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Wii

Where the Wii Fits In 371

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
AGFlamey writes "On Angry Gamer is an interesting and lengthy article about the new direction Nintendo are taking with the Wii and in particular "non-games" like Wii Fit and Big Brain Academy. From the article: "Hardcore folks don't like to admit it, but Mario and Zelda are relics of the past. It's become quite clear that Nintendo is losing interest in remaking the same old games over and over. They want to pull us into something new, if only we can give them the chance." Is it such a bad thing that Nintendo are neglecting their roots?"
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Where the Wii Fits In

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  • I'm not so sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Samurai (893134) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:39AM (#19946169)
    Don't count out the classics just yet. AAA titles like Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are pretty much the main attraction for Nintendo fans, and without them, Nintendo wouldn't be able to support itself with novelty alone. AAA titles have always been Nintendo's pillar of strength, and the only reason they didn't call it quits when the Gamecube lost out last time round.
    • by Nitroadict (1005509) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:47AM (#19946231) Homepage
      Hmm, after the 64 and Gamecube, and the sudden huge success of the Wii, is it a bad thing that Nintendo may be changing it's strategy? I don't think it is... but I don't think they are neglecting their roots either. It looks more like they are updating their strategy and bringing their roots with them... and from the glimpse of what the Wii is offering now, I see nothing but interesting things coming from Nintendo in the future. Hardcore gamers won't miss out on anything: they are 3 consoles out, 3 more coming up soon in the form of rumors for the next-gen (PS4? The Next Xbox? Another more powerful Wii and/or another portable in the vein of the DS? Only time will tell); the Ps3 will (hopefully) eventually prove more than enough to satisfy hardcore gamers as long as they don't lose any exclusives (MGS4, FF13...), Xbox360 is proving to very formidable in the online arena. Aside from a lot of crappy games (and every era in video gaming had it's fair share of countless bad games, even SNES), this could be a new golden age of gaming if looked at with the proper perspective. Long live video gaming, both casual & hardcore, and hell, why not everything in-between. If only Sega could come back someday with a console than finished the job what the dreamcast almost had (which was consistent success).
      • by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:19PM (#19946889)
        Nintendo's strategy, with the exception of the poorly-received GameCube, has been to change. This is nothing new, they are, in fact, returning to their roots just as everyone is screaming at them for not sticking with them.

        As already pointed out, Mario, Zelda and Metroid games continue to be produced, and new games are being created constantly as well. (Brain Age comes to mind as a recent success in innovation that doesn't require odd hardware.)

        The GameCube was so poorly-received because it tried to do the same thing as other consoles, but with much, much less power. It was like the Jr Olympics... Cute and mildly entertaining, but hardly as exciting as the real thing. The Wii returns to Nintendo's roots and offers gimmicky controllers (Robby the Robot? The Power Glove?) to enhance the gaming experience, instead of relying on flashy graphics.

        I own all 3 current gen systems, and while I don't really have a 'favorite', the PS3 is my least favorite. So far, it's done nothing (game-wise) that the 360 hasn't. Maybe Little Big Planet and Echochrome will change that... They're the only thing in the near future that has my attention. And maybe more classic games will help me like it better, as well. They've got Jet Moto (definitely one of may all-time racing games) but they don't have anything else I want, yet. Persona would be awesome. I recently started playing it again, and it's about what I remembered... Poor interface, but has plot and some thought into the combat/contact system.

        Of the remaining 2, the Wii is my favorite for light-hearted games, and the 360 for serious games. That's not saying much for the consoles themselves, though, as those kind of games just naturally gravitate that way.
        • by aywwts4 (610966) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:52PM (#19947123)
          The gamecube was just behind the xbox in terms of graphical power, and a solid bit ahead of the ps2. Just because the ps2 was the most successful, dont think it was graphical power that got them there.
        • by LKM (227954)

          Nintendo's strategy, with the exception of the poorly-received GameCube, has been to change. This is nothing new, they are, in fact, returning to their roots just as everyone is screaming at them for not sticking with them.

          Exactly! If you go back in time to when Nintendo started making consoles, you'll see that the Nintendo of NES times was very similar to the Nintendo of now. They always tried to go for innovative/children/family/adult stuff (with things like Rob, the Zapper or their dance mat thing),

  • by kevn (730412) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:40AM (#19946175) Homepage Journal
    Zelda Twilight princess and Super Mario Galaxy not to mention the upcoming Metroid shooter kind of make this guys argument seem silly. Nintendo is pursuing the casual gamer but they are not about to "neglect their roots."
    • by alvinrod (889928) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:28PM (#19946957)
      Haven't you heard that if you make controversial statements and attempt to troll Nintendo fans that your article will get picked up on sites like Slashdot and Digg where thousands of members will click through to read the article and give you more page hits?

      It's the same whenever Dvorak writes some sensationalist column about how Apple is going to be driven out of the industry or fail in some other manner. He's just trolling to get a few more page hits and ad revenue.

      It's the same reason tabloids and other yellow journalism rags print the news they do. People are attracted to sensationalist crap and will pay money to read it.

