11.29.06

Quality Time with the Wii

Posted in games at 12:36 am by wingerz

wiitennis.jpg

Now that I’ve spent a bit more time with the Wii, I can officially say that it’s awesome. Random thoughts:

Wii Sports is a lot of fun. Packing it in with the system was the smartest launch-related move that Nintendo made. It’s super-accessible and a lot of fun to play, both multiplayer and single player (when I’m alone, I tend to do the drills). Most non-gamers (like Jen’s dad, Ceida, some of the guys at work) are willing to give it a try, and end up having a lot of fun with it. Also, I suppose it’s possible to sit down and play the games with wrist flicks, but at home we’ve moved the coffee table into the hallway so that I can take full swings and improve my footwork while playing Wii Tennis.

The pointer works great. No complaints so far. This technology should be built into all TVs and devices that display on TVs. I’m sick of using a D-pad to navigate through TiVo menus. And my receiver/DVD-player remote scares the living hell out of me.

Zelda is amazing. As an added bonus, there are a ton of animals in the game.

The system is tiny. Everything fits into a very small backpack, making it easy to take to work to hook up to the projector and give demos.

It’s getting a ton of positive press. Looks like it’s going to be a mainstream item this Christmas, which should attract even more third parties to develop for it.

There’s an emotional connection. This may sound weird. The hardware looks sleek and inviting (with lots of blue lighting). The menus are tactile – the controller vibrates subtly as the pointer moves over button boundaries. Your Miis (avatars) live inside and mingle in a plaza.

It’s kind of annoying to read blog comments and forum posts from “hardcore” gamers who think the Wii is stupid (I guess these aren’t the best places to look for rational, level-headed gamers.). While I’m a Nintendo fanboy, I’m still looking forward to seeing what developers do with the PS3 and I think the Xbox360 is really hitting its stride. In any case, it makes me very happy to be able to share the joys of gaming with people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested. Instead of “These buttons lob, these buttons do regular shots, press a direction to aim a shot,” it’s “Swing it like a tennis racket.” And even though the technology isn’t particularly fancy, there’s definitely a sense of wonder and excitement when the on-screen racket makes contact with the ball. It’s magic. Nintendo is onto something big here.

5 Comments »

  1. Ceida said,

    November 29, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    What do I do now? Do I get a Wii for the sports, or a PS for Guitar Hero 2?

  2. joy said,

    November 29, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    yeah! i’m a non-gamer and i liked wii sports. i’m terrible at it, though :)

  3. wingerz said,

    November 30, 2006 at 9:04 am

    Ceida, that’s a tough one. There are a ton of really great PS2 games, and the system is a lot cheaper. On the flip side, you’d get more exercise with the Wii, and our Miis can hang out together. You should come over to play it a few more times before you decide!

  4. jess said,

    December 1, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    there is an emotional connection. can i come over to watch my mii hang with the other mii’s?

  5. wingerz said,

    December 1, 2006 at 8:58 pm

    yeah, she says she misses you.

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