Recently, I spoke about Nintendo having focus, and that focus has been increasingly on young adult women. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: when Nintendo has a solid focus on a specific market, great things usually follow. With all this talk about females playing a larger role in the gaming world – whether characters in a game, the actual gamers, or the game developers – I feel there is another group that isn’t given too much notice. Well, at least within the console gaming community.
I have many friends who are PC gamers. They aren’t the stereotypes that many console gamers think they might be; they don’t “look down” on me because I play on consoles, nor give me a hard time and try to convince me to get into PC gaming instead. They love playing on PC, and they’ll gladly recommend it, but that’s about it. I would, however, ask them their views of console gaming and if they ever played gaming consoles outside of their PC set up. Nearly every one mentioned that the only appealing console to them was Nintendo’s current system [at that time]. After hearing so many similar responses, I decided to finally do a little research with this question in mind: does Nintendo have an largely untapped console market within the PC gaming community?
I started asking 5 questions to various PC gamers, both those I know and those whom I’ve never met before. These were the 5 questions I asked:
1) Are you solely a PC gamer, or do you play via consoles as well?2) How often (how many hours a week) would you estimate that you play?3) How long have you been gaming? How long have you been gaming on PC?4) Do you own any “next gen” consoles? If so, which one(s) and why did you get it/them? If not, do any of them interest you (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U), and why?5) How would you define what “next gen” means?
Question 1:(Response 1) – Yes, I am solely a PC gamer. Although, I used to game exclusively on consoles before I made the transition to PC(Response 2) – I play via consoles and handhelds as well(Response 3) – I play PS3, Wii, GC, PS2/PS1 & Dreamcast on occasion but my primary means of gaming is PC & handheld (Vita, PSP, 3DS)
Question 2:(Response 1) – Around 10h/week, split 50% between PC and consoles(Response 2) – Depends on the time of year, but i usually hover around 5+, definitely more during the summertime, and winter(Response 3) – It honestly depends on what I have going on. A couple months ago I put in over 96 hours of game time in a week. This week has been unusually busy for me so I’ve only put in about 5 or 6 hours. On an average though, I would say about 25+ hours a week are spent gaming
Question 3:(Response 1) – Gaming since 1989, on PC since 1996(Response 2) – I’ve been gaming since I was around 5. I’ve done a bit of PC gaming since the late 90s, early 00s but fully absorbed myself into PC gaming somewhere around 5yrs ago(Response 3) – I’ve been gaming for nearly as long as I can remember. I played Centipede and the like on my Grandfather’s old IBM
Question 4:(Response 1) – I own a Wii U, nabbed it at launch(Response 2) – I do not own any current (next) gen consoles. I did buy a Wii U back when they first came out, but I sold it back in September because I didn’t use it anymore. I have no desire to buy any kind of console whether it be an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4. My PC is twice as powerful (if not more) than either console. PC gaming does not require that I pay for online multiplayer, it does not force me pay to use services I already pay for (Netflix, Hulu), I can play at 4k resolution or 1080p at 60fps with EVERY game, and my games cost significantly less than they do on consoles. I can’t remember the last time I actually spent $60, $50, or even $40 on a game. ALTHOUGH, I do own a 3DS. I’m a sucker for mobile Nintendo games. Pokemon, Zelda, Luigi’s Freaking Mansion 2! I waited over 10 years for that sequel. I have never really been one to care about “exclusives”. Yes, I played The Last of Us and I hated it. It bored the crap out of me. Halo is ok, but not great enough to buy a console over. Nintendo exclusives are good, but once you played one, you’ve played them all(Response 3) – If you want to call the Vita/3DS “next-gen” I own those because I like Zelda and Sony’s indie & exclusive games, but none of the next-gen home consoles. Right now my interest in the WiiU is slightly higher than the PS4 because most of the PS4 games that interest my are also available or will be available on PC. Also the WiiU has a great (of small) line of exclusives and there look to be even more coming in 2015 so that’s probably when I’ll get a WiiU
Question 5:(Response 1) – For me, machines capable of doing what old consoles couldn’t (possibly not gfx only). New features, and different from PC(Response 2) – It hardly means anything. It always means what is expected of the “next gen” of consoles/hardware iterations. Since being released PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U are the current gen. Alas, since they’re still new enough they’re still being touted as “next gen” and being so, are expected to provide an experience above and beyond the “last gen” of consoles, (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3). Oddly enough, they’re all behind what you can do with a PC, with some exceptions(Response 3) – To me “Next-Gen” implies a significant upgrade in graphical capabilities and mechanical capabilities (the depth & complexity of game mechanics, world generation & AI, optimization of hardware to reduce input lag & load times)