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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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  • Imposter!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:32PM (#18069840) Journal
    What have you done with the real Zonk!!!!!!?

    Seriously, even as I like the Wii, I can see some "cracks in the armor". It's missing out on a lot of potential. Here are some things it needs:

    a) Real calibration. Actually be able to tell it where your screen boundaries are located so that where you're pointing is a lot closer to where the dot is, enabling shooters that don't show your crosshairs. Preferably in the OS.

    b) The Wiisaber. That alone will double sales.

    c) Games that involves holstering the wiimote to one or more limbs. E.g. a dancing game or a bounty hunter type game where you have to hit a button on your arm to launch a rope. (I know Konami has a DDR like the former coming up, but sooner would have been nice.)

    d) Online play.

    Also, Zelda should have required you to pull back to load an arrow, so it's more realistic.
    • 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?
      • Re:Store Shelves (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Phantombrain (964010) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:44PM (#18069992) Journal

        If the excitement were gone, would stores still sell out within days of recieving a shipment?

        Where I live, it's hours after a shipment.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by spxero (782496)
          I'll second this- Wal-mart recieved a shipment, announced it over the speakers. I was able to get my hands on two within 10 minutes, and all 10 Wii's were gone within the half hour.

          I don't know if the magic is gone, but the sales are still up (three wal-marts, two targets, a best buy and circuit city in town are all out of wiimote's/nunchucks)
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by empaler (130732)

        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.
        • by arodland (127775)
          It's hidden in the bar on the left. I had a hell of a time finding it too :)

          And slashdot, PLEASE stop punishing me for being a decent typist.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        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
        • 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.
          • 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.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by McFadden (809368)

              I am not sure anyone really expected the Wii to be selling at the rate it is

              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

              • 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 sur

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

          by Emetophobe (878584) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:04PM (#18071250)

          A video game console being sold out is only rarely a good thing. Being unable to meet demand only means bad things for Nintendo.

          That's true. I was really excited about getting a Wii last November, I've been trying to find one since then with no luck. Let's just say I'm starting to get severely annoyed with the lack of supply, an xbox 360 is looking more and more appealing every day. I am really loosing my patience with Nintendo, I wanted a fucking Wii pretty bad, but now I'm just fed up and annoyed that I can't find one, and that turns me off it altogether. I wonder how many other people will buy another system instead because Wiis are no where to be found.
          • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Babbster (107076)
              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...
          • 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.
          • Re:Store Shelves (Score:5, Interesting)

            by djtachyon (975314) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:31PM (#18072720) Homepage Journal
            Calling 10 Best Buys in the area (Jersey/NYC) I found 3 stores with Wii's in stock. Put some effort into it.
        • 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.
      • by trdrstv (986999)
        If the excitement were gone, would stores still sell out within days of recieving a shipment?

        Within days? I've heard reports of minutes and hours, but I haven't come across a report of Wii's staying stocked on the shelf until even the next day... Do they last on the shelves longer by you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bperkins (12056)
        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?

        Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.
        - Yogi Berra [quotedb.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Garse Janacek (554329)

        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?

        Yeah. Well, except for the "days" thing, the stores in my area have been telling me minutes. I mean, inability to keep in stock is a bad thing in some ways -- I'm sure Nintendo would love to be able to meet supply right away if only to ramp up game sales faster, but according to the local places I've been asking, (1) the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ivan256 (17499)
        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
  • I still can't get one :( I'm not paying more than retail for one, so once I can walk into Walmart and buy one, I won't be able to tell you how great it is or not. I currently have a 360 that still works... but who knows long that will last. Everybody else I know with a 360 has had it die and was either fortunate enough to still be under warranty, or just ended up getting screwed. I'm selling mine and going for a wii since the games are more kid friendly since I have 2 young boys. Also, I may end up gett
  • by squarefish (561836) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:35PM (#18069880)
    Hell no, I'm just patiently waiting to get my hands on one where it doesn't require me to sell my soul.
    I want one as much as I always have, but there is no way in hell I'll get it through walmart.
    So I wait.....
  • I'm having fun playing games that I expected (Warioware, Excitetruck), and having fun playing games that I didn't expect to enjoy (Madden).

