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Everybody Votes on the Wii

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the it's-like-democracy-only-more-efficient dept.

Wii 87

Wired's Game|Life blog has up a post pointing out a surprise from Nintendo: a cute voting application now available on your Nintendo Wii. Unannounced and easy to understand, Everybody Votes appears to be attempting to gain a gestalt view of the Wii-owning population. The app gives you several multiple choice questions to answer, and allows you to submit your own. Chris Kohler hopes that this might be the beginning of downloads for small, entertaining programs Nintendo fans may have never otherwise seen. "If you've ever been to an E3 or read about Nintendo's booth, you know that they often show little demos or applications that never get released. Well, with Wii, it seems that we might actually start seeing those little experiments thrown out to the public. Since Nintendo as a game developer uses this first-prototype-something-fun style of design, we could see all kinds of things that ordinarily wouldn't ever make it out of Nintendo headquarters." I personally hope we get a full-fledged version of the conducting game that Miyamoto used to demo the system at last year's E3.

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87 comments

Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021666)

Damn this sounds amazing! I've often wondered if doing a test level with test gameplay mechanics and demo'ing it wasn't THE WAY to produce the best games.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18021768)

Sounds like an attempt to gather marketing/survey data.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021940)

Well no shit, that's but better game development is what "survey data" is all about.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022214)

Because Nintendo has never, ever done marketing and surveying in the past. =p

Hey, Nintendo is out to make money. And if that strategy for doing so involves neat little things like this, more power to them. I'd love to see more stuff like this (that is if I could get my Wii online... I have a dongle for that, but it turns out it doesn't like my MAC address...)

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (4, Funny)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022016)

Yeah ! Completely Stunning !

Imagine, using a online computer to conduct *polls* with *multiple-choices*. It a mind-boggling idea !

And you can send "suggestions" too, don't figure that's ever been possible before !

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022090)

Of course, someone's going to ruin this great new technology by answering every question with "CowboyMario"

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (2)

un.sined (946837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023294)

From what I've seen, you can only answer each question one of two ways, and no write-ins are allowed. You're able to predict what you think the majority of the people are going to vote, regardless of how you vote. Results can be displayed by region (by state here in the US).

Because of the way that the questions are set up, it allowed me to ask the question that's been on my mind for several years:

Who would win in a fight? Pirates or Ninjas

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023350)

You can't write in your own answers, no, but you can write-in your own questions.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (3, Interesting)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022414)

Everybody Votes is unique in that it really is a game. You don't just vote, you also make predictions on how other people will vote. You get scored for "distance from popular opinion" and for your prediction accuracy.

Of course, like Brain Age or Wii Fitness scores, the values reported make no sense... I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (2, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023330)

I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?

You get modded up on Slashdot?

Obviously... (2, Funny)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024802)

I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?
It means you shouldn't be allowed within 290 meters of anybody normal. Posting on /. is still safe though.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (2, Insightful)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025324)

One other important aspect of the Everybody Votes that isn't brought up by any press releases is that it smoke tests their online services server. Presumably the wiishop and system update online services are different (and secured) than what they intend to be used for mario kart and other online games. Hopefully Everybody votes is using the same tools they intend to give developers, so they can iron out the performance flaws before a million people try out online match making with mario kart. I'm guessing that the Mii parade wasn't built with this in mind, so things like storing user profiles in a database (for comparison purposes) weren't tested. I haven't seen any post-mortems, but I imagine that the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection was primarily pwned by the database backends not being stress tested before being released on the world. T

Just a suspicion on my part.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025394)

Of course, like Brain Age or Wii Fitness scores, the values reported make no sense... I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?

I totally know what you mean; that measurement doesn't tell me anything. However, with the help of Google, I was able to figure this out: 290 meters = 951.44357 feet [google.com]. Dude, you are WAY out on the fringe.

Metro-logic (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025422)

I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?

I don't understand what your issue is here: it's perfectly clear what they mean. I'm sorry I can't explain in detail, but it's already 65 Roentgens past the hour and I have a bus to catch.