      I've heard this particular argument that the article presents at least two other times on Slashdot in the past month. Every time it's refuted by common sense thinking and posters pointing out evidence to the contrary. Everyone seems to confuse "expanding the market" with "neglecting the base." This article should be modded troll, because it really is one, and also redundant, because it's already cropped up a few times before. Just because some journalist couldn't think up a good idea for a decent article doesn't mean this tripe is newsworthy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Dvoraking is so common it doesn't even bear mentioning these days. What is important to me is whether or not the article itself is just a troll/flame, or if it is thoughtfully written. Of course, if a writer or website burns me by not delivering the goods, I won't give them the attention they so desperately seek.

        I'm not sure if the article submitter and the article writer are the same person (although the submitter is a tout from Angry Gamer obviously - AGFlamey? C'mon!). Still, the article itself is intere
  • by perlhacker14 (1056902) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:40AM (#19946181)
    In case you have forgotten, the old lines are the better sellers. Among all the newer things like wii sports, and many others, Mario and Zelda still have a huge fan base and still sell. It is not a bad thing that Nintendo is moving for more lines, but they should still keep the old tried and true (and the better) series until sales begin to drop (which they never will, if the quality keeps up and only when fans become bored). I still play all the older sets, and my friends still do, and we all find enjoyment in things like Smash and Zelda and Starfox and mario party.
    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      In case you have forgotten, the old lines are the better sellers. Among all the newer things like wii sports, and many others, Mario and Zelda still have a huge fan base and still sell. It is not a bad thing that Nintendo is moving for more lines, but they should still keep the old tried and true (and the better) series until sales begin to drop (which they never will, if the quality keeps up and only when fans become bored). I still play all the older sets, and my friends still do, and we all find enjoymen
  • Personally, the reason I don't get any nintendo machines these days is because of the endless Mario and Zelda remakes. The original NES came out when I was in first grade. Now, I'm almost 30 and have been playing these games virtually my entire life.

    I might pick a Wii up someday, but so far not much has convinced me Nintendo is really trying to start a new mode of gaming. It looks promising, but it's just not there yet. Obviously, millions of people ARE giving Nintendo a chance, especially compared to
    • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:06AM (#19946367) Journal
      Come on. If there's one thing that you can't accuse Nintendo of it's lacking originality in coming up with new games.

      Look at the WarioWare series of games, for example. If WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii isn't an example of "reinventing the entire story behind a game" then, please tell us, what out there is?

      As for the Gamecube being a failure, well, if you go by the number of consoles sold then, sure, it wasn't as popular as the PlayStation 2, and was a "failure" but if you use that whacky profit metric that those crazy kids down at Wall Street are so fond of, the Gamecube did quite well.

      I've never owned a Nintendo console in my life but it seems that they've made plenty of original games along the way, as well as making plenty of sequels (and let's not forget that sequels can be original too!), and made plenty of money doing it.
      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:57PM (#19947597) Homepage

        Look at the WarioWare series of games, for example. If WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii isn't an example of "reinventing the entire story behind a game" then, please tell us, what out there is?
        See, the problem with WarioWare is that even if the game is new, it still uses characters from the Mario "universe" (*).

        And I hate to say this, but I've *never* been able to stand Mario and friends. I can't put my finger on why exactly, they just grate. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with the characters (Nintendo weren't that big in Europe until the SNES came out). But then, I hate Mickey Mouse too, despite being a fan when I was seven or so. And perhaps it's that (for me), Nintendo sometimes out-Disneys Disney in the worst way possible, with a healthy dose of Barney-style annoyingness thrown in... actually I'm not sure that's correct either, though.

        Anyway, I'm glad that the DS doesn't seem to be overly reliant on the Mario franchise and Nintendo's kiddy-oriented past; I'd never have bought one if it had been.

        Possibly someone will say that they enjoy playing Mario and "childish" games because they're past their adolescent obsession with "adult" sex and violence... but I don't like those games either. I like the games like Brain Training, Brain Age and so on- it's just that I find Mario genuinely childish. And believe me, for all that teenagers and adults enjoy indulging their childlike fun side with shows like Spongebob Squarepants (which can appeal to adults), when it comes down to something exclusively child-oriented like Barney the Dinosaur, it's not appealing to adults at all- at least not those who haven't grown up with it.

        That's how I feel about Mario, and plastering the franchise (**) on a game is a near-guarantee that I won't want to buy it. Even hearing that Mario appears on the new DS version of Tetris is offputting.

        Feel free to differ, but not all of us are Mario fans.

        (*) Rather fanboyish expression, sorry.
        (**) Damn, I hate that word too- or rather the new usage describing filmic and cultural "franchises" that has suddenly become so common in the past five or six years. (Ever notice that? In everyday speech, "franchise" always used to refer to some guy who got a license to run a Prontaprint photocopying shop, or whatever.) Even though it accurately describes the status of such things within Hollywood, it's still unpleasant- possibly for that exact reason. Or more likely because it makes us all sound like fanboys, and I hate that. Sorry, rant over :-/
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mh1997 (1065630)

      Personally, the reason I don't get any nintendo machines these days is because of the endless Mario and Zelda remakes. The original NES came out when I was in first grade. Now, I'm almost 30 and have been playing these games virtually my entire life.

