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Two Weeks with the Wii

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the different-than-anything-you've-known-before dept.

Wii 458

In the 80s, kids of my generation cut their teeth on Super Mario Bros.. They went through high school with Mario Kart, and bonded with college friends playing Super Smash Bros. By 1999, though, the N64 had long since proven that Nintendo's dominance in American videogaming was over. The GameCube that followed was largely a disappointment. Nintendo failed to interest third party developers, and frustrated fans with long-delayed chapters of the Mario, Zelda, and Metroid franchises. Coming into this no-longer-next generation of consoles, Nintendo announced they were aiming for a Revolution, and then confused everyone by renaming it Wii. Their actions left a lot of people wondering if the company still had what it took to compete with committed powerhouses like Microsoft and Sony. The launch lineup is kind of tepid, and the controls really do take some getting used to. We've already established that they're not aiming to compete in the graphics race. So what is the console really like? Why is it selling so quickly? What does it have to offer? I've had two weeks to find out. Read on, so that you can get a feel for the system you'll definitely be playing (if not owning) at some point in the future.My somewhat bold claim is not based in any sort of fanboi favoritism. It's a simple reality of Nintendo's console; the Wii begs to be played by lots of people. Unlike the solitary games that are popular on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo's scrappy fighter is at its fullest potential when you've got four people armed with Wiimotes. Four players on a Wii title is like nothing you have ever experienced in gaming before. For some people the Wii's demand that you be physically proximate to your fellow gamer will be a mark against it. For many people, though, I think the need to get together in one space will cut through the confusion and misunderstanding this hobby has always suffered from.

The reason for this is that it is easy: It just works. The first time you hand a Wiimote to someone and they point it at the screen, they know what to do. There's a little hand, representing where you're pointing, and each Wiimote has a different colored hand. Navigating menus is actually ... fun, in an odd sort of way. Moving over UI elements with the little hand representing your controller causes a very slight rumble. The controller shakes just enough to give the entire experience a tactile element that, again, I've never seen in gaming before. It's the little things like this that really makes the Wii experience. Turning the Wiimote upside down inverts the hand. They didn't have to do it that way, but they did. Navigating menus is, mildly, fun. One of the first games my cousins played after they'd picked up the controllers was the "duel with their icon-hands" challenge. Odd, yes, but entirely understandable. The Wiimote, and the completely natural movements you make when using the device, require no explanation. When Nintendo went to the AARP event earlier this year, they knew what they were doing; this is the console your grandmother can use as easily as you can.

UI

Graphically, the system's UI is a clean mixture of greys and whites. The Channel selection screen is the first thing you see on booting the system, and stands out well against the system's default imagery. From left to right on the top row, you're going to find the games channel, the Mii channel, the photo channel, and Wii Store channel. Though I'm not sure why the somewhat anemic photo functionality gets to rank so highly, they've organized your primary Wii elements together on one screen. On the bottom of the screen there's an unobtrusive options button, and a button to take you to your Wii's address book functionality. As you purchase things from the Virtual console (the primary online capability of the console right now) they'll fill in additional windows on the console's launch page. This is also where the news and weather features are accessible, with promises of more services further on in the Wii's lifetime.

To start addressing the channels in order, the games channel is where you'll access your currently-loaded disc. The system has a little splash screen there on your Wii frontpage illustrating what you have loaded. Just to reiterate something you've probably already heard, GameCube titles are 100% backwards compatible with the system. The Wavebird controllers are too, and nicely slot into the ports for them on the top of the console. If you're planning on playing a lot of Virtual Console titles, I recommend that you make sure to hang onto your Wavebird; they'll play almost every game the download service can offer up, and your Cube games to boot.

Mii

The Mii channel may just be the hidden gem for this system. If Nintendo plays things right, the Mii may become as much a part of your online identity as Microsoft's gamertag. Miis, to explain, are little virtual people. Using a canned set of features (hair, eyes, mouths), you can combine facial elements to great a little 'you'. Or a mini-Lincoln. Or Jesus. If you've always wanted to school the King of Kings in tennis, the Wii is the system for you. As innocuous a feature as this sounds, it's impossible not to find yourself wrapped up in possibilities once you sit down to play with it. At the very least, you're going to have to make you. And your S.O. And your family, and all of your friends, and your favorite movie star ... it's just too bad they don't have ears and you can't make pets.

Once you've made your Mii-version of former child star Gary Coleman, you can actually compete with him or against him in Wii Sports. At the moment, the games on the pack-in disc (and those on the upcoming Wii Play disc) are the only places you can make use of your strange little people. Even with that limited scope, Nintendo is already showing their intent to make the most of this feature. Your capabilities in Wii Tennis, for example, are tracked via intuitive charts. Someday down the line, when more titles take your Mii into account, you'll hopefully be able to import more interesting stats (frags and such) into your Mii's pockets. You can already take your Mii with you; up to 8 Miis can be loaded onto a single Wiimote for easy toting to another person's house. You can send them away, too; after you exchange friend codes with someone, you can trade Miis. They'll go wandering, too, if you let them. Heading off into the great Wii beyond, they'll wander across the Mii Parades of consoles across the nation, just begging to be included in that owner's personal Mii Plaza. Reggie Fils Aime has already hinted at the eventual addition of more facial features, and it is little wonder why. With the ease of making a little 'you' so tantalizing, it's easy to see why Nintendo is taking this 'uber-cutesy' feature very seriously.

Photos

The system's photo feature/mp3 player is something of a forgettable tack-on. Photos and music can be uploaded to the system, or played directly from, SD memory cards. They slot right into the front, and featured photos are very lovingly displayed by the UI. Music can be played behind the photos; it's essentially the only way to just listen to music on the system. Uploaded tunes can be played during select Wii titles (like ExciteTruck), which is very nice, but otherwise the media capabilities of the Wii are fairly forgettable. Given Nintendo's drum-beating about the Wii being 'focused on games', I'm kind of surprised they even bothered. Just the same, the utility of these features can't be denied, and they certainly don't get in the way.

Virtual Console

The Virtual Console, then, is the final default offering you'll find on loading the system. Nintendo's answer to Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's E-Distribution model, it currently only offers downloadable retro titles. The Wii Shop will eventually be where you pick up additional services as well, but for now games are all this service has to offer. While the launch list for the U.S. market has some much appreciated classics included, overall the titles are downright disappointing compared to other regions. I'm not complaining about what we have gotten, to be sure. Bonk, the original Sonic, the SNES version of Sim City, and the original Legend of Zelda are all titles still well worth your time in 2006. It's hard not to look at the Virtual Console list from Japan and other sectors, though, and not be a little jealous. Castlevania IV and A Link to the Past? Why don't we deserve Link to the Past? Recent events has also hinted that Nintendo has no plans to offer games via the Virtual Console if they were not originally released in that market. If that turns out to be true, terrific JP-only NES and SNES games will never reach our virtual shores. A serious oversight on the company's part.

