Nintendo has renewed passion for core gamers

5 min read


Nintendo right now, is not in a good place. Sure, the legendary company may sell well when key franchises launch a  new game, but the lull between releases isn’t exactly doing them any favours. And that’s because most gamers these days are either playing new releases on PlayStation or Xbox One hardware. There’s a very dedicated group of core gamers, that aren’t being catered to on the Wii U. And Nintendo wants to change that.

Speaking in Edge magazine via CVG, legendary Nintendo figure Shigeru Miyamoto explained that his team wasn’t looking to make games for people who “passively” enjoy games. "[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland," Miyamoto said.

Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].

And that’s an attitude that marks a bit of a change at Nintendo. Say what you want about the original Wii console, but that little machine sold a ton of games and made a ridiculous pile of cash for Nintendo. And that was thanks to a focus on a more casual market and the damn thing being flooded with shovelware games. Games for everyone was a fine idea, but the gamer wanting a more visceral experience had to spend months waiting for something more substantial than Wii Fit or Wii Music to be released on that console.

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Still, after selling over 100 million consoles, the Wii did some damn good business. But the Wii U has yet to bottle that magic lightning, with only seven million having been sold since 2012. The casual focus is clearly not working then. And according to Miyamoto, the proliferation of smartphones means that Nintendo doesn’t have to cater to that market. "In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population," Miyamoto explained.

Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.

I still think the Wii U is a damn good piece of hardware. It doesn’t boast the sheer number of horses under the hood that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have, but games don’t exactly look terrible on that system either. And the GamePad is a neat device overall, especially when you can actually shift from playing on a big screen to jumping into bed and having a quick session.

What the console needs right now, are games. Mine was quite literally gathering dust, and it’s only being used for review games right now. And that’s because there’s nothing between these games, arriving on the system. While it might be a hard sell to woo third-party developers back to Nintendo, there’s still plenty of potential with that system.

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Hell, imagine Diablo 3 running on the Wii U, but with more traditional mouse and keyboard controls mapped to input buttons and the stylus. Imagine more strategy games on that system. Imagine smaller titles getting a chance to shine on a marketplace if it would just open up to them.

I’ve got a lot of love for Nintendo. And I’m hoping that the Japanese company has something planned to get the machine back on track, because the current direction of relying far too heavily on older franchises isn’t exactly winning them any new fans.

Last Updated: August 28, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Great Teacher Umar
  • Admiral Chief Assassin

    I don’t get it, how does one define a “CORE” gamer?

    • Dutch Matrix

      Especially with todays rather huge selection of devices capable of playing games. Heck, does it make me any less a gamer if I play on my crappy phone as opposed to the PS4?
      Considering stuff we are playing on phones today was the stuff we (As hardcore gameers) played as kids in arcades and corner stores?

      • Sith JJ

        I think to a core gamer buying a game is a conscious or anticipated decision.

        • Admiral Chief Assassin

          Llew defines it as “Someone who plays games as a main hobby regardless of platform or genre”

          • Sith JJ

            Llew doesn’t know what he’s talking about 😉 I’d never buy a game for my phone.

          • Dutch Matrix

            But see, I agonized on whether or not to spend the R20.00 for Blockbreaker Unlimited…

          • Sith JJ

            But that actually brings up another point. Are games like blockbreaker considered games in the same sense that Tomb Raider is? Snake used to be a way of passing time, so too the newer mobile games (in my opinion), so I will never personally take mobile games seriously.

          • Dutch Matrix

            Using that same argument then: I usually fire up Mortal Kombat when I have to wait 10 minutes or so for the fiance to get ready when we are heading out. So can we file it under “casual” title then?

          • Sith JJ

            Well, the difference is that your phone isn’t a gaming device.

          • Mossel

            Join my clan in Clash of Clans…you will take your words back. It gets quite intense.

          • Sith JJ

            If it’s on an iPhone I’m not sure if I want to subject my Samsung to such humiliation. ;P
            I actually just am not a cellphone person (I know, that makes me sound old). I tend to forget my phone all the time and if you’re looking for me you’ll have a better chance of finding me on Steam chat than by trying to call me.

          • Mossel

            haha it’s available on iOS and Android. So dig in! Seriously give it a try! It’s an awesome game!

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            *regardless of platform or genre.

            That means it’s personal choice. If gaming is your main hobby and you use the PS4 then you are a core gamer.

            If you use games as your main hobby on a cellphone (How I cannot fathom but anyway) then you are a core gamer. You are however a mobile core gamer.(which everyone else labels as a “casual” gamer)

            What Nintendo are looking for are console core gamers now

          • Sith JJ

            I’m just messing with you, but I completely agree about the main hobby statement. I know a guy who has a PS for Fifa and other sports games and he shits himself when I say he’s a gamer. (damn jocks)

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            If he spends as much time playing Fifa as we do other games then I have news for him. He is a core gamer. A sport core gamer yes, but a gamer non the less heh

          • Sith JJ

            He spends a lot of time playing soccer physically as well (yes, I don’t know what’s wrong with him to want to go outside and use energy)
            He thinks he’s too “cool” to be a gamer though.
            Little does he know all the really cool kids are gamers. Amirite!? 😉

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora


    • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

      When you cut me in half down the middle then at the core there is this little gamer thing controlling me… Obviously.

      • Sith JJ

        That explains why Rince runs a bit slower, being a console gamer and all. 😉

        • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

          I think I probably run on STEAM! Get it? PUNS! o/

          • Sith JJ

            Then you must have infinite wisdom.

        • Behind you!

          • Sith JJ

            Coincidentally there’s a freakin’ dressed-up mannequin behind me now.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Can’t be Rince since it is a MANnequin

          • Sith JJ

            oh snap

          • Do I get to post that Silent Hill GIF now?

          • Sith JJ


          • Affirmative! When I get into the office on freaky GIF coming up!

          • Admiral Chief Assassin


  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    It’s good that they are refocusing. I hope they can pull through and get some great games on to the device

  • Travis

    I think they have lost the plot then, They wont compete with MS ans Sony, they should stick to their kiddy niche, dance crap etc. My 2c worth.

  • Xcalibersa

    Simple. Make pokemon open world game on the WiiU -> Instant $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I would buy it in an instant.

  • I hate to say it, but too little too late. They would need to release a new console that doesn’t look like a fisher price toy to get back into the market.

  • I love jumping into bed and having a quick session

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