X

Three Years of the Nintendo Wii

G4Sterling
36 Comments

Posted November 19, 2009 - By G4Sterling


  • Videos
    (19)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs





  • Videos
    (6)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs





  • Videos
    (4)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs






  • Videos
    (19)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs








  • Videos
    (31)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • Videos
    (31)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • Videos
    (28)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs







  • Videos
    (11)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs


  • News
    (1)
  • Previews
  • Review
  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs




  • Videos
    (7)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • News
    (13)
  • Previews
  • Review
  • Videos
    (4)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs



Nintendo Wii

November isn’t just a time for big games to launch. It’s traditionally a time when game consoles make their big splash in the States. With the exception of the PlayStation 2 and the PSP, every major game console of this decade has launched in November in the US. Today’s the three year anniversary of Nintendo Wii’s launch. Over the next few days, many of us will be taking a look at each of the major consoles, their history up to now, and the prognosis for 2010. Just like the PS3 anniversary a few days ago, I pulled up a birthday horoscope for today:

"You are a determined, sharp-witted person with strong desires and attainable ideals. You need to stand out, not in a flashy manner, but as an entirely unique individual. Others naturally admire you for your strength of character and backbone. Although you are a natural leader, you are also a humanitarian. At times quite self-absorbed and private, you are very much at ease in social settings as well. You need channels for your strong desires and your need for self-expression. Never afraid of an obstacle along your path, you are gutsy, dynamic, resourceful, and you rise to a challenge."

It’s a fairly accurate reading. Strong desires and attainable ideals? Based on Nintendo’s hook for pulling itself out of a deep hole with cheaper hardware than the competition, I’d say it’s accurate. Humanitarian? Wii Fit feels like some karmic payback from Nintendo for ushering in a generation of couch potatoes to get them up and moving. Self-absorbed and private = friend codes. As for the last part, 2010 could be the first year that the Wii has a genuine challenge in front of it. But we’ll see.

Launch Date:  November 19, 2006 (United States)
Launch Price: $249.99


Significant Price Drops and Hardware Iterations

  • The hardware has remain unchanged, but it saw a price drop to $199 in September 2009, keeping it competitive with the lowest-end Xbox 360. Nintendo has iterated on the machine’s capabilities by implementing them into new games.
  • Wii Fit (released May 21, 2008) introduced the Balance Board, which has been used for games ranging from fitness software me-toos to extreme sports games.
  • Wii Sports Resort and Tiger Woods PGA 10 introduced Wii MotionPlus, which adds 1:1 accurate movement to games, including shooters and sports titles. By the time that dream MotionPlus-supporting Lightsaber duel game finally comes to fruition, will anyone still care?

Games of Note

Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessYear One: 2006-2007



Super Mario GalaxyYear Two: 2007-2008

 

Wii Sports ResortYear Three: 2008-2009

Features That Made It Better

It seems as though part of the buzz around the first year of the Wii’s life was due to the fidgeting that Nintendo performed behind the scenes. The console saw many updates in 2007, most of which improved the experience greatly, while others were minor.

  • Weather and News Updates. Don’t lie; you know that Japanese weather icons look different than they do for the rest of the world. Me, I just liked spinning the globe. For the first year of the Wii, I found myself reading AP news releases and tinkering with the weather for fun.

Wii Weather Channel

  • Fun Channels. Like the other updates, silly programs like Everybody Votes were a big hit, in part because they fostered a sense of community on the platform that made up for the shortcomings of the console’s barriers to the sort of integration seen on other online services. Nintendo needs more of them.
  • Gifting. Wii-bashers might say a lot of things about what’s wrong with the console, but for the life of me, I still can’t figure out why I can’t gift my friends Shadow Complex or PixelJunk Eden. I sent a friend Punch-Out!! NES as a Hanukkah gift last year. It’s a nice touch.
  • SD Card Update. I don’t know about you, but any Wii droughts were usually mitigated by Virtual Console downloads. I could complain that I had nothing to play in February 2008 after Super Mario Galaxy and No More Heroes, but then I was knee-deep in downloaded classics whenever I turned on the console. Eventually, with the rise of WiiWare and a few episodes of Strong Bad, I had a big problem. Needless to say, it was a godsend when Nintendo released an update that allowed Wiis to run data off SD cards. It was also a big relief for Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2 owners.

Things We'll Try to Forget

  • “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will release on the same day on both Wii and Gamecube,” and other Reggie-isms. Wait, he wants you to forget those. Hmm...
  • WiiSpeak. Wait, what is that again?