The Virtual Console itself has proven to be less enjoyable for me to use than other parts of the Wii interface. Out of the box, the only way you'll be connecting with the Internet is via a WiFi connection. Even with a solid WiFi setup, it's inevitable that your connection will flake out. The console seems intent on blaming 'firewalls' for its woes, but some days I know everything is working fine; the problem lies with a cranky Wii. Once you're online you may run into difficulties there as well. The interest level in the Virtual Console must be higher than Nintendo expected, because I've found the service absolutely hammered and essentially unusable several times since the system launched. All that said, this is exactly what you'd expect from Nintendo: a solid retro-delivery system, straight from your childhood. I spent many, many, many hours playing the SNES version of Sim City. I gave myself an allowance of three games from the launch lineup. Along with that early Will Wright title, I snagged the original Zelda (my wife had never played it) and Sonic, as we were Sega-less in my formative years. All three play as smoothly as silk. No hiccups, no quirky controls, just unadulterated blasts from the past. Of course, my three titles will soon have friends. Even with Nintendo's odd reluctance to give us the good stuff, they'll be releasing a least one new title every Monday for the foreseeable future. Emulator fans may scoff, but it's hard to look down your nose at a legal way to enjoy retro classics in relatively high definition. The Wii even does game suspension, so you don't have to play games straight through. Despite some petty annoyances, they've got a great channel here for future content (including the much vaunted indie gaming scene), and it only looks to be getting better in the future. At the end of the day, even if it can be annoying to use, at least the Wii Shop music is soothing.

So, that's what the machine itself is like. The Wii's control scheme is what has people sitting up and taking notice though, and it's hard to judge that on menus alone. As a study in comparisons, I offer you the Good, the Bad, and the Awesome: Wii Sports, Red Steel, and Rayman Raving Rabbids.

Wii Sports

In the U.S., our consoles were $40 more expensive than in Japan. This was the reason - the Wii Sports pack-in. I've been lamenting the loss of the pack-in for years now, though, so I begrudge them nothing. It would be one thing if Wii Sports was a waste, a Luigi's Mansion for the next-gen era, but thankfully this mini-game game holds its own and encourages your aging relatives to make fools of themselves. Wii Sports consists of five simple games which ... kind of ... resemble actual sports. There's tennis, golf, bowling, boxing, and baseball. Controls for each of the five pastimes are the definition of simplicity. Each only requires a very simple motion with the Wiimote, mimicking actual movements you'd make while participating in the sport. Tennis is probably the one that's been seen the most at press events, and all it requires is a quick flick of the wrist to get the ball moving to the other end of the court. It's also one of the most enjoyable of the offerings, and supports up to four players for some hi-larious doubles action. Bowling is likewise enjoyable in multiplayer mode, and requires only that you know how to make the bowling motion with your arm in order to strike. Golf and baseball are less enjoyable, as built-in sensitivities to the mini-games lend themselves to confusion and mistrust of your capabilities. In reality, it's not you, it's the game. Golf is particularly bad, as even the slightest swing will have the game registering 'too much force' on the ball. The final game, boxing, is much the same. Using the Wiimote and the nunchuck, you can deliver one-two punches to your opponent's Mii ... if you can get your flailing arms to work right. I've personally found boxing to be highly enjoyable, despite its lack of precision. Two people really into the game results in an air-slapping girly-fight scene like something out of "Revenge of the Nerds". Nintendo made an excellent choice including this as a pack-in, and Wii Sports will continue to be the social game console owners reach for until the likes of Wario Ware or Mario Party make it to store shelves. (Just make sure to use the wrist strap.)

Red Steel

On the opposite end of the hardcore scale, we have Red Steel. Along with Call of Duty 3, this is one of the more 'adult' offerings accompanying the Wii at launch. It concerns the battles of a gentleman who has come to a fancy restaurant to have dinner with his girlfriend's father. As sometimes happens, the Yakuza assault the building and an epic fight ensues. While the title does an admirable job of convincing the player that FPS controls are completely enjoyable on the Wii, the title fails to deliver in almost any other way. The reason has nothing to do with the Wii; Red Steel is just not a very good game. Unlike Yakuza , which manages to weave a tale of Japanese crime with a straight face and get away with it, here the attempts at gritty criminality come off as hokey and poorly thought-out. The hero is utterly forgettable, and the noble quest to protect friends and family from the vicious crime syndicate is one John Woo flick short of a film festival. The only thing it gets (mostly) right is the control scheme, which is just as you'd imagine it. The Wiimote directs your point of view, while the stick on the nunchuck moves you forward. This is the schema that were' going to (hopefully) see a lot of over the Wii's lifespan. It's the way we'll be playing Metroid down the line, and can also be seen one door over in Call of Duty 3. Red Steel chooses to make the protagonist's arm flex and bend in inhuman ways as you turn, fouling up the game's one solid feature. His long, seemingly jointless arm is very disconcerting, and only serves to remove you from the action. Embarrassingly, the control scheme breaks down during sword fights. Those gooshy, confusing fight sequences are not quite as disconnected from reality as Wii Boxing, but it's fairly close. Even when poor reactions began leaking out of the enthusiast press, I maintained a guarded enthusiasm for this title. Guns and swords for the win, right? In the end, though, there's just not enough 'there' there. As much as it makes me want to play Metroid Prime, it makes me want to shut off the console more. You need not suffer from the launch-day enthusiasm that carried this into my cart; you can definitely give this one a pass.

Rayman Raving Rabbids

From the inane to the insane, we move on to Rayman Raving Rabbids. I've never really liked Rayman in his previous platform title outings; he's always been something of a forgettable character. Here, though, Ubisoft has offered up a crack-addled assortment of mini-games, and hung them very loosely around Rayman's neck. He's the central character of the game only insomuch as the little guy on screen has his name. Otherwise, you'll be concerning yourself more with the Rabbids: evil, stupid, ugly, bunnies from hell. The outline of the game is fairly simple. Ray competes in various events, spread out over a period of about thirteen days. Every day, there are four events to participate in. Completing three events unlocks a 'boss' event, which when cleared allows Ray to move on to the next day. Completing all four events during each day unlocks (on alternating days) new outfits for Ray to wear, and new music for you to listen to. Multiplayer play focuses on several people competing in individual events, with an option to string some of them together to make fairly anemic storylines for your adventures.

