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Nintendo: Wiiflections on the year.

Old 11-21-07, 12:25 PM
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Nintendo: Wiiflections on the year.

So it has been roughly a year since the launch of the Wii. Being the initial underdogs of the "next-gen" war Nintendo moved in an entirely different direction. Instead of pulling a vertical move with their new system they went horizontal focusing on improved game play and interaction at the expense of an updated-intense visual performance.

Many wrote Nintendo off as a dead company and choose to relish in making jokes at the choice of the name for their new console. To them the "revolution" had ended before it even started. Many more, on the other hand, were excitedly waiting to embrace the new, ground breaking, console with open arms. On the eve of launch the fate of the Wii was split in two. Though more people were standing behind the new system many nay-sayers, including many prominent financial advisor's and heads of the video game industry, were forecasting the immediate failure of the system.

Fast forward to the present. Nintendo is still around. Not only that, but they are doing exceedingly well. Even the release of Halo 3 could not topple the juggernaut that is Nintendo. Though the release of the game did put Microsoft on top of the leader boards for the time being many are forecasting Nintendo to be on top of the market once again before the end of the first quarter for 2008.

Given the shortages on systems this holiday season, a lack of truly excellent AND consistent third party support and the withholding of one of their cornerstone franchises (SSBB) do you think Nintendo has what it takes to reclaim the top spot for 2008? I myself have seen a lot of the line up for next year and it really isn't all that impressive. I have a feeling that the release of Metal Gear may hurt Nintendo greatly if they don't act now with some killer third party support. As it was with the Game Cube they quickly learned that first party support can only carry a console so far before consumers are itching for something new.

All in all though, how has the Wii performed in your eyes? Has it lived up to the hype? Where do you think it will stand next year as Microsoft and Sony really start rolling in the big guns? Sony is desperate to generate some positive press where as Microsoft isn't going to ease up on their relentless assault of killer titles. Yes Nintendo isn't in the market to cater to the hardcore gamer, but what happens once the casual audience they managed to wrangle into the world of video games starts to grow in how frequent they game? Gaming is like heroin. A little at a time is nice to start with, but eventually that dragon grows and grows. If the Wii can't support the monsters they are creating those monsters will look elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:33 PM
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To paraphrase a favorite comedian of mine.

The Wii is like your attic. You forget its there, but when you re-discover it, you think to yourself "Wow, look at all this amazing gameplay."

That isn't entirely fair, as the system is a lot of fun. I was excited to get the system and could not find one for about a month after launch. There have been some fun and not so fun games I've played. But overall, the system has kind of just sat there and not gotten much use. That has changed recently with Super Paper Mario and Mario Galaxy and Zelda early on. I never was much in to Metroid or Resident Evil, so those titles were not interesting to me.

Still, I'd call what they have done a success. Not only did they make a system that is fun to play, brought out some iconic titles for gamers. But, what really vaulted them, was that for the first time, they branched out to non-gamers. I can't recall the number of stories I've read or heard talking about family members who would never play video games loving the Wii-Sports title and some of the other party games like that. Wii-Fit coming out will draw in a bunch more people who are not traditional gamers.

At this point, outside of the 3rd party support, I'd say Nintendo is doing things right.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Vryce

At this point, outside of the 3rd party support, I'd say Nintendo is doing things right.
Very well put. I think Nintendo was/is on the right track. My only real concern at the moment is, is the pushing back of Brawl going to hurt them? In the long run, most likely not. This holiday season? Yeah, a little bit. Galaxy will sell systems. Heck, the system itself sells systems but again, I would have to agree on the whole "the system just sits there" thing.

Once these systems are bought people play with them for a few months and then . . . nothing. I am not sure how the casual gamers attack the system. Do they play it often, do they let it sit till they get the urge? This I am not sure of because I am the type of player that when I play a game I want to sit back and relax, not thrash around and gyrate all over room so for the most part my Wii just sits there. I really want to see Nintendo relive the hay day it had back in the late eighties and early nineties because they were trend setters and innovators. PSX came out and toppled them but PSX really didn't introduce revolutions in the gaming industry as often as Nintendo did when they were in their prime. Don't get my wrong. Sony had some earth shattering games and introduced a lot of new aspects to how games can be made and played, but I really think the industry needs someone to come around and introduce an industry wide innovation. Short of the introduction of the gamer score by Microsoft, which I feel is a shame and has totally ruined what gaming should be about, we haven't seen any sort of innovation that has encompassed the entire industry.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:51 PM
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I've been critical of the Wii, but I'll give it this. Had I bought it and had it exploded after two months, I would've gotten my money's worth. To people who call it a gimmick or a fad, it's the greatest fad gimmick in the history of video gaming, and this is someone who generally buys all the stupid accessories for systems (see my Eye of Judgment thread; yes I'll buy Wii Fit).

