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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 VeriTea (795384) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:36PM (#18069894) Journal
    So the fact that they are selling so fast Nintendo can't keep them in stock is used as proof that excitement is diminishing for the Wii? This reminds me of the alleged Yogi Berra saying about a certain resturant - "It's so crowded nobody goes there any more."
  • Yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DreadPiratePizz (803402) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:37PM (#18069908)
    Right now yes, it is. It's not so much in the so called "gimick", but just that it hasn't been utalized in a way that is deep. Many of the ways the wiimote is being used are cool on the surface, but lack any sort of real impact on the way we play the game. The wiimote did not add much to Zelda. Games like wiisports are fun initally, but they are so simple that you reach a level of mastery very easily. Even games like trauma center are the same way. It's cool at first, but once you get the hang of it there's nothing more to explore.
  • Store Shelves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BobPaul (710574) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:37PM (#18069912) Journal
    Hmm.. reply to article link is missing. That's weird. This isn't a response to ubuntudupe...

    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
    Isn't Nintendo's inability to keep it on the shelf a sign that the excitement is still there? If the excitement were gone, would stores still sell out within days of recieving a shipment?
  • Hype =/= Magic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zyl0x (987342) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:38PM (#18069924)
    Nintendo did an excellent job speeding out a few good, solid games when the Wii launched. IMO, these games weren't intended to have an incredible lifetime, indeed, they served their purpose; to create enough hype so that the Wii would still sell in the face of other systems during the holidays. Now, as with most of the other systems, we must wait for what I'm sure will be a solid game base to flourish.

    You have to think about it - developers have just been exposed to a massively, paradigm-breaking gaming concept. Give them time. Just because the hype has settled down, doesn't mean the magic's gone.
  • Call me crazy... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CyberSnyder (8122) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:40PM (#18069944)
    But "... a persistent inability for Nintendo to keep units on the shelves has made it hard for gamers to sustain their enthusiasm for the system."

    Sounds like they're buying them as fast as Nintendo makes them. And its lost the thrill?
  • by Jaguar777 (189036) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:41PM (#18069952) Journal
    I would take "a persistent inability for Nintendo to keep units on the shelves" as a sign of continued interest.

    Also, some anecdotal evidence. Yesterday when I was looking through the Best Buy ad I noticed that Wii Play had been released. I called three local Best Buys and all of them had sold out of Wii Play.

    I think the steady stream of classic games like Mario Kart, and Super Mario World are helping out too.
  • by TinBromide (921574) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:43PM (#18069968)
    Consoles probably obey different rules than handhelds. I think that a year of downtime could be fatal for a console (sega anyone?). I also think that the most important rule is that in handhelds, nintendo rules (this has been nearly the unquestioned rule since tetris shipped with the gameboy). However, in consoles, the one that gets the most games wins. Its a self feeding cycle, the console that gets the most games, gets the most devs, who then make more games. With handhelds, while people were waiting for the ds to find it stride, they were fiddling with ipods and playing a nibbles clone on their cell phones.

    Instead of buying a wii, I'm going to probably take the popular route of buying the xbox360 (not a fanboy of any system, really!), because of 3 reasons. Its affordable (bye sony), it's got the library i want, and its on the shelves (bye nintendo). Keep in mind, the last system i bought besides a ds lite was a sega dreamcast in 01 because it was 50 bucks and emulators were coming out so i could retire the nes without retiring its library.
  • Counterpoint: DS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hardburn (141468) <hardburn AT wumpus-cave DOT net> on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:46PM (#18070032)

    The DS took a while before it showed its full potential. The PSP took the initial lead, but the DS has pulled far ahead now. IMHO, the breakthrough game was "Kirby: Canvas Curse", which showed off the real potential for the touchscreen, followed by Nintendogs.

    I suspect the Wii will go the same way. It already has quite a few games that show its potential. There are also a fair number of games that were hyped, but were rushed out the door to meet a Christmas release and had a poor control scheme (like Red Steel). As more games start piling up, the Wii should get a solid position in this round of console wars.

