The Newest Wii Fan

By Shamus
on Dec 4, 2007
Filed under:
Video Games

We were bitten by the Wii bug over the Thanksgiving holiday. We gathered at my parents’ house for the usual family time, and my little brother brought his new Wii. The experience was remarkably different from the behavior I’m used to seeing around consoles.

In previous years, nobody would have wanted the Playstation 2 to be in the living room during a family gathering. It would have stayed back in one of the bedrooms, and the guys would have taken turns sneaking away from the group for a little fun blowing things up and eviscerating a genre-appropriate bad guy. The older generation and females would have been indifferent to the thing, and they would not have shown any interest in the game if they found themselves in the same room with it for a few minutes.

By contrast, the Wii was a welcome and natural addition to the living room. Everyone enjoyed watching it. Suddenly all the non-gamers were able to connect with the game and care about what they were seeing. My mother actually looked at the Wiimote and asked to take a few swings in baseball, something that would have been unthinkable if we’d been doing the same thing using Dual Shock controllers. My eight year old daughter was able to play bowling against an adult, and the resulting game was fun for both of them and interesting for everyone else.

I’ve heard the Wiimote referred to as a “gimmick”. I didn’t have an opinion before because I’d never used the thing, but now that I’ve held one and experienced it for myself, I will say it is not a gimmick but an innovation. Instead of improving visuals – which are already so good that even bad graphics are still pretty awesome – Nintendo decided to improve the input device. And not by adding another thumbstick or more shoulder buttons, but by looking at the way people played games and figuring out how to make it more fun. It worked. Wii Sports (the game you get with the Wii) is about as simple as they come, and there was never a moment where anyone grew bored of the thing. In fact, we amused ourselves with just bowling and baseball – two of the (I think) six games available in Wii Sports. I’m more convinced than ever that people who laugh at the modest graphical abilities of the Wii and tout the raw visual prowess of the XBox / PS3 are missing the point of gaming entirely.

We decided we want one for ourselves, although now is about the worst time of the year to come to that conclusion. The thing is neigh-unobtainable at the height of summer, and here in the frantic runup to Christmas we may just as well be in the market for Sasquatch on a unicorn.

What’s the deal, Nintendo? You’ve had a whole year to work out this production problem. You’re missing out not just on the money you’re not making by not selling units that people want to buy, but you’re missing out on all the money they’d be spending on games and controllers. You’re pissing away millions, if not billions. Convert some of those giant robot factories you’ve got over there in Japan, fill it with Meganekko schoolgirls, hire some Ninjas, do whatever you gotta do. Just build some damn Wiis already.

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From the Archives:

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  1. Mike says:

    I still haven’t seen one in person, over a year since they debuted.

  2. BVB says:

    Hmm. Never really thought about getting a Wii… now I’m sort of interested.

  3. BVB says:

    @Mike
    Good point, neither have I.

  4. Borghal says:

    The Wii is viral. I got mine after playing at my sister’s house for the first time. Later, I took mine to a BBQ with some friends, and several of them bought Wiis after playing there for the first time. It was the first console for most of them, too.

  5. Mordaedil says:

    Got one the first day of release. It was an experience I wasn’t there for, but heard from my folks, who bought it for me:

    They had heard about this new thing called the Wii, because it was in all the papers and whatnot, so my mom got up to “Expert”, the local “carry all electronics” shop and asked beforehand how many Wii’s they were expecting, getting the answer that they had a stock of six coming in. On release day one, my mom went up there, knowing well that there’d be six for the first arrivals. Standing infront of her were two others, one foreigner who was working on the building for expansion, and some other dude’s mom. Eventually, the foreigner had to go back to work on the building, making my mom second in line.

    It eventually got colder and my mom was going to have to work soon, so she called my brother-in-law if he would do it for her, so he got up out of bed and dressed, got a coffee and arrived in a car to take my mothers place in the line. By now there were 15 people there. So, they kept waiting and my mom left for work and suddenly there was a line of 30 people. When they opened the store, the clerks were completely clueless on how to handle this huge amount of customers in line and were overwhelmed. And they only had 2 Wii’s there. The mom in frontline got hers, but then the manager said that he couldn’t sell the last one to my brother-in-law, and he threatened with violence and the mother who got her Wii stepped in and said he had to sell it off. And thus, 28 people went home disappointed and I became a very happy boy that Christmas.

  6. caius says:

    They’ve started popping back up. If you live near a fairly small but decently developed town, check their as when they get stock not many people seem to be aware of it.

