I recently became re-attached to the casual games market because of a purchase of My Word Coach (I’ll have a review for it in another week or two). I started playing Animal Crossing and Brain Age again and have been enjoying my time with these games after a very long hiatus. But this re-interest with more info on the upcoming Wii Fit from GDC got me thinking about the future of this market.. and how Nintendo could further it.
To me it is no doubt that Nintendo has the market cornered on these types of games. Besides Brain Age, Big Brain Academy and Animal Crossing… games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and some of their channels are all fairly elegant and fun toys to play with. But they also tend to use the same hexagon/pentagram format to rate how you are doing in these games (I think this started with BBA cause Brain Age does not have it). It makes me wonder why Nintendo hasn’t put out a central channel that takes all these stats and allows you to look at them without looking at the various games. Not only could you keep yourself updated on your status in them, you could look at what tasks you have done on a daily basis, you could set up a schedule on what you’d like to do (if you really want to keep a routine), show your friend’s and family’s similar stats, and even rank you and such. It looks like Wii Fit is planning on having some sort of basic channel that might do this… why not just join them all and have every future game do it?
This would also allow Nintendo to maybe re-release the two first brain age games as a special enhanced edition. Maybe bringing both games into a single cartridge with the hex type rating and the ability to upload this stuff onto the Wii’s channel. They could add in an extra 50 sudoku games and maybe even a bonus of some sort to further give people reason to rebuy this… They could do this with several games really… What about packaging Wii Sports & Wii Play (Wii Play Sports?) with the ability? I think this setup that Nintendo is great and it is really a shame they aren’t using it as they could.