Monday 7 September 2009

I used a Wii... somebody shoot me.

Today, just as my working day ended, I found myself playing on a Wii. I know, I know, how could have I let this happen? I feel dirty.

Basically I wanted to try out the new Wii Motion Plus. You know the add on that makes the Wii do what is was supposed to from the start...

Now while the new addition to Nintendo's evil, purist game play killing, box of delights works rather well on table tennis will it get applied to any 'real' game with any class. Possibly I suppose. Sense the grudging admittance that this might actually make a difference. Except it probably won't.

The trouble with the Wii is that the third party developers will still integrate the controls into titles that they're launching on other machines that don't have motion sensors. Ok, so project Natal on X-Box and Sony's motion sensors may change that, but if Nintendo are the only company launching titles that use the control system properly then nothing will change.

You can't help but admire Nintendo's dominance of the market with a machine that is basically the the modern equivalent of the board game that comes out at Christmas and family parties. How many Wii owners turn on their machines every day, once a week, or even once a month and play on their own. Not many I wager. At least not in percentage terms compared to PS3 and X-Box owners.

The Wii is and will remain a curio for me. It had the capacity for greatness but Sony and Microsoft keep pushing the boundaries and online play, such a huge factor these days, is just broken on the Wii. Sure it works, but no gamer tags? Bollocks to that.

So yeah I played with a Wii, shoot me. The new(ish) Motion Plus works well. But it's still not a machine for gamers. Just for everyone else. Which maybe is the point of it...

Regular readers will know that I'm a Sony fanboy and that my dislike for the Wii has been well documented here. I think Nintendo are a great company with a fantastic Legacy, Windwaker is up there in my Top Ten gaming experiences. But they forgot their audience with the Wii, which is a crying shame. Ohhh what a long caveat... this might be my new thing. Plus I really like the word caveat.


  1. Despite my proud Team Ledger status, I think you're missing the point here. Or rather, hitting the nail on the head and then passing on by...

    First things first, I like gaming. I spent many hours (days, nights...) tackling Tomb Raider before my ex and I split and he kept the PS2. I have fond memories of my Spectrum (not so fond of the Commodore), am still partial to the odd zombie shoot-out, and currently own an old-skool Gameboy, a Nintendo DS and, yes, a Wii.

    You are right: I don't play my Wii every day, or every other day for that matter. I do treat it like a glorified board game because, for me at least, that's what it is! Friends + glass of wine + nibbles + Wii = much hilarity all round.

    And that's the point. Nintendo haven't forgotten their audience, they've gone after a new one. Market diversification rather than product development. It's a risky strategy but they saw an opportunity to get non-gamers interested and created a very successful product to entice them in. And many of the children who grow up loving Wii will inevitably move on to 'proper' games like COD (don't get me started on the fact they should be out climbing trees and playing football as well as gaming...).

    There's room enough for all. You don't like Wii? Don't play it. Rant over. I have a headache, this hasn't helped! :-)

    PS. I'm still your number one fan though.

  2. Weirdly this has been my most controversial post. Ever.

    I think what I object to is the way that third party developers have forced games that are clearly for other consoles onto the Wii rather than using the tech to innovate. Nintendo have brought out some great titles for it, there haven't been many other developers doing the same.

    You're right, it has changed the way people view gaming and will introduce lots of kids into the gaming world, but I suspect many of them prefer the DS which Nintendo and other developers have produced some truly great games for.

    The Wii has its place. It is a great social machine.