  7. Ghalidrim says:

    I was one of those brave souls standing out on a cold night to get one of the first. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since the old, old days and now that I’m an affluent DINK (Dual Income No Kids for those who haven’t heard it) I had the money on hand. I live in a relatively small town, and only had three real choices in waiting. The local Walmart already had a line of about 30 when I went by. The local KMART had none, and a quick phone call confirmed they would have 6 Wii’s, so me and two friends (only one of whom was buying a Wii) went out to stand in line starting at 5:00. By 6:00 there were six people already in line. It was actually quite an occasion. Someone had brought along a TV and an XBox 360, so we had a round robin Gears of War Co-op game going. All and all it wasn’t that bad, aside from the bone chilling cold.

    As for those looking now, all I can say is good luck, even in our small town I have seen them on shelves maybe two or three times since I got mine.

  8. M says:

    In White Plains, NT, a friend of mine is working at a Gamestop for a month or so; he opened on Black Friday.

    They had sixty Wiis in stock. Half an hour after opening, they were sold out.

  9. Omnius says:

    The Wii never ceases to surprise me, nor has it ever disappointed me since the day I managed to find one. Without a doubt, the best $250 I’ve spent in my life.

    Unfortunately, I get the feeling that Wii production will step up a lot after the Holiday, and just in time to grab titles like Super Smash.

  10. Phlux says:

    I’m more convinced than ever that people who laugh at the modest graphical abilities of the Wii and tout the raw visual prowess of the XBox / PS3 are missing the point of gaming entirely.

    Them’s fighting words Shamus.

    Seriously, though. I own a 360 and a Wii. My Wii sits around collecting dust until company comes over. It’s a great party machine, but it really lacks the single player gaming experience.

    If I have people over, playing Wii Sports or Rayman Rabbids is a blast. I can play bowling by myself and have fun, but otherwise those mini-games are not a satisfying solo experience.

    There are a few great games, but they’re few and far between. As with the gamecube, the first party stuff is always best-in-show. Many developers got a late start on Wii titles, though, because nobody was taking it seriously until 6 months before launch. Development time being what it is, you still wont’ see a lot of great 3rd party stuff until next year.

  11. McNutcase says:

    I wouldn’t say that the mockers are missing the point of gaming. For them, the point of gaming is to have the latest, greatest and above all shiniest and most expensive toy on the market.

    Those of us who’ve grown up enough to realise that it’s what you do with your polycount that matters, know that the Wii is where it’s at. Nintendo always did do fun very well indeed.

  12. Vegedus says:

    Ah, yes, console talk. I sometimes feel a little out of place because Shamus, and most of the commenters, are primarily PC gamers, while I’m a console gamer at heart.

    A lot of gamers are indifferent to the Wii, some are ecstatic, but for non gamers, it’s a different thing entirely. I’ve watched this powerful effect the Wii has on the mainstream market myself, and have heard many other such anecdotes about it. It is simply not perceived as a game console. It is not geeky, uncool and weird. It’s fun and accessible.

    From their point of view.

    I don’t own one myself, but my closest gaming buddy does, and let me assure you, I’ve played a lot of Wii. I borrowed it at one point. It is a neat console, but I’ve never felt that it was as special as some would think. The wiimote works, and it’s a neat twist, but revolution? I dunno, “random stick waggling”TM anybody? It is not as if I play a game on the Wii, and then go to play one on my PS2, that the PS2 game, or rather, it’s control scheme will feel inferior. I’m all for games emulating and approaching realism, but this is a small step.

    Right now I’m contemplating upon whether I should get a Xbox360 or a Wii. The Xbox360 has more games I want, but my mom would be willing to buy half the Wii.

  13. Strangeite says:

    I am glad to see that you have caught the bug.

    One of the things that I still don’t understand is the sense of betrayal and revulsion that many people feel towards the Wii (for an example see the comment by Khizan on this post from your website). It is almost like when people enjoy the Wii, they are attacking them personally.

    Since the last time I have commented here on your blog, I have had my brother-in-law, my father-in-law, my sister, two uncles and two cousins all go out and buy the Wii after playing it at my house. None of them have ever owned a console with the exception of my brother-in-law and it was an Atari.

    I really believe that the Wii is going to do for video game consoles what the PC did for computers. It is going to take them from a large but fairly niche market to as commonplace as the television. Granted it may not be this generation of hardware that sees such market penetration but the Wii certainly is moving the entire industry to be more accessible to the general public.

    Here is a link to a blog post I wrote about the Wii at a family reunion we hosted in October.

