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The Wii - Is the Magic Gone? 492

Posted by Zonk
from the do-the-clowns-always-cry-when-you-pack-up-the-paper-sky dept.
Computer And Video Games asks the tough question: is the Wii's magic gone? After the flurry of excitement around the launch, lackluster ports and a persistent inability for Nintendo to keep units on the shelves has made it hard for gamers to sustain their enthusiasm for the system. It doesn't help that most of the good games slated for this year won't be out for months. In some cases, there's doubt they'll even make it out this year: Reggie Fils-Aime appears to be backpedaling on Metroid Prime 3 by Christmas, which would be a shame. GigaGamez has additional commentary. Are you still as excited about the Wii as you were when it launched?
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The Wii - Is the Magic Gone?

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  • by fotbr (855184) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:37PM (#18069904) Journal
    I'd say the excitement is still there.

    Ask again when you can walk into any Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc and find them sitting on the shelves at any given time.
  • Re:Patient Enough (Score:3, Informative)

    by haddieman (1033476) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:56PM (#18070210)
    "And finally, I'll wait until they package a game with it..."

    I thought Wii Sports was a game!
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:2, Informative)

    by empaler (130732) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:56PM (#18070226) Journal

    Hmm.. reply to article link is missing. That's weird. This isn't a response to ubuntudupe...
    Odd, I had the same problem... turned out that turning off the beta discussion system fixed it. Goes for other discussions here, too.
    Woot for betas.
  • Re:put-down article (Score:3, Informative)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:17PM (#18070566) Homepage Journal
    The inability to put units on shelves is just that. A concert being sold out is a good thing, but a console being sold out is not.

    Nintendo stands to make much more money meeting demand, both for the Wii and the DS. Demand doesn't magically vanish once it is met. I don't understand how forcing people to continually assail Gamestop employees at ungodly and inopportune times about the possibilities of Wiis in "the back" helps anyone. Nintendo doesn't make a sale, Gamestop doesn't make a sale and their employees get additional stress, and the customer looks like an idiot and doesn't get what they want.

    Some of you may remember the "Vegonomics" vgcats comic that got thrown around every single slashdot discussion on the topic of the PS3 and Wii launches back in November and thereafter. There was a key insight there that applies just as much to Nintendo as it does to Sony. Supply issues simply mean less revenue, which is rarely a good thing.

    That said, the obvious abundance of demand for the Wii is a good thing. However, that is the cause (the demand) which is desirable and good for Nintendo. The current effect (a sellout) is not.
  • Re:Ask me when... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Clock Nova (549733) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:30PM (#18070770)
    37 Helens agree:

    Video game consoles suffer from a "drought" of games between 3~12 months after its initial release.

    "It's a fact."
  • Re:I sure hope so (Score:2, Informative)

    by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:47PM (#18071004)

    Then I will be able to buy one without $300 in extra "holiday bundle" crap.
    Nobody is forcing anybody to buy any bundled crap. I walked into Gamestop last month, asked them if they had any Wiis in stock and the guy went in the back and got one. Just because they're not sitting on the shelves doesn't mean they're not available. Gamestops are much more likely to have Wiis than Target or Best Buy from my experience. Also, people complain about problems getting controllers but I picked up Zelda, an extra Wiimote, an extra nunchuk and a classic controller at the time I purchased my Wii... no problems at all.
  • Why buy a 3rd party $50 controller when the first party one comminicates with blue-tooth? (See this video [youtube.com] for example.

    I wonder how long it'll take before there is a wii emulator, with people using the original controller.
  • by aborchers (471342) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:59PM (#18071168) Homepage Journal
    "or is it just that the three or four units the store gets every two weeks are flying off the shelf?"

    I got mine a week ago Sunday at a Target that got ninety and sold them in a day.

    From what I hear, all the Targets in the area got similarly large shipments of 60-90 that week and all sold out.