    So for the last time, No: I'm not trading you for your PS3.
  • 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."
    • But on the other hand, the fact that I can't get one means that I've essentially given up trying. I actually gave up early January and figured that I'd check again in February, but they still aren't available, so now I've basically completely given up until the summer at the earliest.

      So not being able to meet demand might, ultimately, hurt them - I just don't care about the Wii anymore. I don't really want it anymore. I did at one point, but after being unable to get it, I've basically given up - I've sto

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by honkycat (249849)
        This sort of happened to me with the Game Boy Advance. I was going on a trip a few days after it came out and thought it would be a fun way to kill time on a plane. In that case, supply was plentiful, but the stores that carried stock wouldn't sell them unless you bought their package deal with some accessories and a handful of games. That pissed me off, so I refused to buy it.

        Then, a few weeks later when the newness had worn off, I realized I really had no interest in the thing and I never got one. Don
    • 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 fotbr (855184) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:37PM (#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.
    • Sales and Magic (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alaren (682568) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:04PM (#18070364)

      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.

      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.

      And yet the systems continue to sell.

      World of Warcraft and Gears of War shifted some serious units to hardcore gamers... but everyone wants a Wii. No matter what "$up4 1337 haxx0rz" say about 1080p and pzwning n00bs and how gimmicky the controller is, Moms don't listen to haxx0rz. Moms listen to Dr. Phil, and spend their money accordingly. This article is proof that the "magic" isn't gone even if the initial launch hype is finally settling down. Why doesn't the article ask if the PS3 magic is gone? Everyone's played the one or two games that made it worth buying. You can get a PS3 without even trying. The Wii, games and accessories occupy top spots on Amazon.com.

      And that really is the point. Gaming media makes their money on ad impressions. You don't run stories criticizing a system many gamers have completely written off. You don't run stories about systems that are being critically panned by the mainstream media. You run stories about the biggest, most enticing system out there, even if it means finding something to criticize. Because those stories generate controversy, and that generates hits, and hits make money.

      Notice how many negative articles ran about the PS3 leading up to its launch--price too high, too few units, controller just copied the Wiimote, so on and so forth. The negative press is still out there, but it's gotten to the point where no one cares, because everyone knows the PS3 is nowhere near as successful as we all thought it was going to be--while the Wii has wildly exceeded even most Nintendo fanboy's dreams. I was excited when it consistently sold out through January. I never would have guessed there would be shortages through February, with no end in sight.

      You can't maintain "launch hype" through an entire console's life. The Wii is doing splendidly, and although Nintendo has failed to completely stave off the drought we all pretty much knew would happen, more games are coming, and I imagine they will be great. And you have to admit, Smash Brothers with online play is all it is going to take to get the hype going again.

      • Moms listen to Dr. Phil, and spend their money accordingly.

        Off-topic, but I certainly hope this isn't true.
      • 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.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "I'd say the excitement is still there."

      When I was reading through this article that was my thought too, that the author was nuts, but he's got a point. I'm no longer as excited about the Wii as I was in November/December when it was first introduced, when it was still brand new and cool. The commercials aren't on TV anymore, and even if i got one today and told my friend's I'd probably get responses like "So? My step brother's uncle's son had one 4 months ago, big deal".

      The luster has diminished s
  • 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.
    • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Predius (560344) <josh.coombs@gma i l . com> 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.
    • 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.

  • by andy314159pi (787550) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:38PM (#18069916) Journal
    I was going to get a Wii but I keep reading on Slashdot that they aren't in stores so I haven't bothered. So you might say that Slashdot is responsible for the loss of interest in Wii.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 lucabrasi999 (585141) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:18PM (#18070596) Journal
      Sounds like they're buying them as fast as Nintendo makes them. And its lost the thrill?

      Obviously, you don't understand. Take the late, great Sega Dreamcast. Thousands of Dreamcast consoles were left sitting on shelves for months on end. It was such a magical time, that Sega went out of the console business. But, hell, they made up for the millions in financial losses with volume. Shenmue became such a must-have game that Sega just announced the release of Shenmue Balboa. In this, the seventeenth volume of the game series, Ryo Hazuki is a 65 year old hack boxer that fights a latter-day Mike Tyson.