The beauty of this game, though, is that it's a.) absolutely crack-addled b.) hilarious and c.) completely addicting. Just a few of my favorite examples from the game include:
  • "Bunnies Don't Like Bats" - Direct Rayman as he mounts a giant bat, collecting piggies and dropping them into a pigpen before the time runs out. "Bunnies Don't Like Bats 2" adds the complexity of fending off a Bunny raiding party while you collect the piggies.
  • "Bunnies Don't Know What to do with Cows" - Whirl the Wiimote over your head, as Ray does the same with a chain attached to a cow's collar. Hit a button on the Wiimote to send the cow flying while it's facing away from you. You get more points the further the cow flies; the cow flies further by whipping that Wiimote as fast as you can above your head.
  • "Bunnies Don't Use Toothpaste" - Grab horrible grimacing worms with the Wiimote as they emerge from the rotten teeth of a Bunny, and flick them away. They come slowly at first, but emerge faster and faster as you play. Allowing a worm to emerge and then disappear ruins a tooth. Allowing two worms to reenter a single tooth sends the worm borrowing up into the Bunny's soft palate and ends the game. Hilariously, the mini-game is backed by an homage to the the theme from "Brazil".
  • "Bunnies Can Only Fly Downward" - This wonderful bunny-filled version of the parachuting level from PilotWings has you directing Ray down through smoke rings with your Wiimote. You speed up by pushing on the nunchuck's stick, but you lose control that way too. Your aim is to get to the ground before a set time has passed. (Hint to Nintendo: PilotWings for the Virtual Console. Get on it.)
  • "Bunnies Are Addicted to Carrot Juice" - While pumping the nunchuck with your left hand up and down, aim the Wiimote at the oncoming diver-Bunnies to fill their dive masks with carrot juice. Filling them up causes them to fall over. You lose if the ever-increasing wave of bunnies reaches your bar.
Beyond these, there are rhythm games, races, and a slew of FPS-style bunny shoot-em-ups. This last genre is usually the 'boss' event for any given day, and actually gives me even more hope for First Person Shooter titles on the Wii than Red Steel does. The controls are tight and responsive, and a ridiculous amount of fun. Zelda may be the reason that everyone bought a Wii, but Rayman should be the game you break out at Christmas parties this year. It's gloriously unhinged to play with four players, and is guaranteed to be better while drunk. Most enjoyably, there are several games that can be played by two players, one holding the Wiimote and the other the nunchuck. It's a wonderfully cheaty form of co-op play, and I highly recommend it as an excuse to get your wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend interested in the Wii's unique control scheme. The only problem here is the game's brevity; beatable in just a day or two, Rayman really only has legs as a party game. For a party game, though, and one made up so defiantly of mini-games, its well worth at least a look. Ubi has a winner with this ... this grotesque mockery of Bunniedom. I hope there's room in Ubisoft's budget down the line for a sequel. My suggestion for a mini-game: "Bunnies Avoid Corporate Takeovers."

Final Thoughts

The reality of the situation is that multiplayer Wii games make you look like an idiot. As strange as it sounds, this is just one mark of a system that has succeeded. For so many people, gaming is either a solitary pastime or one done socially via the cold detachment of a Ventrilo link. I, like many other folks, had the opportunity to introduce the Wii to my family during Thanksgiving, and it was anything but detached. It resulted in several hours of good-natured competition among my cousins, and allowed me the pleasure of watching four individuals north of 40 volley and serve via Wiimote. With the exception of my mother, I believe it may well have been the first time these people had ever played a videogame. It's not Half-Life, sure, but it isn't exactly Tetris either.

Even with a fairly humble collection of launch titles, Nintendo has managed to get gamers and non-gamers alike to drink the kool-aid. The system delivers exactly what the company promised when the 'Revolution' was announced in 2004. It's a system that offers the best of both worlds. Non-gamers have a completely intuitive control scheme that will now allow them to play with their game-loving friends. Hardcore gamers already have more innovative titles to play than they know what to do with. So what if some of them, like Red Steel come up a little short. For every Red Steel, there's a Trauma Center, a Rayman, or a Twilight Princess (whose review grew too large to fit here, and will be addressed tomorrow). Offering the best of new technology and plenty of unearthable retro memories, the Wii is a console that demands attention. I've yet to encounter anyone with a mild opinion of the little white box; you are either going to love this thing, or hate it.

Either way, Nintendo has finally broken free of its 'me too' position, held since the days of the N64. Even if the Wii stays the third-place console, it's no longer possible to think of the company as an also-ran. Sony and Microsoft are in for a hard fight this time around. The only side guaranteed not to lose is our side; whatever happens in this war, it's the gamers who win.

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458 comments

Error. (-1, Offtopic)

viper21 (16860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134422)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Re:Error. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134832)

Christ! I wish Zonk would just post this lame ass shit to digg.

Re:Error. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134842)

Swing your MOM from
side to side come on
it's time to go do
teh Mario!

The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134448)

The launch lineup is kind of tepid

But it contains Twilight Princess. Sold.

(29 hours to go...)

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134532)

I was kinda shocked by this comment. By all accounts the launch lineup is the best of any of the three systems. Not even counting Zelda or Sports, the games that came out all have something to offer and are all from fan favorite series (like Call of Duty, or Trama Center.)

You have to be on crack to think that the PS3 or the 360 had better launch titles.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134590)

On which topic, I'm still undecided on what the third game I'll buy should be.

Zelda, obviously. And Wii Play, because of Duck Hunt, and the extra wiimote. But the third? I was thinking Super Monkey Ball, but I'm getting more and more tempted by Rayman, chiefly because of the cow-flinging, and the well-known fact that bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes...

So, guys? Monkey Ball or Rayman? It's now 7.15 on Wednesday evening and I buy just after midnight on Friday morning. Which one shall it be?

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134678)

I vote for Rayman, having played a whole bunch.

And the tossing cows isn't half as much fun as the dancing, plus the carrot juice bar and excessive use of plungers ...

Graveyards will never be the same ...

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134882)

Trauma center :P

But of the two you specifically listed, I'd probably go monkey ball... but that's mainly because I'm a big fan of the previous monkey ball games. Never played either though, so I can't give you any kind of review.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Informative)

Cocoronixx (551128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134896)

Owning both Super Monkey Ball and Rayman, I'll say that Super Monkey Ball's handling of the Wiimote is slightly squirrely, as compared to Wii Sports & Rayman. Rayman has 70 mini games, as opposed to SMB's 50. The only downside is that you need to unlock the levels in single player mode with Rayman (which was kind of a let-down for me, because I had bought it on the way to a friends house to drink & play,) but the game is so addictive that I had 'beaten' single player in 3 days. If you have the money, get both, if not, get Rayman.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135146)

Super Monkey Ball AND Rayman RR AND Trauma Center.

From the various reviews, and from my playing of Trauma Center DS, SMB and Trauma Center are awesome single-player games, but TC has no multiplayer to speak of and SMB's multiplayer seems sorely lacking (especially compared to previous iterations of the serie).

Rayman, on the other hand, looks so-so from a single player point of view, but completely awesome for multiplayer.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135314)

We bought 2 games on release day for our Wii: Excite Truck and Super Monkey Ball.

We got excite truck because my wife had played it for a few minutes when the Nintendo rep first set up the Kiosk in the store she used to run and said it was fun. We debated about what 2nd game to get, and decided on super monkey ball because I'd heard good things about previous versions (my last console purchase being a dreamcast I picked up when the first closeout price drop happened).

Maybe I'm just not really into monkeyball-style games anymore, but I find excite truck to be the better game. I played the single-player, marble madness-style mode only once, and made it through the first level, only to get frustrated by the rather large difficulty jump in the second stage. I may go back to it later and give it another try. The mini-games are a mix of some reasonably fun ones (there's a FPS one that's a gas, too bad I only have one nunchuck so can't play it multiplayer) and some real duds. Sometimes the controls are a little iffy, especially on games where you orient something like disc golf. My experience has been that the games are either too short (like the FPS game, which ends after 5 minutes and declares a winner), or so boring/frustrating that you just want them to end. The best games seem to be the ones that use the nunchuck though - there are a couple of hovercar games that you control tank-style.

Exite truck has been far more enjoyable. I'm not a big racing game fan, but the controls are pretty intuitive and relatively simple. Vs. mode is a lot of fun, and the track variety is pretty good. The game probably isn't all that difficult, since I barely register as high as a casual gamer and I'm one track out of 20 away from unlocking the "super excite" mode. Still, the combination of running races and unlocking new trucks and tracks has been entertaining.

