world, because of the additional hardware required. There are many people who consider themselves "hardcore gamers" (myself included), that will constantly be drawn to handheld systems because they seem to be more devoted to the roots of video gaming. There are some "hardcore gamers" (like a friend of mine) who are still struggling to embrace gaming as ligitimate, mature, entertainment form, and therefor only play early games, feeling that games are only relivent for nestolgic value.

    I find this concentration on "casual gamers" to be very silly and a bit shortsided. There's a good chance that the Wii is going to be a hit all the way across the board, but my suspicions is that its biggest supporters are going to be life-long gamers, the emulator crowd (and the would-be emulator crowd): those that feel that the original ideals of gaming got a bit lost somewhere along the way, and thus the direction of gaming should back up a bit, and then branch out from there. Similarly with handhelds, some of the people I consider to be the "hardest-core" gamers I know are huge GBA and DS fans.

    • Casual gaming typically refer to the type of games people play. And hard-core gamers are a subset of casual gamers. Bejewelled, Minesweeper and those types of games are casual. Typically it's games that are easy and quick to understand and which have short "turns" (the interval until you press "New game".) I'd say most of the old games (Pac-man, Frogger etc) were in most aspects casual.

      I think you completely miss the point wrt to your argument about how hard-core gamers also like those (or similar) games. T
      • The trick to snagging more regularly playing gamers (I'm getting sick of the "hardcore" label, it's meaningless), is to make a game that is both easy to flip on and off for a few minutes at a time, but also be interesting to play for long periods of time. Now, I know that there were some people who used to play games of Tetris over and over again for hours on end, but that subset of gamers is extremely few, most people played Tetris for an average of about 10 minutes at a time (yes, I know there are excepti

    • There's a good chance that the Wii is going to be a hit all the way across the board, but my suspicions is that its biggest supporters are going to be life-long gamers, the emulator crowd (and the would-be emulator crowd): those that feel that the original ideals of gaming got a bit lost somewhere along the way, and thus the direction of gaming should back up a bit, and then branch out from there.

      I think those are termed lapsed gamers these days and include many "nongamers". Many people started out with an
  • Crazy in Japan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chrnb ( 243739 )
    I recently went to Japan, and the prolifiration of the DS is just crazy there, everywere you see people of all ages. playing with DSs. So i think what is happening is more previously non-gamers are turning into casuals, and more casuals are turning hardcore.

    Myself included, I have never owned a console before, but recently i bought a GBA, and a few games and was mostly a 'casual', but then i bought a flashcard (http://www.supercard.cn/ [supercard.cn]) and couldn't stop playing constantly. That has since wore off, and now
  • From the article:

    People buying the DS to play Brain Training, and Nintendogs are probably not even aware of Metroid or Advance Wars which kind of suggests this might be a one-way street -- the hardcore aren't likely to buy these 'ultra casual' titles in great numbers, because they're fairly simplistic, and don't offer a great deal of depth for a hardcore player

    I don't know about Nintendogs, but as a hardcore gamer, I found Brain Training really appealing. I don't know if I would even really consider it

    • Nintendogs isn't simplistic, in my opinion. It's kind of a sandbox game in that there is very little that you are actually required to do. I got it as a gift (games where the game gets mad at you if you leave it alone too long tend not to appeal to me).

      More importantly, Nintendogs isn't an "ungame" is a fairly traditional type of game, a life sim which focuses on dogs instead of Tamagotchis or Sims. They even had one of these games for the Neo Geo pocket that never made it over here, Ganbare Neo Poke-k [gamespy.com]

  • I am hardcore enough, with having played many Ultimas having been into gaming since 1980 having played a lot mainstream titles over the years, having played most Lucasarts adventures. Yet I love some of the simplistic stuff on the DS, like Wario Touch. It is a different kind of gaming which I could enjoy on early consoles and which died out over the years. That does not mean I do not like deep long running games, but both types of games have their pros and cons.

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