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And no, the masses of casual gamers out there aren't the driving force of the industry, they may be the majority, but they're not the ones who constantly spend their money on video games. Just look at Nintendo with Wii, they had the mass casual audience, sold the most units of their home console, but in the end Wii is a hollow shell with f*** all games because most people bought a Wii and stuck it out with Wii Sports, a packaged game. Sony and Microsoft were the real winners because they were able to gather up the audience, that vocal minority that spoke up about Xbox One's asshattery. They were able to please this audience by giving them exactly what they wanted and they made a tonne of money out of them.


I think you might be a bit quick to dismiss the importance of the casual audience. Hardcore gamers are, as you said, a vocal minority compared to them. Casual gamers were absolutely the driving force of the last console generation. That's the reason why Sony and Microsoft were so intent on adding motion control to their consoles last generation, but Nintendo had proven the casuals wanted that. They didn't really care if core gamers did or didn't want those features.


The tricky part with this generation is convincing them that there's any reason they should move on to a new generation. Nintendo hasn't been able to do that, and I don't think that Sony or Microsoft will as well. But they all want to, they all want to bring the casuals back into their consumer bases, and I think you'll invariably see that desire influence their business decisions.

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The casuals are important because they buy a system for one game or one type of game. Wii Sports and Wii Fit were the games that drove Wii and Kinect Adventures was the game that did it for Kinect on Xbox 360. On Nintendo's front, the casuals were a powerful force because Nintendo was able to make a fad out of Wii and were able to get people to buy into those two games. The same applies to a lesser extent to Kinect and Kinect Adventures.


HOWEVER... does this make casual gamers a huge unstoppable force? No. It makes them a quick and easy revenue driver, easy money. They come, they buy, they fall silent once they've bought it.


The core gamers on the other hand come, buy... STAY and continue to buy. They don't just stop at one or two games, the average core gamer will buy a large number of games, invest in the system, buy the DLC, pay the money for the premium online experience.


When you've convinced that core audience to buy your system, you're ensuring long term success of your system. When you've convinced casual gamers to buy your system, you're thinking short term. Look at Nintendo right now, at Wii U. It has a HUGE problem right now in that it's not attracting casual gamers. Why? Because Nintendo hasn't turned the ownership of the system into a fad as they did with Wii. That mass market appeal they had isn't easily transferred from Wii to Wii U because that casual audience has alreayd bought that one system with those one or two games, why do they need this other device?


Unfortunately for console manufacturers, they can't sucker customers into the yearly refresh that Apple and other smart device manufacturers like to do with phones and tablets. The way the console gaming industry works doesn't allow for that kind of marketing and as a result, the casual audience that buys into that kind of marketing ends up being a lesser player in the grand scheme of things.


So yes, casuals are the silent majority, hardcore are the vocal minority... but casuals don't spend as much money on this stuff as the core audience does... and when it comes down to it, this isn't about being heard with your voice, it's about being heard with your money.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Unfortunately for console manufacturers, they can't sucker customers into the yearly refresh that Apple and other smart device manufacturers like to do with phones and tablets.
Actually, I think they could do that. What prevents them is the production costs involved with new hardware and the very long lead time for (AAA) game development, more so than marketing limitations.
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Agreed, they could... they can, and they have... with handheld consoles. Just look at the various incarnations of the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, DS and 3DS. Same hardware packed into different shells each time with a few small additions/changes that don't really affect game development. Nintendo has been able to get people to buy the updated versions even though they own the previous versions.


With consoles, there are refreshes as well... the "slim" versions of consoles are released, however this ends up being more of an effort to drive the manufacturing cost of the console down rather than getting people who already own the console to buy it yet again like Nintendo has been able to do with its handhelds.


Speaking of which, this is also one of the secrets behind Nintendo's total domination over the handheld market... handheld refreshes getting people to buy multiple versions of the same machine, it's brilliant.




As for the 180 of Kinect on Xbox One. Awesome news about us being able to unplug it and have the console still working, but why do I have to pay for a device I'll never use? I'd rather spend 100USD less for an SKU that doesn't have the Kinect in it. This is a reason why I'll probably end up buying an XBO long after I get a PS4.

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For the same reason Sony almost bundled their camera with the PS4. By making it mandatory, you can (theoretically) get devs to utilise it for something more than throwaway party/casual games, because you know every user has the hardware. Sony made the call to keep the production cost lower by leaving it out and thus have a lower retail price, MS is taking the gamble that bundling it will have a payoff via some exclusive killer app.


Given what a gimmick I consider the whole motion control BS to be, in the same league of uselessness as 3D tv/movies, my personal feeling is that Sony made the correct decision in this instance. But then again apparently the average slob loved the Kinect, to hear MS tell it. So how it plays out in the long term I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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I know that... I was asking rhetorically.


Though as for why Microsoft is pushing Kinect so much, it's because of what I said earlier, Microsoft wants to get that casual audience onboard so that they can get a rush of instant sales based on Kinect + one Kinect game the way Kinect on the 360 + Kinect Adventures became big. That one game sold 30 million copies on the 360 and I'm sure it also meant a lot of brand new sales for the 360 as well as established gamers would have given Kinect a miss.


Microsoft is hoping they can get that initial rush of casuals onto their system so they can get an easy few million sales out of them on top of their more core audience. I mean, Kinect was also pushed out on a few core games as well such as ME3 and DS3... did anyone use them? lolno.


They can try to push it on people as much as they want, but if a particular audience doesn't want to use it, they'll ignore it or ignore the game entirely if it's a mandatory part of said game... unless it actually does something mindblowingly good, which hasn't happened yet.

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So yeah, I can understand exactly why Microsoft changed their mind and reversed these decisions... the thing that surprises me is the fact that they actually DID. It looked as if they were going to stubbornly hold onto their hardline DRM approach despite what anyone said... but they didn't. And that is bloody amazing.




Just as long as it doesn't burn itself up like the early models of the last generation did.




"Design oversight" Yeah, protected with a bitch of a case to get open to hide away "trade secrets" which happened to be geared towards selling warranties and keeping repairshops working.


Heats up, thermal paste dries out, incompetent x clamps can't stop bolts from loosening, binding mechanism softens grip, allows heatsink to loosen up just enough to not conduct as well but still touch the processor and system detects slow rise in temperature and shuts down after certain point.


'Course the early models just simply fried themselves through normal use. I'm honestly surprised some parts didn't burn holes through the mobo, they got so hot.


I don't think Microsoft ever really expected to sell it in the state they unveiled it. I think they wanted to make it as anti-consumer as possible to see what they could get away with, when it became apparent they weren't getting away with it, they were happy enough to tone it down a bit. But now they look like the heroes, because they listened to their consumer base. In actual fact, there's still plenty wrong with the console, but most people are oblivious because of the press surrounding how they made it so much better, so they've really played the game out very well, they'll sell just as well as the PS4 now, and they're getting away with a lot more.

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