Taking video games mainstream has been the holy grail of console the game industry for the last couple of decades.
Now that we may finally be getting there with innovative console platforms like Nintendo's Wii, the industry may have to re-learn how to market to this mainstream audience, that generally doesn't consider gaming a core activity. This New York Times article explains:
"Nintendo sits atop the home video-game market. Its Wii, though less technologically advanced than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3, continues to outsell those machines and is now in more than 20 million homes.
So why are retailers having so much trouble selling Wii games?
"...They (Wii console owners) don’t buy new games with the fervor of a traditional gamer who is constantly seeking new stimulation.
The average Wii owner buys only 3.7 games a year, compared with 4.7 for Xbox 360 owners and 4.6 for PlayStation 3 owners, said a Wedbush Morgan analyst, Michael Pachter. “It reflects the broadening of the demographic,” he said. “Nintendo’s market doesn’t feel the same sense of urgency to buy every game that’s coming out.”
The industry likely won't take too long to re-learn how to market to this broader demographic. For example:
"Wii Fit, an exercise game due next month, is expected to receive more marketing dollars than any game in Nintendo’s history, Mr. Pachter said — and the money will not be spent wooing young men. “Wii Fit is just not aimed at hard-core gamers,” Mr. Pachter said. “It’s definitely aimed at the Oprah crowd. I bet they sell a million units a week for every pound that Oprah says she lost on it.”
See, they're already getting the hang of it.