The Nintendo Wii is widely regarded as a family-friendly casual machine, with the added bonus of Nintendo's first-party games. Despite some fine efforts, certain more hardcore genres aren't as prolific on the console as many had anticipated they would be. A prime example is the first-person shooter.
But there is still potential to develop the genre further on the Wii, developers told Gamasutra
in a new feature. Future point-and-shoot Wii FPS games will bring customization and better control to the forefront. And developers say they've been pondering exactly who the Wii audience is, and what they want in a shooter.
"Are Wii gamers that different than 'regular' gamers?" asked Jason Vandenberghe, creative director on Ubisoft's Red Steel 2
. "What matters to us is what they want. Specifically, do they want the fantasy of sword fighting? Have you ever wanted to be a badass swordsman?"
That basic question -- are Wii gamers different that "regular" gamers -- is something that game companies have been trying to figure out ever since the Wii launched. When industry watchers look at what's successful on the console -- Wii Fit, Carnival Games, Cooking Mama, Just Dance
-- the answer is probably a resounding "yes, Wii gamers are different."
But that doesn't mean that "regular" gamers who play Wii should be talked down to, suggests High Voltage chief creative officer Eric Nofsinger. His company released The Conduit
, a first-person Wii shooter that took control customization to a new level, although sales of the game ultimately proved flat. The company is currently working on The Grinder
, a game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, and The Conduit 2
"The Wii audience isn't a group that wants to be catered to or treated differently," Nofsinger said. "When it comes to The Grinder
we don't want to think of the Wii as a lesser system. There will be a fine line to walk and I don't think we can treat all three audiences wholly different."
For more on the past, present and future of Wii first-person shooters, read the full Gamasutra feature
, available today.