  14. Feylamia says:

    I’ve been tempted ever since it was released but now I found Endless Ocean and I’m completely in love. That game was made for me and me only. ;) It’s sitting right here next to me – now I just have to get the wii. hehe

  15. Steve says:

    The Wii is the only next-gen console I own, and all in-all I’m pretty pleased with it. I couldn’t care less if the graphics aren’t as flash as a 360 or PS3. But I have to agree with Phlux – there aren’t enough awesome single-player games at the moment :(

  16. Shamus says:

    Phlux: I never said that the Wii was BETTER. I said that claiming that the XBox is superior BECAUSE OF TEH MAD GRAFFIX is missing the point.

    To put it another way:

    People who say “the Wii isn’t fun” just like something differnt from me.

    People who say “the Wii sucks because the GPU is weak” are really missing the point. Graphics are there to serve the game, not the other way around.

  17. Shinjin says:

    I’m 36 an this is the first console I’ve ever even considered buying.

  18. Mob says:

    Random stick waggling? Load up the Tennis training exercises from Wii Sports, and randomly waggle the stick. Let me know how that works out for you. There is real power in this control scheme. It just needs to be implemented correctly.

    I’m orginally a PC gamer, and I can’t stand playing FPS games on a console. The dual shock and all its children just can’t give me the precision and speed I need. The Wii remote is light years in the right direction. It’s still not a mouse and keyboard, but it is really well implemented in Metroid Prime 3.

  19. Strangeite says:

    I almost forgot. And best of all. Spore is coming to the Wii! No need to upgrade the computer for just one game.

  20. A Gould says:

    The only reason I have a Wii is that my sister used nefarious business connections to get me one (she works at a bank).

    The only knock against the Wii I have is that (a) a lot of third-party games haven’t quite figured out how to make the controller work right, and (b) we go through an incredible amount of batteries – which is probably due to how much we play it.

    Advice to people wanting to try a Wiimote – play these games:
    – WiiSports, tennis, boxing, bowling.
    – WiiPlay, just the shooting (how Duck Hunt was meant to be)
    – Super Mario Galaxy, two player.
    – Marble Mania (it’s got a fancier name, but it’s early)

    Those are the games I found do the best job of showing exactly what a Wii is capable of.

  21. wererogue says:

    Firstly, I love my Wii. It’s great fun.

    I do have a few complaints, however. The interfaces in the menu are atrocious (it takes a minimum of five screens before you can play any game), and the decision to make the IR bar powered solely by the console is ridiculous (I play on a projector, so the IR bar is as far from the Wii as possible – I’m intending to build a replacement).

    I find with the Wii that only Nintendo make games that really sell the controls. There are a couple of third party games that have really ironed it out (RE4 re-release, for example), but it’s Wii Sports, Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3 that keep people riveted to the console.

    I’m especially interested in what the team on Super Smash Bros: Brawl are doing with the controls to make the game as accessible as possible:
    http://www.smashbros.com/en_us/gamemode/various/various14.html

    Shooters suffer a little on the console for me, because there’s no real way to calibrate the pointing for the size of your TV. With the oversized projector screen, the relationship between where I’m pointing and the pointer onscreen is somewhat tenuous. However, it is fairly easy to get used to.

  22. Jansolo says:

    I think it could be a temporary craze.

    There are twice (or mored) WIIs for sale in eBay than XBOX 360 (PS3 doesn’t count because there are few of them in the world, and “soniers” are more fanatical)

    It is a matter of marketing. There are a lot of PS2 games for family: guitar hero, BUZZ, SingStar…

    And a matter of copyright. One friend of mine has a Wiimote for playing PC games. Just a couple of divers, and ‘got it. I suppose nor Sony neither Microsoft can do that ;)

    Note: he’s actually bored of it.

  23. EK says:

    First-time commenter, long-time reader, Wii owner since I stalked my local game stores back in April. This might be a bit overlong, sorry.

    I’ve actually had less party experience with it than it seems most people have – most of my friends are already gamers to some degree, and whenever I get it within my parents’s range, they’ve always got too many other things to do to actively hit the system. However, me and my roomie have gotten into a fierce competition in Big Brain Academy, and that’s been fun.

    As for the single-player experience – ironically, the reason I bought the system – yeah, it’s a little thin at the moment quantity-wise, but quality-wise it’s as good as most anything else you’ll find. Metroid, Mario, and Zelda are (almost) always good, but with all the good second- and third-party games coming out next year… Well, go buy a few GameCube games and a controller; they’re super cheap now, so you might as well take advantage of a generation a lot of people missed out on.