My problem with the Wii is that I haven't played a game on it that justified the cost. No, not even Zelda. I've gotten used to paying $10-$30 per game for the DS and saw the Wii as an extension of that.

Had I been smart, I would've sold the Wii for top dollar the week before Xmas last year. It would not have been missed.
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Old 11-21-07, 01:06 PM
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My biggest disappointment with the system was that the one game I was actually looking forward to playing on the Wii, I enjoyed playing more on the Game Cube. As far as the games not justifying the price, I would say that Nintendo is pretty much at the sweet spot as far as pricing goes for their games. They are cheaper than any other system and that simple fact fills most consumers with the feeling of getting the most bang for their buck.

Granted a lot of their games are lacking in the content and depth area, but Nintendo has made us all aware from the start that they were no longer in it to cater to the harder gamers. So games that are somewhat shallow are expected to be the norm with the occasional jewel popping in here and there. That brings us back to the debate on price. Ultimately I think the pricing of their games has allowed Nintendo to be poised on the threshold of the number 1 spot a lot longer than anticipated because their target audience being of the casual sort has no perception of wanting a lot of content with their games because they are lacking the experience of being a hardcore gamer.

Nintendo's target audience is just looking for something to entertain, and so long as the games they are "cutting their gaming teeth on" are entertaining they feel as though they have gotten their moneys worth. Nintendo is preying on the consumers by offering a lower priced game for a lower priced system while keeping the people hooked on their games by offering just enough entertainment to make them feel fulfilled. Since these people are casual gamers they most likely play for a bit one night and then don't touch it for days or weeks on end and then play it again. So really a game that only has like 10 hours of game play or story could ultimately take months for a casual gamer to finish so in their head they are saying "wow this game took me a month to play boy I got my money out of this game for sure". While the regular and hardcore gamers are going ". . . thats it?".
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Old 11-21-07, 01:06 PM
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I'm extremely sick of people appending Wii to existing words in attempts to be "clever." Oh.. and there's been WAY too much shovelware on the system by companies desperately trying to cash in on its success. Other than that, I love it.

I'm excited about year two, lots of great Japanese stuff that I thought was going to die out completely in the dreck of "high-def gaming" are going to be boundless in 2008 on the Wii and DS. I'm also really excited about Wii Ware.
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Old 11-21-07, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by metalhead212

Granted a lot of their games are lacking in the content and depth area, but Nintendo has made us all aware from the start that they were no longer in it to cater to the harder gamers.

While they are no longer in it to just cater to hardcore gamers, I do believe the CEO says they will have more options for the hardcore gamer.
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Old 11-21-07, 01:30 PM
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I was one of the naysayers when I first heard about it in 2006: "What a ridiculous name!" and "There's no way the controller could ever work reliably enough to carry the system!" and "Nintendo hasn't been relevant in years!" were some of my more cogent arguments.

That all changed in August when we visited some friends who own a Wii. We were amazed at the gameplay, and the selection of games was awesome. We were converted. We got a Wii in September and, while we don't have many games for it yet, we've enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm looking forward to SMG and a couple others. It looks like it's going to be well worth owning in the long run.
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Old 11-21-07, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
I'm extremely sick of people appending Wii to existing words in attempts to be "clever."
Tell Mii about it. It'a Wiilly getting Wiidiculous, and I think Wii could all do Wiithout it.

















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Old 11-21-07, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by superdeluxe
While they are no longer in it to just cater to hardcore gamers, I do believe the CEO says they will have more options for the hardcore gamer.

I am sure they will. No matter how much they target the casual gamers it will only take them so far. They realize they have a much broader market to tap into that consists of the hardcore gamer. I think it was smart of them to approach things the way they have in the last year. Instead of trying to tackle the hardcore gamer head on and compete with Xbox and Playstation they have focused on the casual gamer while giving the hardcore gamer the opportunity to come to the Wii on their own terms.

Now that they are starting to win over the hearts of the hardcore gamer it is only reasonable that the next step be making games that will encourage the hardcore gamer to stick around and see what the Wii can really do which will also ensure that the casual gamers that are starting to mature into a more regular gamer will stay with the Wii and not venture over to the other consoles.
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Old 11-21-07, 03:05 PM
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For me, the Wii is going to be that system that's great 'for certain games'. Obviously, the immersive specialty games work well with it... the minigames, driving, etc. Resident Evil 4, to me, is the best example to date of how the Wii can be the best option for a traditional game. Metroid Prime 3 is also a great example of this.