I too have been looking for the next game to pick up and have been considering Rayman. My big fear is that it will be too much like supermonkeyball. I might invest in some virtual console games (like zelda) and just wait for the next round of game releases.

(BTW, do you all find it as annoying as I did that the channel features were not enabled for launch? Not that I need to be able to look up the weather via my game console, but there's always the vaporware worry. Maybe that's just because I'm an old Amigahead.)

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135482)

Probably rayman, though Exite Truck, Monkey Ball, Trauma Center, and all those other games also are great.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (-1, Offtopic)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134928)

Call of Duty - no online support. Resistance fall of man - 40 player online support and clans. You're right - the PS3 SUCKED at launch.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134982)

You have to be on crack to think that the PS3 or the 360 had better launch titles.

Or to think the GameCube was a failure. Everyone I know that has a PS2 or Xbox ALSO has a gamecube. Why? it's cheap and the games were cheap.. Super Mario Karts GC is better than the crap sony had, as well as other GC titles for group play.. And that is missing big time on the other platforms. Group games multiplayer is way more fun than some single player game or online only multiplayer.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (3, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135166)

The GameCube was a failure compared to both previous nintendo consoles and the PS2, it nearly completely bombed in Japan, did horribly in Europe, the only place where it sold some were the USA, and even then it only sold 21 millions worldwide. Just so you know, the PS2's clocking at 110 millions now, the N64 sold more than 30 millions and the SNES/SuperFamicom ended it's life after having sold 49 million consoles.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135494)

how many of those 110 million where replacements though?

I know me and my girlfriend both owned about 4 thanks to hardware failure.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (2, Insightful)

Garse Janacek (554329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135254)

Everyone I know that has a PS2 or Xbox ALSO has a gamecube.

Well, that can't be too common of a phenomenon just on pure numbers -- PS2 sales were obscene.

I agree about your basic point, though: I've never understood why the PS2 and XBox "won" the last generation and the Gamecube "lost" when, compared to the PS2's incredible sales record (well over 100 million) the XBox and Gamecube were practically tied (21 and 24 million, IIRC). Especially since Nintendo made lots of money from those 21 million consoles, while Microsoft lost many millions of dollars from their 24, even factoring in profit from games.

If you have to say someone lost the last generation, it should be Nintendo and MS jointly (or maybe just MS, if you're concerned about actual profits). But there's no realistic way that XBox "won" and Gamecube "lost."

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135328)

Why did the XBox "win" the last generation of consoles? Marketing.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135508)

Depends what you mean by failure. If you look at the gamecube as far as profits, it was a stunning success. If you look at it in regards to sales numbers, the last I saw, world wide it was the #3 console for units sold. So your statement that everyone who has a PS2 or Xbox has a gamecube may be true of your ciricle, but is not universally true (obviously, if everyone who had a PS2 and an Xbox had a gamecube, then it would have been the #1 sold console). I don't thing anyone realistically sees the Gamecube as a failure. Maybe more of a disappointment in the sense that it didn't regain Nintendo former dominance in the market.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (1)

c00rdb (945666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135548)

Well I guess you just don't KNOW any of the 90 million people who own a PS2 but not a Gamecube, but trust me they exist.

Re:The rest of the launch lineup can go to hell... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135538)

Have you seen Call of Duty 3 on the Wii? It looks like shit. But besides that, crackhead (I can only assume you're a crackhead, since you insinuated that stupid remarks necessarily equated to that fact), here's a list of some of the games coming out at launch for the PS3:

Devil May Cry 4
Final Fantasy
Killzone
Metal Gear Solid 4
Tekken

And that's just four of them (there's 30 total). Fan favourites, each of them have something to offer to different gamers.

The only one "on crack" here is you, and I suspect it's more of a case of ignorance than drug use.

Wiiiiiiiiii (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134458)

Wiiiiiiiiii!

Conversion (3, Interesting)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134470)

After having a 360, and being impressed with it. I looked at the Wii, and went "annnnddddd......?" I wasn't impressed. but after reading reviews and seeing it in action, I'm considering it. Assuming I can get my hands on it.

Re:Conversion (2, Interesting)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134728)

> I looked at the Wii, and went "annnnddddd......?" I wasn't impressed. but after reading reviews and seeing it in action, I'm considering it.

I've got two Playstation 2s (to play network games within my house), but the Playstation 3 is waaay too expensive. I couldn't figure out what the deal with the Wii was. However, after the review, the Wii actually looks like a pretty good choice. I'm glad to see that Nintendo went in a different direction than Sony and Microsoft.

Re:Conversion (2, Funny)

krunoce (906444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134746)

I own a 360 too, and I just got a Wii Monday. I didn't buy any games yet. I've only played Wii Sports, and I am very impressed with the Wii. Once I started playing the boxing game I knew it was revolutionary. Using the controller is a completely new gaming experience.

I am very glad that I bought it. I'm just displeased that every friggin store around here doesn't have a) Zelda or b) Wii controllers. I can't wait to fight my wife in the boxing game!

I Know Exactly What You Mean (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134472)

In the 80s, kids of my generation cut their teeth on Super Mario Bros..
Well give me a break, those plastic cartridges [nintendocity.com] were rock hard but oh so tasty. Plus I herd from someone that if you bit them they would work ... but if that didn't work, just take them out and bite them again. Rinse, wash, repeat like a squirrel with nuts.

They went through high school with Mario Kart...
Listen, my parents didn't have a lot of money so I'd appreciate it if you just let it go that my first car [iastate.edu] failed the safety inspection.

... and bonded with college friends playing Super Smash Bros.
Now there we differ. On the contrary, I bonded in college with my friends, the super smashed brothers. Leinenkugel's [leinie.com] for the win! It was all very similar though--a punch here, a puch there, a flaming Luigi & a princess was an instant party.

By 1999, though, the N64 had long since proven that Nintendo's dominance in American videogaming was over.
Yeah, it sure is going to hurt to have this removed [micromania.fr] .

Re:I Know Exactly What You Mean (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134628)

Well give me a break, those plastic cartridges were rock hard but oh so tasty. Plus I herd from someone that if you bit them they would work ... but if that didn't work, just take them out and bite them again. Rinse, wash, repeat like a squirrel with nuts.

So what do the girl squirrels do?

My Parents (5, Interesting)

bflong (107195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134516)

My nephew bought a Wii. I got to play with it for a night soon after. This past weekend he brought it up to my parents house, since I thought they would enjoy playing the bowling game, since they used to bowl a lot when they were younger. I was right, they stayed up until after 11pm playing it. My parents are in their mid-sixties, and they are going to buy one as soon as they become more readily available. Nintendo took this thing in an entirely new direction, and it is going to work for them.

Re:My Parents (-1, Offtopic)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134726)

Nintendo took this thing in an entirely new direction, and it is going to work for them.

By pricing it reasonably? It may be something different than Microsoft and Sony have chosen to do but it certainly isn't new.

Re:My Parents (4, Insightful)

telbij (465356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135056)

By pricing it reasonably?


Whu-huh? Have you been living under a rock? It's the wiimote dude. More generally, it's a focus on gameplay.