    As for the supply issue, from what I understand, Ninty did try to stockpile systems during the summer, when people are supposed to not be buying them quite so fast. People just didn’t co-operate, and kept them flying off the shelves – so the stockpiling decisions Nintendo made half a year ago are screwing people in cold, windy toy store lines just in time for Christmas.

    (*Disclaimer: I was a total Nintendo fanboy for their first two systems, and about 2/3rds a fanboy from there on out.)

  24. Daktylo says:

    Shamus,
    You hit it on the head with their production issue. I foolishly passed up two opportunities to buy a Wii for the parents for Christmas, and now nary a unit can be found anywhere.
    The problem is, this production problem is indeed going to cost them. Average Joe is going to go out looking for a Wii for the kids, come up empty handed, and have to find a filler to stand in (either another console or toys, all of which take away from a purchase of Nintendo product). So now what happens after Christmas? There may be Wiis available, but Average Joe isn’t going to pony up the cash (why, he just spent money for Christmas?), plus Nintendo has lost out on all profit from the accessories and games. It’s no longer the false impression that anyone has that Nintendo is artificially causing low supply and high demand. They’re hurting their own bottom lines.
    If I were the CEO, I’d darn well make sure that someone (or a group of someones) were read the riot act and risk the door. This can’t look good to investors.

  25. nilus says:

    My awesome wife got up at 4 in the morning last year to get in line and get me a Wii. And I can’t say that I am unhappy. It is a great party system.

    The only problem I have with the system is that, with the exception of the new Mario and Zelda(I have not played the new metroid), the single player games are not that great. So basically my Wii gets busted out when there are people about but when its just me in my basement most of the time its my X-Box getting a work out.

    Also if you get a Wii I highly recommend subscribing to Game Fly or some rental service. There are several really good games on the system, but a lot of games that are fun in really small doses and a few really bad games. Best to rent them first and see what you like before you buy. The exceptions are the must haves(Zelda, Mario, Wii Play)

  26. Rick says:

    I’ve played the Wii a couple of times and I liken it to Guitar Hero or Dance, Dance Revolution. It’s a great party/group game. Laugh/cheer/jeer at those playing and it’s a lot of fun to play with an audience.

    However, I would feel rediculous playing them by myself. Therefore I will never own a Wii, but would consider a 360 due to the ways to play other games. Sitting on my duff and moving just a few fingers.

  27. Sarah says:

    Odd…My local gamecrazy seems to always have at least two in stock in the nifty display case.

    Unless, for some reason, they’re displaying empty boxes, just to be sneaky.

    I was really shocked upon seeing a Wii for the first time in person. The commercials use crazy camera angles to make it look so huge and impressive, like a piece of corporate architecture. It’s so small and surprisingly cute that I almost didn’t recognize it as a Wii.

    On the other hand, it’s got to be easier to transport at that size.

  28. Gahaz says:

    The Wii is such an odd case for me. I have, by some strange mix of voodoo and ancient rituals, always had all consoles of any given generation at a year past release. I’m as “Hardcore” as you get, and I love the lil white box! But it has a very strange attention span. I love it,my kids love, my wife loves it, and when she comes by, my mom loves it but, after the game of choice is about a week old at most, its usually out of the loop. The Wii fades into the background till the next first party Nintendo title comes out and breathes a little more life into it.

    I think this may be what a feel is so darn strange about it, the serious lack of quality games for it. When I look at the other two big consoles I see a rather large riff, the 360 has a large library of hits and the PS3 has a couple but also has the large library of PS2 games (and PS1 games if you have the mind) to fall back on. But when you look at that rack of Wii titles you’ll be hard stretched to find a slew of good titles that are non big N games. Sure there are a lot of neat titles but when it comes to third party junk titles that are made to sucker in these new “non-core” gamers, you can hurl the proverbial brick and hit six before it hits the ground.

    But even though there are only a handful of decent titles for it, and even though it seems to fade into the background quickly after a title release it it still the most darn laugh out loud fun I have had with gaming in a long time. We have had warioware parties, Wii sports gets yanked out every now and again but in the long run its mileage is rather low. I may really like the fun sensation I get from playing it, but it cant rivet me like some other titles on the competition have. The longest title I have played on the N’s console was The Legend of Zelda, which is awesome but, it is a gamecube throw over. And even though I had played Resident Evil 4 on the Cube and on the PS2 I still got it for the Wii because the aiming mechanic was so much better.