Re:Sounds good, a quasi Wikipedia like development (1)

dlim (928138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028644)

I'm currently 290 meters away from popular opinion. What the heck does that mean?
It's OK. I'm in the states too. It means you're 951.44357 feet from popular opinion.

Missing option! (5, Funny)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021692)

I wonder if all the polls will have only two possible responses? Slashdotters complain when they are fewer than... well, infinity.

It would be cool if they accepted user poll ideas. Here is my Everybody Votes poll submission: What is your favorite gaming console: Playstation 3 or Xbox 360?

Re:Missing option! (2, Informative)

Tainek (912325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021806)

Well the board at the moment has two options per question, but if you look at its shape, there are two sections behind that could be used, so i would say 4 is the likely roof

Re:Missing option! (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024500)

Or, if you look even closer, the selector is in the shape of a circle. They can easily divide it into more than four sections...

Re:Missing option! (3, Insightful)

izzo nizzo (731042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021822)

I like this - wii could become a platform for arbitrary polling almost as powerful as slashdot herself.

Re:Missing option! (1)

GozzoMan (808286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021950)

It would be cool if they accepted user poll ideas.
They do.

Re:Missing option! (1)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022442)

It says you can submit poll ideas, but it doesn't say anything about them actually accepting them. I was making an important distinction.
...or maybe I just didn't bother to read the summary or TFA before I posted. You decide.

Either way, I'm pretty sure Nintendo won't be accepting my poll.

Re:Missing option! (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023210)

"Accepting user poll ideas" does not imply that they are going to use user poll ideas. If you send me a block of cheese in the mail, I may very well sign for the package and ACCEPT it. Doing that, in no way, implies that I am going to eat the cheese. You did not make an important distinction with the language you used.

Furthermore, Nintendo is accepting user poll ideas and I think it is quite likely they will actually use a few of those ideas.

Yeah, you didn't read the article.

Re:Missing option! (1)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024484)

I think that my submitted question, "Why does it hurt when I pee?", has a pretty good chance of going live.

Re:Missing option! (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024822)

Obviously, they won't be just posting every submitted question; moderation for something publicly available like this is important. But I can't imagine them adding a "submit a question" without potentially using them.

Re:Missing option! (1)

An Army of 1 in 10 (1064480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022076)

What is your favorite gaming console: Playstation 3 or Xbox 360?
I'd change it to a) SNES or b) SNES v2.
But that's just me :)

(I'd vote for (a) myself...)

Re:Missing option! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023204)

With the current, err, fluff polls ("Do you like dogs or cats?") available, lots of people have questioned the point at all. I think, however, that a clever soul over at Kotaku [kotaku.com] figured the point of it out...

"What is your favorite kind of ice cream?"

"Do you prefer kitties or ponies?"

"How much would you pay for a next-gen console with a 300GB hard drive, HDMI 1.3 and vibrating, motion-sensitive controllers?"

"Who is cuter -- Peach or Daisy?"

Re:Missing option! (1)

jeppster (1031326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023266)

I found this channel last night, and responded to 4 of the polls. While digging around, I found a section to submit your own questions as well as the two answers associated with it. I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but you can register any/all of your Miis to vote with. So...theoretically, you could create a thousand Miis and really sway the vote. That is, assuming you really care about the issues at hand. I mean, who doesn't think that whether cats or dogs are the coolest is a major national question needing answering?

Re:Missing option! (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023662)

I wonder if all the polls will have only two possible responses? Slashdotters complain when they are fewer than... well, infinity.

And then when you do add infinite options, Slashdotters will complain that they're only countably infinite.

Re:Missing option! (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027230)

Or to paraphrase Stephen Colbert: PS3: Great Console or The Greatest Console? (I'll put you down for 'Great'.)

Conducting Demo (4, Informative)

bad_fx (493443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021696)

I hadn't heard of it, so I just had to look for it: Here's a link to the aforementioned "conducting game" demo by Miyamoto:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwzmnAOf1C8 [youtube.com]

kinda cool.

