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Wii  GC

Look, I get that you’ve read it all over the place, myriad times, and by sometimes reputable people. I have too. Your friends have said it, which may be why you say it and perhaps, conversely, your saying of it has influenced those friends of yours that had not yet begun to say it.

It has become a meme impeditive of the correct progress of our gaming culture. It has inspired at once plagues of ire and embarrassing fanboy uprisings. It has become a badge pinned to the lapels of those who want to sound as though they have their finger on the pulse of an industry and has become a point of derision among those who feel an inbuilt brand loyalty virgin to the realities of a very real historical penchant for near-failure.

The fact remains, however, that no matter how many times you say it, or who you tell it to, the Nintendo Wii is very little like an ‘upgraded Gamecube with a wand.

When you say that the Wii is the ‘Gamecube 1.5’ you look like an idiot. This isn’t just me saying this; I have joined a sort of club, you see. This is a club of people who have actually used these devices, both of them, to excess and have had a great deal of training by way of real life in the art of recognizing that object which might, in fact, be a head from that which seems more to be a hole in the ground.

TWILIGHT PRINCESS!!!11!11one’, you yell at me, ‘SUPER PAPER MARIOX0RZ!

Gamecube titles all, I admit. Developed on Gamecube dev stations modified to accept Wii controls and, in the case of TP, flipped for her pleasure. How doesn’t this make the Wii a Gamecube 1.5?

Well, children, correlation does not, it has been said by those far more intelligent than myself, imply causation. The very fact that the Wii can play games from other consoles renders your argument circular.

Further, released benchmarks have proven the processing ability of the Wii, though nothing like its HD peers, is superior to its predecessor. It has functional internet connectivity, a digital content distribution system, inbuilt storage media, WiFi, default wireless controllers…

An airplane isn’t just a car with some stuff added to it; a Car 1.5. Yeah, it is a vehicle, it carries passengers and sometimes even it travels on the highway. It also FLIES which, I suppose with the right amount of self righteousness and callous ignorance, could be ignored for the purpose of a cheap argument. They both have wheels, right? Windshields?

There is a list, a long one – a litany if you will, of new functionality that doesn’t even address the motion control innovation presented by the Wii remote, and that clearly defines the Wii as a wholly independent platform. Add the remote and you have a system whose technology in concept alone benches its predecessor.

If you are confused because it can suck up your tiny little Gamecube discs and play them I ask you to compare functionality with sameness. I have put my TG16, SNES, Genesis and NES away because of this machine and its ability to play each of these platforms’ games. I have not once stated that the Wii is merely an upgraded TG16.

There is a reason for that: it would make me look like an idiot.

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  1. Pingback: Wii - Are you disappointed? | blog free online game on May 8, 2007

15 Comments

  1. Staticneuron said on May 8, 2007:

    Seems like you have taken some comments personal. Most of these comments are derived that the Wii has a very similar architecture to the gamecube. Aspects are improved and there is a new controller but pretty much people are dead on when they say it’s a more powerful gamecube with a new controller. Is that a bad thing? Nope. The 360 and PS3’s architecture have radically changed and some thought and carfull design went into each. Goals were somewhat retained as the 360 seems to strive for balance in terms of processing and its varients. While the streaming PS3 still carries on the tradition of being a vertex proccessing monster.

    So your arguement is that the Wii is more powerful and can do more, thats why it shouldn’t be compared to the gamecube. Thats as valid as saying that the Pentium 4 shouldn’t be called an upgrade to the pentium 2….. y’know… since the pentium 4 is more powerful and can do more. Even worse you make the claim as if “all” people believe this based off of the fact that the Wii can play older games.

    Even your analogy is broken. Your reference about planes and cars is pased off of what they do and how they look. “The wii is has a white glossy exterior while the gamecube was barney purple so there. ” Thier common ancestor’s used ICE but now that planes moved on to turbines they are different from cars right? History shows that progression for cars, planes and trains have different ideolgy from them. Using that as a base you can turn your arguement on its face by saying that since all three systems play disc based games that logically they should work alike…. but no one is dumb enough to believe that right?

    the analogy of the gamecube to the Wii is like saying that anyone saying that an aston martin DB9 is an upgraded aston martin DB7 is an idiot. Obviously the do not realize the difference in power and what the car can actually do.

  2. don said on May 8, 2007:

    @Staticneuron

    For fear of looking, myself, like an idiot, I had not yet actually put the aforementioned theory to test.

    With such crushing literal force as is provided by statements like, “Seems like you have taken some comments personal.“, and “Most of these comments are derived that the Wii has a very similar architecture to the gamecube.“, I am shocked that I had to write an article at all.