PS3 and 360 are priced very reasonably for what they offer. But let's face it, you have to be a gamer to see the value.

Re:My Parents (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135544)

More generally, it's a focus on gameplay.
I wonder if the relatively poor graphics are going to work in Nintendo's favour here. It's really easy to distinguish a game on graphics; just throw money at it. If your target platform is the PS3 or XBox 360, just hire more texture artists, more modellers, and make something that looks shiny. People will see the demo and buy it.

With the Wii, they can't do much more visually than they could with the GameCube, so they need to come up with some selling point other than the graphics.

By the way, I was told that one of the biggest problems developing for the GC was that it allocated a huge amount of its RAM as a cache for audio, and you couldn't adjust this. Does anyone know if the Wii is a bit more sane?

Re:My Parents (5, Insightful)

Jearil (154455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135062)

I don't think you got the point of the GP post at all. Heck, the GP didn't even mention price. It was more about the fact that someone's parents, aged in the mid-60's, was playing video games with each other until late in the night. Nintendo hit a demographic that includes both genders of a senior age, something that MS and Sony lack in their next-gen offerings.

I have a 360 and picked up a Wii on launch. I tried to get either of my parents to play things on the 360, but they wouldn't even touch it. On Thanksgiving of this year I brought my Wii over and both my mother and father played Wii Sports (bowling mostly) for hours. My mother in particular played Wii bowling with me for nearly 4 hours.. at that point I was too tired to play it any more.

This is the first video game she has played since Frogger on the Atari. She's even tried to borrow mine over the weekend for when she has guests, it's crazy. All because she can easily understand how to play. "It's just like real bowling.. except you don't have to tire yourself out with a heavy ball."

Parents are playing games with their kids again. Parents who don't even care about video games are picking up the Wii and playing it. That is what is meant by Nintendo took this thing in an entirely new direction, and it is going to work for them.

Re:My Parents (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135232)

By pricing it reasonably?

No, by creating a new, easier to use, more obvious input method, and by designing games that would appeal to persons out of the regular "mainstream" gaming market (males aged 15-25). Just as they previously did with the DS.

Re:My Parents (5, Insightful)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135454)

The reason Nintendo is succeeding is that they are making a console that everybody can enjoy. Those 40+ year-olds weren't interested in PS2 or Xbox (or GC for that matter). Why would they be interested in PS3 or 360? I mean, both PS3 and 360 are exactly same as their predecessors were, they just have more horsepower. Wii has more horsepower than it's predecessor had, but that's not the point. It's actually different. Not only is it different from it's competition (let's face it, PS3 and 360 are very, very similar. Controls are similar, games are similar, the experience of gaming is similar....), but it's also different from it's predecessors.

I have never been interested in consoles. But I AM interested in the Wii. And the reason for that is that it's DIFFERENT. It offers a whole new approach to gaming. I wasn't interested in PS2 or Xbox. And I'm not interested in 360 or PS3. They are practically indetical to their predecessors. Yes, they are more "powerful", but how much gigaflops or how many pixels the console could pump was not the reason why I wasn't interested in consoles. So increasing the power of the console by an order of magnitude does nothing to make me get interested in it. The power was not the problem, so making it more powerful does not help. Somy and Microsoft basically took their existing consoles, increased the amount of RAM, and put more powerful CPU and GPU in there, and that was it. Nintendo actually did something different. They are basically re-inventing gaming.

If I wanted a gaming-system with lots of RAM and CPU/GPU-power, why should I get a console, when I could get a PC that mops the floor with both PS3 and 360?

Re:My Parents (5, Interesting)

aphxtwn (702841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134948)

Ditto. When I got my Wii, my parents tried it out. It was the first time anyone in the older generation in my family was having fun and excited about playing a video game. In the race to produce mind-blowing graphics, the most important part of the game was neglected - the game. Games should first be a good game with aesthetics coming second. I think Nintendo really got their priorities straight by returning to basics and pushing game play and a intuitive control system. It would seem the DS was the first step towards their revolution, and I personally think we're witnessing a Nintendo renaissance.

No thanks (1, Flamebait)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134538)

Already Nintendo is in a bit of bind with it's library of games. Again we will see Nin games trickle out ever so slowly, no thanks.

No wii for mii.

Ha! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134596)

Read on, so that you can get a feel for the system you'll definitely be playing (if not owning) at some point in the future.

Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games.

Re: Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games. (5, Funny)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134682)

Think again, botnet mule, Real Men play Nethack.

Re: Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games. (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135012)

Think again, x86 lamer. Real Man play Rogue on a VT100 terminal connected via serial to a machine running AT&T Sys-III on a 68000 series processor.

Re: Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games. (5, Funny)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135124)

That's nothing, real men play with their girlfriend.

Oh wait ...

Re: Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games. (1)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135258)

Think again grungy unix hacker- real men play pen, paper and dice role playing games. :P

Re: Think again, fanboi. Real men play PC games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135014)

NetHack is way too old, but there are wonderful Dwarf Fortress and GearHead out there, which are quite modern. An yes, real hardcore gamers play those game. Because it's where real innovation is. But, alas, waving 3-dimensional controller around is far more "lolz, fun!!1" than acting in huge, dynamic and procedurally-generated worlds.

What about... (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134608)

Excite Truck [gamespot.com] ? You know, the game that every store I've seen is demoing on their Wii.

And the first time I got my hands on a Wii-mote, I held it backwards & was confused as shiat as to why left was right & right was left.

Re:What about... (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134972)

the game that every store I've seen is demoing on their Wii.
You've actually seen playable demos at stores? Which? I've been to a gamestop, a Best Buy, and Walmart - and none of them have actual demos. It's "here's what it looks like", along with a video. Neither is useful.

Re:What about... (1)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135250)

At a mall this weekend they had a center concourse setup with 6 playable Wii's for the shoppers. There were a few different games on the screens I saw (Zelda, Wii Sports, Excite Truck) and two fellows in Nintendo shirts showing how to use it.

Not one Wii for sale in the whole mall.

Re:What about... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135380)

The EB Games & Gamestops I've been to have demo units.

Here's a pic [commongate.com]
(the Wii demo stand is on the right)

I've killed 2~3 hrs playing Excite Truck over the course of several days (I was waiting on female family members who were shopping).

Also, I'd kinda like to try playing the game using the 'classic' controller instead of the Wii-mote. Are some of the other games like tennis & bowling playable without the wii-mote?

Re:What about... (1)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135086)

I agree... I was completely surprised by Excite Truck. I'm not a racing game sort of person. I wasn't really expecting much.

Now I'm screaming at my TV because I need my last two S-ranks in Super Excite. It's great fun for a racer, and not stuff about "reality", which usually turns me off in racing games. The controls are exceedingly easier to use than those steering wheel add-ons you can buy. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to play.

I even bought the little plastic steering wheel that Ubisoft put out. Some people might not like it, but I think the wheel is great, it's helped me a lot.

Rayman is best game, but 4 Wiimotes? (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134626)

I agree, have a Wii, two nunchuks, one wiimote, three GameCube controllers (see the top slots), but how in the heck do you get four Wiimotes?

One of the good things about Wii Sports is it lets more than one person share the same controller - and quite frankly, I've been dropping by game stores for weeks and still can't get a second wiimote.