      This is absolutely correct. I'm 40 and haven't played video games in a while until I started reliving my childhood thru MAME. After getting into MAME, I've been looking at new video games and have learned that with very few exceptions, the "new" games are the

    • by LKM (227954) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:40PM (#19947489) Homepage

      Personally, the reason I don't get any nintendo machines these days is because of the endless Mario and Zelda remakes

      What remakes? I'd love to get some Mario or Zelda remakes, but since Mario All Stars on the SNES, I have seen none.

      If you mean to say that all Mario and Zelda games are alike, well, there's usually more difference between two Mario games than there is between to FPS from different franchises, so I don't understand the complaint. Apart from the main character and the fact that you can jump on stuff, there's no a whole lot of similarities between Super Mario Bros. and Mario Sunshine - and in those cases where Nintendo did go back to the roots with a new game (New Super Mario Bros, for exmple), it was very well received by gamers. If anything, Nintendo is not doing enough "retro games" in the vein of New Super Mario Bros.

      Finally, I can't see how games like Zelda or Super Paper Mario would be better if they featured characters other than Link and Mario. Who cares? They're awesome games.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    LOOSING interest.

    This is /. after all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:47AM (#19946233)
    They are simply growing branches.
  • Nintendo are Smart (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segedunum (883035) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:48AM (#19946239)
    What they're trying to do is create an entertainment console that everyone, not just hardcore FPS gamers, can have a go at. There are far more ordinary people out there than hardcore gamers (that market is pretty much completely saturated), and this is probably why some people from Microsoft and Sony have got surprised and upset over the success of the Wii.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigman2003 (671309)
      Quite a while prior to the Wii being released, Microsoft had the Xbox Live Arcade. They have been courting the 'casual' crowd for a while. They have had some success with it, (not as much as Nintendo) and it should not be forgotten.

      When I was sick feverish stupor a few weeks ago, I played Catan for about 20 hours over a two day period. I played Luxor 2 this morning, and I am looking forward to some Bomberman tonight.

      Nintendo fans are like Apple fans. They assume that their favorite company comes up with
      • by LKM (227954)

        Nintendo fans are like Apple fans. They assume that their favorite company comes up with every concept they market.

        Nintendo fans are like Apple fans in that they always get accused of being stupid, senseless fanboys spouting company lines. And no, Nintendo did not come up with every concept they market, but they clearly are the most innovative console hardware manufacturer.

        For instance, people who think that the browser on the iPhone is something wonderful and new have never seen Opera Mini.

        Huh? I u

  • "Nintendo has turned its back on hardcore gamers!" they cry. "The Nintendo we know is gone!" they shout. Poor Miyamoto just can't attain the elusive benefit of the doubt, no matter how many times he proves us wrong.

    This made me pull a WTF? Proves us wrong? I'd say it's been pretty clear for a long while now that Nintendo has indeed pulled out of the hardcore section of the market. It's not like that will hurt the hardcore market though. Even in the unlikely event that they gain market dominance over th

    • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:42AM (#19946607) Homepage
      This made me pull a WTF? Proves us wrong? I'd say it's been pretty clear for a long while now that Nintendo has indeed pulled out of the hardcore section of the market.

      If you had read the whole article, you would have seen that the writer made the point that Nintendo never aimed for the hardcore audience. "Hardcore" is a bullshit word anyway--a hallmark of geek pretension.

      Miyamoto "proves us wrong," because he is often causing change for the better, but gamers, journalists, and developers question his vision at first.

    • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
      Exactly right. The N64 era is well over for the consoles. Nintendo's trying for mass appeal, and it's obviously working.

      And, how is it a bad thing at all? They're dominating the market, especially if you count the DS. No, I don't think too many people will be pissed off at Nintendo with things like Smash Bros. Brawl coming out, which has the appeal to both casual party gamers and to the hardcore.
  • by tompatman (936656) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:51AM (#19946271)
    When will there be a store which actually has a Wii for sale to go along with their fancy store display?
    • by Hangtime (19526)
      Damnit, I don't have points are you would getting some right now. I have never even SEEN a Wii console for sale, PERIOD. I think this whole Wii thing is a government conspiracy. They don't actually exist. ;)
      • Really? Here (Greece) every store has one or two, it's relatively unknown here (everyone knows the PS, maybe the xbox), but when they play a game of Wii tennis everyone wants to go buy one, so I'm betting everyone will know it before long on viral marketing alone.
      • A friend of mine just bought one and he had a really difficult time finding one in most of the big electronics stores, game shops and department stores. He wound up going to Toys R Us and he said they had tons of them there. Apparently people don't think to go there for video games very often (I don't know why, every time I've gone they've had at least as large a selection as Best Buy), so if you want to pick one up, Toys R Us might be the place to check.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kevorkian (142533)
      Target , sunday mornings .. as a matter of fact I just came from my local target , they still had 5 and I watched 2 get sold while I was in the dept.