    In point of fact I had planned to go fishing through your response to find some grammatic technicality I could latch on to and use trivially to invalidate what may have been a well thought out message, but couldn’t make it through the first two sentences without hitting my 15 blaring error limit.

    Personal pronouns be damned! Who needs conjugation? Tenses? What the HELL are tenses? This is written communication we’re talking about, not… wait…

    I am sure there is some actual point deep within the folly forest of misshapen pigeon-English you’ve used but I am almost positive, if exposed, it would be, “The Wii is just an upgraded Gamecube”.

    I take succor in this, as my point couldn’t have been made any more clearly. You look like an idiot.

  3. Checkmate said on May 8, 2007:

    Ummmm…your rambling aside, it doesn’t take a genius to look at the graphical output of the GC and so far what we’ve seen on the Wii to see that Wii = GameCube with a new control scheme.

    Oh I’m sorry…you think that makes me look like an idiot. Let me rephrase that…the Wii = GameCube with a new control scheme, ablitiy to connect to the internet, a bunch of channels that have nothing to do with gameplay, and the Virtual Console, which lets you overpay for classic games. Actually, I would argue the games don’t even look AS good as high end GC games. Which gets to the crux of the argument. YOU are adding in all the extra crap on the Wii as an argument AGAINST it being GC 1.5, whereas those arguign for it are comparing WII games with GAMECUBE games. Try comparing apples to apples will you?

    Spin it all you want, right now it IS GameCube 1.5. Looks to me that you’re just pissed off because you know it’s true.

  4. jay said on May 8, 2007:

    What makes the PS3 not just an Atari with better processors?

  5. don said on May 8, 2007:

    @Checkmate

    I’m not angry at all, in fact. Pointing out a ridiculous statement doesn’t make me angry. Your response, in fact, makes me quite the opposite.

    “the Wii = GameCube with a new control scheme, ablitiy to connect to the internet, a bunch of channels that have nothing to do with gameplay, and the Virtual Console, which lets you overpay for classic games. Actually, I would argue the games don’t even look AS good as high end GC games.”

    I will step away from my airplane analogy as it is [prepare for the pun] obviously above you, and drop down to a more manageable level:

    Jay asks a valid question which, at the core, inquires as to the drawing of some sort of imaginary line between technologies; a line you have chosen to ignore for the sake of your ham-handed argument, but one I am positive you’d adhere to firmly under less popular circumstances.

    It amazes me that so many have corrected those who call the DS the ‘next gameboy’. “It’s another system entirely!” they yell. “It should be called what it is, a new platform!”

    You see, there is a line there – a virtual divisor. Isn’t the DS just an SP with a small graphical bump, two screens, wireless connectivity, inbuilt chat functionality and a touch screen???

    Well, yes. Of course it is. It is a natural progression of technology. It isn’t a gameboy, though. It is a DS.

    For this argument I will not point out upgrades, but differences: Aren’t you, Checkmate, merely a Don with a lesser ability to present yourself and an increased penchant for syntax incorrectness?

    No, of course not – you’re Checkmate. I am Don. We are both human.

    You are falling back to graphics. The graphics seem to be your link here between the two systems. You can’t do that, however, because the ability to produce graphics does not alone define a system.

    That is, of course, unless you are a Sony fan.

    Having doused myself with petrolite with the last statement, I ask that you begin the flaming – the REAL flaming…
    Now.

  6. trainwrecka said on May 8, 2007:

    @don
    learn to be nicer to your readers. this is the “videolamer” blog, not cnn. nothing wrong with correcting grammar, but no need to make the guy feel like a moron.

    Wii is GCN 1.5 as far as next-gen standards go. the entire game industry has always judged next-gen machines by things like graphics, processing power, and including the latest and greatest technology. sure nintendo turned those standards on its head with the DS and Wii, but most people still judge by them. you include HD quality graphics, optical out, built-in hard drive, etc – then you have the GCN 2… you also have a huge, overheating, loud box in your living room. nintendo got away from that and made something new and fresh that a lot of people are digging.

    as far as the typical standards go it is GCN 1.5, but to those that own a Wii – we know it is the true next-gen system.

  7. don said on May 8, 2007:

    @trainwrecka

    Your point is well put and respectfully taken.

    I believe our contention isn’t that, in the field of graphics and processing power, the Wii doesn’t stand up to the current generation. As you have stated, that is absolutely true. I will also follow that with the ides that the GC wasn’t near the graphical/processing quality of ITS competitors.

    This isn’t fanboy lust here – I was quite clear, I believe, in that I believe Nintendo has shown a greater ability to fail than to thrive. I am not defending the Wii either. I am merely pointing out that it has crossed, by all actual statistics, all barriers that would hold it to its predecessor.

