-I don't think you can chalk that up to being 'hardcore'. Nintendo was pretty much the company you had to manufacture for at the time. Sega had come up in the ranks yes, but nonetheless Nintendo's popularity got them the lion's share of everything. Companies like Square and Enix were the largest RPG manufacturers and had already been onboard with Nintendo since the NES. Due to brand loyalty and Sega being the relative newcomer/underdog, it wasn't as if they were going to jump ship.
If anything, it may be said that Sega was trying to appeal to the hardcore, given its penchant for creating its own RPGs like Phantasy Star and Shining Force.
Nintendo has never been hardcore-focused. Not in the days of the NES, SNES, N64, NGC, or even now. Whatever hardcore audience they may have fostered at any given time was a byproduct of their larger market appeal, not a consciously intended audience.
You're missing the point, again
. The argument was never that Nintendo was hardcore-focused
. The discussion was about whether Nintendo would alienate the hardcore audience in favor of ringing in a wider, more casual consumer market.