    Its a strong console, with a lot going for it, but you should consider your decision a bit before throwing your money at it. Are you looking for a fun little diversion, something to have a fun go every now and again with the family and friends, then the Wii is most likely a great buy. But if your hoping to also get some “serious” game time in you may want to look at the catalogs of titles for all three before taking that console plunge.

  29. Viktor says:

    I have a Wii, but I rarely play it. It’s good as a party game, but the single-player experiences are all way too short. I wish it had more 3rd-party support, because I see how much could be done with the control system(implementation of an actual sword-fighting system? YES PLEASE), but as it stands, I get a whole lot more use out of my 360.

  30. Gahaz says:

    Hahaha…and watching those flashy action movies in Blu-ray is really slick, got the first “Pirates” movie and its so flashy and fun. And I can count the strokes of the eye liner brush on ole Johnny’s face. If your nt an HD adopter yet then that means nothing and I wont argue the fact, I lucked out and married a med student and now shes out of school and she has spoiled me rotten.

  31. Zukhramm says:

    “after the game of choice is about a week old at most, its usually out of the loop. The Wii fades into the background till the next first party Nintendo title comes out and breathes a little more life into it.”

    That’s what it’s like for me with all games. I think World of Warctaft, Garry’s Mod and Guild Wars are the only ones that have hade me playing more than a week.

    I don’t have a Wii yet. No 360 or PS3 either. But I will get them, sometime. What order and when is the question.

  32. Gabriel says:

    I have never owned a console before. I’ve played them all, but they never really did enough for me that I wanted one — if I want single-player games, the PC is my preferred outlet.

    The Wii for me really is a game for groups, and is outstanding for those purposes. Further, the POTENTIAL for development is huge — imagine an MMORPG, but with controls similar to Zelda. Or even consider adding a DDR-style pad for movement controls (step forward to walk forward, etc).

  33. Snook says:

    From what I’ve been able to play on the Wii, I already want one. Especially for Twilight Princess.

  34. Kujaku says:

    The fact that there are more Wii’s on Ebay than other systems sort of shows its poularity. Remember when the PStripple was on ebay for multiple thousands? Its the same situation i think with the Wii right now (not as expensive, but still)

  35. Phlux says:

    Shamus: Sorry, there was supposed to be more sarcasm in there. I more or less agree with your sentiment, I was just poking fun at your language, which I figured some fanbois would latch onto and start a flame war over. Wasn’t trying to start one myself.

    You should take a look at the posts on Penny Arcade from monday. Both Gabe and Tycho offer a very interesting perspective on why different people are motivated to game. It has some relevance to this topic.

    As for the manufacturing of Wiis…think of it like this. Suppose they have one factory that produces 450,000 Wiis per month. They are all gobbled up. Maybe nintendo estimates that current demand is 1 million Wiis per month. Should they add another factory?

    It would seem obvious, but the real question is: What is the Wii’s saturation point. How many need to be sold before demand falls off? Adding another factory to produce another half a million Wiis will cost them millions of dollars. If they think the demand will drop below 450k/month any time soon, they aren’t likely to build another factory because it won’t pay for itself. It’s not a consipracy to drive up demand as many believe, it’s just economics.

    That said, it’s not impossible to find one. Look in small towns where demand for such products is lower. Check places like Sam’s Club and Cost-Co. I’ve had strangely good luck finding hard-to-find items at Toys-R-Us too.

  36. InsanePsychic says:

    I agree completely with your views on the Wii, and for the exact same reasons me and the girlfriend have decided to get one ourselves.

  37. GEBIV says:

    Welcome to the Wiivolution.

  38. Shawn says:

    Wait until you play Resident Evil on it.

  39. Yonder says:

    Increasing their production rate now would bring more Wii’s into the market 6 months from now. It seems like they definitely made a mistake 6 months ago, but is it really a mistake not to increase it now? We’d be looking at May, middle of the summer doldrums. And really, no matter when that 6 month wait lands it’s a dangerous guess. 6 Months is a long time and a lot can change. Upping production significantly now seems a little dangerous and asking for a big loss. The mistake so far has been not increasing production enough, but the last thing they want to do is overcompensate for that.

  40. BlueFaeMoon says:

    Shamus, I’m thrilled to read you say that. ;) There really is no way you can tell someone how “different” the Wii experience is… they just have to find out for themselves.