But I agree that Rayman's Raving Rabbids is the best game - and yes, we've played many many hours of Zelda.

And, yes, it IS that fun - all ages too. My 15 yo son loves it, as do all his friends (14 to 17). But so does everyone else.

Re:Rayman is best game, but 4 Wiimotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134856)

I ordered another wiimote/nunchuk combo from nintendo.com after spending a week trying to find one locally. They said they were backordered to the 15th, but mine is on the truck today for delivery.

Re:Rayman is best game, but 4 Wiimotes? (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135008)

I just picked up Wiimotes and Nunchucks whenever I saw them in a store until I had 4 of each. They trickle into stores and you never know who will have them. I believe I fot a nunchuck from best buy, 2 nunchucks and a wiimote from a target and the other 2 wiimotes from walmart.

Re:Rayman is best game, but 4 Wiimotes? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135180)

well, glad you could find them, but I've had no luck so far.

Love the Wii and all the release games I've played, though.

Re:Rayman is best game, but 4 Wiimotes? (1)

ShadoHawk (741112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135236)

I hate to say it but don't look in game stores. I had been doing that for a while and I found that Target or Wal-Mart have many more in stock. Don't ask me why they do, but I went looking and found a ton of them at a Wal-Mart near me just sitting there waiting to be bought.

The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134640)

No this isn't a rip on the Wii, but after you have played through Zelda and your friends have come over for a few gaming sessions the Wii quickly loses its appeal. The system reminds me of those toys I desperately had to have back when I was in gradeschool that I quickly forgot about a few days after Christmas.

Looking at the release schedule for the next year for the Wii it looks like there is a ton of shovelware coming from gaming companies with a few gems. The system's release list is looking more like the GameCube than I originally believed. I loved my GameCube, but the library size and diversity did leave a lot to be desired.

Since I could have played Zelda on my GameCube, I've been of the mindset that the Wii would have been the perfect system for a friend to have bought instead of me.

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134798)

No this isn't a rip on the Wii, but after you have played through Zelda and your friends have come over for a few gaming sessions the Wii quickly loses its appeal.

It's been not quite three weeks. You've finished Zelda? Bloody hell. Do you even sleep? I just finished playing through Ocarina, and THAT took three weeks, with me knowing pretty well where everything in the game was from the outset. By all accounts Twilight Princess is substantially bigger.

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134964)

You've finished Zelda? Bloody hell. Do you even sleep? I just finished playing through Ocarina, and THAT took three weeks, with me knowing pretty well where everything in the game was from the outset. By all accounts Twilight Princess is substantially bigger.

We had a big holiday weekend, and two snow days, so there was a lot of time - plus we got it at midnight on release day.

Amazingly, my son has kept up his grades throughout this ...

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

SpiritGod21 (884402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135284)

I played through Ocarina on the N64 in 3 days.

No, I did not sleep ^_^

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134996)

So Super smash brothers brawl, wario Ware, Wii Play, Super mario galaxy, Super Paper Mario,Metroid Prime 3 are all shovel ware? then you have the vc games like super mario world and oot coming out in 2007 too. How are all those games shovel ware? Thats not including games like animal crossing.

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135230)

I don't think the OP was implying those games were crap. Since it is so easy for game companies to take an existing GameCube game/engine and essentially dump it on the Wii hardware and slap some Wiimote pointing/swinging in place of the existing controls, the Wii is most likely going to have the same library of quality titles the GameCube had but with the addition of a ton of crap. If that is true or not is a matter of opinion. Third party Wii stuff so far makes the outlook pretty grim.

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135360)

Actually elebits is one of the games I expect from the wii, a small conceptual highly interesting game only doable with a mouse or the wiimote. I expect way more interesting stuff for the Wii than ever has been for the cube. It is pretty much like the DS compared to the GBA. On the GBA, tons of shovelware almost no gems. The DS has this 1-2 really weird but interesting titles coming out every 1-2 months which are hidden under tons of shovelware, but make it. Project rub for instance has been one, trauma center, then the first real point and click adventures on a console etc.... So far the lineup in the wii looks very interesting since many companies currently toy with the input system and seem to give the devs more freedom than on the other consoles, to make smaller but more interesting games. Also in the long run I expect excellent perso 2 person sport games. Wii sports is an indicator that a very good tennis simulation might be possible or even something like decathlon on the c64 which in this concept has not been done with current gen tech for a long time.

Re:The Perfect System For A Friend To Have (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135418)

"Looking at the release schedule for the next year for the Wii it looks like there is a ton of shovelware coming from gaming companies with a few gems."

honestly i think that's been true of literaly every gaming system. looking at both the ps3 and 360 launch scheduals for the next few months i only find i'm interested in maybe 10-20 percent of the games. i think you're asking a bit much from a system if you expect to be interested in even 50 percent of its titles. not only are tastes in games relative to the individual but there are also just alot of crappy games made for every system.

At least you got a Wii... (1, Informative)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134644)

It's still impossible to get a Wii at MSRP (i.e. you have to buy from eBay scalpers), and I don't see this getting any better before Christmas...

How to get a Wii... (3, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134978)

Stores keep getting in shipments and selling them out the same day, usually 20-40 at a time about once a week.

Pick your favorite retailer, and just call them once a day when they open.

This worked for a friend, and I'm trying it now.

EG, for Black Friday after thanksgiving, the local Tarje (thats Target for those not from SoCal) got some 30-40 Wiis (and 3 PS3s that got placed in a corner and nobody cared about).

Re:How to get a Wii... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135160)

Even in SoCal, Target it still spelled Target, even if you're pronouncing it with a French accent. Same with Filet of Beef and Colbert.

Re:How to get a Wii... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135322)

"Tarje"?

I think you completely missed the joke - "Target" pronounced as a faux-French word comes out as "Tar-zhey". For those from the northwest you can always talk about the "Bon Target" (The Bon Marche [wikipedia.org] was an semi-upscale Northwest department store that was bought out by Macy's a few years ago)

Re:At least you got a Wii... (2, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135188)

Stores seem to get them in pretty regularly. You just have to check daily. Funny thing is that I went to Bestbuy the other day looking for a wii and they had 6 ps3s. Who would've thought...

Re:At least you got a Wii... (1)

davidmcn (606752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135208)

I disagree. The stores (at least in Chicago) seem to be getting decent shipments at least once a week. I picked mine up the week after launch and hate to wait outside a few hours at Best Buy (where they were releasing 30 the Sunday after Thanksgiving) and my brother-in-law had no problem over the weekend at a Target which received 60 units the same day the Circuit City next door received 40.

Extra Wiimotes is where we've been having trouble. Its also a little annoying that the Wiimote and Nunchuck are sold separately.

As a side note I have to agree with the review, the gameplay is just so...fun...something to add, some games take some real getting used to play well, Madden 07 is a good example. Its a unique and rich gameplaying experience and helps train you to the remotes controls it still takes a bit of learning curve. However, once you get acclimated make for about as realistic football experience you can have without pads on.

I just bought one at Wal-Mart. (1)

kdark1701 (791894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135298)

I waited 20 hours in line for it, but I bought it at the store.

