Filthy. Casuals. Two words that are put together far too often when discussing videogames on the internet. Well, fact is, everyone has to start somewhere! And while the influx of so-called “casual” and “lapsed” gamers during the Wii generation is oft-discussed (not least on this very blog), the original PlayStation’s appeal to a new, older audience doesn’t get nearly the same level of attention. But if we turn our eyes to the late nineties, the figures don’t lie. The 32-bit generation of consoles – PlayStation, N64 and Saturn combined expanded the videogame market enormously, with approx. 144 million consoles sold in total versus approx. 80 million between Super Nintendo and the Megadrive/Genesis in the previous generation. That’s a whole lot of new gamers.
Now I have to admit I have this slightly weird, anthropological fascination with the topic because over the years I’ve met several adults who were first drawn to gaming during the PlayStation era. Maybe they’d played games before, but not to this extent and certainly never buying a console. I’d like to share anecdotes of a few people I know personally before giving some context for the gaming industry’s attempts to attract an older crowd to gaming. Continue reading
As we’re opening the new year with a new console, the PS3, it’s natural to look back and reminisce. And why not focus on the legacy of one of my most well-used consoles, the Wii. Released in 2006, the Wii was instantly a huge commercial success. Partly because of its mainstream appeal, it became controversial for the 0.00005% of people who identify as “hardcore gamers” and considered Nintendo traitors, or some such BS. However, perhaps surprisingly, I have come full circle on my opinion of the Wii’s library. Continue reading