    We’ve had a Wii since last Spring, and it’s become our favorite family activity. I’m usually the game system “buyer” in the house, so the Wii was completely my idea. (BTW, I’m a 40 year old wife and mother of 2, and I’ve been an avid gamer since the original NES. I think I sit completely outside of the demographic.) o_0

    Anyway, I love the Wii because of it’s ability to draw everyone together around a single entertainment device. The other systems still have their place in our house, but thanks to the Wii, “game night” has taken on a totally new meaning. :) Our poor Monopoly board is getting very dusty. lol

  41. Jonathan Adams says:

    (I’m a long time lurker)

    I got a Wii for my birthday last month, after a couple fantastic sessions with my brother-in-law’s Wii earlier this year. As far as party games go, you *must* try Rayman Raving Rabbids II (or the original; the second is easier to get started on with a group). They’re fantastically fun, wacky collections of minigames involving rabbit-like creatures, much slapstick, and the occasional plunger. It’s completely fantastic and hilarious.

    One of my favorites from II is the Cell Phone game, where a bunch of Rabbids are in a movie theater, and the goal is to talk on your cell phone (by holding your Wiimote up to your ear; a incomprehensible babble comes out of the speaker) for as long as possible. Periodically, the theater manager comes out and turns on the lights; if he catches you, some crazy object (huge light, refrigerator, etc.) crashes down on you, and you lose some points and are stunned.

    At my birthday party pretty much everyone (25 people including my mom) played at least a couple rounds, and much fun was had by all. The only downside is that the more Wiimotes you have, the merrier (up to the max of four, of course).

  42. Shamus: I seem to recall that one of your daughters is epileptic? How would a console fit into your situation? Or does the Wii’s lower video quality translate to different sorts of screen images- or something?

    I am a _very_ happy Wii owner, though I do most of my gaming on the PC. The Wii is the best translation of that experience onto my TV.

    I can’t wait for a generation or 3 from now when I can use a pointer device and keyboard to play strat games on my (by-then-standard) plasma TV…

  43. Hal says:

    One of us . . . one of us . . . one of us . . .

    In all seriousness, I love my Wii. It’s why I took this picture when I bought it last November.

    Which is actually what I would remind people who complain about the library about. The console has only been available a little more than a year. While they’ve built a decent library, how much can be expected for that time period? Especially when a lot of the “cross-platform” games aren’t coming to the Wii anymore?

  44. Skjalm says:

    It seems that no one has mentioned the potential for damaging your surroundings when playing on the Wii:
    http://www.wiidamage.com/

    From personal experience I can say that it’s not only when the strap breaks you can damage stuff in your living room. A friend of mine with *cough* minor hand-eye coordination problems managed to hurt his fingers a few times because he hit my (low) coffee table and he tore my laps out of the ceiling when he hit those.

    Don’t let that discourage you, though, just be careful and make sure there’s room enough for people with long arms ;-)

  45. Gahaz says:

    @Hal

    But we are talking about someone who owns no consoles and looking at picking one up. A big factor should be the rack of games staring at you in the face. The 360 has a large catalog, the PS3 has a pretty good line up and the huge back catalog of PS2 titles, and the wii has a few gems and the back catalog of the gamecube also having a few gems in its roster also. I love all three for differing reasons, but I’m just saying if you are picking up one system you should look at what exactly you want. Just saying that the big N is notorious for having only a handful of titles that are purchase worthy, and all those usually all stem from the parent company and its Legion of Gaming Regulars. Though Eternal Darkness, that was an under appreciated gem.

  46. Zaghadka says:

    Cool. I had the same reaction when I got mine back in Sept. The whole family plays, even my wife, who basically plays Tropico and nothing else. The Wii Sports package starts to get a little old, in the same way that Pong eventually got old, but it also gave me the same sense of wonder that Pong did, too, and my 5-year-old can play with me.

    I’m working through Zelda right now. It’s not like the sports. The controller is very sensitive, so you basically just wiggle it to swing your sword. Full swings don’t work too well. In fact, while scratching an itch, I’ve taken my character off of cliffs, it’s so sensitive.

    I think the hardware is much more than a gimmick, though the software is really not taking full advantage of it right now. It’s got the same paucity of well designed software that the DS had while it was gaining acceptance. It’s coming, just not this Christmas.

    Recommended titles:

    Wii Play (with second remote), it’s a bunch of cool minigames, like the old Atari 2600 multi-carts. All casual, some clunkers. The Tank game and the Laser Hockey are both fun.

    Mario Galaxy. Duh. Slice of awesome, unless you hate “Itsa me!”

    Zelda, if you never played Ocarina of Time (or if you really liked Ocarina), otherwise, you might find it a bit samey.

    Trauma Center: Second Opinion (yeah, let’s see how well a medical title works with a dual-shock!)