  • put-down article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:46PM (#18070040) Homepage Journal
    A typical put-down article. Maybe the author couldn't get his own Wii and is angry, or he's being paid by MS and/or Sony. Or maybe he's just really a bit slow.

    Nintendo's "inability to keep units on the shelves" is a good one. They're sold-out is what it really means. And not thanks to artificial shortage, Nintendo has shipped a lot of these machines.

    Is the excitement still there? Not as in the first few days, which is natural. But I'm still enjoying it a lot, and so does everyone I've had over to play a game or three. It isn't the cure to cancer, but it's a great living-room gaming system, and I'm still proud of owning one.

    Now, someone please send the poor author of TFA one so he can stop being all stuffed up.
  • Non-gamer "hype." (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Boogaroo (604901) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:46PM (#18070042) Homepage
    I just spent my second weekend playing with friends I introduced to the Wii during New Years. None of them are "gamers" as we think of them. They play poker and that's about as close as it gets.

    One actually went out and got a Wii and is very happy with the graphics. Non-gamers may see it as "good enough." You and I of course know that the other systems are far more powerful graphicly, but my friend wasn't about to go out and spend $700 to get a PS3 as his first game system. We had a new friend over as well. Another non-gamer. Even after I had gone to bed, they were up to 3am, playing Wii Sports Golf.

    Nintendo has hit the nail on the head I think. We might see the hype die off, but the hype that goes on is word of mouth. You know, plain old conversation in real life. Not everyone's primary mode of contact is email or web bulletin boards. I think this kind of "hype" goes far further in expanding the video gaming population than any ad campaign could.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:46PM (#18070046)
    "Wii is trying to be the iPod of consoles but how can you really when the market when your competitors iPods are just/if not more capable and the only difference is the peripherals?"

    Have you actually looked at the iPod competitors? Almost all of them pack in more features at a lower cost. I'm not saying Wii will become the iPod of the console world, but most powerful hardware is hardly a prerequisite.
  • by ShaggyIan (1065010) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:53PM (#18070166)
    Nintendo is targeting a more "causual" crowd with the Wii, and based on news reports and the folks I know who own one, they are succeeding.

    My family and friends are still having fun playing Wii Sports, Rayman, and other games we purchased MAYBE 45 DAYS AGO at most!!!! I would worry more if I paid $50 for a game that only lasted me a week (or less).

    Not everyone is a hardcore gamer who needs GameFly to feed their rabid consumption. The Wii seems to fail mostly in the eyes of that particular crowd.

    Am I looking forward to Mario Party 8, Mario Galaxy, Metroid? Sure. Am I lamenting my Wii because those games are not available today? Not at all.

    We're too busy enjoying/playing our Wii to lament what we don't have.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:02PM (#18070328) Homepage Journal
    The excitment is still there, but you've highlighted a greater problem.

    A video game console being sold out is only rarely a good thing. Being unable to meet demand only means bad things for Nintendo. Imagine how much closer Nintendo would be to the 360's lead, or how much further head the DS would be, if Nintendo could only produce units faster?

    The demand doesn't vanish mysteriously once you can meet it with supply. It may dip as the buffer of people waiting to get one is emptied, but the steady desire for the system remains. The only thing the Wii and DS shortages accomplish is reduced sales for Nintendo.
  • Ask me when... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMaestro (585010) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:03PM (#18070346)
    I can get ahold of one for myself damnit!

    The magic is there, the mass media (NOT video game specific media) simply set their expectations HIGHER than hardcore gamers. The Wii had by far one of the best video game launches in history, thats a fact. Video game consoles suffer from a "drought" of games between 3~12 months (depending on who you ask) after its initial release, thats a fact. The Wii is just over 3 months old, thats a fact. When you compare the outstanding launch (Zelda + Wii Sports pack-in = Profit!) to the current lack of games (Warioware and Elebits are fun but they aren't Metroid or Super Smash Bros), of course you'll be extremely disappointed.

