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Houston — Wii have a success story

posted on December 29th, 2006 by craig

“The Wii is just a gimmick, it’ll never work.”

“Everybody will have forgot about it in two months time.”

Those two statements have been on the tip of my tongue for a long time now, and I’ve been spouting them to anyone who would listen for even longer. In retrospect I probably sounded like a crazed ex-Nintendo employee hell-bent on putting a stop to their massive success, but it seems even my misplaced educated guesses have proven to be slightly awry. And so it is I announce with a mix of self loathing and excitement that I actually do love the Wii.

But then again, what’s not to love? The first day I brought my Wii home, all happy and proud like a cat that just got a pudding of monumental proportions, my whole family had had a crack at it. The games were simple: a game of bowling here and tennis there, but it was that very mantra of simplicity that made it such fun to play. Then when I got it to myself I decided to discover the more intricate delights.

First of all, that controller. When you’re using the Nunchuck as well it just feels so nice, just so comfortable. Before now I thought that the 360 controller was the best thing since sliced sandwich stuff but now I’ve been converted. Never before have I been able to have one hand so far away from the other while playing a console. I admit it isn’t much of a selling point by itself; the ability to divorce one hand far away from the other, but when coupled with the rest of the little small touches it just makes up for a whole pleasing package.

The small touches. That’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? In a world of massive games companies pumping out consoles that have no personality and just raw unbridled power, the Wii bounces off all four walls of your living, does a triple back flip then invites your family to have a go. It’s clear from the first second of playing until the last that this is a labour of love.

I can comfortably say that Nintendo’s love is very infectious indeed.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Tennis » Blog Archives » Parks & Recreation - Wheelchair tennis rolls into communities on December 29, 2006
  2. Pingback: videolamer.com» Blog Archive » Ten years without a new genre on January 4, 2007
  3. Pingback: Ten years without a new genre | FizzleChat.com on December 29, 2008

14 Comments

  1. Billy said on December 29, 2006:

    Not saying I dislike the wii, I dont I love it. But realistically its still too soon to say it isnt a novelty. Its only been  like a month. Give it 6.

  2. Christian said on December 30, 2006:

    Well I guess that’s fair. The Wii sold 40% of the 360’s yearly sales in just a month, but whether or not it keeps that pace will determine what happens with the console. It could either come to a screeching halt, or anihilate the competition. Can’t wait to see what its going to be!

  3. pat said on December 30, 2006:

    i like to disregard financial analysts as much as the next guy, but apparently holiday sales have never been a problem for nintendo.  carrying the momentum through the rest of the year has always been where they fall short.  so im inclined to give billy’s perspective a chance, and see what happens when the holiday rush ends.  i also hate the stigma nintendo has received as a company for your kid brother, but if the systems all get sold around the holidays (when parents are buying) and then stop in the new year (when adults buy systems for themselves, frequently with bonus money) then i may have to draw a few conclusions. 

  4. matt said on December 30, 2006:

    I don’t know, novelty seems to convey to me that nothing can expand upon what’s already been given. Even though the launch was great in terms of gameplay ideas, we really have only scratched the surface of what the Wii can do. And from the looks of it, there are enough games in the pipeline to know we may see some great ways to game. Nintendo themselves have 3 doosies in the form of Wario Ware, Metroid and Mario next/this year, and third parties are continually updating their released lists with Wii games. Some even take some away from PS3 for the time being. Then we have Wii VC Mondays, adding even more games to the library. Just think when Zelda: LttP or Super Metroid hits. It may be too soon to say wiinner, but it sure looks like it from where I’m sitting.

  5. Billy said on December 30, 2006:

    DIscount all the usual nintendo hits, theyre a given, but you wont be seeing many Grand theft autos, Gears of Wars, or such on the system because  A. the system probably couldnt play it, its essentially just a gamecube.B. Nintendo wont make the leap.C. Why release something on 1 system when you can release it with better graphics etc and a competitive edge on the other 2? Everything aside I think Nintendos Wii is going to be what I thought it would be all along. The extra system you buy because its cheap so you can play your nintendo favorites. Serious game makers will produce games for systems that can handle cutting edge graphics for a console, namely the PS3 and 360. Although for the time being it looks like the 360 will reign once all the fuss over Wii dies down. I myself am going the 360/Wii route.  

  6. Christian said on December 30, 2006:

    I think the major factor with the Wii is that a lot of ports are going to be made from scratch to fit the wii’s hardware and controller.  If companies don’t have a problem with that (because they’ll still make profits), it shouldn’t be a problem.  But that’s your if right there.  On the other hand, i don’t see many developers simply opting for the more robust console just because its more robust.  If Namco’s estimates are right, and they need to sell 500k to break even on a game, the PS3 could be just as much of a risk.  Which again, puts the xbox 360 in a fairly comfortable position.

  7. Billy said on December 30, 2006:

    Well thats what I am saying. A lot of games would have to be retooled or designed for the Wii specifically which cuts off the other 2 consoles. And with the lack of power on the Wii not being able to play serious games with lots of heavy load I dont see it happening.

  8. Stefan said on December 30, 2006:

    Speaking as someone who fits fairly comfortably in Nintendo’s "expand the market" demographic (Prior to the Wii, I was buying maybe one PC game every 1-2 years), I will rarely care about the retooled games.  Those were – for the most part – the same games I got tired of a long time go, and wasn’t buying for other console systems.  There will be exceptions, like Samba de Amigo and Okami, both of which I’d love to play on the wii, but mostly my concern lies with the ones developed for the ground up with the wii in mind.    I like what Konami has done with Elebits, because while it’s simple it’s also a game that could not be played on any other control system I know of, short of a VR glove.  This demonstrates to me that the controller could rise beyond a gimmick, and actually enable entirely new gameplay mechanics that we’ve never seen before.  My concern is that it’s up to the third party studios to keep this kind of work up, and to view the Wii as a serious platform, worthy of investment – instead of just a place to drop filler material or ports of their other cross-platform titles from old, established genres, all of which I’ve been playing since 1992 or thereabouts.

  9. Stefan said on December 30, 2006:

    And while I was busy getting these damn kids off my lawn, I re-read that last post and I think it’s safe to say that I’m becoming a bit jaded.

  10. Matt said on December 31, 2006:

    Minor question for Billy: do you own a Wii?

  11. Billy said on December 31, 2006:

    Yessir.

  12. Billy said on December 31, 2006:

    crap hit submit too fast. All I own for it though is Zelda and that sports pack thing, although I dont really like that that much. Zelda is hot though…even if its just as good on Gamecube.

  13. Matt said on January 1, 2007:

    Ok, I was just making sure. For some reason, anyone that doesn’t have a Wii complains about it and says its stupid, even when they never tried it. You’re argument is now fully justified and approved by videolamer(tm). 2007 will indeed by an interesting year for video games.

  14. Staticneuron said on January 3, 2007:

    I’ve played the Wii. I am still not impressed. Here is the thing. All of the systems of this generation seems to be picking up a large portion of gamers from the previous generation. It is expected that anyone who enjoyed the GC would buy the Wii and same goes for all of the consoles. But here is were the true battle will begin. The games in a year from now how will things turn out? As of yet the wii still seems great for party games for many of the hardcore it will remain as a secondary system but let us hope it doesn’t suffer from lack of good games. The 360 and the PS3 have a very good lineup coming soon so for the Wii to move beyond the hype it needs to deliver.

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