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Is the Xbox 360 Really Mom Friendly? 85

Alex writes "Just prior to the XBOX 360's launch last November, in an interview with Primotech, Peter Moore boldly declared that someday "your mom would be playing the XBOX 360." In a twenty-page feature, we today put his words to the test, with a thorough investigation of how mom-friendly the 360, and videogaming in general, has become. The bigger picture: Has gaming finally reached the massive mainstream market?"
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Is the Xbox 360 Really Mom Friendly?

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  • Not enough soap opera games for that!
  • Your Mom (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:55PM (#15912130)
    "Just prior to the XBOX 360's launch last November, in an interview with Primotech, Peter Moore boldly declared that someday "your mom would be playing the XBOX 360."
    Unfortunately, Peter Moore never quite fully grasped the fine art of "your mom" jokes.
  • definately not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by silentace ( 992647 )
    yeah all those xboxs games out there with mom friendly written all over it... like ncaa, nfl, nhl, then about a million car and fighting games
    • Those games are definitely not for my mom but Saint's Row should provide her the opportunities to both represent and smack ho's that she's been waiting for in a next gen system.
    • Nope, none of the titles you mentionned are "mom" friendly.

      however, if we're talking about the 360 here, you have games like:

      - Hardwood backgammon
      - Hardwood Spades
      - Hardwood Hearts
      - Uno
      - Billiards
      - Bejeweled
      - Hexic HD
      - Zuma
      - list goes on...

      XBox Live Arcade is full of Mom friendly games.

      PC gaming is the same. Hundreds of cards and board games on services like Yahoo, MSN and tons of Flash games.
      Those arn't the games that "gamers" play, but people like "moms" play all the time. There is a market for them.

      • so what your saying is that the whole arguement here is correct. what you just said is mom is going to spend 400 dollars on a console to play a bunch of internet games that she could just play on a palm pilot or a pc.
        • You are extrapolating what i said.

          My argument was limited to answering the following comment:
          "yeah all those xboxs games out there with mom friendly written all over it..."

          In that regard the comment was wrong. There are "mom friendly" games on the 360. They are mostly not located in retail outlets, but are available through the Live Arcade service.

          As to if a "mom" is going to buy a 360 for herself for 400$ that she could play on a PC... (not talking about a Palm because i think she has even less chance than
  • What would kids do to rebel if mom was playing their video games? Go back to playing board games? Go outside and set more fires? Mom HAS to hate video games, or they will lose their largest audience -- kids who want to have something to do that differentiates them from their parents.
    • Makes me wonder how my kids (which I don't have any of yet) will take it when they've got a mother who not only plays video games, but beats them at it. But then again, they may enjoy it when they can invite their friends over, only to watch me beat them too. :)
      • my mom used to kick my ass on the NES..
      • There's nothing new about parents clobbering their kids in video games. My mom beat Metroid two months before I did, not to mention Tetris and Dr. Mario, and she used to regularly flatten the neighborhood kids in Super Mario Kart.

        Quite possibly the worst thing I ever did was get Mom a DS. Four words: Mario Kart competitive multiplayer. If I had any gaming pride left before, it's gone now.

  • by RumGunner ( 457733 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:07PM (#15912232) Homepage
    but I am.
  • I know that your mom is very playful, but I doubt she likes to play videogames.
  • My mom played NES while I slept many years ago. She loved Zelda.
    • My mom really liked Tetris. I should get her a DS.
      • Tetris was the reason I bought my mom a Gameboy (first version, a month after I bought mine and let her play it), a Gameboy Pocket, a Gameboy Color, a Gameboy Advance, an Afterburner kit for her Gameboy Advance (and mine, of course), and, most recently a DS. She's been playing more than just Tetris since the GBA and, in fact, I don't think she's put Tetris DS into her DS - she likes Metroid Prime Pinball, Meteos and Magnetica. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      My mom and I used to play Super Mario Bros for the NES together when I was a kid. Just remember her kicking my ass. I used to have her beat the first couple of levels (I could Never get based the very second world, the underground one) so I could get on to more interesting things. Mom, you rock.
    • My mom played NES while I slept many years ago. She loved Zelda.