  • There is a foot of snow outside, topped with an inch-thick layer of ice, and the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -20. School is cancelled. Can the kid go out and play? Sure, but once they start getting frostbite/etc from the cold, then they want to come in and move around to get the blood going, and this beats indoor soccer in terms of preservation of assets.
  • by jchenx (267053) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:09PM (#18070440) Journal
    A lot of this commentary is still focused on Nintendo's old core "hardcore" fanbase. Metroid Prime? Super Smash Bros? Even Super Mario Galaxy ... these are not games that are going to be consumed by the new casual owners of the Wii (folks like your parents and even grandparents). So what if the only game your parents play is Wii Sports, and they only turn it on to entertain their friends/family/guests? Your father is not suddenly going to be a hardcore player of Zelda, nor should that expectation be there. The next title they will pick up might be Wii Play. Critics will complain, "Wii Play is just more of the same Wii Sports type of action", and they'll be right. So yeah, it's not that great for typical hardcore gamers that want 10+ hours of content in their games ... but it's perfect for mom and pop which still consume the Wii casually. And that's the point.

    All you need to do is take a look at the DS to see where Nintendo is going with the Wii. You've got a ton of light, casual content, in the form of brain training, casual sims (Nintendogs) and light puzzlers. Plus in Japan, there are all sorts of "non-games" (cookbooks, dictionaries, etc.). In the meantime, because the userbase is there and so large, there's plenty of traditional "hardcore" content as well (Castlevania, RPGs, etc.) to keep the main fanbase pleased.

    I think it's a bloody smart business model to adopt. However, it's going to take a while for it to take shape on the Wii, just like it took a year to develop for the DS. Just be patient, gamers. In the meantime, there are all sorts of other games to play on "those other consoles", if you prefer the traditional hardcore games.
  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Predius (560344) <josh.coombs@TWAINgmail.com minus author> on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:10PM (#18070442)
    Play WiiSports with a group of friends, the magic will be back, trust me. : ) That's what we're finding, is the Wii is just an awesome social platform. Even if you're just watching someone play a solo game, seeing them flail about with the Wiimote is much more entertaining than watching someone button mash a traditional controller. Example: Rayman Raving Rabbids... some of the motions required for some of the minigames are downright hilarious.
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:15PM (#18070532)
    Don't forget that there is also the typical launch problem that all game consoles have ...

    Most game consoles launch in Q3 or Q4 of a given year and end up with a decent supply of games (for being new systems) because there is value in being the only game of a certain type on a system; its a great opportunity to create a new franchise because far more people will pay attention to 'Red Steel' when it launches with the system as compared to it launching at some arbitrary later date.

    Q1-Q2 of the following year launch systems have a great deal of difficulty getting a decent supply of games; it is the typical slow part of a year and there are too few systems released (being that it is a new system) for most developers to release a game.

    I would (personally) wait until E3 before I determined whether the Wii was having any problems ... I suspect that Nintendo will have some amazing properties and many third party developers will be producing things we wouldn't have expected.
  • Sadly... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gmail.CURIEcom minus physicist> on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:16PM (#18070556) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but I don't think its the console's fault, but the games that are being released for it. Looking through the recent issue of Game Informer, I managed to get excited about a ton of upcoming releases, but none of them were for the Wii, the only real Wii game featured was some cooking game. Quirky? I'm sure it will be, and quirky is good, but the Wii already has a glut of perky games, but none of the staples.

    Perhaps when Fire Emblem, Metroid Prime 3, and Super Smash Bros. come out. It needs real games too, established genres. I do like looking like an idiot playing Wario Ware, but I'd also like some regular gaming action, I want a decent FPS, and some decent RPGs, and a good fighter. These are the first games I generally acquire for any console, and the games that keep me playing them. I still break out the "obsolete" consoles to play these types of games, the Wii is lacking them completely except for TP. Yes its a new console, and these will come, but this leads to another worry.

    One thing I didn't here many people talking about is how the Wii lack of power will cause people to stop porting to it. Looking through that Game Informer you can see many multi-platformers coming out, but they're all PS3/360, with a conspicuous lack of Wii support. I'm going to have to buy a 360 to get my hot Conan action, and my steamy Star Wars force fix. Thinking about this, I guess the GC had the same problem, but it DID have the staple genres, even if light on the RPG front.