    • by Vellmont (569020)
      I bought one at target a couple months ago. Look for the Sunday ads, they'll have them in stock when they advertise. I went fairly early in the morning (9am maybe) to get one, but I did notice they still had several of them available at perhaps 2pm the same day, so you don't have to be one of those insane people that lines up outside the store at 5am.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Looking for a Wii is like looking for a girlfriend: you will find one when you aren't looking. My experience has been that I have been popping into stores every once in a while and always being told that thy have none in stock and to check back frequently. The other day I walked into Futureshop, here in Canada, to buy a phone and didn't find one I wanted and on the way out decided to check when the next batch of Wiis were to be in stock. The sales guy told me that he happened to have two in stock, so I boug
  • Cart, horse, etc (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freeweed (309734) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:53AM (#19946285)
    Yeesh. Hardcore gamers are still struggling to "get" the Wii in the first place. Every single Wii story on Slashdot since November has been littered with the following post, usually modded up by another gamer (mix and match sentences as appropriate):

    "Yeah, Nintendo may make a few dollars from Grandma, but I'm a hardcore gamer. I bought one on release and there just aren't any good games that I like now. I've gotten bored of it and it's collecting dust in my closet. I'm back to playing GTA for the 14th time on my PS2. I'm selling my Wii as I wait for MGS to come out for PS3. The Wii's graphics look dated, come on Nintendo, you're going to lose my dollars here! I don't see what the big deal is with the Wiimote, it's just a gimick and will rapidly become boring to people. I'm already sick of the Wiimote and wish Nintendo would release some good 70-hour long RPGs."

    Etc, etc, etc.

    The hardcore gamers STILL don't understand that the Wii, with all of its perceived warts (to them, anyway), is outselling EVERYONE. By the end of the summer there will be more Wiis out there than 360s (the next largest market). And Nintendo still can't keep these things in stock. All with "no good games" to buy.

    No shit the hardcore gamers don't understand the new games - hell, they never understood the old games in the first place (ie: why any of us enjoyed Twilight Princess as much as we did - the Wiimote was just a gimick, right??).

    Now to watch people respond to this post with exactly the dialog I quoted above ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991)
      The hardcore gamers STILL don't understand that the Wii, with all of its perceived warts (to them, anyway), is outselling EVERYONE. By the end of the summer there will be more Wiis out there than 360s (the next largest market). And Nintendo still can't keep these things in stock. All with "no good games" to buy.

      I think they understand that the Wii is outselling everyone; if they don't understand the popularity, that's not necessarily some intellectual flaw, but rather just represents a different taste.
      • by rhizome (115711)
        If the Wii comes to completely dominate the industry, there's a good chance a lot of really first-rate, complicated, serious games will never be released, in favor of hundreds of Wii sports clones.

        If you don't regret this statement yet, you should. It's dumb.

        95% of the people on slashdot seem to be rabid Nintendo-can-do-now-wrong Wii supporters, yet that 95% continues to insist that there's this huge horde of pro-Sony/MS fanboys, who never seem to actually show up.

        From what I've seen, most of the PS/XBox m
        • by nomadic (141991)
          If you don't regret this statement yet, you should. It's dumb.

          That's quite a convincing argument. You don't think we haven't seen that sort of thing before, again and again and again? Atari's dominance in the late 70's/early 80's and their subsequent implosion set the video game industry back several years. Nintendo's dominance in the mid-to-late 80's created a situation where for a long time game developers concentrated on platformers. Doom in the early 90s gave us a decade of way too many FPSes.
      • by LKM (227954)

        If the Wii comes to completely dominate the industry, there's a good chance a lot of really first-rate, complicated, serious games will never be released, in favor of hundreds of Wii sports clones.

        You say that as if it was a bad thing. I love Wii Sports and I'd gladly buy version 2 or a few well-made clones, yet I don't have time to play through dozens of FF-type games each year. I'd be happy if that change occured.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Squarewav (241189)
      I'd like to think of myself as a hardcore gamer. My first thought of the Wii-mote was that it was a gimmick, however after using it I can see a lot of potential in it. My problem with the Wii at this point is the lack of RPGs and online games. A lot of people complain about how too many of the games are ps2/gcn ports that doesnt bother me as I was heavy into MMOs and missed many of them when they first came out.

      The complete lack of online play is whats bothering me the most. Don't get me wrong I enjoy a go
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:34AM (#19946543) Journal
      why any of us enjoyed Twilight Princess as much as we did - the Wiimote was just a gimick, right??

      I don't know if this was your point, but yes, for Z:TP, the Wiimote did seem bolted on. It simply replaced what would otherwise be button pushing, and really only checked for a "shake". It was a great game, of course, but didn't really exploit the Wiimote's abilities. (If they had made it so you have to "pull back" to load an arrow, then I might have swooned.)