      Your mom wouldn't happen to be Sally Field [] would she?

    • It was the same here when I was kid. Strange since both parents don't play anything other then Solitaire these days.
    • My mom really loved Ladybug [] on my ColecoVision. She could easily whup me at it. Of course, she had all day to practice while I had this thing called 'school'...
  • by FlipmodePlaya ( 719010 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:08PM (#15912244) Journal
    From the article:
    "I dont consider myself a very tech savvy person. Heck, I still have trouble navigating my email. Yet I had no trouble hooking up the XBOX 360. A perfunctory glance at the included documentation was needed to verify a few points, but other than that, its nearly fool-proof."

    Hasn't this been true of just about every console in history? If anything, the 360 is far more complex than previous consoles because it relies on a network connection for much of its functionality, and thus one more wire and one more point of failure. The article goes on to describe how the games are reasonably accessable...

    "I found the controls in most titles to be too esoteric for me and I was just uncomfortable sitting in one place, holding a controller in my warm, tense hands. But over the course of time, I came to relax with the controller and master several of the controls in the games I attempted to play."

    Again, things have only risen in complexity since the days of the NES and prior (not a bad thing, of course). If anything has brought gaming to the masses, it's marketing - certainly not any change in ease of use.
    • Again, things have only risen in complexity since the days of the NES and prior (not a bad thing, of course). If anything has brought gaming to the masses, it's marketing - certainly not any change in ease of use.

      You apparently have never played the Nintendo DS, nor heard anything about its current market dominance (whether or not you believe it competes directly with the Xbox 360, it is nevertheless outselling it worldwide by a factor of about 10 to 1).

      You've also apparently never heard of the upcoming Wii
  • Dr Mario (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sir_Dill ( 218371 )
    My mother is completely hooked on Dr Mario.

    We (my sister and I ) recently introduced her to the wonderful world of emulation....I get this phonecall from her one day because she can't figure out to play some strange platformer that my sister threw on there.....I made the comment about how I need to get her zelda or one of the other RPGs and she says "Yeah I am kind of interested in playing the warcraft game...." Go figure.

    Interactive entertainment is where its at.

  • Maybe it's just me, but every commercial for an XBox 360 game ending in, "Rated M for Mature" might just be turning Mom off. I mean, I'm sure that deep-down she wants to go around disembowling alien creatures all day like Angela Landsbury, fly a spaceship like Mary Tyler Moore, and race in a demolition race like Dolly Parton, but she doesn't exactly advertise that fact. Methinks there might be just a smidge of a generation and gender barrier there.

    • Didn't you see Microsoft's E3 keynote? k3wlm0m420 will be able to design snazzy t-shirts for zombies and sell them for Gamerpoints. What mom wouldn't love doing that?
    • I don't know, she might enjoy any of the following:
      Bankshot Billiards 2
      Bejeweled 2
      BOMBERMAN Act:Zero
      Burnout Revenge
      Cloning Clyde
      Crystal Quest
      Enchanted Arms
      Feeding Frenzy
      Geometry Wars Evolved
      Hardwood Backgammon
      Hardwood Hearts
      Hardwood Spades
      Hexic HD
      Jewel Quest
      Just Cause
      King Kong
      Marble Blast Ultra
      Mutant Storm Reloaded
      Outpost Kaloki X
      Robotron: 2084
      Rockstar Table Tennis
      TGM ACE
      Tomb Raid
      • Most of the ones I've picked out that "Mom" would even find suitable, can be found on GameTap for a lot less than $400 + $70/yr + (Whatever Live! charges for the game.). Of those, the article already describes how much "Mom" hated several. (e.g. Uno, Marble Blast Ultra, Geometry Wars Evolved)

        And WTF ever convinced you that "Mom" would want to play "Dead or Alive 4"? I mean, seriously?
      • Wow, about 2or 3 of those are Xbox360 exclusive, and the ones that are I wouldn't say are all that mom friendly (I'm sure moms will love the soft body dynamics of DOA). You can easily find the majority of that list in much cheaper mediums, heck in many times free (legaly).
  • Larva tested, puppa approved..