The 360 is console done right, Wii is console ... (4, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134694)

Done better. PS3 is failure of marketing.

The 360 is a really solid, machine, I'm completely impressed by the options they have launched with.

On the other hand though the Wii is a console that is innovative and unique. The big missing point is achievements (yes they are important) but the Wii controller and everything else earned it the center stage in my apartment.

The PS3 on the other hand is so dead to me after all the hype, the failed launch, the lackluster system and so on. I'll pick one up when some amazing rpgs are out but even Metal Gear Solid 4 is not enough. Especially with it's price point.

For the Wii though Avoid red steel, but check out Excite trucks, Zelda (duh), and trauma center (if you don't have it for the DS). And Elebits is sounding to be the Second half of the One two launch combo.

I'm hopeful for the Wii, with talented developers (not EA) we can have some amazing games on an amazing system. Konami is already releasing Elebits and with more attention some really radical games can come out. But that's still not enough for me to discount my 360, which is fun, has better graphics and has achievements (again they are important, don't ask me why). It appeals to me in every way the Wii doesn't and that's fine as well.

Personally I think it really is a wonderous time to be a gamer. If you have yet to try the system I highly advise you to give it a shot, because it'll revive that kid who shook the controller to make mario jump "Farther".

Re:The 360 is console done right, Wii is console . (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134886)

The PS3 on the other hand is so dead to me after all the hype, the failed launch, the lackluster system and so on.

I played with it for exactly 4 minutes because that's how long it took for it to load one of the games (some dirt track truck racing thing IIRC). I didn't actually even bother to play it because it was just too much of a time waste.

I'm very disappointed in the machine from the one console company that always impressed me.

Then again, I don't need a PS3 to play Katamari and Gran Turismo 1.

Re:The 360 is console done right, Wii is console . (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135466)

"But that's still not enough for me to discount my 360, which is fun, has better graphics and has achievements (again they are important, don't ask me why)."

what on earth are achievements? you mention this term a few times in your post and i have no idea what you're talking about.

Wii, was the hype worth it? (0, Redundant)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134698)

IMO:

The good: Good controller design. Has a major nostalgia appeal. Compatible with all (?) GameCube games

The bad: Controller eats batteries. Lacks the advanced HD graphics and surround sound found on the Xbox 360 and the PS3

The uggly: It's lights years behind 360 and PS3 in multimedia features and graphics.

Re:Wii, was the hype worth it? (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134754)

The bad: Controller eats batteries. Lacks the advanced HD graphics and surround sound found on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. The uggly: It's lights years behind 360 and PS3 in multimedia features and graphics.

Is it just me, or did you say 'inferior graphics and sound' twice?

Re:Wii, batteries, and why rechargeables R gud (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135024)

The bad: Controller eats batteries. Lacks the advanced HD graphics and surround sound found on the Xbox 360 and the PS3

Um, dude, drop by Home Depot and buy a four-battery recharger, and get four rechargeable batteries.

Problem solved.

Seriously, doing that costs less than a new controller combo (wii-mote plus nunchuk).

Re:Wii, was the hype worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135200)

Agree with this.
I got mine on Sunday, played Wii sports and Zelda.

The problem is the lack of good games. After sports and Zelda nothing else is good.
It's really just an advanced GameCube++, it has gamecube memory slots and 4 controller ports. I think they expect you to buy gamecube games for it.
Graphically it's poor compared to XBOX360 and PS3. And for PC owners wanting hq graphics, look elsewhere.
But for controller innovation, it's great.
I'm just worried that everyone that gets one then realises it has almost no good games (apart from 2 above) and will be disappointed. Maybe better to wait.

If you are a HDTV fan, then the PS3 is the best bet.

Re:Wii, was the hype worth it? (3, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135550)

It has Dolby Pro Logic, I fail to see how that is not good enough

Roommate picked one up (2, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134700)

Wii Sports is fun, for little while. Probably a great "party game".

Zelda never interested me, but it seems like it's well-done.

Basically every other game currently available is just not worth mentioning. There are some *decent* games, but nothing particularly exciting (again, assuming you aren't a big Zelda fan). It's the standard "launch games are kinda lame" syndrome. Personally, I'm holding out for the WarioWare game. That will rock.

Still, the Wiimote works very well, and is fun to use. Nintendo might have a big hit on their hands.

Re:Roommate picked one up (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135532)

"Basically every other game currently available is just not worth mentioning."

i think it's more that you're just not interested in any other titles for the system right now. a number of other titles have been getting very positive reviews both from the gaming media and gamers. Raymond and trauma center are just two off the top of my head.

Before you get that Wii (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134770)

Just remember to invest in a plexiglass TV protector...

http://wiihaveaproblem.com/ [wiihaveaproblem.com]

Wiimote (2, Insightful)

DarrylKegger (766904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134792)

I'd like to know realistically how long the batteries in those remotes last. Prob too soon to get any good data on that I suppose.

Re:Wiimote (1)

carlivar (119811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135006)

Just use rechargeable and it won't matter all that much.

Re:Wiimote (2, Informative)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135010)

I played my Wii quite a bit until I finished Zelda, and I'm still playing Excite Truck pretty frequently.

These aren't officially tested or anything, but just a general idea. I changed my batteries after about 40 hours of Zelda (according to the game timer), and about 5 hours of Excite Truck, and a few other things here and there.

So, I'd say they'd last about 50 hours, depending on what you're playing. You could probably save some battery power by turning off the Wiimote speaker. I like the speaker, personally. :P

Re:Wiimote (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135112)

I'm on my thrid set after about 60 hours of playtime.

What impresses me is I've had the system for 9 days and I've played for 60 hours already... good gravy.

Re:Wiimote (1)

Corbu Mulak (931063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135214)

Well, I have put in about 70-80 hours since I got it at launch day (not including VC games, which I used my GCN controller for), and I just now had to change the batteries that were included. I'm not sure how long the duracells I bought will last, though.

Re:Wiimote (3, Informative)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135234)

I haven't replaced/recharged mine yet, after an hour or two a day for the past 2 weeks or so. From what I've heard, it takes a marathon all-day session to drain them.

Also, they're just AAs, which are cheap and plentiful.

Re:Wiimote (1)

DarrylKegger (766904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135400)

fair point, seems like there is quite a bit of variation in the number of hours people are getting out of them but nobody seems too bothered by it which is encouraging.

If you are on the fence, read on (3, Interesting)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134806)

Xbox 360 core ($300) + Wii ($250) = the average of the two PS3 options.

You would be a fool to pick the PS3 over the first 2.

360 has the same graphics, a much better game library, and ton better online capability than the PS3. The Wii is that console that changes the way you play games.

Gears of War and Twilight Princess are 2 of the top 5 games I've played since the NES came out. You won't regret the purchase of either console.

Re:If you are on the fence, read on (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135138)

I'll probably get a Wii, followed by a PS3 after its first price drop, and hopefully a few firmware upgrades. I'll pass on the XBox thankyouverymuch. The only game for it that's piqued my interest *at all* is Gears of War, and even then I don't feel like there's much there that I can't get out of my PC. I can't stand playing FPSs without a mouse anyways, though the Wiimote presents a tempting alternative.

Third place ?? Who's in second then? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134898)

"Even if the Wii stays the third-place console, it's no longer possible to think of the company as an also-ran."