Re:Conducting Demo (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021898)

And here's a youtube video of Everyone Votes [youtube.com] (I linked to the shortest of many, many [youtube.com] everyone votes vids on youtube).

Re:Conducting Demo (1)

pNutz (45478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024452)

Huh... after the user selected "Roses" for his prediction of which would win, his Mii pulled out a rose. so I guess this is a little more involved on Nintendo's part that just sending out a text question for each poll.

Re:Conducting Demo (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18033612)

It's not a rose. It's like a balloon or something. When you vote, it changes the color of your Mii's shirt to the color of the section you voted for. When you predict the direction of a vote, your Mii pulls out a balloon matching that color. In this case, the person recording the video voted green, and then predicted red, hence the red balloon (which I suppose could easily be mistaken for a rose all things considered).

So it's really not all that involved on Nintendo's part.

Wii Music (5, Informative)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021704)

I personally hope we get a full-fledged version of the conducting game that Miyamoto used to demo the system at last year's E3.

I think you are talking about Wii Music [wikipedia.org].

Diebold replacements (5, Funny)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021728)

Cheaper, less prone to corruption, and cuter, too.

Re:Diebold replacements (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021840)

More secure and accurate as well, so it'll never happen.

KFG

Re:Diebold replacements (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025480)

Quiet, you. These things are already hard enough to come by. Next you'll suggest they replace the touchscreens at the DMV with DS Lites.

Re:Diebold replacements (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028518)

All fun and games now - but wait till Link / Midna win the '08 election.

All Part of the Master Plan?!? (5, Interesting)

Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021944)

I get the feeling that there is a master plan behind all the moved Nintendo have been making for the past year or two.

Everything with the DS and Wii, the specific features they have, the marketing. They have made it clear that the want to bring non-gamers into the fold (blue ocean??).

This latest channel seems more than something random or just cool, I think they are making chess moves and soon their master plan will unfold, something great with be revelled and then checkmate!

(Or maybe I've watched too many movies)

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022508)

Gosh, you think?

I dunno - it would never occur to me that a company might have, like, some sort of strategic plan or anything! Seems kind of far-fetched to me.

Not sure about where you work, but at every business I've ever heard of, we never had any kind of overall goal. Everyone just did something at random, changing tasks only when management yelled at them.

Okay, now that my sarcasm is out of the way (and I didn't mean it meanly) - of course they have a plan. Any business that is run well has a plan. Any business that isn't run well has a plan, though it might be a vague one like "get more customers." Nintendo is just doing something that many businesses fail to do. Well, two things, actually - one, they seem to have a GOOD plan, and two, they are executing it well.

For an example of a bad plan and execution, look at Sony.

Anyway, I don't know that there'll be a "checkmate" move made - that doesn't seem to be Nintendo's style, really. My guess is that they will just continue to release spiffy new things for the Wii and DS, things that rely on a large userbase in order to work. I could easily see some non-game social networking/barter apps coming along with the DS. Probably not in the US, but definitely in Japan.

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (4, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023132)

For an example of a bad plan and execution, look at Sony.

Actually the more I think about it the more I realize that Sony's plan is not necessarily bad as much as it is poorly timed. I think there are two assumptions Sony made which didn't come true that are causing all of their problems, they are that Microsoft and Nintendo would wait a full 5 years before releasing their systems (Q4 2006 release for the XBox 360/Wii at the earliest) and that all of the systems would be nearly identical; Sony could then release the PS3 Q4 of 2007, using a 65nm process and a blu-ray drive that had existed for a year for $400.

Microsoft's early release bullied Sony into releasing the PS3 a year early and Nintendo's unconventional design has capatalized.

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023364)

That's actually a pretty interesting take - hadn't thought along those lines.

A good plan, though, would take into account reasonable contingencies, I think. If the scenario you posit is true, it demonstrates how weak their back-up planning is. Add to that the post-launch follies, and things look even worse there.