    Anyone who goes through my post-history will notice that I was pimping the Wii pretty hard, but now I'm starting to worry.
  • I disagree. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alaren (682568) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:20PM (#18070608)

    I'm a few hours from finishing Zelda, and I have to say I strongly disagree with your assesment of the Wiimote's addition to Zelda. The first few hours, I was thinking, "Yeah I guess this is kind of tacked-on." But as the game progressed, that really changed. The shield attack feels particularly immersive, as well as the bow and arrow, the rumble is masterfully employed throughout the game... I also turned off my Wiimote speaker one night to keep from waking up sleeping children, and the game felt much less immersive. I hadn't even given much thought to the sound in the Wiimote until it was gone. Now, if that can be accomplished with what amounts to a Gamecube port, imagine what's in store for future games?

    Second, the sports games have held my attention far longer than I thought they would. There is sufficient hidden complexity to make them true games of skill, especially if you are playing against other skilled players. Yet they're also simple enough to be fun for children. My 3-year-old daughter (she's almost 4) loves boxing and bowling; she's not very good, but she's okay. Her other favorite game is Super Smash Brothers Melee (she plays as Bowser), but she has a hard time doing anything besides walking left and right and breathing fire, because the controls are too complex.

    Let me rephrase this point. In addition to making Zelda extremely engrossing, the Wii enables me to enjoy video games with my small children. This point cannot be overstated! Paying monthly fees to have online competition against griefers and bullies and people with enough time on their hands to master every nuance of the game no longer appeals to me. I did that for years. Now what I want is a system that can satisfy my desire for epic games like Zelda and Final Fantasy, while also providing entertainment for my young family. I'm very excited for online Smash Brothers and I'm all for deeper control schemes where appropriate, but the ability to pick up and play for a few minutes to have some fun with my kids doing something I've always loved--playing video games--is the ability I will pay money for.

  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeBoxer (14448) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:30PM (#18070760)
    Being unable to meet demand only means bad things for Nintendo.
    Yeah, I'm sure Nintento execs are crying themselves to sleep at night about how bad things are going as compared to, say, Sony who has no problems meeting demand.

    The demand doesn't vanish mysteriously once you can meet it with supply. It may dip as the buffer of people waiting to get one is emptied, but the steady desire for the system remains. The only thing the Wii and DS shortages accomplish is reduced sales for Nintendo.

    Supply isn't free, or even cheap. Bringing new manufacturing capacity online takes time and investment. Making that investment when it may only be needed to satisfy short-term demand isn't necessarily a wise business move. In this case, who knows. But I'm pretty sure that Nintendo, who knows the actual costs involved, has a better idea than you.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rlp (11898) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:42PM (#18070932)
    > Being unable to meet demand only means bad things for Nintendo

    Well, maybe. They claim that they've ramped manufacturing up to a million a month. They've left the PS3 in the dust and they're shipping units faster than Microsoft was at the same point. They are also experiencing shortages with DS's. These are selling at three times the rate as the Wii. The company's last quarterly earnings announcement could be summarized as "We're printing money". Game makers are changing their plans to include Wii releases.

    They could have anticipated the demand. But to be fair - no one else did. They could bring additional manufacturing facilities on-line. But it's not clear - given the cost and lead time, that it would currently make sense to do so. So bottom line - they're doing pretty good. I'm sure Sir Howard would gladly trade places with Iwata.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:45PM (#18070982) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, if Nintendo went and added real arcade games to their virtual console section, it could boost sales from all those oldschool gamers.

    R-Type on TurboGrafx-16 was probably the best arcade port of this game. However it's still not the real thing. And most arcade ports just plain suck, why play the SEGA Genesis version of Golden Axe or Altered Beast when the arcade version was much better.

    There's also the fact that some games never had ports either, or on other older consoles. Such as Raiden Project on the Playstation. Or Slapfight/A.L.C.O.N. which was only released on C64 AFAIK.

    And last, how about letting us play the virtual games on our Nintendo DS? They already have the emulator for the NES (I'm guessing, with all the GBA ports), we know that even the GBA is powerful enough (emulators exist), so why not let us play at least the NES virtual games on our DS? It can already download demos from stations in game stores, so we know it's possible.