Has the Wii sold fewer consoles than the PS3?

Thank you Zonk. (0, Troll)

not-enough-info (526586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134934)

My somewhat bold claim is not based in any sort of fanboi favoritism.
Bwah... BAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAAHHAHAHHAHAHAAHAa...

Oh god. Thanks for the laugh. You made my day.

fanboi on parade (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135028)

you suck zonk.

Thoughts from this Wii owner (5, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135290)

I reserved and got a Wii on day 1. It is the first console I've ever bought at launch. I am thoroughly happy with it. Here are my thoughts:
  1. Wii Sports is a blast. I like bowling. My daughter likes boxing. My six year old son likes baseball. My teenage son likes all of them...except golf. None of us are very good at golf.
  2. Elebits, imho, will be a major seller and I am looking forward to it.
  3. There is no fear of losing the remote and busting your TV. I still don't know how the people reporting this problem are making it happen. The only way I can imagine it is if, in your excitement, you just LET GO. Wear your wrist strap and don't flail your arms about like you're trying to throw your shoulder out of socket and you'll be fine.
  4. Red Steel is fun. I know it's getting bad reviews but it's enjoyable just to play. I only have one real complaint with it: there are several parts where you are supposed to fight a guy with your sword. But why? If I am walking around with an Uzi in my hand, and round a corner where there's a man standing there brandishing a sword...why in the world would I put my Uzi away and get out a sword to fight the guy close combat like that? Why can't I just shoot him with the Uzi? That makes a whole lot more sense to me. But, no! You HAVE to fight the guy with the sword. And that's just lame.
  5. Virtual Console sucks right now. There are no games worth buying, imho. And, at $5-$10 a pop, I am not seeing the value. Maybe after some better titles are available, it'll be worth it. Right now it's a waste.
  6. Where is Opera? Where is the Forecast channel? The News channel? Bring on the extra online features NOW NOW NOW!!! I'm sick of waiting already and I've only had the Wii two weeks.
  7. Wireless connection troubles...the only way I can get my Wii to connect consistently is to turn off WEP and WPA/WPA2. I have to make my WAP open (and I've tried two different access points/routers) for it to work consistently and reliably...again, that seems just wrong to me.
  8. It's only been a few weeks. I am hopeful and optimistic that Nintendo will work this stuff out and this time next year, the Wii will just kick all kinds of ass.

Re:Thoughts from this Wii owner (5, Funny)

filtur (724994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135472)

"I only have one real complaint with it: there are several parts where you are supposed to fight a guy with your sword. But why? If I am walking around with an Uzi in my hand, and round a corner where there's a man standing there brandishing a sword...why in the world would I put my Uzi away and get out a sword to fight the guy close combat like that? Why can't I just shoot him with the Uzi? That makes a whole lot more sense to me. But, no! You HAVE to fight the guy with the sword. And that's just lame."

Have you no honor!? :P

GameCube titles are 100% backwards compatible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135338)

No idiot, the Wii is 100% backwards compatible with the GameCube titles, just like you think and write backwards. Next time try reading your article and see if it makes any sense before defecating it onto the Internet.

Back to basics (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135394)

It really seems like Nintendo managed to latch on to what the other console manufacturers have long lost sight of: Fun. The Wii may not have the most current up-to-date blow-your-mind specs, but the games are simply fun. I lost interest in gaming around the time of the PS1, when graphics and storylines became more important than the actual gaming experience, but the Wii has something going for it that might make me whip out the credit card in the future: it LOOKS like a lot of fun to play. I really can't say that for the other systems.

I have an idea... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17135416)

...how about if Slashdot posts news about the Wii and leave editorials and fanspeak to the 1.2x10^8 websites and message boards already out there?

I appreciate how deeply people love Nintendo, but this is just plain off-topic. (Posting as AC to avoid the very real danger of karma loss)

It's the price stupid. (1, Flamebait)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135420)

I'm suprised people are still blah blahing about how the 360 and the PS3's price are accceptable when the Wii is clearly demolishing both of them.

Sure for some people the 360 isn't too much but it's at that point where people really have to think about it before they'll get it.

The Wii on the other hand is almost cheap enough to be an impulse buy. If the 360 can pull off some real japanese RPG's to get some actual sales in japan it might not bust. The PS3 though is doomed though if their exclusve titles don't save it.

Really good review (1)

Frez (726595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135484)

I really like the review and the family thanksgiving party blog :) (Rayman like Samba Di Amigo!). Although, I don't think Nintendo is third like the reviewer says in conclusion.

Check out the Dragonball Z game for the Wii (4, Interesting)

stastuffis (632932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135496)

I hear a lot of talk about Zelda and Wii Sports. That's cool as they're both fun.

But, I rented Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and I was thoroughly impressed. The game takes a little while to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it can get pretty damn crazy. Using the nunchuck and Wiimote, you'll perform a variety of moves that you would normally use a standard controller (WHICH IS AN OPTION). However, the remote adds a bit of depth that just plain excites you.

For example, the way special moves are peformed, it makes it that much more exciting. Not only can you shoot a fireball as if you are really doing it, but you know it's coming when you see your opponent making peculiar moves. Trust me. It's a great joy to execute a combo and end it by actually making the motion for the possible final attack. Plus, other than the remote depth, the game itself is deep with a great assortment of characters from all Dragonball Sagas.. The graphics are crisp and run fluidly like any worthy fighter should.

If you're a Dragonball fan, it's a must buy. For everyone else, it's worth a shot no matter what.

Golf and Boxing (4, Informative)

tansey (238786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135510)

Golf is particularly bad, as even the slightest swing will have the game registering 'too much force' on the ball.

I admit golf probably has the least pick-up-and-play controls, but it is really true in real life also. The controls reflect the ease of their real life sports. Bowling's controls are easiest because bowling is an easy sport. Tennis is easy to start but hard to master. Golf, however, is very hard to start up in real life...I don't know many people who can pick up and start swinging for 100+ yards without major accuracy problems.

So yes, golf has sensitive controls but if you put in the time you can develop precision with them.

The final game, boxing, is much the same. Using the Wiimote and the nunchuck, you can deliver one-two punches to your opponent's Mii ... if you can get your flailing arms to work right. I've personally found boxing to be highly enjoyable, despite its lack of precision.

Now this is just plain not true. I've put in probably 40 hours to Wii Boxing, it makes a great workout game. The punches aren't easy to throw accurately, that's true. There are some tricks to the game...like developing rhythm, knowing when you're leaning in the right direction to be able to throw a certain punch, etc. Those are all things that are true to real boxing.

Again, boxing is a sport that it's easy to pick up the gloves and "flail" your arms around, but if you want to be good at it you have to practice and start thinking about your moves. However, the controls in boxing do seem to be the least precise of all the games (though as I said, they aren't bad), and I'd like to see a full fledged boxing game that has a little more time put into it.

Redundancy Check (1)

Dark Leaper (989158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17135552)

You know, I've read the exact same review for the Wii about eight times already. I fail to see how this is any new contribution to the Wii review that couldn't have been read in a Arstechnica, 1up, IGN, or Gamespot review already. What are they doing? Making you all write a persuasive essay for your high school English class I assume?
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