Hardcore Nintendo: why the Wii isn't just for casual gamers anymore

Nintendo is running away with the lead in this console generation, but if you ask hardcore gamers, they'll paint a very different picture.

Sin and Punishment 2

Developer: Treasure

Publisher: Nintendo

Release: Summer 2009

For the Hardcore: Wii games don't come more hardcore than this. Sin and Punishment is the sequel to legendary developer Treasure's much-loved but never-localized N64 rail shooter. Once Nintendo saw the tremendous sales for the N64 original on the Virtual Console, they realized there was a significant untapped audience for the series.

For the Casual: Sin and Punishment 2 is probably going to be the first game of its type a casual Wii owner has ever encountered, and given its slick graphics and promising soundtrack, may make converts off its presentation alone. You can be assured that Nintendo wouldn't be bringing this game out if it didn't have a plan for how to make it appeal to an audience that is largely ignorant of the series thus far. What those plans may be are anybody's guess.

The Conduit

Developer: High Voltage Software

Publisher: Sega

Release: Spring 2009

For the Hardcore: In some eyes of first-person shooter fans and graphics aficionados, The Conduit is the closest thing to a Wii version of Halo. Using a custom graphics engine that pulls truly eye-popping graphics out of the Wii, The Conduit aims to bring the sci-fi FPS genre that thrives on other systems to the Wii and its unique controller. The game also promises to have a robust multiplayer component - crucial to any hardcore shooter - and is expected to include online shootouts.

For the Casual: Though first-person shooters are hardly casual games, games such as Halo and Call of Duty 4 have gradually reinvented this once-demanding genre for a broader audience.

Metroid Prime 3 and Red Steel's stellar sales are proof that first-person games definitely have a home on the Wii that spreads beyond the die-hard fans. If the Wii's accessible controls brought FPS fever to former Wii Sports players, then The Conduit could become the first in a whole new wave of Wii shooters.

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