  • That's it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:58PM (#18071162) Homepage Journal
    Well, maybe. They claim that they've ramped manufacturing up to a million a month. They've left the PS3 in the dust and they're shipping units faster than Microsoft was at the same point. They are also experiencing shortages with DS's. These are selling at three times the rate as the Wii. The company's last quarterly earnings announcement could be summarized as "We're printing money". Game makers are changing their plans to include Wii releases.

    I am not sure anyone really expected the Wii to be selling at the rate it is, especially when its described as "a minor upgrade over the PS2 and a reinvented light pen". I wouldn't be surprised if most games companies banked on the high graphic consoles taking the market and therefore never really included the Wii in their plans. With the way its selling, I am sure there are many companies that are revaluating their plans.

    What we learn from the Wii, IMHO, is that if you get the price point right and the right kind of innovation, then people will buy. While Sony will continue to sell consoles, their price point is wrong and they have the wrong kind of innovation. What I mean by the wrong sort of innovation, is that high quality graphics is already being catered for by the Xbox 360 and BluRay is a passable extra. Sony gets more points deducted for a difficult to develop for games platform, where Nintendo makes it easy by keeping it simple. Sony will probably be seeing the great games that really take advantage of the console eventually, but the graphics engines need to get there first, since few programmers truely master highly multithread develpment.
  • by NeoPaladin394 (1044484) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:02PM (#18071214)
    Off topic, I know, but:

    So, let me get this straight. The same guy complaining about straw men (et al) holds the view that, because he perceives one person (coincidentally born in the north and raised in the south) to have an attitude, all southerners are like this. Is this a fine example of northern idiosyncrasy? How's that work?

    I once heard a girl from South Dakota complain about having to take a Speech class. It was at my alma mater in Louisiana. Her reason? "I'm from the north, where we already talk good."

    I won't even attempt to topple your argument that humans south of the Mason-Dixie line "really hate freedom, as in you support slavery," as it would be too easy to do so.

    Heh.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AbsoluteXyro (1048620) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:17PM (#18071420)
    Not necessarily. As any introductory econ class can tell you, scarcity does drive demand for certain products. The Wii is likely one of them. The fact that it is hard to get makes it more desirable.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:38PM (#18071704) Homepage
    Some of us have a sense or reality to know that there is a limit to how fast an entity can prodice a non trivial piece of hardware. Some of us also have patience. But I doubt you're alone.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BobPaul (710574) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:50PM (#18071928) Journal

    I am really loosing my patience with Nintendo...I wonder how many other people will buy another system instead because Wiis are no where to be found.
    That's really true, and I'm surprised at how long this period of shortage has lasted. On the flip side, however, every console launched by Sony and Microsoft has had shortages, and Nintendo came into this round with significantly higher stock-piles and production than it's competitors ever have. I agree with what you're saying, but I have more trouble blaming this on Nintendo's lack of ability to keep up--as I did with the XBox and XBox 360, both--because Nintendo is producing them so quickly already. For me, this whole scenario is extremely exciting and only makes me want one even more... but I guess I'm weird like that. I'm not much of a gamer anymore, so I don't "need" something to fill my time; I just want a damn Wii ;)

    Actually, the fact that you commented you might buy another system could very well mean you aren't the demographic Nintendo was after. They've been pretty clear that while they'd like the hard core gamer, they're really after people who aren't really gamers or people who are no longer gamers. I wouldn't even consider a 360 or a PS3 because that just feels "been there, done that" to me. It's not how I get my kicks these days.
  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:02PM (#18072148)
    Yeah, this is one of those annoying question-based articles, where the author takes something that's highly popular and asks a controversial, irrational question ("Is the magic gone for the game console that's so popular it's still flying off shelves?"). Framing it as a question allows them to ambiguously avoid taking a position that they would have to back with clear evidence. That makes it easier to stir up reader reaction for ad revenues.
  • by prockcore (543967) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:05PM (#18072208)

    (Sorry, I'm almost 30...a little old for the console circuit.)


    That's strange, I am 30 and I own the Wii and a 360. I'm too old to be messing around with my PC in order to make it even run games.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordRobin (983231) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:14PM (#18072378)

    And where I live, they sit in a stack on the sales floor along side the PS3's.