      There's no magic in the Wii anymore. There is too much demand. I'm waiting for the next system, the Nintendo Uus.

  • 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.
  • 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
  • FTA: The LAST thing Wii needs is lazy ports of existing games, particularly games that have been out for A YEAR or thereabouts on other consoles (Prince of Persia, Blazing Angels). They could do more harm than good.

    Funny, isn't this exactly what Sony is doing with the Blu-Ray format, releasing dozens of older movies to flood the market and claim that they are releasing more titles than their competition?

    In both cases, having older games/movies available is just fine if enough customers haven't played/seen t
    • It's much easier to see that a game is just a port of an older version. People expect this of films.

      When someone buys a new gaming system they want to be dazzled, when someone buys the DVD of Casablanca they already accept what they're getting.
      • by hkmwbz (531650)

        When someone buys a new gaming system they want to be dazzled
        And you can only do that with graphics, right?
        • A port's a port. Graphically or otherwise. And to be frank? Yes, most people who buy a new console want better graphics. Maybe you don't feel the same but plenty of others do.

          Personally I don't buy consoles and even if I did I probably wouldn't bother myself with something that doesn't offer all that can be offered in a set top box.

          And maybe I'm wrong here but I would think that graphics would be the easiest update to porting a game.
      • So you're saying that a person won't mind if they buy a Blu-Ray of a movie, and find that it looks exactly like the DVD they had already bought/rented a few years ago?

        I'm not talking about DVD. I'm talking about Blu-Ray. No one is going to shell out $30 extra for a Blu-Ray without expecting to get something back for it.

        Also, it's really not as hard to see that a game is a port if the graphics still look up-to-date for the console. Given the Wii's graphics capabilities, most any recent PS2 game is going t
  • I'm seeing lots of parents thinking to themselves... "my kid watches tons of TV as it is... this way they can get exercise..." Mind you, they live in suburbia, but the thought of their kids getting any exercise using technology instead of *gasp* a basketball, frisbee, soccer ball....

    My response... Send your kids outside, don't make them dependent on the TV.. even if you're claiming "waving around a game controller" is a valid substitute for running around outside.

  • Yes and no.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrEldarion (114072) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:46PM (#18070030)
    The Wii could quite possibly end up being the best local-multiplayer console of all time. TONS of fun has been had at my place playing Wii Sports, Rayman, and Warioware. At the same time, though, I've found single-player to be somewhat lacking, partially because when I'm playing games alone I just want to sit down and relax, not be flailing around. It's going to be hard to find Wii games that don't force you to use the motion-sensing, though, since that's the only "special" thing about the console.

    That pretty much relegates the Wii to party-console for me. Not that I have a problem with that, I suppose. The PS3 looks like it will be (and has been) able to handle my single-player needs fine. Each console has its place.
    • by WeeLad (588414) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:49PM (#18071024) Journal
      Some of us flail around even with a DualShock, ... you insensitive clod....
      I've yanked the PS2 right off the shelf. It's not entirely my fault. I think the console cheats.


      This wireless wiimote thingy gives me all sorts of new freedoms to hurt myself and others.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordKronos (470910)

      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, y

  • Counterpoint: DS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@@@wumpus-cave...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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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 employee
      • by hkmwbz (531650)

        The inability to put units on shelves is just that.
        But that isn't it. Nintendo is putting units on shelves all the time. The "problem" is that they are bought the moment they arrive. This isn't a bad thing for Nintendo at all. It shows that there is still a LOT of excitement for the system. Only a moron would claim that selling well is a bad thing.
  • 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.
  • At the moment, though, I don't know if the supply problem is caused by demand vastly outstripping supply, or if they've just run into that much difficulty keeping supply up. (I wasn't planning to purchase one for another couple of months, though.)
  • by Mirkon (618432) <mirkon&gmail,com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:51PM (#18070126) Homepage
    The dearth of upcoming Wii games is nothing more than symptomatic of its recent launch. Developers are still learning what to do with it. This isn't a phenomenon unique to the system - it happens to every platform for about a year after its release (recall the DS drought, or the lack of Xbox 360 development through all of last year, or that the PS3 is in the same boat right now). Not that that makes the situation any better in terms of enjoying the system, but it's far from a death knell at any rate.
  • 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 looki
  • Then I will be able to buy one without $300 in extra "holiday bundle" crap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      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 Wi

