You do realize that the gaming industry is actually going in the direct opposite direction of the one you're implying? The addition of blazing effects and mind numbing stories instead of content and depth is the casualization (if there is such a word) of the industry and several genres. Call of Duty, Need for Speed producers claiming that simulators need to be less realistic and countless watered down RPG's show that games are turning casual and shallow to reach a broader audience.
Or are you implying that casual games are deep and hardcore games are shallow? I think you have the definitions mixed. Games are becoming less and less hardcore and more and more casual and it is plain to see (the addition of "play the damn game for you" modes in NSMBWii and DKC are also worrying imo). Hardcore gaming is not a disease that needs to be cured, its barely alive because developers are turning uber casual in an attempt to sell more (and many are failing). This generation has seen more companies go bankrupt than any other and this is due, in some part, to developers trying to make certain games and genres into something they never were and lacking in content.
Regenerating health, aim assist, infinite ammo (practically), RPG's with less and less skills and stats and more mindless action, strategy games with less micro management and options, racing games that are so over the top that no one even wants to play them etc. Its not the "hardcore" that is killing the quality of games, its the "casual" undertone and mindset of and in games that were never meant to have them to begin with.
I think he meant "hardcore" not in the actual meaning, but in the meaning that most "casuals" think of it as.
It seems like everyone has a different definition of Hardcore. I get his message. He probably could have used a word other than hardcore though.