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Where the Wii Fits In 371

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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  • by Nitroadict ( 1005509 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:47AM (#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).
  • Re:So that must be (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jartan ( 219704 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:54AM (#19946289)

    Why there is neither Mario nor Zelda to play on the Wii then, huh?

    I think a lot of people who work in the industry would probably put Mario in the "casual" market category. Either that or some sort of casual/hardcore hybrid. Zelda isn't exactly feeling it's roots lately either. It's not hard to imagine the first Zelda exclusively for the Wii might be a bit more casual than previous titles.
  • Nintendo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dunezone ( 899268 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:15PM (#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.
  • Re:So that must be (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jessecurry ( 820286 ) <> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:30PM (#19946499) Homepage Journal
    LOL... I thought the same thing. Nintendo made sure to get it's classics out right away. Now that they have a solid library of base games they're branching out and trying new things. There are even some new Mario games on the way. I think that the author kind of missed the point, but it's interesting to think about the new directions that nintendo is opening up.
    I think that new types of games are a necessary thing, and focusing on new types of gameplay is a very good move by nintendo that will benefit the entire industry. Microsoft and Sony systems now have production and development costs that are so high that the manufacturers cannot afford to take risks, but nintendo not only is focusing on the gameplay with their in-house development, but they also have begun to open the platform to independent developers so we can start to see a bunch of great smaller titles in the future.
  • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:42PM (#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 HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:42PM (#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 [] (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?!
  • by amrust ( 686727 ) <marcrust@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:08PM (#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.
  • Re:So that must be (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:19PM (#19946883)
    And prior to the most recent generation of games, Mario was somehow hardcore only or completely different?

    The only major change that Mario has undergone is a transition from 2D to 3D, but beyond that the game hasn't changed a lot. If you think the new Mario games are too easy have you ever collected all 120 stars in any of the more recent titles? It's not too terribly hard to collect enough stars to fight the final boss and beat the game, but to collect every single star requires a lot more effort. It's a game that's accessible to most people who are able to work the controller. You can do the bare minimum and finish the game, or you can collect everything. It's fairly accomodating.

    I'd say the only major change is that the new 3D Mario games are on a whole less accessible to people than the old 2D games. I think using more simplified control methods make these games available to other audiances who would not have given them a chance otherwise.

    I also fail to see how Zelda isn't "feeling its roots lately either." The last incarnation of the game in Twilight Princess was easily the best since Ocarina of Time and in some ways surpassed that game. I had a great time with Twilight Princess and it's one of those games that can easily suck up forty hours of your life. I fail to see how a game like this with dungeons that can take hours to fully explore and solve can be labled as more casual. If anything, Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass make the game more accessible with their new control schemes while at the same time providing a new and novel approach for vetrens of the series. Repackaging the same exact game over and over with a slightly different story doesn't necessarily make a game good or exciting.

    Don't mistake more accessible for more casual. Accessible means that more people are able to pick it up and play it and enjoy their experience. Casual means that they are able to do this while not devoting hours to it at a time in order to enjoy it.
  • Born again gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heresyoftruth ( 705115 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @01:33PM (#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 LKM ( 227954 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @02:53PM (#19947577) Homepage

    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:So that must be (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Torvaun ( 1040898 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @03:32PM (#19947819)
    As opposed to what? Speed run through the game, then get a new game? Diablo II style, where the map is always different, not like it matters anyway? Hell, most LAN parties are FPS, and they generally use the same level over and over again.

    I don't think that the same level is necessarily boring all on its own, just that it is easy to do poorly if the company doesn't care to put enough effort into making it right.
  • My thoughts. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:57PM (#19948881)
    Sony had a significant headstart in the market to Xbox and Gamecube. The only competition for them their first Christmas season was Dreamcast, and many people recognize Sega only ever had any measure of success with the Genesis. They had the momentum of PS1 success behind them (even if they couldn't have played PS1 games, which was a huge boon in and of itself, giving it technically the largest launch library to date, they had business relationships with the third party vendors to logically continue series on the PS2 platform). Microsoft was starting from scratch (loser relationships with PC game publishers count for something, but not with the control strategy and tight relationships of the console world), and Nintendo to an extent repeated one of the N64 blunders (small game media), and did nothing to tap into previous console libraries and, of course, had lost so many third parties to Sony. Add to the fact that Sony embraced DVD in terms of video playback out of the box, and you see the PS2 to be one of the most intelligently planned product launches of its time. It's no wonder that PS2 was far and away the 'winner', and from what I see, was a well-earned win. Totally the opposite of the rather bumbled PS3 launch situation, the wrong time to make mistakes when Nintendo has done something so smart.
  • by Fex303 ( 557896 ) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:48PM (#19951407)
    I worked retail in the video games department of a major department store for pretty much the entire last generation of consoles. I would agree that all of your points are very relevant. If anyone's got mod points, bump up the above post please.

    I think /. posters underestimate how important the ability to play DVDs was to many parents buying this for the kids. They either didn't have a DVD player (early in the console cycle) or they already had one, but wanted a spare for the kids' TV (later in the console cycle). The other important point was the variety of games that the PS2 had. It had AAA titles in pretty much every genre, and more importantly, at every age range. When parents came in, they wanted a console that would last, and the variety of games on offer made them feel confident that the PS2 would keep little Billy entertained for more than a couple of weeks.

  • Nintendo's roots? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:40AM (#19954137)
    "Is it such a bad thing that Nintendo are neglecting their roots?"

    Well, they started off selling playing cards and hotel rooms by the hour. I guess they've already jumped the shark on that one...

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