  • I'm not sure ... (Next page)

    If the XBox ... (Next page)

    [obscured by google ads] (Next page)

    Mom friendly. (Next page)

    Ok, the article had pretty pictures and all that snazzy magazine feel, but why must I click click through twenty, ad-filled, pages to read all of your poorly formatted content. On top of that, for several of the pages my Firefox browser rendered the ads in front of the article text. If there is anything more annoying then having to needlessly click through several pages to read your

  • DS. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:18PM (#15912347) Journal
    Didn't the DS already pass every single test to do with the older generation gaming? We've never seen a console sell to mothers more than kids before but the DS has single handedly got thousands of mothers playing Nintendogs, brain age and whatever other games they picked up.

    Using the 360 to judge if the mass market is into the new gaming era is like using a people carrier to judge if people like fast cars. It makes no sense when we have something with a very clear cut answers right infront of us.
    • My mom went out and bought a DS (for Brain Training).

      Ans she didn't just go out and buy it .. she had to visit 3 different stores before she found one in stock. My mom used to berate me for playing the "nintendo" too much back in the day, and I never thought I'd see the day she would want her own.

  • She plays games on her Sega Master System every night, and doesn't want to get some expensive, confusing new thing with all those extra buttons.

    By the way, does anyone know where I can find replacement controllers for a Sega Master System?
  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:22PM (#15912398)
    Mother I'd Like to Frag?
  • too complicated (Score:2, Interesting)

    by treak007 ( 985345 )
    I think that most casual gamers want easy to play, less complicated games like tetris and bejeweled rather then Madden and Quake. I don't see these kinds of games on the Xbox360. This of course of assuming that most mothers are at most casual gamers.
    • "I don't see these kinds of games on the Xbox360. This of course of assuming that most mothers are at most casual gamers."

      You mean like...
      - Geometry Wars
      - Hexic HD
      - Uno

      And for the *slightly* more complex gamer, Marble Blast Ultra?

      Plenty of casual games on the 360, just not the type you would buy off a store shelf.

      • You still don't have the same "pop it in and play" thing with Xbox Live Arcade that you do with a traditional console. Frankly, you're not gonna get someone that's not computer-savvy (which is absolutely the case for many moms) to navigate it well enough to find the games they want. I think the ease of use of a traditional console is always going to win out with that crowd.
      • You mean like...
        - Geometry Wars
        - Hexic HD
        - Uno

        And for the *slightly* more complex gamer, Marble Blast Ultra?

        Didn't you read the article? (Wait, stupid question.) "Mom" hated all of those games, with the notable exception of Hexic. In fact, it sounds like it took several days of grueling gameplay to get "Mom" to warm up to any of the games.

        The entire article can be summed up like this:

        - "Mom" loves the idea of murder mysteries and sportscar racing.
        - "Mom" wants them to be less action oriented and more cerebr

  • I was talking to a co-worker at lunch about the XBOX 360 that I recently purchases and she was telling me how her parents (in their mind-40's) played a lot of Halo and Halo 2 on the original XBOX. In fact, the XBOX was theirs, not the kids. She said she would come home from school and her mom would be playing Halo. Now, I realize that (and I'm paraphrasing a sig I recently read) the plural of anecdote is not data but clearly demonstrates that the original XBOX had the potential to be mom friendly.
  • The Wii? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:03PM (#15912926) Homepage
    I'm sorry, I thought that the Wii was supposed to be the console for moms (and dads, and grandparents). It's a bit of a stretch to think that the same controller and button-combos that make hardcore gamers happy can also make a soccer-mom happy. I agree with Nintendo that the best approach is to rethink the interface, rethink the interactions, and re-engineer things to win over non-gamers. They've done OK in winning over new gamers with the DS interface and Brain Games. With the Wii, I think they can repeat their success, if they stay sharp and deliver on the things they've been saying.