  • by toleraen (831634) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:14PM (#18073482)
    The walmart I picked mine up had gotten in 18 that day. I got the last one at ~8:30 am on a Sunday morning. This was about three weeks ago in a town of 5000 people in rural Wisconsin. So they're definitely shipping them out, they just can't keep them in stock.
  • Re:Imposter!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stealth Potato (619366) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:44PM (#18073970)
    Pause the game with (+), hit the "Options" button, and go to "Pointer options", IIRC. It'll walk you through a few simple calibrations, including the sensor bar's onscreen size. It seemed to really improve precision and accuracy for me.
  • Wii Hardware Info (Score:3, Informative)

    by dopaz (148229) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:00PM (#18074248) Homepage
    "The motion of the remote is sensed by a 3-axis linear accelerometer located slightly left of the large A button. The integrated circuit is the ADXL330, manufactured by Analog Devices. This device is physically rated to measure accelerations over a range of at least +/- 3g with 10% sensitivity.

    Inside the chip is a small micromechanical structure which is supported by springs built out of silicon. Differential capacitance measurements allow the net displacement of the tiny mass to be converted to a voltage, which is then digitized. It is important to note that the sensor does not measure the acceleration of the Wiimote, but rather the force exerted by the test mass on its supporting springs. Due to the sign convention used, this quantity is proportional to the net force exerted by the player's hand on the Wiimote when holding it. Thus, at rest on a flat table, the accelerometer reports vertical force of +g (the mass can be normalized away into the aribitrary units), and when dropped reports a force of nearly zero."

    All the geeky details at WiiLi http://www.wiili.org/index.php/Wiimote [wiili.org]
  • by Alaren (682568) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:21PM (#18075314)

    In the interest of continuing this dialogue, I'd like to address some of these poins. What it mostly comes down to is that I still get the impression that you are judging the Wii on criteria completely removed from actually playing one.

    The "resolution problem" presented by TVs is a real one for Nintendo and comes down to a simple consumer question: do we optimize for cutting edge technology, or for the technology our consumers are most likely to have? One major problem faced by the PS3 and 360 is that the more optimized they are for high resolutions, the worse they look on regular televisions. Smaller fonts, denser interfaces, and so on make the new systems gorgeous in HD, there's no denying it, but the better they look, the less readable they are on standard TVs. If you own an HDTV, and you can afford a game system worthy of such technology, it is understandable that you would want to "get the most out of it."

    But HD is not being adopted in the U.S. (and even less so in Japan) at the rates everyone hoped. In some sense, the PS3 and 360 are actually ahead of their time, driving technology. That will be to their great advantage in, I don't know, anywhere from two to five years probably--so the Wii probably hasn't got the lifespan of a system like the PS2. But it's also profitable straight out the gate which puts Nintendo in a position to be researching and developing the Wii's successor well in advance of Sony or Microsoft's efforts. It's a different strategy, dictated at least in part by Nintendo's position competing with two enormous companies that can eat losses far beyond Nintendo's capacity as a games-only company. And apparently it is, for the moment at least, a winning strategy.

    I agree that the name is unfortunate from a marketing perspective. But considering most places can't keep Wiis in stock for more than a few hours, any impact the name theoretically has had on demand is to this point completely moot. You don't like the name, we get it. But it turns out the people who haven't "moved on" are generally the people who need to insist that, despite its superior sales numbers and mainstream media reviews, the Wii "can't" be as good as the PS3 they bought for $2500 on eBay. The name is silly, we get it. Turns out the system is insanely fun anyway and has mass-market appeal.

    However, it's not clear that many games are going to embrace the wand controller. There are several popular & established gaming genres that do not lend themselves well to a wand controller: racing/driving games, shooters, flight sims, and fighting games to name a few. Games where a handled-object are used seem to be the best & most obvious fit. However, outside of the obvious sports games (featuring tennis rackets, golf clubs, baseball bats, etc) and certain fantasy games (featuring weapon swinging, etc), the wand controller doesn't seem very applicable.

