As the gaming industry has developed so has its market as well, the demographic has expanded from its stereotypical nerd boy into a huge range of ages in both genders.
When the general public think of a gamer, they think of a young teenage boy, sitting like a zombie at a computer for hours on end, and while they do exist and are a large part of the gamer demographic they are no longer the main target audience that games are marketed to.
With the wide range of console and games now available they market has expanded amazingly.
The Wii has allowed family involvement in games, such as Wii Sports, Mario cart and puzzle games too, as well as still holding the classic aspects of first person shooters. It also holds aspects never before seen in consoles, with its controllers. This opens the market to include younger and older people, and its marketing strategies have evolved to include them, with new games being developed for multi-person friendly and family environments.
The DS has also allowed a range of ages to play games, with games suited to each age group, and ones that cross over too. For example, Nintendos “Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training” allows older and younger generations to share great experiences which suit both groups.
We will always have the Playstation and the xbox to rely on when it comes down to the shooters, and the “jock” games of the gaming world, such as “Call of Duty” and also the slightly more nerdtastic ones like “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”. We all know and love them, and they reign the market when it comes to sales and research and development of games and technology, but they too have to adapt to fight with newly formed competitors, and push themselves to reach into the family friendly market.
The xbox360 has adapted with the Kinect, which allows family to play group games together, yet also allows expansion to include all the old school games, and they’re expansions.
The Playstation has been in our homes for years, and has become very good at recreating itself. From the old grey Playstation one, to the first larger, then made smaller Playstation Two, and into its current stage, Playstation 3, with its sleeker smaller version as well, not to mention the Playstation Move, Sing Star and Buzz to top it all off. That is a lot of adaption, so I am really curious to see the next move.
Which brings us right around to our old forgotten friend, the PC. Left in the dust, only the real nerds still play it, it is used for social networking and looking up things for assignments, the disc drive a thing of the past… No, not at all correct. We still have millions of users who prefer a mouse and keyboard to the handheld controllers of other consoles, and who are just as competitive as others. It has never had to adapt, because it has always made games for families and for all aspects of the gaming community, without need to be told. It is timeless in its innovation.
So in this expanding market, I am very curious to see who excels, and who will be left on the shelf.