    Horsesh*t. Take a picture and post it somewhere. If there's a retailer that has a "stack" of Wiis on the sales floor, that has to be the world's dumbest retailer. I think this "magic land of easy-to-get Wiis" would be huge news on the gaming blogs.

    In other words, I don't believe you.

    ------RM

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:15PM (#18072392) Homepage Journal

    Exactly. It's interesting, if you could only judge by the "hardcore" mainstream gaming media, the Wii has never done well, will never do well, can never do well. The same litany of GameCube criticisms comes pouring out--too focused on children, not enough brutal online competition, graphics fall short. The Wii adds the "it's a gimmick!" to that list.

    So true. The danger of being inside a community of like-minded masters of the universe is that you can't see beyond the bubble you're in. Enterprise IT pundits didn't see Linux until it had already infiltrated the enterprise. They'd all been too busy talking about "soup to nuts solutions" to read the writing on the wall. The same thing is happening with games.

    Hardcore gamers don't realize that their pastime is mainstream now. Just look at the term "games." When I was a teenager, "gamer" meant someone who carried the DMG, the Players Handbook, and the Monster Manual in his backpack at school. Now pencil and paper games have gone mainstream in the form of console and PC games. Adults play these games. Females play these games. It is madness! The inner sanctum has been breached!

    Wii is doing great, and it will continue to rack up impressive sales, until eventually even gamer media will adapt their thinking and broaden the appeal of their own offerings.

  • Re:Sales and Magic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kalendraf (830012) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:27PM (#18072648)
    > but everyone wants a Wii.

    Most certainly not. I, along with dozens of gamers (hardcore or not) that I know IRL, have ZERO interest in getting a Wii. The common concensus amung most of us is that the Wii as a poorly named, sub-par gaming system (processor, graphics, etc), with an admittedly novel gimmick (controller). But no matter how novel that controller is, that doesn't overcome it's other weaknesses.

    So the magic isn't suddenly "gone". For many of us, it was simply never there to begin with.

    P.S. This is not intended as flamebait. It's just an honest opinion that many gamers I know have regarding the Wii.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gmail.cLISPom minus language> on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:42PM (#18072878) Homepage
    I'm planning on a Wii purchase myself, but I don't think it shows a lack of a "sense of reality" or "patience" for a consumer to be annoyed when s/he can't purchase a product because there aren't enough to go around. Whatever the base cause for that annoyance, the feeling isn't at all unreasonable. It certainly wasn't considered so when Microsoft was being raked over the coals for their early 360 shortage...
  • by Alaren (682568) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:55PM (#18073084)

    I, along with dozens of gamers (hardcore or not) that I know IRL, have ZERO interest in getting a Wii. The common concensus (sic) amung (sic) most of us is that the Wii as a poorly named, sub-par gaming system (processor, graphics, etc), with an admittedly novel gimmick (controller). But no matter how novel that controller is, that doesn't overcome it's other weaknesses.

    Well, I didn't intend the term "everyone" to include each individual on the planet (how many people still have no electricity?) so much as to include "all demographics," in other words, "you don't have to be a gamer to want a Wii, you can be pretty much anyone at all." My apologies for failure to be more specific.

    And if you do not like the Wii, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and you are certainly not alone--as I mentioned, mainstream gaming media seems quite frustrated to find that for all their criticism, the supposedly underpowered Wii is mopping the floor with the PS3. Indeed, if the future of gaming is to be the future of which they dream, there is a very real sense in which "powerful and beautiful and expensive" must beat "entertaining and simple and cheap." If the Wii truly wins this generation--and it may not, though I doubt it will lose to the PS3, because the 360 is quite popular--but if the Wii truly wins, a lot of those dollars that once went to make Halo and Final Fantasy and Gears of War beautiful graphical masterpieces may get diverted to making lots of simple accessible games in which "pzwning n00bz" is neither the primary nor secondary pursuit.

    But your criticisms are interesting. Is the Wii poorly named? Even if I grant that it is, can you explain exactly how a bad name makes a gaming system worse? Worse for marketing, perhaps, but how does this make the Wii bad for games?