      Many games do seem to use the acceleromter stupidly, and in a way that looks artificial. But at the same time, I've seen some really good uses of it. Trauma Center uses it for a defibrilator and turning screws, which feels strangely realistic. Red Steel uses it for the blocking motion (which makes blocking more intuitive, since you instinctively raise your hands anyway) and for zooming in and slowing down time, which does feel like a genuine interface improvement. Rayman was also pretty creative in, for example, how you have to use the wiimote to "smack" bunnies or beat to a rhythm.

      But even the pointer feature by itself tremendously expands the interface capabilities in games.
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      >The hardcore gamers STILL don't understand that the Wii, with all of its perceived warts (to them, anyway), is outselling EVERYONE. By the end of the summer there will be more Wiis out there than 360s (the next largest market). And Nintendo still can't keep these things in stock. All with "no good games" to buy.

      And YOU dont understand that the total amount of sale doesnt mean shit if i dont fit into the target demographic.

      Also, in the same line, linux guys dont understand that windows outsales everbdoy,
      • by DFDumont (19326)
        >And YOU dont understand that the total amount of sale doesnt mean shit if i dont fit into the target demographic.

        And YOU clearly don't understand that Nintendo is a business out to make money. They do this by selling product, and one of the things that has kept many a game OUT of the hands of an entire demography is their parents! Since you're likely in that in between age, neither a child nor a parent, I'll enlighten you slightly:

        Parents don't want their children spending endless hours in front of a
        • by Bodrius (191265)
          Heh. I'd have to disagree with you on the wants of parents, but I guess I'm more cynical than some - the success of television, and in turn videogames, is because parents DO want their children to spend countless hours in a known location, on a known passive activity, that requires minimal attention on their part and carries no/low physical risk.

          What the Wii provides, though, is a game experience that the non-gamer parents (and others) can understand and engage in.
          Once again they can use 'buying it for the
    • by brkello (642429)
      No one is struggling to "get the Wii". Some people, not "hardcore", just some gamers don't like the Wii. People who are fans of RPGs don't see anything really compelling on the Wii. What's wrong with this? This isn't about getting the Wii...it's about wanting games on the Wii that fit in with what they like. Let the suits and the fanboys celebrate Nintendo's console selling out everywhere. That's great for the people who love the Wii. But that doesn't mean people can't still criticize the system. It
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogjobber (880402)

      No shit the hardcore gamers don't understand the new games - hell, they never understood the old games in the first place (ie: why any of us enjoyed Twilight Princess as much as we did - the Wiimote was just a gimick, right??).

      No, the hardcore gamers understand the new games perfectly well. They just don't like them, because they aren't meant for them. They still like the old way of playing games, and for better or worse Nintendo has changed that with the Wii. Don't be an asshole and claim like you'r

  • This is just silly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Borealis (84417) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:58AM (#19946317) Homepage
    Nintendo isn't the only one making games for the Wii. Not to mention that the point of any game system is to amuse and entertain, something that nintendo seems to have realized very well. If nintendo were to go out and forbid third party developers from making shooters or RPGs that'd be one thing, but frankly this is like accusing McDonalds of not catering to salad lovers when they introduce a new burger. If you don't like McDonald's salad offerings go buy a salad from some place else, and in the meantime, try that new triple bacon 4 cheese double quarter pounder and see if you like how it tastes.
  • Is it such a bad thing that Nintendo are neglecting their roots?

    That all depends on who you ask. For grandma who wants to play Big Brain Academy, no, it's not a bad thing. For video game enthusiasts? I'd say so.

    Listen, Nintendo. I'm glad you made a console with a new controlling mechanism. I'm glad you're moving towards casual play. I love my Wii when I have parties or friends over. It's not a gamer's console, though. I don't want to sit around flailing the Wiimote for an hour straight. I don't want motion sensing forced into control schemes it has no place in. I want

    • The split between 'casual' and 'hardcore' has never really sat right with me. I don't see why there is a split, to be honest, and I'm having some trouble working out exactly where the line between casual and hardcore is supposed to be. Is it time spent? People spend hours, hours, playing Bejeweled. Is it complexity? Because World of Warcraft is not particularly complex. (Oh sure, there are interlocking crafting systems and whatnot, but you don't need to spend any time with them.)

      I suspect that what makes a
    • by popejeremy (878903) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:28PM (#19947377) Homepage

      "The Wii is great in social conditions, but just for sitting around by yourself, the 360 and PS3 shine far brighter."

      That's true. The 360 shines really brightly when it spontaneously catches on fire.

  • Relics? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:04AM (#19946341)
    So, Nintendo wants to try something REALLY new with this machine of theirs, outside of the usual multiple-choice stories with little educations of social value of most console developers, and this article slams them for that. These reviewers want more progress of the arts, and not so much progress of the _useful_ arts. Fine. But calling the new Mario/Zelda/Metroid games relics, as if they're just a rehash? I'd highly disagree with that - the new Zelda games, for instance, on the DS and Wii, just with the control alone have very much changed the very feel of the games. Not that each aren't sequels, but the rate of change over previous sequels is relatively huge in this generation, and in every case I've seen and played has been an unusual improvement for what I want out of pure artistic/storytelling/interactive gaming.

