Thursday, 21 June 2007

"Wii Bubble", Four Types of Gamers, "Second Coming of The Wii"

I came across this on Wired about the supposed "Wii Bubble" and it being a fad, and the four types of gamers.

I didn't agree with the title/idea of four types of gamers, it seems to me there are many different types of gamers after all, but broken down like they are here makes sense. Broken down on the type of person who buys hardware and their spending power; Hardcore, Casual, Expanded Audience and Kids.

I never considered the Wii a fad, but when I think of gamers I think of those like my self from the hardcore to the casual - traditional gamers. However he is right, there is a new "expanded" audience now that the Wii has come along. It was targeted at them from the beginning. Your father, mother, grandma, your 5 year old baby brother and sister (who will grow up playing Wii first). "Gaming" has never considered these factors before, by publishers at least. I would/have put these 5yr olds in the Expanded Audience because they become the 10 yr old "Kids" audience.

-An example of the Kid category- I was in Game recent looking round and this little kid was looking for the spiderman 3 game and asked me, I pointed to the big rack of xbox, PS2 games. I think he was looking at xbox360, I felt sorry for the mum. Spiderman 3 is a novelty tie in game to a movie and apparently one that's not much good (it's not much good on Wii either apparently). For the parents the Wii will be a much better buy for their kid who wants a movie tie-in game which is basically a novelty, as it and the game will be less expensive, hopefully the control system will develop, and these kids will grow up with motion control in mind and a different way of thinking about games.

The question is really is the Wii a fad for these other categories? I don't think it really maters. Why? Because those kids playing Wii now will grow up looking for the same (over the next 5 years), the parents and grandparents of now may bore of Wii (though not for a couple of years) but as the price of Wii 1 drops more even more people will by it. I'd buy a Wii for £75, even if I didn't really want it.

Over those same 5 years the PS3 network and Xbox hardware will grow for the hardcore/old causal. Which is another factor, we are all getting older. Our parents didn't grow up with gaming, but our kids will grow up with parents who did. It's a different world. And it changes faster than you think, I've found through my travels that really stereotypes become invalid ever 5yrs or so.

Those 5-10 year olds will grow up with Wii 1 and eventually move into Casual or Hardcore land being use to motion sensing controls, they'll be looking for a similar next gen machine at that time.

At this time Hardcore has not adopted Wii to the same extent as the other categories (as a percentage, not of numbers as the other categories dwarf Hardcore), and this is also why there will be a second Wii.

The first Wii is for the other 3 MASSES of people, and the "Second Coming of The Wii" will be for the "Hardcore" people who want better graphics. That's why the Wii 1 looks like having a lower demographic compared to Xbox or PS3 in some charts I've seen for 2010, but those charts didn't take into account Wii2.

Still I realise they're concerned with the current Extended Audience, so will they still be interested? Depends on the games I think. Wii Sports seems to be the game this category is buying the machine for, in which case it may as well be Myst, or Solitaire, Snakes or Tetris. Maybe they're bring out another game for the parents which will keep their interest. Otherwise the key is hooking our current Gamers on Wii 1 now, so I'm looking for the more serious games, the ones I wanted to see on the Wii when it was first announced, perhaps I'll have to wait to Wii 2.

We as gamers are also getting older and will become the gaming parents and audience, there won't be an Extended Audience as of that point, just a very very large casual gamer market. May be we will want what ever comes after the second Wii since we are use to PS3 and Xbox360 style graphics from our 20-30s, we'll want something as good. Since in growing older perhaps we won't fit that Hardcore demographic anymore, we won't be buying that ultra hardcore new gen machine. But maybe we'll have time for casual and PC gaming. But then there is all those Microsoft camera games which will come in, and electronic Surface table top games by then. Gaming is very much in our mind set now. Gaming is going to be a huge industry. Imagine when you're 80 and sitting around all day, well I know what I'm going to be doing. Fragging you.

It must be odd being a Last gen-parent and learning gaming for the first time.

However as gamer-parents I think it's still valuable we remember something our parents knew, and that's to switch off the console (or TV for them) and get outside ;)