Wii Speak

  • Former Nintendo of America VP Perrin Kaplan comparing the Wii’s storage limits (pre 4.0 update) to cleaning out a refrigerator: “That’s just the normal issue of space. I mean, really, are you using every single thing on there?” Yes, we were.
  • The predictable pattern of Nintendo releasing a unique first-party game and seeing a swarm of fly-by-night clones try to cash in on the success.
  • The unpredictable pattern of third-party publishers who’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the console and seen minimal results.
  • Sound bites from anyone who’s ever tried to spin Friend Codes into a good thing for anyone over 13. I don’t buy the “it’s to protect the kids” argument. That only applies to Xbox Live, where I want the service to protect me from kids. The Wii can never live up to Nintendo’s marketing spin (“Wii means you and me playing together”) if “we” means “I have to call you to voice chat when we play Mario Kart online.” Can you honestly remember the last time you exchanged codes?
  • Sound bites from anyone who says that Wii has a strong online community. The fact is, Nintendo’s lack of community integration on Wii has hurt the platform among the core demographic. For the first year or so of the platform’s lifespan, I was happily trading Friend Codes and smiling at my friends’ Miis popping up on my console. As time has gone on, however, Nintendo has failed to foster the strong sense of community that I get on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Plus, Microsoft managed to not only rip off Miis, it also managed to steal away that sense of amusement when I saw how my buddies created their virtual selves online. It neutered a charming aspect of the Mii in the short span of a year.

Check Mii Out

Things Console Warriors Might Forget (But Shouldn't)

  • Complain as much as you will about the Wii ruining gaming, those crap games that sell well keep publishers afloat in these tough times, and not all of that cash is being allocated to make more crappy Wii games.
  • Outside of a launch-era PS3, can you find a better backwards-compatible machine than the Wii? Thanks to some guy’s GameCube trade-ins, I snagged a pristine copy of Beyond Good & Evil for GameCube from a local Gamestop for $15. X-Play’s Matt Keil pointed out that outside of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, he now has every Zelda console game on one platform. In a virtual row, even. If there’s any console designed to wipe classic entries off your List of Shame, it’s the Wii.
  • The “there’s no good games and it’s all kiddy crap” argument holds no water when you look at the games available on the console. Seriously, the first half of 2009 brought us the likes of MadWorld, House of the Dead: Overkill, the criminally overlooked Deadly Creatures, and Punch-Out!! (returning from a nearly 15 year absence). And they all tanked compared to Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum. On one hand, shame on you for not supporting them. On the other, many of them are cheaper now, and you shouldn’t miss out.

Punch-Out!!

  • The likes of Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 5 aren’t HD on the Wii, but they’ve got DLC support just like the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. If you don’t have another console to play on, you’re not getting bad ports with crippled features; you’re getting excellent versions that are on par with the other games. Of course, that’s only applicable if Wii’s the sole platform in your household.
  • Unless you have a PC, you ain’t getting World of Goo anywhere else.

Prognosis for Year Four: 2009-2010

Mixed. Nintendo’s in a tight spot, as president Satoru Iwata admitted recently, but hardware is still selling for now, albeit not at the pace expected following a $50 price cut. Games like Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus continue to be big money earners among that same faceless mass that buys Madden every year despite the laments of Internet nerds worldwide. But how long can that momentum last? Contemporary technology seems to be outpacing the console exponentially -- HDTVs are a lot cheaper now than they were in 2006, even with a bad economy -- and both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 prices are threatening Wii’s “cheaper alternative” strategy. Many have advocated a “Wii HD,” but would that do the company any favors when its loyal fanbase feels spurned and its casual audience might not come along for the ride?

But Nintendo’s strategy of playing it safe could very well keep them going through what the company admits is a relative dry spell. Will Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M be enough to hook the fanbase who’ve turned their backs on the Big N? Will Nintendo actually deliver on anyone’s E3 predictions by announcing a rumored Zelda in time for the Wii’s fourth anniversary? We’ll see in 2010.

Metroid: Other M

Tags: Videogames, Wii
Three Years of the Nintendo Wii
http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/700841/three-years-of-the-nintendo-wii/
http://files.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/183100_S/Nintendo-Wii.jpg
BlogThread_700841

ADVERTISEMENT

Blog Tags

g4tv.com
  • Sara Underwood's Naked Bike Ride

    Posted: June 22, 2011

    1,267,932 Views | 05:20

  • International Sexy Ladies Show: Messy Cat Fight

    Posted: January 27, 2010

    594,565 Views | 00:49

  • Adult Star Kirsten Price Tests Kinect's Nude Filter

    Posted: November 12, 2010

    1,406,307 Views | 04:33

  • Best Nude Scenes in Video Games

    Posted: June 29, 2009

    1,504,212 Views | 03:12

  • International Sexy Ladies Show: Wrestling in Moscow

    Posted: June 19, 2009

    121,500 Views | 01:24

AdChoices