    Yes, we're not seeing many new protagonists this first generation of first party games from Nintendo for the Wii. Nintendo is playing it safe in their newly reformed gaming environment. So, they gauge the response to this first generation, and try to maximize the latent demand for existing worlds of imagination before making new ones... I definitely understand that process. That means they aren't gamblers going for broke, they wait until there's standing capitol for a venture before letting the allotment of risk increase. They also get to spend more time in development in play testing and improvement this way... which has certainly played out well for the end result, from what I've played so far.

    Want to call Zelda, Mario, Metroid relics? That's fine. It's ad-hoc, but a valid opinion if you want to always prefer newly created worlds. But give them a chance if you ever want to try some of the most finely refined mix of new gameplay elements and old out there. I still appreciate such 'relics'.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by bombastinator (812664) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:05AM (#19946349)
    I have to say I disagree with the writer's conclusion here.

    Nintendo is "oriented" in the same direction all companies are orientated: making the bucks. To do that they have to have a product people prefer over that of the competition, and right now they've got one.

    Nintendo discovered itself with a game player capable of things other players could not previously do. If you take away the new control interfaces however the Wii has very little on the playstation 2 let alone the playstation 3.

    Nintendo may realize that they have to capitalize on these advantages, and are attempting to do so. XBOX and Playstation six axis game controllers are already in development. The Wii could lose it's spec ial charms at any time. What they have at the moment is the opportunity to get a jump on the competition with new interface formats and new game styles. We may be seeing a frantic research project on the part of Nintendo to find a way to get a lock on the "new thing" while they still have exclusive access.

    A surf or skateboard game would seem to be very preferable over a yoga game, but they don't have to make one. They just have to get the board into the marketplace before microsoft. I'm sure the yoga game was a lot quicker to write. Where they make the money is not by making a semi-popular game with a controller that is probably a wash profit wise. They make it when "Tony Hawke" comes out for their patented controller and everyone's got to buy a Wii so they can play it.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the company comes out with yet more weird controllers. Throw it at the wall and see what sticks, because if something does they have it all to themselves.

    I'm sure the yoga game was a lot quicker to write. It wouldn't surprise me if the company comes out with yet more weird controllers. Throw it at the wall and see what sticks, because if something does they have it all to themselves.
  • Nintendo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dunezone (899268) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:15AM (#19946425) Journal
    The problem with Nintendo was that after SNES they held the same position in development. The n64 was an amazing system but compare it to the play station, it wasn't moving forward in "NEW" technology and im talking the cdrom. The same thing happened with the game cube also just wasn't up to par to what the consumer was looking for.

    These days were looking for a game console that can do more then just play games. Nintendo blew that opportunity the last generation. This generation the new consoles go online, can browse the web, download games, listen to music, but thats all been done. Nintendo on the other hand is bringing something to the table that no one else has and thats actually trying to make you feel like your part of the game.

    Will it work out for Nintendo in the end? I don't know, I own a Wii and I haven't played it in weeks. I own a 360 and I play that almost everyday. If anything Nintendo is holding to the past with its slow delivery. Online play should have worked out of the box on the first day, the lack of launch titles other then Zelda just reminded me of the n64 and game cube era again, and their online system is pretty lame right now.

    As for Nintendo neglecting their roots, they never will neglect their roots but they also know that hanging on to their roots will sink their ship back into third once again. And from my last check they are about to take the crown back shortly. So I guess their doing something right.
    • by alvinrod (889928)
      I'm not really sure that so many people are looking for a console that does "everything!" If they were, I think the sales of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 would be a lot higher. I think that most people are interested in something that's a gaming machine first and is priced reasonably so. Anything else is a nice addition, but for a lot of people isn't necessary.

      The only compelling features that the Xbox 360 or the PS3 offer are the ability for play HD-DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. Unfortunately, those features are gene
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      Personally, I think Nintendo did the right thing with not putting a CDROM on the N64. CDROM slowed everything down. The first time I saw that "Loading...." message on a playstation, I almost lost it. Nintendo stuck with the older technology because they felt it would offer a better gaming experience, and it did. Granted, they didn't win over the people who didn't really think it through, and just wanted shiny full motion video and CD quality sound in their video games. I think those are the things that
  • Look at their previous 2 home console releases: the n64 and gamecube. There are a couple of other gems, but lets face it almost all the "have to own" games on those consoles were either Mario-related, Zelda, or Metroid. And now compare that to say the playstation/playstation 2 and you see there is definately a lot of room to grow. A new zelda game was just released for the Wii, a new one is out for the DS in Japan and should be elsewhere before year's end, a new Mario is being planned for the Wii etc. D
  • Mario and Zelda are relics of the past


    I suppose that is why at E3 they demonstrated Mario Platformer, Mario Fighter, Mario Karts and Mario Olympics and earlier this year released Mario Party, Mario RPG, Mario Soccer and 2 Zelda games(one for Wii and one for DS).