    I used the car/plane analogy to expose the difference – not the progression – laid down between the two technologies. The Wii isn’t a current gen system. It is not trying to be. The GC, however, WAS trying to be a competitor.

    It is that point, the point at which the console stopped being a traditional console, that I believe it diverged from its roots and became a wholly different thing.

  8. jay said on May 8, 2007:

    A console has always been defined by the games it can play. The Master System wasn’t different from the NES because it had better graphical prowess. The Genesis wasn’t different from the SNES because it had a smaller color pallet or BLAST PROCESSING.

    It was and always will be the games on a system that define it. Just like the Saturn and Playstation weren’t the same console because they had roughly similar processing power, the Wii and the GameCube are different systems.

  9. trainwrecka said on May 9, 2007:

    @don —- that does make sense. thanks for the response.

  10. staticneuron said on May 9, 2007:

    I take no offense. In a long winded way all I was saying is that the Wii’s architecture is not a radical departure from the gamecube. Linear progression of power shouldn’t count.

    I wasn’t saying that the Wii is going to have sales like the gamecube or even that it would have the same quality ( I personally played many games on the GC and enjoyed them). But technically speaking the Wii is like the GC’s bigger brother.

    The Ps3 cannot even be compared to other earlier systems because its architecture is so far out there. The 360 as well. Both systems seem to be designed to have no faults. It’s as if the desighners saw the short commings and worked around them.

    I am not saying which one is more fun ( I own all three) I am not saying which one is worth it or even diving into any other biased type of arguement. I was speaking on design only.

  11. don said on May 9, 2007:

    @staticneuron

    I suppose my argument is that is actually IS a radical departure. Perhaps not its graphical ability, but surely its interface mechanism, OS, connectivity and the rest of the litany presented above.

    Again, let’s not mistake the ability to emulate a gamecube with BEING a gamecube.

    If you are speaking about graphics, or even CPU mhz, I am on your team and we are kicking it down field together – they are excruciatingly similar systems in these respects.

    It is in the vastness of divergence that I see the Wii detaching itself from its older brother, its GPU and CPU merely vestiges of an older (and failed) generation.

  12. Stefan said on May 9, 2007:

    I think Jay may have a good point there. Most console gamers (and even most PC gamers) really don’t know how to properly measure their system performance. Most console gamers don’t even really know what’s going on inside a console, and therefore they compare based on a small selection of numbers which are available to them. Remember how obsessed everyone was with a system being 16, 32, 64, or 128-bit? (Even if some were “64-bit” only because they were summing two 32-bit processors, or some were only “128-bit” because a single 128-bit sub-processor which talked on a 64-bit bus.)

    But you know what? It’s okay, because when you are attempting to compare system performance, you can really only compare it meaningfully in the context of a particular use or application. In that sense, even from a technical perspective, it is largely fruitless to compare two systems without talking about the software that is running on them. And to be honest, most gamers don’t even care about accurate technical comparisons.

    It’s a pretty subjective hobby we engage in – I think we mostly just feel safer when we’re given numbers to back up our positions, which in turn, tend to back up our past spending habits.

  13. don said on May 9, 2007:

    @Stefan

    Well said, sir.

    I am reminded of the TG16. Sure, it was my favorite system of all time, but the claim of a full 16bits was spurious at best.

  14. RiverCityHansom said on March 14, 2008:

    GC 1.5, no! It’s NES v4 hyper edition :)
    I own a 360 and a Wii (PS3 cost’s way to much so I will never buy one, no offense Sony fans… I’m just not rich is all). To tell you guys the truth… I play the Wii allot more. Mario Galaxy looks way better than anything the GC could do. Dead Rising is thus far my fav on the 360, I played Halo 3 to death and it lost it’s fun. I got the disc read error for Smash Bros on my Wii so I’m playing my 360 till it gets back from Nintedo… I hold no grudges about this disc read problem, I also had to send my 360 in months back because of the RROD.
    I hear PS3’s are failing as well, so this gen “faulty” seems to be the most common thing between systems hehe.
    Anyway yea as soon as my Wii gets back I’ll most likely put my 360 aside again.

  15. Shota said on March 14, 2008:

    Sorry to get philosophical here but what makes a thing a thing is context, it’s relationship with other things. To paraphrase Heidegger, a hammer in space is not a hammer. It’s not even a nameable thing. It’s only a hammer when it is wielded for a particular function in the hand of a carpenter/hammerer.

    This supports everything Jay has been saying. I hate to be so obvious, but the flailing of our arms IS the Wii. And that is different for all things not Wii. And category “Wii” is enough for me.

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