IMHO: Episode 2 – To Wii or Not to Wii…

Welcome to the 2nd IMHO segment where we discuss certain aspects of the gaming industry or express our point of views on the subject. Today’s segment is going to be a little different. I’m going to pose an opinion and my counterpart Matt is going to provide us with his rebuttal. We still want your feedback though so please don’t be shy.

It seems that everywhere you turn; people are talking about the Nintendo Wii. People have been clamouring for this new “Buzz Word” since its release November 2006 but have had one hell of a time getting their hands on it. There’s something about little console that could has everyone jonesing for the latest technology, and, why not? It’s sleek, sexy, and cool. There’s a new level of interaction with games that have never really been there before. On top of that, it’s an extremely accessible system to everyone young and old alike. Nintendo also appears to be winning the current generation race. The numbers don’t lie. According to the NDP group, Nintendo has shipped 44.9 million units as of December 2008 compared to 28 Million Xbox 360s and 21.3 PS3s.

Josh’s take on the Wii:

I wasn’t sure what to think about Nintendo’s little white system when I picked it up and thought that maybe after spending some time with it, I’d surely understand. When I got it home, I played with it for hours. At first, I thought “Ok. This is pretty awesome”. Since then, I’ve grown so cold to my Wii. I have all three consoles and the one that I use the least is my Wii. The last game I picked up for it was House of the Dead: Overkill. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it (Read review here), but, that was the first game I picked up for the Nintendo. The library for the Nintendo Wii is a paltry 7 games compared to the 42 titles for the 360 and 18 for my PS3.

Here’s why I’m thinking that gamers should consider dropping their system:

  1. Too much crap – There are far too many garbage titles being released. Whatever happened to the strict quality control that Nintendo has on titles. Sure, that’s intact with their 1st party titles in the Mario, Metroid or Zelda brand but shouldn’t Nintendo at least be monitoring more strictly what they allow on their system?
  2. Wii is game console – I get the Wii Fit recipe. Exercising = no fun. Make exercising a game = fun. It’s not fun though. Wii Fit is the most uninspiring and annoying thing out there. The concept is decent but far from good for a variety of reasons I won’t get into right now. EA hopes to change my ideas with their upcoming release EA Sports Active. That reminds me… Just at a quick glance on the EB Games website, I counted at least 6 different fitness style games. This is a fad that has to go.
  3. Online play sucks – I’m sorry, I know that some of you like the way the system interacts with other users but let’s be honest here. Online play for the Wii SUCKS!!! There’s no two ways about it. Clearly, they were too busy making fun Mii characters of the project development team to even remotely think that the Nintendo should provide a good online/multiplayer environment. Xbox has this pegged and Sony is close, Nintendo is still stuck in 1999.
  4. Nothing to get overly excited about – At GDC, Nintendo announced a new Zelda title. Yawn. There’s just not enough out there to keep me coming back. Maybe at E3, they’ll change my outlook but I’m not convinced they can announce anything to get me to say “Damn! I’m definitely going to get that on day one!” All the games that could be looked at as killer apps, are going to look and sound so much better on other consoles. This year looks like a total dud and next probably won’t be much different.
  5. The graphics are Last Gen – I know that graphic don’t make the game necessarily but they sure are nice to look at and the only thing on this system I’ve seen that I could even remotely consider to be “Stunning” or “Amazing” came with Mario Galaxy. I don’t understand why so many games look worse than the average GameCube game. I know the system isn’t as powerful as the PS3 or the 360, nor was it supposed to be but even the GameCube had some beautifully done games. Look at the Resident Evil series. That series was easily some of the best looking in the last crop of consoles.

While the system isn’t as constrained in supply chains anymore, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to save $50 or $75 on a used one? Hit up your local paper or online classified ads and sell it for less than retail, take the money and do something else with it… Maybe you’ll get enough to buy yourself that gym membership you’ve always wanted but were too afraid to get for fear of never using it. After all, you know that your Wii Balance board is just collecting dust anyway.

I’m seriously considering getting rid of my Wii… I can’t think of any reason to stick it out with Nintendo anymore. I hoped that things were going to be different this time around. Everyone who bought the N64 was hosed and the GameCube was less than spectacular.

Matt responds:

Don’t get me confused with the Nintendo Fanboy’s out there I’m a console Fanboy, I love all of them. When I picked up my Wii I couldn’t wait to get it home, plug it in and hit the gaming. Picking up a couple games right away I found a system that would hold a place at many future house parties and family functions. A console designed with the idea of a group of gamers (and non-gamers alike). I don’t boast the largest title set for the Wii but I have been fortunate to find the value in both the games I have selected and the console itself.

Here’s why I’m thinking that gamers should consider keeping their system:

  1. Great line up coming – With the recent releases of House of the Dead: Overkill and Madworld pushing their way on to the Wii and the incredible sales of Wii sports, and Wii Fit this console is hitting it’s stride. Upcoming title like the remade Pikmin 2 and Punch-out are going to be fan favorites from your old N64 days.
  2. Wide appeal – Turning the Wii on in any social situation is fun. Anyone can pickup and play the Wii, and almost any title. Controls that are easy to use – point and click, a casual gaming library that is extremely deep and an intuitive user interface that lets anyone from 5 to 99 easily master the system and navigate through the menus. Hardcore games were feeling left out but publisher are stepping up to lead provide some good old M rated titles for the Nintendo’s line up; Dead Rising, Madwold, Call of Duty and Splatterhouse 2.
  3. More then just gaming – Josh talks a lot about how the Wii is a gaming console and a “light exercise” system… and I agree, but I look at it like its a good thing – 6 fitness titles get you up and active, try that on your 360 or PS3. I’ll admit I immediately saw weight loss results after getting my Wii, even before the Wii Fit was release. Is that a bad thing – I think not!
  4. Downloadable library – Nintendo’s impressive back library of games is making its way into the Wii virtual console with all your favourite titles being re
    leased again for your gaming pleasure. The best part is that these titles are no longer limited to just Nintendo titles but all your favourite consoles are making there title live once again featuring the likes of: NES™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx16, and my personal favourite the Commodore 64. (Pitstop II anyone?)
  5. Nintendo’s focus – Having seen several of Nintendo Canada’s staff speak at events the Sr. members convey a sense of decency, honesty and interest in building gaming systems for the entire family. Looking to include everyone and not leave anyone behind – so far they seem to be doing a good job on these fronts.

Where do you stand? Is it time to Sell your Wii and move on like a bad dream you finally woke up from. Or are you in for the long run? We want to hear your feedback.

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