To be honest, I was hoping that all 3 makers would come out with compelling offerings. Nintendo with the quirky fun party system, MS with the stellar Live!, and Sony with a spectacularly powerful system that could lead to games based around concepts that were previously too power intensive to work. This would be the best of all worlds for gaming - real competition, maybe with real innovation even.

As it stands, it looks like Nintendo and MS have given me what I want, and for Sony it seems to be a wait and see. Or, most probably a wait and say "meh, not all that different."

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024892)

A good plan, though, would take into account reasonable contingencies, I think


From Murphy's Rules of Combat: No Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy

MS releasing early is certainly something they might have predicted. I mean, why WOULDN'T a console maker abandon their early adopters at the earliest opportunity, and stop making a console just at the point they actually might start making money on it? I think without MS's deep pockets the XBox would have had a longer longevity (or perhaps without MS's fixation on letting the user base act as their Beta testers ... "here's the XBox.v0.1", "found bugs? Okay, we've fixed those, and now have the XBox.v3.60 out for you to purchase. It'll fix those nasty bugs, and everyone knows that by version 3 of any MS product, we've worked out all the kinks!"

As far as predicting Nintendo's controller? I think the whole reason they have garnered so much attention is that it was something very unexpected by a lot of people. By its very definition, something unexpected is difficult to predict, let alone plan for.

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026510)

You speak about MS abandoning the XBox as if it were unreasonable, but the fact is it wasn't doing very well. Why wouldn't they abandon the (relatively) unsuccessful platform if they believed getting out the door early could give them a jump on the next generation? It isn't like releasing the 360 suddenly makes all those old XBoxes non-functional or somehow breaks all the old games for them. While it isn't necessarily the most obvious way for MS to go, it's certainly plausible and something that could have been explored.

I never said anything about predicting the controller for the Wii. I spoke specifically to predicting the early release by their competition. Though, if I were to speak to realistic predictions about Nintendo, I would say "plan for something unexpected that isn't related to processing power and plays to Nintendo's key strength: quirky, fun, party games for all ages."

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026654)

And I neglected to comment on the Murphy thing.

It relates to detailed plans that make certain relatively precise predictions about what the enemy might do. I agree with the concept in general - no plan survives unscathed - but a good plan will have flexibility built in. "What if..." should be an essential part of strategy.

"What if... Our competition releases early?"
"What if... Our competition has been sandbagging on the hardware and has something REALLY impressive that we can't hope to match right off?"
"What if... Our competition has been in negotiations with developers we've been exclusive with and is basically going to buy their loyalty from us?"
"What if... Our competition has some kind of novelty factor?"
"What if... Our competition has much deeper pockets than ours and will spend billions to win the market by putting out consoles at a huge loss?"
"What if... Our fabrication efforts run into a horrible snag and we can only put out 10% of the units we think we can while the competition lucks out and has no real hurdles?"
"What if... Our focus groups on pricing were wrong?"
"What if... Our behavior towards our customers turns out to have caused a major consumer backlash?"

Etc and so on. Coming up with contingencies for those negative possibilities should be a basic part of any plan. Some of those are easy to plan for, some of them not so much. But the fact of the matter is, virtually all of those very general scenarios (and many, many more) should have been considered and worked up. Granted, there are some things that simply cannot be planned for (or would be completely absurd: "What if... our competition has magical console making fairies and gives everyone a free pony and ice cream for life?"

Any shallow plan that fails to do much solid contingency work will not survive contact with the enemy is a much better way of phrasing Murphy.

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025078)

I'm in a similar boat. I bought a Wii and DS:Lite since my wife is a non-gamer. Between those two and the upcoming PC releases (Supreme Commander, Stalker, Fallout 3?), I'm pretty much set. I'm actually have more titles for the DS right now than I have time to play. It doesn't help that my wife won't stop playing New Super Mario Brothers either. :)

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18030602)

Sony could then release the PS3 Q4 of 2007, using a 65nm process and a blu-ray drive that had existed for a year for $400.

I agree. The PS3 looks like it was nothing but rushed, and that they simply couldn't wait until Q4 2007 or they would have lost all marketability. They barely had any units in 2006 in what resulted in a 'paper launch', but at least they retained mindshare, and prevented some people jumping ship to xbox (if they launched 2 years later).

Re:All Part of the Master Plan?!? (1)

el_monkeyo (848901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023456)

Nintendo Master Plan?!?
"If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of those dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate"

Weird, but genius (5, Insightful)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18021964)

When I downloaded this thing yesterday, I was really confused about it. I mean, I know Nintendo is known for being quirky, but this is just odd, you know? What possible purpose could there be in a Wii polling application? Once I played a little with it though, I saw the genius behind this thing. By spacing out the polls to one every other day or so, Nintendo ensures that we'll play with our Wii every couple days to check out what the new poll is, and what our results were for predicting the last poll. Then, once they have us checking our Wii every couple days, we are more likely to think, "Hmm, I guess I should get a new game for this thing, since I'm always just fiddling with the channels."

This is to say nothing of the sheer treasure trove of demographic data Nintendo is getting out of this. Think of it: Nintendo has shipped 6 million Wiis world wide. If even 10% vote on the first poll, they just got 600,000 votes. After a couple days, a lot of people will stop using, and it will be down to 1%, but that's still 60,000 people. In comparison, usually you can get a truly significant poll with a random group of 1,000 people. Of course, Everybody Votes players aren't going to be random, but with 60,000 results, if you ask, "Who do you like better, Mario or Luigi?" the result effectively will predict whether Mario 128 will outsell Luigi's Mansion 2, non-random sample be damned. Nintendo have come up with an awesome but strange window into the hearts of their demographic.

Re:Weird, but genius (4, Insightful)

Rallion (711805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022190)

You're assuming that the people who will choose to vote will constitute a random sample. I'm not convinced. I think the group that will choose to vote probably has some bias. Maybe a lot of bias.

Re:Weird, but genius (2, Insightful)

Samuel Dravis (964810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022260)

Still, the fact that they DID vote means that they are most likely in the market for new games. Particulary, the sort of games for which they voted...

Re:Weird, but genius (2, Insightful)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024424)

Yeah, I was recently talking to a professional demographer about something similar to this. To make a long story short I suggested that for the purposes of a study he is doing that he use adopted children who's biological parents had made their information available. He was STRONGLY (to put it mildly) against this. He said that any kind of user choice like that is seen by demographers as very bad and called it "self selecting," I suppose implying that the very fact that some people are opting-in to the demographic that they may share other sorts of non-random traits. I agree that there will probably be a lot of bias in the voting user group. Bias that probably cannot be measured.

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026634)

You're assuming that the people who will choose to vote will constitute a random sample.

Uh, no I'm not. I'll quote myself:

Of course, Everybody Votes players aren't going to be random, but with 60,000 results, if you ask, "Who do you like better, Mario or Luigi?" the result effectively will predict whether Mario 128 will outsell Luigi's Mansion 2, non-random sample be damned.

I don't mind that you misread my post. It happens. But I do think it's weird that the mods put you up to five, when I quite clearly said the opposite of what you claim I said. :-P I get that EV is non-random. I'm just saying with enough votes, you can put controls on your data to make it useful.

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

Tastycat (1003898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022340)

To add to this, when polls are concluded and results tallied, Nintendo sends your Wii a message to tell you about it (possibly only if you predicted, I'm not sure). This is going to encourage people to go onto their Wiis to check the message, which means that they might as well check Everybody Votes because it takes 2 seconds and they know that there is a new poll. I can't do anything else when that blue light glows and I have no idea why not.

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023130)

When I downloaded this thing yesterday, I was really confused about it. I mean, I know Nintendo is known for being quirky, but this is just odd, you know? What possible purpose could there be in a Wii polling application? Once I played a little with it though, I saw the genius behind this thing. This is to say nothing of the sheer treasure trove of demographic data Nintendo is getting out of this.

My first thought: Nintendo is building a better Family Feud. Really, though this could be great for just asking random survey questions with a handful of answers. I'd be curious if they just asked: do you believe in global warming? And also would you support any public policy changes because of global climate change? I'm curious about how they'll use this tech, but it could be very useful.

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

ectal (949842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023480)

For driving people to their Wii every day or two, they've got another trick up their sleeve. Once a poll you've voted in is complete, they will send a message reminding you to check in on the results. Which means your disc slot will be glowing blue when you wake up, get home from work/school, what not... So even if your curiousity isn't enough to drive you to check back in, the little white box will lure you in with its pleasant blue light that says, "turn me on, play with me..."

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

shadow0_0 (59720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18032838)

I think that blue light is a stroke of genius. It looks cool and grabs your attention without being annoying. It also let everyone in the household knows that something is up, even if s/he is not a gamer.

Re:Weird, but genius (1)

BlackSmithNZ (1064822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18034316)

You might want to consider the issue of response rates more carefully.

A random sample of 1000 people in a population of 6 million Nintendo owners will give a high confidence interval, (can't be bothered working it out, but at 95% confidence - around 4-5% on a question like Luigi vs Mario).

Your 1% might be 60,000 respondents but the response rate of 1% is highly suspect. What is different about the 1% that respond vs the 99% that didn't respond? In other words the 1% is probably highly different from the target population of all owners - perhaps the 1% is only the 60+yr grandmothers who still find the Wii a novelty & bother responding. It will skew the results badly unless Nintendo can prove by a proper random survey that the 1% or 10% responders just happen to represent the game buying Wii owners perfectly.

No cowboy neal option (1, Redundant)

octal666 (668007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022248)

and not even a comments thread to complain about! Nintendo, you insensitive clod!

No notification?? (4, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022862)

Article stated there was no notification and that it was simply discovered in the Ship. I got a nice Wii message from Nintendo telling me about this.

Re:No notification?? (1)

psychokitten (819123) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023466)

Yup - I woke up in the morning with my bezel still pulsing it's nice blue, letting me know that there was a message from Nintendo/outside - so I hopped over to my message board and there it was.

The Gimmick Label (5, Insightful)

wilbz (842093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022884)

I think the release of things like these small channels is how Nintendo can best stave off the impending "short lived gimmick" status that most people keep trying to apply to the Wii. There have been many implications (primarily by the fanboy crowd) that the Wii's novelty will quickly wear off with the general dearth of games between now and the third or fourth quarter. If Nintendo can keep throwing out little updates like this that will keep the Wii's slot blinking blue, people are going to keep it out and ready to find out what the next new thing is. This should help sustain people's interest until the next wave of AAA titles starts hitting the console.

One question that I have, however, is how many of these channels can they actually release before the fill up the minimal amount of system memory the Wii has? Did Nintendo handicap themselves with this, especially as games (at least currently) can't be played directly from the SD Card slot?

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023482)

This channel took about 20 blocks for me, the system has some 2100 blocks (of user-manageable memory) in total. It has a hard limit of 48 channels I think and there are five or so channels preinstalled on the thing.

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023972)

Nintendo can keep throwing out little updates like this that will keep the Wii's slot blinking blue, people are going to keep it out and ready to find out what the next new thing is. This should help sustain people's interest until the next wave of AAA titles starts hitting the console.

Well, no. With just half of the Xbox 360 users having connected their 360 to the Internet and used Xbox Live Silver or Gold in any form, I doubt the Wii has even half of it's users connected to the Internet and taking advantage of the channels. So what's going to keep the majority who haven't connected their consoles online happy if there is a dearth of new or interresting titles?

Those updates only help people who have connected their console, which is probably far from the majority, if the 360 is any indication. Especially since the 360 has very strong incentives to connect your console to the free Live service. Free demos, trailers and XboxLive Arcade games, which the Wii doesn't have, except classic game downloads, which I admit is pretty cool, but priced too high if you ask me.

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026506)

Don't discount the Mii channel and 'mingling' miis. I like having cartoon versions of my friends in other cities (and their friends and significant others) show up in Wii baseball. And the news thing is pretty cool and surprisingly well-designed from a usability standpoint too, although I still don't understand why all news from Baghdad seems to be blacked out.

