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Everybody Votes on the Wii 87

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-like-democracy-only-more-efficient dept.
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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Everybody Votes on the Wii

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  • 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.
  • by monkeySauce (562927) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @05:56AM (#18021692) Journal
    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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tainek (912325)
      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
      • by Drantin (569921) *
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by izzo nizzo (731042)
      I like this - wii could become a platform for arbitrary polling almost as powerful as slashdot herself.
    • by GozzoMan (808286)

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

        • by rkanodia (211354)
          I think that my submitted question, "Why does it hurt when I pee?", has a pretty good chance of going live.
        • by xenocide2 (231786)
          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.
    • 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...)

    • by jeppster (1031326)
      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
    • 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.
    • by Convector (897502)
      Or to paraphrase Stephen Colbert: PS3: Great Console or The Greatest Console? (I'll put you down for 'Great'.)
  • Conducting Demo (Score:5, Informative)

    by bad_fx (493443) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @05:57AM (#18021696) Journal
    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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Thursday February 15, 2007 @06:51AM (#18021898) Homepage Journal
      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).
      • by pNutz (45478)
        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.
        • by PyroMosh (287149)
          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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bob54321 (911744) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @05:59AM (#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].
  • by Yoozer (1055188) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @06:06AM (#18021728) Homepage
    Cheaper, less prone to corruption, and cuter, too.
  • by Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @07:09AM (#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)
    • 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 b
      • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @10:29AM (#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.
        • 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 sy
          • by powerlord (28156)

            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 fixatio

            • 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
            • 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?"
              "Wha
          • 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. :)
        • by trdrstv (986999)
          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).

    • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earthbound kid (859282) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @07:16AM (#18021964) Homepage
    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.
    • by Rallion (711805) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @08:21AM (#18022190) Journal
      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Samuel Dravis (964810)
        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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by quadelirus (694946)
        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 demo
      • 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 sa

      • Wouldn't you need to be biased if you placed a vote?
    • by Tastycat (1003898)
      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.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      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
    • by ectal (949842)
      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..."
      • by shadow0_0 (59720)
        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.
    • 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

  • and not even a comments thread to complain about! Nintendo, you insensitive clod!
  • No notification?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MindStalker (22827) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reklatsdnim.> on Thursday February 15, 2007 @10:10AM (#18022862) Journal
    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.
    • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wilbz (842093) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @10:12AM (#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?
    • by KDR_11k (778916)
      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.
    • by JFMulder (59706)
      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 advanta
      • by jackbird (721605)
        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.
      • by LordRobin (983231)

        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,

        • by JFMulder (59706)
          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
          • by wilbz (842093)

            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.

            • 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 is

    • 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.
    • by Monsuco (998964)

      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.
  • 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

    • by Dorceon (928997)
      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.
    • by Jaqenn (996058)
      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.
  • 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?
  • 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?")
  • 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.

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