    At this point you come off very strongly as having no appreciable experience with the Wii. I'll grant that racing/driving games I'm a little skeptical of on the Wii, despite Excite Truck. But shooters? Personally I'd prefer a mouse, but after using the wand in Zelda, I have no doubt that it is superior for FPS controls to a stick or pad any day (Red Steel was just a bad game, can't really judge from that one d^_^b). Flight sims and fighting games are actually two genres I think will benefit significantly from the Wiimote, to say nothing of RTS (a genre largely nonexistent on consoles), RPGs (KotOR was much better with a mouse, in my opinion), and traditional "point and click" adventure games (a popular and accessible genre that is nearly impossible with a stick or pad). Fighting games is unknown, but do keep in mind that even Smash Brothers Brawl is probably not going to utilize the wand; there's no pressure to use the motion controls where they might actually detract from gameplay. There will always be those games that just get ported and "tacked" with motion controls, but

  • by jchenx (267053) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:53PM (#18075636) Journal

    I'm sure I can't be the only person on slashdot who reads this and thinks "well actually I thought it would." Surely I haven't just become the world's leading business analyst overnight. Following on from their strong showing with the DS, I felt a lot of people (although none of the moron^H^H^H^H^Hexperts who get paid to share their infinite wisdom) seemed to predict this as Nintendo's second coming. Perhaps some analyst company would like to pay me stupid amounts of money - I'm open to offers. I was so sure about it, I even told my retired and not particularly wealthy parents to buy Nintendo stock (and they'd never forgive me if I was wrong).
    There was actually a recent article implying that the Internet community was a better predictor than traditional business analysts [joystiq.com] of this console generation's successes/failures. This runs a bit contrary to what you think at first. After all, the Internet is rife with fanboys from all sides, so it can be difficult to draw out interesting tidbits and facts, from the general fanboy noise. You can certainly see this in a place like Slashdot, which is filled especially with anti-Sony/MS detractors and pro-Nintendo fans. Despite the arguably pro-Nintendo skew to a lot of postings (some good, some way too overzealous), I'm pleasantly surprised by a lot of the on-point analysis and observations on all "sides", or by folks who haven't really chosen any side in particular. There's something to be said about the opinions of a mass audience, which lives and breathes this industry ... more so than arguably any one business analyst.
  • by PopHollywood (770077) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:09PM (#18076856)
    I haven't shopped in a video game store for myself in over 10 years. Since I learned about the Wii in November, I've practically lived in them looking for extra controllers and WiiPlay.

    In addition, since playing the Wii at my house, my other age 40+ friends that "don't play video games" are actively in the market for a Wii.

    So, yeah, the magic must be dead.

  • Re:Wii = Why (Score:3, Informative)

    by mackyrae (999347) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:35PM (#18077080) Homepage
    It's pretty obvious you don't speak Japanese. There is no possible way to write "wii" in Japanese characters. A few hundred years ago, there was a letter for "wi" to which you could add "i". It no longer exists. The closest you'll get is "uii". If you know anything about any Latin-ish language, think of the letter "i" in that. It's sounds like a long e. Heck, short i's always sound like long e's. It's just a matter of how "finished" it sounds. Say "ee" and stop halfway through. It sounds like a short i. Just like the beginning of "idiot" or even better, the second i in "idiot" really sounds like that. Do you speak English?
  • Re:Yes and no.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by LordKronos (470910) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @08:42AM (#18080682) Homepage

    when I'm playing games alone I just want to sit down and relax, not be flailing around.


    I managed to play through Zelda without any flailing around. In fact, I TRIED flailing and it just didn't add anything. Tiny movements were sufficient, and it really didn't amount to any more effort or exhaustion than moving around joysticks.

    But, to top it off....when you really want to be lazy, and just kick back and play, the Wii controller excels here. Some games you can play single handed. When 2 hands are required, your hands don't need to be together on your lap. You can kick back in a recliner with one hand on each armrest. That's pretty much the ultimate in gaming comfort.
  • MST3000 (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @01:55PM (#18085280)
    Did no one else catch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference? (do-the-clowns-always-cry-when-you-pack-up-the-pap er-sky)

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