    Of course, a rising tide lifts all boats, so I'm sure the XBox 360 will benefit. But the 360 is not the vanguard, IMHO.
  • She also played a few games on the NES, and has been making serious use of a GameBoy for years (Tetris, as it turns out, is still a killer app). I think I need a better point of comparison with the mainstream.

    Possibly one that isn't directly related to me.
  • My mom and my dad used to play with our Intellivision (a console by Mattel) way back in the Atari days. Mostly simple arcade games like Burgertime. Neither paid much attention to the C=64 which replaced the Intellivision, nor to the NES that replaced the C=64, though by that time they played a couple of games (mostly Tetris) on the Mac.

    By the time my brother and I became less interested in our Gameboy, my mom got hooked. Tetris and Shangai being the first victims of cartridge burnout, followed by Dr. Mari
  • My wife (a mom) is relatively addicted to many things on the arcade. Lately she's been soaking up some hours with Zuma. Great game with fun sound and addictive qualities. I'm at the point where we may just need to buy a second one so I can waste away on Oblivion. When I showed her that Galaga was on the arcade I knew I was in trouble. The $60 new games? Absolutely no interest but the arcade is a perfect fit for her.
  • I dunno about your mum, but I guess it'd vary on what they'd do with their circle of friends. I don't expect "EA SPORTS TUPPERWARE PARTY 2007" or "KNITTING CIRCLE2K7" but I think it's a great way to be able to stay in touch with friends, chat, catch up over a reasonably interesting game or two they might be all able to play.

    Gin Rummy, Bridge, Hearts, 500 etc. over Live! with a bunch of friends while they played cards and talked about how their son had run off to Canada to work on a ski resort and how he w
  • That article was great.

    Alex: Final question, what are we having for dinner?

    Mrs. P: Are you kidding? After all that, you expect me to make dinner, too?

    Alex: Touché.

    That was the most obvious, but it was all pretty funny - almost satire, even better because it *wasn't* actually satire.
  • My Mom loves Rainbow Islands, and all those classic arcade games of that ilk.

    Of course Taito collection is already on the XBox so it was mom friendly when it came out. Does it still work under the emulation?

    I only wish they would have provided a real Bug joystick, and let Bub and Bob jump using pushing up of the joystick, rather than pressing a button. You can't fire rainbows and jump so easily with two buttons on one hand :(

    She loves the ORIGINAL Mario (or the Mario Allstars version. As long as it's the Su
  • Sorry to disappoint, but the learning curve for today's generation of games, especially if you hadn't been keeping up with the gradual build-up (each generation having more action buttons than the last), is too much for your typical mom. They're more likely to throw the controller down in frustration because they can't grasp how to use it. I know many smart older people who said they tried playing an Xbox, only to give up because of all the buttons.

    That's where the Wii will come in. Hardly any buttons
  • The article tried to verify if the console was "mom" friendly, as stated by MS.

    I think the conclusion might be that MS was right (even if it wasn't obviously stated in the article):
    The 360 IS mom friendly.

    She wouldn't buy a 360 by herself, but she would play it if it was in the house.
    The MS comment was that "your mom will play it". Well looks like they were right. That mom would play it if it was in the house.

    The article itself has some methodology problems though,
    It started correctly, with her having to in
  • Mothers are in their 30s to 40s on average which menas they may had exposure to atari2600 , pong and the like. They are also much more computer savy than in previous decades. I think it's not far fetched at all for a mother to play the xbox360. My sister-in-law plays the pool gae from xbox live arcade with her son and I just purchased and loaded Uno. I'm trying to convince her to give it a try since I can playwith her some night. She doesnt play the usual x360 gaes since the motion gives her a headache
  • Mom's favorite games are Zuma and Hexic. Dad enjoys Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard