Nintendo and the Wii – A Crossroads

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Wii-fit. Ok, yeah, it’s gonna sell millions. But seriously, how’s this a future of gaming when it’s a decades old idea anyway? Why didn’t it become a gigantic best-seller and change gaming forever back then? And who really make-believes it’s gonna somehow change gaming forever this time around? Why is Nintendo just scraping the bottom of the pre-N64 days to find ideas like these and try to brainwash the masses into thinking it’s something new and cool?

The unfortunate thing is that millions of people wouldn’t ever know about these really old failed games and add-ons, and mistakenly give Nintendo more credit than what they’re due with this “revolution”. We all thought it was gonna be some forward-moving leap into Virtual Reality. Instead, it’s mindless mini-games and pseudo-exercise gadgets. That’s all they got in the think-tank! This Wii-Fit idea dates back to the Atari days, who had the exact same board that you stand on and wriggle about. It was called the “Joyboard”.

Atari Joyboard

I’m angry with Nintendo because it’s all as shameless a grab for opportunistic dollars as Sony with their Bluray. I’m also angry because they’re helping to stagnate the video game industry. The more people who buy the Wii the more reason for 3rd party devs to support the Wii, the more ammunition for Nintendo to validate the whole direction of outdated hardware + old arcade games as a future-gen console.

In my opinion, this is the beginning of the end for Nintendo. The think-tank is running on empty. The cupboards are bare. There’s no revolution, just a recycling. Sure, standard power-console games are just releasing tweaked Madden and COD games, enhanced for Hi-Def 6th gen half-baked ports. But, there’s plenty of tech innovation coming soon with wondrous visions like Little Big Planet, or Killzone2’s push into cinemtic gameplay, destructible environments, and realistic physics. There’s far more replayability and sophistication and artistry involved in building COD4, for instance, versus what goes into building Wii-fit or the majority of Wii-mote centric games.

All they can develop around is finding different ways to use the Wii-mote, just like this video parodies…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e72sYdy2gWs

C’mon, seriously, how long is that kind of ‘think-tank’ strategy gonna hold people’s attentions? How long is that gonna last before all the ideas are done and everyone (gamers and developers) wake up like they got so drunk the night before that they cant remember what the hell they did…until they spot that unattractive stranger passed out next to them in bed, and they yell, “Arggghhhh, what the hell was I thinking!” as they quickly run out the door before the other person wakes up.

 C’mon, you know I’m being harsh here, and deliberately trying to aggravate/provoke the Wii fans into lashing out. Ok, fair enough. But apart from the exaggerations, there’s some truth to what I’m writing. The real innovations like Little Big Planet, or the deep immersive enormous sandbox worlds of RPG’s with humanistic AI, or the blockbuster shoot’em-ups like Halo3 and Killzone2, with serious mayhemic online multiplayer replayability. That’s where it’s at.

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6 Responses to “Nintendo and the Wii – A Crossroads”

  1. zucas Says:

    This is still my site and I do not allow rants of this kind but I will keep it up for the only reason as it does make a few good points that readers may want to discuss. Next time you write one of these things make it a little more courteous so that when anyone comes and reads it on here they aren’t offended by your comments.

  2. John Says:

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  3. sledge Says:

    sledge says : I absolutely agree with this !

  4. Unsung Hero Says:

    “C’mon, you know I’m being harsh here, and deliberately trying to aggravate/provoke the Wii fans into lashing out.”

    Yep.

    First of all, Atari’s joyboard was in fact just a board stuck to the four directional latches of a joystick(hence the name). The Wii Balance Board, on the other hand, utilizes pressure sensors that measure the lean/tilt and weight of a person’s body. Although one could argue that it is an evolutionary and not revolutionary creation, the comprehensiveness of the latter technology makes it much more usable and much more relevant in gaming today. I just say this because if you’re going to rant about how Nintendo is using outdated technology, try to at least give them credit for the REALLY cool stuff they designed. You make it out like they’re nickle and diming the consumer with a “decades old idea” but they’re just trying to give their consumers a fresh experience. (Keep in mind that most people have never heard of the Atari Joyboard.)

    Second, to this day the Wii’s retail supply is STILL heavily outstripped by demand. People have been predicting an end to the Wii’s popularity since the console’s launch in November 2006 but now, almost a year and a half later, its lead on the 360 and PS3 is just becoming more and more pronounced; it seems to me very unlikely that the Wii will just curl up and die any time soon.

    Third, WiiFit is NOT a bad game. At all, actually. It has a solid 80 on metacritic. I’m not saying that’s a masterpiece, but it’s a solid score that comes nowhere close to signaling “the end” for Nintendo. And it’s infinitely better than any casual gaming efforts that have arrived from any other company out there.

    Fourth, I was surprised by the way you look at Sony and MS. First of all, you assert that Sony’s inclusion of BluRay in the PS3 is a “shameless grab for opportunistic dollars.” Which is a nice argument, except the PS3’s BluRay is a great deal compared to other players on the market, not to mention that BluRay is a very high-tech and increasingly necessary piece of kit. FURTHERMORE, you totally held back from discussing Microsoft’s acts of money grabbing (Remember Scene it?). You also cited Halo 3 as an example of innovation in gaming; now Halo 3 is fine, don’t get me wrong, but it is NOT innovative.

    I could keep going, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just say that Nintendo is a great company with some damn good ideas floating around it, and I seriously doubt we will see it go belly-up any time soon.

  5. Skola Says:

    you may be interested in looking at wii headtracking

    they have yet to develop games using the hardware in this way

    which i hope will lead to some amazing games

  6. johnthomas49745 Says:

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