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The Wii - Is the Magic Gone? 492

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

    by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> 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 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.
  • 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

    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.

  • 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?
  • by ufpdom ( 556704 ) <ncc1701p@hotm a i> on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:24PM (#18070688)
    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 people (ages 5-100) and they're doing a great job in that dept. (Brain Age anyone?). Like most of NIntendo's other products this is just another stepping stone to their own next gen (gba, gba-sp,gba-micro, fatty-NintendoDS, DSlite). Magic cant be gone if people continue to buy into it (LOL'ing at PS3)
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spxero ( 782496 ) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:42PM (#18070934) Journal
    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)
  • by honkycat ( 249849 ) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:49PM (#18071038) Homepage Journal
    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't regret it, either.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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:3, Interesting)

    by Garse Janacek ( 554329 ) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:57PM (#18073116)

    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) they're getting 1-2 shipments a week, (2) these sell out within minutes, and (3) pretty much every person who comes in asks if they have any in stock.

    That third one especially seems to dismiss the "Is the magic gone?" question -- or at the very least, if you're more objecting that people who have them aren't that happy with them anymore, it gets rid of the absurd argument that inability to produce sufficient stock is evidence that the magic is gone.

    I mean, I'll certainly admit I'm getting frustrated, and would much prefer to actually buy a Wii right now. But I mean, even if there were none in stock for the next six months, worst-case scenario is I get bored of checking around every few days, and just forget about the whole thing until I can just get one on amazon. At the very worst, I'm a deferred happy console owner. So, what's the problem?

  • Re:That's it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by McFadden ( 809368 ) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:14PM (#18074420)

    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 would like to pay me stupid amounts of money - I'm open to offers. I was so sure about it, I even told my retired and not particularly wealthy parents to buy Nintendo stock (and they'd never forgive me if I was wrong).
  • by scottganyo ( 65515 ) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:06PM (#18075150)
    The magic isn't gone... it's just been frustrated. After months of dwindling hope, I finally found one for sale last Saturday at my local Costco.

    I bought it, brought it home, and... well, I LOVE it. It really is an experience-changer for gaming. Out of all the game systems I've had (and I've had many), this is truly the best experience I've had gaming. It's really the closest to VR you can get in a mass gaming system.

    Not only that, my kids (5 and 8) can both enjoy it along with me - instead of asking to *watch* me play, they can play! That's a different experience in itself.

    But until you actually play the games (at least the ones that take advantage of the wii's 3D controller abilities), you probably won't understand what a difference it can make.
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:32PM (#18077056)
    Yeah... I'm pretty sure I saw a stack on Wii's last time I was at Fry's in North Dallas. If you're in a major metro area, I seriously doubt there isn't a Wii within a reasonable driving distance.

    Just out of curiosity I (just now) looked on eBay just now where there are 1533(!) Wii consoles listed. Even on Amazon there are consoles listed (albeit rather expensive)... if you really want one that badly there isn't anything stopping you so quit your bitching. And then if you're going to bitch about games... why not wait? Wait until the prices come down and the games you want are out.

    To me, the company that used their thinking cap is Sony. Their high prices did a couple things. Kept them from losing absurd amounts of money on PS3 manufacturing and also kept demand down. I imagine with the current demand Nintendo could have made an extra $100 on each Wii sold and then lowered the prices accordingly for next xmas (which is really when you should buy a console anyway in my experience xmas year 2 and 3 of the current generation when the price wars really get going).
  • Re:Store Shelves (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @04:39AM (#18079086)
    sony is losing money on each ps3 they sell and nintendo is making money on each wii they sell.
  • Re:I disagree. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ravenger ( 715905 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @07:07AM (#18079810)
    What I love about the Wii is that I can play on equal terms with my 12 year old son and 6 year old daughter. My son often beats me at bowling, and while I normally win against my daughter in tennis, she's no pushover, and gives me a very good game.

    My son has a disability affecting his coordination, and finds gamepads hard to use, but he has no problem playing the sports games using the Wiimote.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @08:54AM (#18080384)
    The quality of the new games isn't what it should be. I have followed the available titles and now I am disappointed. There are few titles which I am interested in and the most promising shooters Red Steel and Far Cry are a complete disaster. Both games should be redrawn and reissued next year. If no good single player games come soon it will be stuck again as a console for children and perhaps for parties.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall