Admittedly, EA's credibility with the gaming community might charitably be described as "strained", but a recent interview with line producer Matt Prior in Now Gamer suggested that EA is backing an unusual horse for the hardcore gaming community: specifically, the Wii U.
Prior, who handled production for the upcoming release of FIFA 13 for the Wii U, discussed FIFA 13 with Now Gamer, and then promptly went to say: "Now I think even a hardcore twitch gamer can appreciate this console (the Wii U). If you then factor in the casual guys, who are maybe upgrading form the Wii, I think it has a real potential to do well. I hope it does well because I think the world is a better place when there are three competing consoles rather than two or one dominating."
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Interestingly, this is actually a sentiment shared at least somewhat by Nintendo proper, who previously discussed an interest in getting the hardcore gamers’ attention back with the upcoming release of the Wii U. They had even gone so far as to say that the Wii U would be specifically targeting a different demographic than the Wii's release did. That's something of a tall order, especially given the sheer dearth of third-party support for Nintendo's console. Much of Nintendo's third-party support is limited to ports of titles released on the 360 or the PS3. Admittedly, the Wii U does seem to have the muscle under the hood to pass up those two titles--if not necessarily their likely forthcoming progeny--so it will be a matter of getting some major titles in to back up the Wii U.
If Nintendo really wants to get in the hardcore gaming segment, then it's going to need hardcore gaming. The next Mario and Zelda and Metroid and yes, even Starfox, likely won't be enough. Granted, Nintendo's got a little something special cooked up in the form of ZombiU, a title sure to get the hardcore interested. But no one's going to buy an entire system, especially not at launch, for one title. They're going to need at least a couple good ones on launch day, and news of several more to follow, preferably with screenshots and gameplay video, to really get any interest going in the field.
Can the Wii U be a hardcore gamer magnet? Sure it can. Any system can, really, as long as it's got the games to back it up and sufficient juice under the hood to make those games work properly. If the Wii U can get the games together--and based on ZombiU, there's no reason why Nintendo couldn't get the games together--then it's got every chance to get the hardcore market interested. Without those games, however, it's going to be a much tougher slog and a much lower chance of seeing victory.
Edited by Brooke Neuman