    "Sub-par gaming system" also seems a little hasty. You quickly clarify "graphics" and "processor," but as it turns out, the Wii looks about the same as the PS3 and the 360 on the vast majority of televisions available. I can't afford a PS3, let alone an HDTV to enjoy the beautiful graphics. I like graphics. But I'm surprised to hear a self-professed gamer claim that what makes a system good or bad is the graphics. Graphics definitely play a part, but I'm not sure the difference between the PS3 and the Wii justifies a label of "sub-par."

    Finally, you talk about a "novel gimmick" in the controller--kudos on managing to spell "gimmick" right, by the way. Can you explain why this "gimmick" was copied by Sony? Why the "gimmicky" DS is currently dominating the entire video game market? Games are gimmicks, in the very strict sense that every form of media is to some extent all about catching your attention. You say this "doesn't overcome it's (sic) other weaknesses." That's because the controller isn't there to "make up" for anything. The controller is there to change the experience completely--in some sense, to take some of the work out of gaming and put some fun back in.

    This is not intended as flamebait. It's just an honest opinion that many gamers I know have regarding the Wii.

    I appreciate that, and as I said, your opinion is certainly a valid one. What you don't seem to realize, though, is that you just told me that you and unspecified dozens of others have written off the Wii because of its name, because of how it looks, and because it is different, which is textbook prejudicial behavior. What you think you want is "more of the same, only bigger and better." You want eye candy, you want horsepower, you want familiar control schemes, you don't want your peers to make fun of you for having a system that sounds juvenile. That's okay, those are valid desires.

    But the rest of us want fun games, simple pleasures, affordable luxuries, and novel approaches. And that is why, despite what the gaming media may say for you and your "gamer" friends to parrot, the Wii magic is still there and the Wii is still selling like mad. I suggest that, whatever your prejudices, you give the Wii an honest chance--if not now, then maybe when Metroid Prime or Smash Brothers hit. You might find you like it more than you believed possible.

  • by brkello (642429) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:06PM (#18075146)
    Not that I disagree with most your points...but to say the Wii looks the same as the PS3 and 360 on normal TVs is just false. The difference is large and very easy to see. Graphics aren't everything..of course, but don't make stuff up.

    Personally, I think the Wii is fine and will get one eventually. A co-worker though tried playing it and hated it because there was too much delay between the controller and the game he was playing. Clearly it isn't a problem for most people...but it is one of the more legitimate complaints I have heard about the system.
  • by gamer4Life (803857) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:21PM (#18075320)
    Let's get this straight - Zonk is a Microsoft fanboy, not a Nintendo fanboy.

    All you are seeing is a shift in Microsoft's marketing strategy. At first Microsoft thought their primary competitor as the PS3, so they attacked the PS3 relentlessly, even going so far as to promote the Wii console in their "Wii60" campaign. They've bribed bloggers, indoctrinated many fanboys to do their marketing unwittingly, and tainted biased news sources.

    Now that they've bred a culture of FUD around the PS3, they're going on to phase two of their FUD campaign - targeting the Wii.

    Microsoft is great at these sort of tactics. The Iowa case documents, the Halloween documents, all have shown Microsoft as capable of these type of antics.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maserati (8679) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:38PM (#18076060) Homepage Journal
    In some cases, scarcity can drive both price and demand. Prestige, hand-crafted items for example - Aston Martin cars being an excellent example.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @10:29AM (#18081096)
    Selling fewer units at a loss is not as good as selling more units at a profit... duhhhhhh [vgcats.com]
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @12:16PM (#18082532)
    In January, sure. It's February 20th. If it were Sony that still had their system sold out (think back to the PS2 launch), people here would be bitching about how incompetent they are. No matter what the excitement level, Nintendo should be able to meet demand by now. It is especially disappointing when you find out that they really weren't shipping nearly as many consoles as they said they were [pcvsconsole.com].

    BTW, I say this as a happy Wii owner. I love everything about it except for the fact that any time I want to buy something for it I have to search.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @12:25PM (#18082652)
    now that's flamebait!

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