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Is simplicity the way forward?
Written by Calum Bennett

Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the next generation is all about graphics and processing power. After all, that's what's been hyped up over the past few months. But was this the correct move? It does seem so on Sony's part as many are anticipating the raw power of the PS3 and what it will be able to achieve in terms of graphics. Of course, Sony have shown the games to complement the systems power, but they do seem to be aimed at the hardcore gamer.

Nintendo, and in fact Microsoft have taken a different route - they've opted for simplicity. Microsoft, whilst seeming like quite an unlikely company to go for simplicity, have in fact managed to get away with appealing to hardcore gamers and those looking for casual fun. The Xbox 360s library of games is mainly suited to the hardcore gamer - and therefore features higher levels of difficulty and more complexity in terms of control method and the features of the game itself. However, the ace up the 360's sleeve is the Xbox Live Arcade. Xbox Live Arcade allows users to download games straight to their console. While this may sound similar to Nintendo's Virtual Console, Live Arcade differs in that it's main focus is on new games rather than classics. Although Live Arcade does feature some classic retro gaming ( such as Street fighter, Galaga and Frogger ), it focuses primarily on quick, simple and accessible games that everyone can enjoy; the hardcore and new gamer alike.

It is clear that there is high demand for these simple games, and the already huge market should be set to expand over the coming years. But will these games ever become the standard for all formats? It's hard to guess at the moment, but Wii is certainly a step in the right direction. It will be able to introduce new players to gaming with new ways of playing and new genres. It will also allow inexperienced players to play the 'hardcore' titles like Metroid and other such FPS as there is no confusing dual analogue control system. New gamers are obviously going to benefit from simplicity for the aforementioned reasons, but what about the hardcore gamer?

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