  • by humankind (704050) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:19AM (#19946443) Journal
    I welcome this new direction. The last console I purchased was a N64, and to be honest, I really haven't seen anything new or innovative since then in terms of software. Games like Waverace and Super Mario World were brilliant, and the first person shooters just bore me now. The Wii has re energized my interest in console gaming, but now there's another problem: finding one. After all this time, they still can't keep them in stock and that's frustrating.
  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc[ ].com ['.rr' in gap]> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:19AM (#19946445) Homepage
    I dont see this as abandoning the past as much as I do widening the future. Mario, Metroid and Zelda are all there or coming soon, Nintendo has simply expanded its horizons to attract a new audience. The Wii has created a buzz that hasnt been seen in the home gaming market since the Atari 2600, its become the cool thing to have for families, its very social and its accessable to anyone at any skill level. I had my in-laws who have trouble operating their dvd player participating in a game of Wii sports last night, if they can figure it out anyone can. Wii fit and Brain Training are perfect for them as well. The Wii is carving out a market that ensures it survival and expands the base of gamers across the board.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the "Winner" in terms of product sold will be the Wii, however the important number for "traditional gamers" will be who comes in second. Either the 360 or ps3 could reach ps2 type sales numbers and still come in second. The "traditional gamers" are still there and are still a huge market to abandon them would be stupid, even Nintendo is aware of that.
    • by rhizome (115711) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:17PM (#19946863) Homepage Journal
      I don't want to get into any elitist intellectualizing about this, but there are a lot of hardcore gamers who have ignored Nintendo for a long time as a kiddie console. These gamers have grown up on the standard games that have become the 360 and PS3's stock in trade: mass market sports and Michael Bay action.

      I think Nintendo has done a very smart thing by leaving Sony and MS alone to play out the tragedy we've seen many times before (e.g. ATI vs. NVidia). Trying to win a 3-way graphics battle is a losing proposition, so what other direction can video gaming go in? How about instead of increasing the number of pixel shaders or whatever, increase the ways that people can control a game? In the same way that we have not seen what the PS3 is capable of with its nine graphics cores and blah blah blah, we have not seen the limits of what the Wii control scheme offers.

      So now we have a lot of gamers who grew up on the PS2 who now have become site writers and game reviewers, and they just can not make sense of the Wii's appeal. They start to use epithets like Grandparents and throw a giggly aside at "Cookin' Mama" about how it's kind of cool but what's the point? The Wii has caused tremendous congnitive dissonance in the gaming industry and it just so happens that a lot of loud people are writing about it.

      The Wii is as significant a transition as the move to D-button gamepad controllers (Nintendo again), and now all of these game writers who are dependent on their DualShock style controllers are pissed that FIFA 08 doesn't come out for months and months so they turn their frustration to the console that *is* getting popular and playable games throughout its launch honeymoon. PS3 and 360 people are stuck waiting for the next wave and convincing themselves they like to using motion sense mode in Motorstorm.
  • The horror (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ucblockhead (63650) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:24AM (#19946469) Homepage Journal
    A market where each company is pursing a somewhat different customer base is better for consumers and better for the companies involved.

    Which would you rather have, a choice between three consoles who are all somewhat different, each catering to a different set of gamers, or a market where all three console manufacturers shipped boxes that were essentially identical and catered to only a narrow market?

    Whining about the Wii being too casual is like whining about how Cheerios don't taste like Frosted Flakes. If you don't like the Cheerios, just buy the fucking Frosted Flakes!
  • Stay out of the way of MS and Sony's schlong war and whatever theyre doing, do something different. Oh yea.. and laugh all the way to the bank as they scoop up the 98% of everyone who isnt a hardcore gamer.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Yup, regardless of what one may think about Nintendo's games, its hard to deny that whoever thought up their recent business plans is a genius.
  • Mario, Metroid, and Zelda are like big budget films that everyone anticipates and waits in line to see, like the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars films. Everyone loves these games, not just "hard core gamers".

    The idea of a "hard core gamer" annoys me to no end. I suppose that people like the "hard core" stereotype do exist, but even someone who merely likes video games but doesn't devote their entire life and entertainment budget to gaming pretty much can get into these games and enjoy them. The so-called
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:34AM (#19946549) Homepage
    It's amusing that for all the Slashdot Hivemind complains about the big game companies and their endless sequels... Folks can't seem to wait for the latest installment of the Zelda or Mario franchises.
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:42AM (#19946609)
    Why does every article think that when Nintendo's hyping their "practical game" type stuff, it automatically means they'll never make another Mario game ever again? I guess the authors don't know about the word "expand" because this is what Nintendo is doing. Nintendo's even said it themselves [nwsource.com] (scroll down to the question about market share). Or to put it in MS terms (maybe these marketing-heads will understand it now), "The Wii is introducing a paradigm shift, thus unilaterally expanding the user experience to new high growth areas in untapped markets." I mean, who can't understand that?!
  • "Where the wii fits in"

