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Post-E3, Nintendo & Sony lay claim to each other's audience

Post-E3, Nintendo & Sony lay claim to each other's audience

Nintendo seems to be interested in trying to grab the attention of more hardcore games, while PlayStation is trying to broaden it's appeal to more casual gamers.

It's post-E3 and for the most part, gaming companies are feeling pretty confident about their work and their future. None seem more confident than Nintendo's president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime and PlayStation Europe's president Andrew House.

Fils-Aime and House spoke to CNET News and Edge Online, respectively about future and standing within the gaming industry.

"Nintendo's in a very fortunate place." Said Fils-Aime, "The industry through April is down about 4 percent, but we're up about 19 percent. So consumers are voting for us with their wallets, which is a great place to be, especially when so much of our best content will be coming in the second half of the year."

When asked about E3, House responded,

"I think we struck the right balance between being very future-facing ? new motion controller technology, certainly a lot of good information about the network and how that is going to evolve. We balanced that with very solid tangible game lineup information. If the audience there was anything to go by, it caused a tremendously positive reaction and I think it positions us extremely well."

In an interesting kind of reversal, each seemed to be making up for their setbacks, as Nintendo seems to be interested in trying to grab the attention of more hardcore games, while PlayStation is trying to broaden it's appeal to more casual gamers.

"We think we win over the Halo audience" said Fils-Aime, "with something like The Conduit, a multi-player, online, shooting experience, or Dead Space Extraction. And you know what? Once those people buy into Wii, they'll go buy Mario Kart or Wii Fit Plus. We're not going to be satisfied just picking up that existing gamer. We have to reach beyond and get that consumer who doesn't game. That's the only way we'll be able to continue growing as a company and as an industry."

While Fils-Aime seems confident that hardcore gamers will eventually find an entry point into the Wii, House noted that the Wii may be just the first step for casual gamers that will eventually lead to their system.

"If you look back at previous lifecycles, like PS2 versus N64 [sic], we have lots of data that suggests that lots of people bought into N64 as their entry level gaming device, and were happy to upgrade to a more powerful machine later in the life cycle when the price point was right for them. I think we're going to see this later on PS3, and the fact that it's a Blu-ray player as well and that there's a [greater] wealth of network based experiences than are perhaps available on the device they already have will add to the proposition.

Also, when asked about Sony and Microsoft's upcoming motion control projects, Fils-Aime didn't seem to worried.

"The only thing I'll say is a rhetorical question. Is it fun? If it's fun, then I tip my hat and say, "Well done." But what's happening sounds to me a lot like, "Who's got the prettiest picture. Who's got high-definition. Who has the best processing power?" It sounds like technology, when the consumer wants to be entertained. Our focus is how do we take active play and make it entertainment. And that's what we're going to continue to focus on."

In the end, whether one is holding the market for casual or hardcore gamers, both companies are pushing the envelope in terms of gameplay and technological achievements, and this may be the year in which both companies begin to blur the lines between casual and hardcore. Whether or not gamers will find a home on the Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360, it's clear from this year's E3 that the industry has changed, and it has changed in a big way, for better or for worse.

Check out the full interview with Reggie Fils-Aime here.


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