  47. Shamus says:

    Punning: Wow. Good memory. I actually have a long post on that that I canned. The short version is: We have to buy an LCD TV if we want a Wii. LCD displays don’t cause the problems that CRT’s do, and she can play games on them as long as she stands back and there is good lighting.

  48. Gabriel Mobius says:

    Here’s the thing about the Wii: I dislike it completely and utterly because it doesn’t provide the gaming experience I want. This is not to say that it’s a bad console, it’s just… not for me. I just dislike the ‘innovative’ controller, which actually makes it damn-near impossible for the Wii to contain any genre of game I like, save adventure, and execute it to any form of complexity that would leave me intrigued.

    But that’s not to say I HATE the Wii, because I applaud it for achieving what it set out to do business-wise. It had a very simple goal, to market itself to both the gaming and non-gaming market, and that worked. But the way it’s going, for every awesome game released, there will be fifteen million stupid bloody sodding bastard minigame collections or ‘party games’, and I cannot stand to play another one of those.

    I have other gripes about it, but suffice it to say that it’s good for the audience gobbling it up, just not for me.

  49. Chris Arndt says:

    I’ve seen plenty. I never gave a shite how my friends got them.

    If you want one and can buy one this Christmas season…. unless yer doin’ it for yer kids, honestly, then it’s a scumbag move: http://www.thehutch.com/monitorduty/2007/11/is-selling-a-wii-illegal-in-a.php

    On the other hand: http://www.thehutch.com/monitorduty/2007/12/quick-melindawrite-the-check.php

    and yes, I do write for Monitor Duty.

  50. Hal says:

    Zaghadka

    Oh man, that Mario voice . . .

    If you pre-ordered Mario Galaxy from EB/Gamestop, you normally get a call the day before it comes in to let you know it’s ready to pick up. Except for Mario Galaxy, you got a pre-recorded call from the guy who voices Mario.

    Which sounds nifty . . . except it was a 3 minute message of, “Itsa me, Mario! You shoulda know your copy of Marioooo Galaxyyyyyy is a ready to picka up at your local Gamestop! Woo hoo!” And so on, ad nauseum.

    It was a nice idea, but . . . a little too much.

  51. Mordaedil says:

    For all you planning on buying a Wii now, don’t blame the strap!

  52. asterismW says:

    Besides the next-gen hardware and interactive play of the Wii, one of the best features is that you can download old games and play them. The games are cheap (no more than $10 for the big titles, like Ocarina of Time) and work extremely well. I haven’t found any bugs. The Classic Controller takes a little getting used to, but it’s not that bad. And Nintendo’s adding new titles to their library all the time.

  53. Cadamar says:

    About two weeks ago I got the shock of my life. My Mom said she wanted a Wii for Christmas! I’d be thrilled to get her one if I could find one.
    I’ve played with one and it is awesome. The Wii’s interaction model is the most emersive system yet and it’s the only gaming system that I’ve seen bring a room of adults to hystarical laughter with a tennis game.
    However, if I hadn’t actually played with one first hand then I’d sware that they didn’t exist at all. I’d claim that it was all just a big scam to get people to buy games and accessories in anticipation of eventually owning a console but then the console would never actually be made. I have yet to EVER see a console avialable for sale. Then to really push my buttons Nintendo continues to spend money on commercials! You only spend money on advertising if you are serious about selling your product. But then if they were serious they would be producing enough to meet demand. I agree with Shamus, Nintendo has really hurt themselves by not getting production up to snuff in time for the holyday season.

  54. Davesnot says:

    My folks got me the Atari 2600 back in.. uh.. the 70s.. 76? or 77?.. I dunno.. but I loved that thing.. little cubed shapes runnin’ all over.. back when you could finish a game.. I remember clearing all the screens for breakout.. and then just bouncing the ball around a blank screen wondering when anyone would come by to see what I’d done.. I think my mom got to be the official witness..

    Then I got an Apple II+.. then a PC.. ..never a console since.. The Wiiii has me intrigued.. My wife would probably play it with me.. but then she’d probably never opt for a game of MTG or anything else.. and my kid likes to play real baseball… so I’m not sure I want him getting the same hit with the TV… We do have a Pac-man, Dig-dug mini-consolish thing that he likes..

    … for now.. that’s enough.. Good luck finding that Wiii!!ii!! I hope you don’t have to donate too many body parts for it. Ho Ho Ho!

  55. Chris Arndt says:

    “I will say it is not a gimmick but an innovation. Instead of improving visuals – which are already so good that even bad graphics are still pretty awesome – Nintendo decided to improve the input device.”