On the other hand, I'm still undecided if the Wii is a great system for games that don't instinctively take advantage of the system's unique elements. I haven't played Mario Galaxy yet, but over the course of the year, the novelty of using the Wiimote in Zelda: Twilight Princess has worn off. I still haven't finished that game, and think if I was playing the game with a 360 controller (for instance) I'd probably have beaten it and went back to find all the secrets by now. And I think a lot of cross-platform games suffer when the developers try to be cutesy and put in Wii-centric movements into the ports. Most of the time, unless it's an over-the-shoulder game like RE4 or a first-person game like MP3, the 'intuitive' movements are anything but, and actually take me out of the gaming experience.

I think there is still a lot of potential for the system. This first year has had some growing pains, but once developers better understand what the system can, and just as importantly what it CAN'T (or shouldn't?), do they will hopefully move past the gimmicks and focus on what the system does best.
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Old 11-21-07, 03:10 PM
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Old 11-21-07, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by metalhead212
...I would say that Nintendo is pretty much at the sweet spot as far as pricing goes for their games. They are cheaper than any other system and that simple fact fills most consumers with the feeling of getting the most bang for their buck.
Originally Posted by The Bus
My problem with the Wii is that I haven't played a game on it that justified the cost. No, not even Zelda. I've gotten used to paying $10-$30 per game for the DS and saw the Wii as an extension of that.
While I had all intentions of keeping quiet in this 'praise the Wii' thread, I have to strongly disagree with metalhead (and agree with The Bus). I haven't bought a game yet that feels like a $50 purchase. I have Galaxy, but it's put away for the boys for Xmas. I hardly call a $10 savings a huge factor in pricing (nowadays), especially when the games feel like GC/DS games. There will NEVER be a multiplatform game that I will buy for the Wii instead of the 360 or PS3, even if that means I have to pay an extra $10.
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Old 11-22-07, 12:30 AM
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All I know is that I have new Zelda, Metroid and Mario games all within one year of Wii's release!

Twilight Princess + Corruption + Galaxy =

Plus it's amazing that Wii Sports and Wii Play are still being played in my house regularly. We already have a bowling tournament all set for Thanksgiving day! Talk about long lasting addictive gameplay!

My Wii library at one year:

Wii Sports
Super Mario Galaxy
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess
Link's Crossbow Training
SSX Blur
Super Monkey Ball
WarioWare Smooth Moves
Resident Evil 4
Super Paper Mario
Trauma Center
Wii Play

My Virtual Console library:
Super Mario Bros.
Sin & Punishment
Galaga '90
Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Streets of Rage 2
Bomberman '93
Gunstar Heroes
Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts
R-type III
Donkey Kong Country 2
Kid Icarus

Bring on year number two!
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Old 11-22-07, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dvdsteve2000
There will NEVER be a multiplatform game that I will buy for the Wii instead of the 360 or PS3, even if that means I have to pay an extra $10.

Oooh, I know what you mean.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:37 AM
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Considering that almost 99% of the games I played for the PS2 and Xbox felt really mediocre next to what I played on the Gamecube, I expect more or less the same for the Wii/PS3/Xbox 360.
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Old 11-22-07, 11:56 AM
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I was extremely disappointed in the Wii for most of the year, but they kept me interested with Super Paper Mario and several good VC games. Super Mario Galaxy and Fire Emblem are amazing so they definitely finished the year strong. I have Geometry Wars Galaxies and Harvey Birdman on my buy list. Still haven't decided on the light gun games. The strong finish to the year made up for early times when the thing collected dust for a month or two straight.

I'm definitely happy with the console, but would not want it to be my main gaming system. That dubious honor falls to the real loser of 2007 for me the PS3 (I owned it most of the year and bought my first PS3 games in November). Actually my PC was my main platform for gaming (not counting the portables) this year.
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Old 11-22-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
The strong finish to the year made up for early times when the thing collected dust for a month or two straight.
I agree... Not sorry I got it, but wish maybe I waited a while.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:48 PM
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I think if everyone had an HDTV the Wii wouldn't be in first place. In my humble opinion, HD gaming has been one of the biggest leaps forward in gaming. Even moreso than revolutions in gameplay.
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Old 11-22-07, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
I think if everyone had an HDTV the Wii wouldn't be in first place. In my humble opinion, HD gaming has been one of the biggest leaps forward in gaming. Even moreso than revolutions in gameplay.
I enjoy playing my Wii on my 57in DLP HDTV.
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Old 11-22-07, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
I think if everyone had an HDTV the Wii wouldn't be in first place. In my humble opinion, HD gaming has been one of the biggest leaps forward in gaming. Even moreso than revolutions in gameplay.
I really enjoyed playing Super Mario Galaxy on my 52" HDTV and I have to disagree. I really haven't been that impressed by HD gaming this year. I was playing games in HD on my PC for awhile so I don't think it is a big leap forward. Also, games still look like games to me. I haven't played anything on the PS3 including highly regarded stuff like Ratchet and Clank and Uncharted or on my PC including Bioshock and Orange Box that didn't look like a video game. Everything may be sharper and more colorful and have more bloom lighting, but it still has all the warts as well that let me know its just a game. As games have gotten more complicated it seems the flaws are more and more common.