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Sadly... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991)
    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
  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:19PM (#18070602) Homepage
    You hear that people? The magic is over! You can stop buying them up off the shelves so I could get one!
  • All three! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BW_Nuprin (633386) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:21PM (#18070640)
    I'm still excited about the potential of the Wii, but all three systems have lost their luster in my eyes. Nothing really exciting is coming out for any of them in the next six months, and pretty much all I play these days is my DS and the occasional Virtual Console game. Not that either is a bad thing! Where are the system sellers - for any system?
  • Welp I find it hard to believe that the magic gone. For most of us the magic isnt there because we can't find it in stores. I hear in March it will be easier to get one. I got oodles oof bestbuy gift cards (big mistake) ready to go get a wii. When I go to Japan in late march im willing to bet apples to oranges that I could get a wii out there. Lord Vader demands that this FUD faggotry end. The wii has outsold the PS3 for the moment in such a short time. Nintendo has been always been about catering to the pe
  • ...the control system. Based on the reviews I have read, when it's done right, it's wonderful, but if it's done not so right, the game can be nigh unplayable. There's also some emerging quips about the last gen graphics.
  • Is the magic gone? Probably, if you've played it non-stop since Christmas. Is it gone for the rest of us? Probably not. In a few years we'll buy a $50 Wii-emulator remote from somewhere, download a Wii emulator and a crap-load of free "ROMs" and we'll be happily entertained for a few hours. (Sorry, I'm almost 30...a little old for the console circuit.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Prien715 (251944)
      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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by prockcore (543967)

      (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.
  • 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.

  • Interesting, I wrote about the very same thing when I reviewed Wii Play [blogspot.com], but I do see how that segment (hardcore gamer, tons of free time, commits to games, etc.) will have a tough time with the Wii during this 1st wave of games. Nintendo has built up a lot of possibilities though their demos (Wii Sports, Wii Play) - all they can probably do is wonder how a full-fledged game would be like. Personally, I think it's perfect; I've found myself not playing as much so I can "extend the experience" (like not b
  • Why do I want one? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by edmicman (830206) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:10PM (#18072306) Homepage Journal
    I'm not aiming to troll, so hear me out. One of my friends really wants one, and I know a couple others that have one. Both of those that have it rave about Zelda. The one that wants one wants it for the multiplayer games. They piqued my interest, so I went to IGN to see what games are out, etc., and to read up on it some more.

    What are the "must have" games for the Wii? Seriously. I'm aware of Zelda, but ehh, I don't have much time to actually *play* a lot, so I'd probably get bored of it. My game playing time during the week is limited, and even on the weekends I might not have much time. On IGN half or mor of the reviews were for VC games - reviews of Mario 3 and the like. While that's cool and all, I don't want to spend $250 so I can download my old collection of Nintendo games, and I already know what those old games are like - I played the originals. There are the party games, but I'd only have a use for them maybe once a month or so - whenever we have a bunch of people over. The woman isn't interested in watching me play through a single player game, and she's not much into gaming anyway. Maybe if there were something she'd be interested in....

    I could always go with the sports games, but that only lasts awhile, and why get a Wii if I'm just going to get Madden or some NCAA game? I'm interested in the potential of a Wii, but when I got right down to it, I had to ask myself - what would I get it for? Is it just the novelty and then it'd wear off? What are the must-have games everyone is talking about?

    Ahhhh, it doesn't matter anyway. In my medium sized city, not one of the area stores has any in stock, let alone knows when more might come in. Bah. Maybe I've outgrown video games - that's depressing...
  • by PopHollywood (770077) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:09PM (#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.

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