    It’s not an innovation yet. I’m still going on wait n’ see. That said… it works. It’s fun enough. I wouldn’t call it a universal application yet, yet like so many light guns for consoles it’s got so much more potential than will likely be tapped.

  56. Dan says:

    Saw the Wii in action for the first time at Thanksgiving. My In-law retirees have had one since Spring, and the grandkids love it, as do I. I stayed up until 3 in the morning after the kids had gone to bed playing cow races with my sister-in-law.

    The equation is very, very simple. Other consoles are for players. Wii is for everyone. This is a brand phenomenon. Anyone who thinks that the wiimote isn’t a revolution is kidding themselves. A video game system that encourages physical activity, levels the playing field for everyone, and is inherently social is revolutionary. No one has ever done this before.

  57. Chaz says:

    For some reason, here in New Zealand there has never been a problem getting a Wii.

    I previously had the original X-box, and it was doing a lot of dust-gathering. There was a great deal to chop it in for a Wii, so we did that. Wii sports kept us going for ages, and has been hugely entertaining for many guests, including very small ones. The virtual console has also kept us highly amused for very little money (We missed Super Mario 64 first time round, and it is still a great game).

    We’ve promised ourselves Super Mario Galaxy for Xmas, and I can’t wait. As you can tell, we don’t really do Quake, Halo etc, and it seems that this is console that is actually designed for us. 6 months later, we still love it to bits.

  58. OM3G4 says:

    the funny thing is, production was doubled way back in summer, Wiis are still getting bought up just as quick.

  59. MissusJ says:

    We love our Wii. It was bought over the summer in a spontaneous “I’m at Best Buy, and they’re taking 4 off the truck now, so let’s get it while we can” instance.

    Our son loves the Wii. He can actually make things do stuff without a lot of precision.

    Our parents have loved the Wii. After years of possibly suffering through us showing off the Game We Think is Really Cool For This Visit (usually a music game), they have finally gotten into it and played. Both sides have stated that they want one. Someone even did enough research to be interested in Wii Fitness and knew when it was supposed to come out. For someone who’s practically never gamed, that’s saying something.

    My husband and his regular gaming partner (other than me) have repeatedly pulled muscles playing multiple games of bowling. And the bowling drills. And baseball. And the Homerun Derby… when their arms start hurting, they relax with something like GRAW2 on the 360.

    I got bored one afternoon and made Miis out of Harry Potter characters…

    We love our Wii.

  60. Jeff says:

    Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles is great fun, by the way.
    It’s the first time I’ve seen an arcade shooter on a console… no quarters needed!

  61. Dave says:

    I love the Wii, but I did have a chilling experience with it, early on: I bought Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the Wii rather than my PS2, and found it essentially unplayable. The button and stick control scheme that had made X-Men Legends so great was suddenly missing, and instead you had to waggle the remote four different ways to do different attacks, and if your rigid control over your left hand position wandered, so did the camera. Worst of all, there was no option to use the perfectly good Gamecube controllers to control it if you decided, as most people did, that the Wii control scheme was a huge mistake.

    So let me repeat: I love the Wii. But zowie, is there ever potential to mess game the heck up if the developers do it wrong. That’s probably a point in favour of it representing real innovation: any time something really new comes along, it brings along unparalleled new opportunities to screw up.

  62. wildweasel says:

    Hey, join the club, Shamus – it took me at least three months after launch before I was able to secure one, and I didn’t even get all the controllers for it at first. The store I was at ran out of Wiimotes – and I had to camp out front for three hours to make sure I actually got one. I was the very last person to get one, out of twenty people.

  63. Michelle says:

    I love the Wii…I hope to have it in my house next year.

    The problem is that a lot of folks are buying them up JUST to resell them overpriced…most of those ebay and craiglisters are selling new machines for way more than the retail price…alot trying to convince folks that Wii Sports and Play are worth 200-300 by themselves.

    I know at least four people who have been making a living off of reselling them over the past year. It’s crazy.

    It took me forever to find a deal that was actually worth it and not just taking me for the money.

  64. Doug says:

    To help in your search for a Wii, sign up for http://www.wiialerts.com. I bought one last week. I looked all over for one and couldn’t find one. I signed up at that site and the texted me 1/2 hour later to let me know that Amazon had them in stock. I logged on and snatched one up…easy as pie. 249, no shipping, no tax, showed up on doorstep 5 days later.

    If you get one, purchase Wii Play as well. That way you’ll get an extra Wiimote. You’ll need to buy the extra nunchucka seperately though.

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