It may not be as bad as PS2 era jaggies but I still find tearing, stutters and other graphic glitches and things still don't look completely real to me. Gran Turismo is close in video, but I bet as soon as I see the final game I will still find the flaws that give away its just a video game.

Graphics continue to be the most overrated part of gaming. I have been impressed by games this year like Mario Galaxy, Portal, Rock Band and graphics had little to do with that love. Even Bio Shock scored with me on the story and combat way more than the pretty Unreal Engine 3 graphics.
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Old 11-22-07, 08:28 PM
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I picked up a Wii around six weeks ago and my fiancee and I have a lot of fun playing and watching each other play. The only titles we have are Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Guitar Hero III, but the fact that Kelly, who hasn't really dipped into video games before, is enjoying herself and her time with me makes the Wii worth it. She's actually interested in trying Super Mario Galaxy, and we're looking into Wii Fit and perhaps DDR to work out together. Ha! Will there be couples out there saying, "Wii saved our marriage!" I wonder.
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Old 11-22-07, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
I really enjoyed playing Super Mario Galaxy on my 52" HDTV and I have to disagree. I really haven't been that impressed by HD gaming this year. I was playing games in HD on my PC for awhile so I don't think it is a big leap forward. Also, games still look like games to me. I haven't played anything on the PS3 including highly regarded stuff like Ratchet and Clank and Uncharted or on my PC including Bioshock and Orange Box that didn't look like a video game. Everything may be sharper and more colorful and have more bloom lighting, but it still has all the warts as well that let me know its just a game. As games have gotten more complicated it seems the flaws are more and more common.

It may not be as bad as PS2 era jaggies but I still find tearing, stutters and other graphic glitches and things still don't look completely real to me. Gran Turismo is close in video, but I bet as soon as I see the final game I will still find the flaws that give away its just a video game.

Graphics continue to be the most overrated part of gaming. I have been impressed by games this year like Mario Galaxy, Portal, Rock Band and graphics had little to do with that love. Even Bio Shock scored with me on the story and combat way more than the pretty Unreal Engine 3 graphics.
I have to agree. Leaps in graphics are always outdone, but fun games never get old. It's sad how game magazines are so biased towards graphics, because it really irritates me how they will skew a game with good graphics.
I remember when Battle Arena Toshinden came out and everyone thought it was going to murder the Virtua Fighter series. It seems the victor of that battle is extremely obvious.

I think what it really boils down to with this generation, is that it's become extremely apparent that the gaming public is tired of hype. The 360 was sold on games alone, a lot of which surprised people at how good they actually managed to be, considering the dearth of good software for the original Xbox. The Xbox Live Arcade has also been critical to the success of the system. The PS3 is churning out more or less the same titles, and in some cases, along the same timeline that the original Playstation did. And very few titles from that system managed to survive the era and become classics.

Judging by the success of Guitar Hero and the Wii (it's funny how those two are fundamentally similar, but you never see CNet writing an article about how people buy Guitar Hero, and then put it down a week later. Nintendo is doomed btw.), people also want more interactivity in their games, and technology now has reached a point where it's possible to offer that to the public in a cheap and quality manner. Everything i've played for the PS3 was great graphically, but it felt so tired and old. It felt like I was reliving buying a PSone and a PS2. Nothing on that system played differently, or better, than anything to come out earlier, and to be honest, they were just prettier versions of the same old game.

I felt as if Twilight Princess had the same fault. I quickly grew bored with it because even with the Wii controller, it was very similar to the way Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker played. I blazed through many parts of the game that I could see troubling newcomers, but they were more or less by-the-numbers for a Zelda game.
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Old 11-22-07, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
I think if everyone had an HDTV the Wii wouldn't be in first place. In my humble opinion, HD gaming has been one of the biggest leaps forward in gaming. Even moreso than revolutions in gameplay.
Disagree. Same old games + HD still equals same old games.

Besides, PC gamers already surpass HD in terms of resolution, and the latest video cards run circles around what the consoles can do. So, I'm not dropping my jaw over anything seen on any of the "next gen" consoles.

It's all about the gameplay and other perks, which is why (as Superboy has eloquently stated) Microsoft and Nintendo have blown past Sony this generation, despite the fact that the PS3 is graphically the superior machine.
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Old 11-22-07, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
I think if everyone had an HDTV the Wii wouldn't be in first place. In my humble opinion, HD gaming has been one of the biggest leaps forward in gaming. Even moreso than revolutions in gameplay.
Yeah, good luck with that post in this crowd.
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