    Am I the only one that finds the title suggestive?
  • by axiomjunglist (966857) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:54AM (#19946677)
    I'm sure a vast majority of the crowd here wasn't around for the heydey of the arcade. I'm not talking about Street Fighter II era, I'm talking about the oldschool games that munched quarters like crazy like Frogger or the original Mario Bros (not Super). You didn't need to know 9 controller/button combos to play efficiently. You could simply walk up and play. The game-play got more difficult as you progressed but the basic principal was that anybody could play, and it didn't take a lot of frustration trying to learn. Fast forward to now. I'm not a Nintendo fanboy by any means, but I do know when I'm having fun. Fun is a relative word, and for some people having fun is memorizing the zillions of button combinations & intense story-line required to play some games on other systems. For the rest of us that just want to pick up a game and simply enjoy it the Wii has amazing allure, and will continue to grow in its fan-base. No wonder people over 30 are buying it in droves...they're of the few that remember the simple (but fun) days of the arcade.
    • by amrust (686727)
      I was around in the "old days".

      I distinctly remember that Defender/Stargate controls confused the hell out of me.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      The Wii is not intrinsically or even subjectively more fun than any other console. Ask someone playing Gears of War on the 360 if they're having fun and I expect the answer is hell yes. Ask me if I have fun playing Super Stadust HD and the answer is absolutely - it's a fabulous game. It's games that are fun, not the hardware they're running on. Nor is there some inverse relationship between fun and hardware power - the power of the 360 and PS3 allows those consoles to imagine games that the Wii will never e
  • Is it wrong that I'm aroused by this submission's title?

    (Just my luck. I get the word "sucked" in my CAPTCHA)
  • by amrust (686727) <marcrust @ g m a i l . c om> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:08PM (#19946797) Homepage
    I remember when the Wii was announced, I was very skeptical. The "motion sensitive" controller... who would really think that's fun, after the novelty of the gimmick wears off.

    Flash cut to today: I recently picked up a used copy of Warioware Twisted, for my aging GBA. The motion sensitive games are VERY addictive. So now as a result, I'm re-thinking my anti-Wii stance. I'm actually consider buying one, despite the fact I also have a new PS3.

    That's how innovative the Wii is. The games will follow, just give it time.
  • Born again gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heresyoftruth (705115) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:33PM (#19946987) Homepage Journal
    I was really big into video games from the old Atari onwards. I found, later on, that the games stopped being fun for me. I am not the core demographic that these games are written for, and I understand that. I am old, female, and not exactly the first person shooter type. Nor, am I the sims kind of play house person.

    I found several titles on each system that were weird cheap offshoot games, that I liked. I am not, and have never been interested in how hard a game was. I want fun games.

    I got the Wii, with some trepidation, as I was beginning to think buying game consoles would just net me another system with a couple dozen unfinished games on it.

    Six weeks ago, I got the Wii, with Raymans Rabbid Rabbits, Zelda, and just recently got Resident evil 4. My husband is a more hardcore gamer type, and loves RE4. I have nearly finished RRRs, and just started Zelda. It's been a long time since I put in 13 hours on a game with no stops.

    I plan to get Brain Age, and the workout one. I already have Metroid on pre-purchase.

    I feel like the 360 (not going to even talk about PS3) is geared towards harder games for the sake of being hard. Plus the games come in the same genres. FPS, RPG, race or sports. I have played those over and over in every incarnation. I am big on RPGs, and have played those since the Atari Adventure. I want something different. The Wii has those original styles of games for me, and all sorts of quirky new stuff.

    I just don't have time in my life for the same stuff, made harder by pixel hunts and artificial toughness levels, to be the same crap. At least now, with games like Raymans Rabbid Rabbits, I can laugh hysterically with my friends while we hunt rabbits with plungers. (Tip: Punch your friend in the arm, and you get to shoot more rabbits than them!)
  • by Saurian_Overlord (983144) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:43PM (#19947063) Homepage

    Nintendo has always tried to innovate. This time, they've succeeded, and their fans want to hate them for it. Oh well. I don't think Nintendo cares very much if they lose their hardcore followers (and they haven't lost all of them, I'm part of the proof of that). They more than make up for it with the ex-non-gamers they've picked up. Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of people who did not generally play video games before are out there buying Wii. Look at the numbers and tell me if you think Nintendo is scared:

    Total units sold (approx., in millions):
    360: 11.5
    Wii: 8.9
    PS3: 3.8
    Units sold 1Q 2007 (approx., in thousands)
    Wii: 1029
    360: 721
    PS3: 501

    Oh, and just for the record, DS sales more than doubled PSP sales in 1Q 2007. I take these numbers to indicate that Nintendo's current strategy is working very well for them.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)
      Considering the Wii was launched about a year later those are impressive sales figures.

      Also about 50% or more of the 360 sales are in the US. Japanese sales are under half a million.
  • Nintendo's mostly on the right track. What kind of games are they pumping out these days? Games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Brain Age, designed to attract *anyone*. Games like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Super Smash Bros Brawl (and to a lesser extent perhaps Super Mario Galaxy) designed to appeal to folks that are already gamers. And games like Mario Party 8.

    The only error I find in Nintendo's plans is that they should decapitate their pure money-makers (the "Mario Party 8" le

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