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

LordRobin (983231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027144)

Well, no. With just half of the Xbox 360 users having connected their 360 to the Internet and used Xbox Live Silver or Gold in any form, I doubt the Wii has even half of it's users connected to the Internet and taking advantage of the channels.

There's a big difference with the Wii. Internet connectivity on the XBox360 is primarily for online games. The Wii, on the other hand, has several online channels installed by default that have nothing to do with online gaming. Unless it's a huge hassle to do so, every owner is going to hook the Wii up just to try out the News and Weather channels.

Plus, the Virtual Console is a huge selling point.

------RM

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027444)

Internet connectivity on the XBox360 is primarily for online games.

Actually, no, the biggest thing about the free Live service is downloadable demos, wallpapers and trailers and access to arcade-like games on XBL Arcade. I'd say this is a huge incentive to connect the 360 to the web too.

While a lot of old games have been bought from the Virtual Console, I'd love to see how many customers they have. If it turns out 250,000 people are buying everything, this would be very dissapointing I think, since that's about 1/8th of the user base, probably even less, maybe 1/10th. That's probably more or less a subset of their hardcore users. Not good.

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

wilbz (842093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028902)

Actually, no, the biggest thing about the free Live service is downloadable demos, wallpapers and trailers and access to arcade-like games on XBL Arcade. I'd say this is a huge incentive to connect the 360 to the web too.
The difference is that XBL offers tiered service (Gold vs. Silver) that confuses anyone without any real knowledge of what it entails. Additionally, there are additional purchases required if a wireless connection is desired, or cable needs to be run to the TV where the console resides. By contrast, the Wii offers a wireless connection out of the box that is mostly idiot-proof in its setup. I don't think anyone is knocking XBL, as it is certainly a superior service, but I think the barrier to entry for the average consumer is lower with WiiConnect24.

While a lot of old games have been bought from the Virtual Console, I'd love to see how many customers they have. If it turns out 250,000 people are buying everything, this would be very dissapointing I think, since that's about 1/8th of the user base, probably even less, maybe 1/10th. That's probably more or less a subset of their hardcore users. Not good.
Let's assume that your assumptions (heh!) are correct. The costs incurred by Nintendo on the VC are minimal at best,as (A)they own a good deal of the material already, and (B)the size of all of the VC games is almost nothing from a bandwidth standpoint. I wouldn't be surprised if their profit margin on VC games was somewhere between 50 and 75%. If your hypothetical 250,000 people each bought only one classic NES game at $5 each, that's between $500,000 and $1,000,000 of profit! I would be willing to bet that (A)they're selling significantly more than that, and (B)more than 250,000 unique users have bough a virtual console game. All of the Wii owners that I know personally have their Wii on-line and have purchased at least one game from the VC. While "all of the Wii owners I know" is certainly not a representative sample of Wii users as a whole, I think it still constitutes a good sign for Nintendo.

Re: Where are the casual games? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068996)

If your hypothetical 250,000 people each bought only one classic NES game at $5 each, that's between $500,000 and $1,000,000 of profit! I would be willing to bet that (A)they're selling significantly more than that, and (B)more than 250,000 unique users have bough a virtual console game.

Nintendo announed last month they have sold 1.5 million VC games. So even assuming they were all NES games (which they weren't), but if at least $5 each was spent, that makes your numbers a little better.

I think the issue the parent was having is that these downloads are used to satisfy the hard core, but not the casuals. Case in point, I got a Wii for my retired parents as they LOVED WiiSports and are using the other channels regularly. I personally have 10 VC games, and Can't wait to get Donkey Kong Country tonight, however there aren't [m]any VC games that are good for casuals.

Where is Suduku? / Brain Age, or even Tetris /Dr Mario? How about Ms PacMan, Frogger, or Bejewled? Strangely enough I can find most 'Arcade classics' on X-box live and not the Wii which is MUCH more 'casual gamer friendly'. The Wii is a Great system, but there is currently a lull in the software for casual people, and it wouldn't be difficult to fix if Nintendo recongnized this and posted some VC content for this crowd.

Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18029754)

"...if the 360 is any indication."

The 360 is not wireless by default. The Wii is wireless.

That makes the 360 a hell of a lot harder to hook up. Maybe only half of 360 owners are willing to run a cat-5 to their television or buy the wireless upgrade ($100), but any Wii owner with a wireless router is already set.

SD Card Slot (1)

Z0D14( (1004551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18034078)

As for the SD card slot and limited space: don't forget that there are two things left that Nintendo could use and no one has really talked about... and they're both USB ports.

In the blink of an eye and a $50 investment [google.com] (by the user), the Wii could have storage capacity to rival or surpass that of the 360 and the PS3. Oddly, even after such an investment, one could still buy two Wii's (if they can find them;) for the price of one PS3.

Re:The Gimmick Label (1)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 7 years ago | (#18035534)

Did Nintendo handicap themselves with this, especially as games (at least currently) can't be played directly from the SD Card slot?
Well from what I understand much of these "channels" actually are just web apps so they use very little of the Wii's flash. If it is impossible to save games to the SD slot, then perhaps they could save Wii software to the SD slot and make it runnable.

Everyone Turns on their Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022974)

Probably the most important feature this has to Nintendo is that it gives everyone a reason to turn there Wii on every day or two, even if they aren't playing a game that day. Once it is on why not check the news and weather there. And the more people using the thing every day the more people think of it when they are out shopping, the more games they buy, the more they talk about it, the more people buy a wii.

The exact functionality doesn't matter. Of course it is a silly little thing that doesn't stand in for an actual game. All that matters to Nintendo is that more people turn their Wii's on every day, if only briefly. And it does that job well.

The Next Step... (1)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024232)

...is to get Rocket Jockey on the wii [slashdot.org]

Re:The Next Step... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026458)

FUCK YEAH.

I thought I was the only person who still fantasized about having an update to that amazing game.

Marketing Trojan? (1)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025130)

Maybe it is just the conspiracy theorist in me, but when I start the Everybody Votes channel it spends quite a bit of time on a "Reading Data" screen. The Wii also keeps a record of every game you play and how long you play them. I wonder if the Everybody Votes channel is just a front end for sending this play data back home to Nintendo.

Or maybe they are going to use this for future beta testing purposes. If your responses to polls reflect popular opinion, you might get a message asking you to join a beta test.

Re:Marketing Trojan? (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026890)

They don't need Everybody Votes to send your play data to them. They could just include it in a firmware update that does something else.

Re:Marketing Trojan? (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026962)

Fire up your packet-sniffer of choice, and examine the traffic going back and forth. Heck, even if it's encrypted, you could get a feel for how much data goes up/down.

Not Everybody Votes (1)

Bastian227 (107667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18030236)

When I first saw the title of this new channel, I thought to myself, "Not everybody votes." Will the channel or at least the title make it to non-democratic countries?

Will not be a ground-breaking development (1)

Vacardo (1048640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18031150)

In this world we live in where you cannot ask questions like if you are pro-democratic or republican, or what religion you follow, the questions I've seen in the Everybody Votes Channel ("how do you like your eggs cooked?" for instance) and simply too redundant to really capture a unique view of the world's stance on many real topics.

Sure, we now know most Wii users prefer their eggs fried - but do we really care?

Brilliant! (1)

Brian Cohen (1027542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18033920)

What better way to get information about the Wii demographic? (But seriously, so far, these polls don't go much further than "Which do you prefer? Cats or Dogs?")

The conducting game is in Wario Ware (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18038584)

It's one of the Microgames, and (when unlocked) the Music screen has an option to conduct the tunes. It's not very good and I've read elsewhere that the "waving" which drives both this version and the original demo is nothing like actually conducting. Apparently real conductors are tapping points in space, sort of like a 3D Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents.

Mandatory Wii distribution to all FL residents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041334)

is the ultimate answer to the hanging chad problem?
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