By Games editor
msnbc.com
updated 3/19/2009 9:03:11 AM ET 2009-03-19T13:03:11

Last week, I wrote about Sega’s new games for the Wii platform . “Mad World,” “The Conduit” and “House of the Dead: Overkill” are replete with bullets, brains and bloodsport — a marked departure from the usual adorable-animal overload.

And I asked readers if they thought the Wii needed more of these traditional, hard-core games. Your answer? Overwhelmingly yes.

Dexter Rosario, of Nanuet, N.Y., wrote that he “can’t wait” to get the new “House of the Dead.”

“Please let Nintendo know that I’ll keep buying their games, if they keep making more games geared toward a more mature audience,” he said.

Others were less forgiving, like Christopher Edwards, who wrote that “Nintendo has gotten too wrapped up in its own success and all the money it is making to even give a care to the people who have stood by them throughout the years.”

He pointed out that hard-core doesn’t always mean violent games. To him, it means games that are challenging — and require more than a couple of waves of a Wii-mote.

“I want a new Nintendo game that brings back the challenge. But instead I get motion controls that allow me to throw Frisbees to dogs (I'm  looking at you ‘Wii Sports Resort’).”

This was a common lament from readers — the Wii’s not so bad. But the games for it just aren’t up to snuff.

John-Michael, a reader from Rogue River, Ore., said that “on those days that I feel like killing something, there’s no ‘good’ Wii game for me to grab and satisfy that urge.”

David Geller, a self-described “average hard-core gamer,” complained that even the good Wii games had little depth, and “as a result, after some play they are no longer compelling other than as a party game.”

And then there are the limitations of the console itself, namely, the lack of high-resolution graphics and cumbersome online play. Those factors, said Peter Schmidtka, have alienated core gamers and driven them to competing platforms.

“What would motivate us to spend 250 bucks so that we could have a shiny, new last-gen console? It sure as hell isn't ‘Wii Fit,’ ” he wrote.  “If Nintendo wants the ‘core gamer’ group, then they need to focus on their next-gen console and stick to entertaining pre-teens and retirees with the Wii.”

Ouch.

Leigh Ingleside, from Cheboygan, Mich., points out that Nintendo’s audience struggles are nothing new.

“They dangled miserably behind Sony and Microsoft throughout the entire GameCube era. But Nintendo opened up an entirely new demographic of gamers that didn't exist before the Wii. That was a truly innovative move, and their sales records show it paid off,” she wrote. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Kevin Olson, a gaming father from Bushnell, Fla., said that his whole family plays the Wii — which makes it a winner in his book.

“If I want hard-core shooters, I’ll load up the 360 after the wife and kids go to bed, and trust me, I do!”

Jennifer Nelson, from McDonough, Ga., wrote that she’d hate to see fewer games for the current Wii audience in favor of core gamers.

“Don’t the hard-core gamers have what they like? Why can't families and young children have something to enjoy too?”

Alan Perry, the father of an 8-year-old daughter, agrees. He said he’s “thankful for a gaming platform like the Wii, (which) gives her the opportunity to enjoy her gaming time with wholesome educational and family-oriented activities.”


But Kai Oldenberg wondered if these new Wii gamers, lured by the console’s ease-of-use and “it” factor, would continue to be loyal Nintendo fans in the future.

“When the next generation of Nintendo’s console is released, how many ‘soccer moms’ will rush out and buy it for another $250 (possibly more)? … I would venture to say few will because they will not be able to justify spending money on a new system when the one they own is still working just fine.”

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