Nintendo Wii

blunt

shot by both sides
Launched in the UK today! Someone at work had one delivered this morning, and we've had it set up on the studio projector. What can I say? It's awesome.

If there's any justice in the world, Nintendo will clean up. By disassociating themselves from the polygons-per-second machismo of X Box and PS3, and concentrating on pure, intuitive interaction, it's a console that's playable by - and pretty much affordable to - absolutely anyone.

Who cares is the graphics are clunky when you're both mentally, and now physically, immersed in the game? I've just gone a couple of rounds of tennis on Wii Sports, and I've actually got the beginings of cramp in my arm...

I know I'm prone to bouts of hyperbole, but it feels like a little bit of history has been made today :)

Anyone else had a go?
 

swears

preppy-kei
A couple of my gamer-nerd mates are excited about this, but not as much as they are about the 360, so I think polygons-per-second machismo is winning out, generally. Ultra detailed 360 games like Gears of War are visually stunning, I have to admit I don't think it's just a case of these guys being solely obsessed with specs.
 

blunt

shot by both sides
A couple of my gamer-nerd mates are excited about this, but not as much as they are about the 360, so I think polygons-per-second machismo is winning out, generally. Ultra detailed 360 games like Gears of War are visually stunning, I have to admit I don't think it's just a case of these guys being solely obsessed with specs.
Polygons-per-second will always win out for hardcore gamers, but in terms of true mass appeal, I think the Wii - or consoles like it - will rule. I can see my mum playing - and actually enjoying - a Wii game, but not Gears of War.
 
D

droid

Guest
Polygons-per-second will always win out for hardcore gamers, but in terms of true mass appeal, I think the Wii - or consoles like it - will rule. I can see my mum playing - and actually enjoying - a Wii game, but not Gears of War.
Absolutely. They apparantly surprised themselves with the mainstream success of the DS (being used as brain exercise in old folks homes etc). Nintendos philosophy has always been about gameplay and graphics complementing each other, and WII is a step sideways out of the faster/better graphics race.

Thanks god someone did it! First person shooters, 3rd person 'urban' adventure games just make me wanna puke these days. Its like the early-mid 90s all over again, when everyone was just making the same shit platform games. Lets just hope the perrenial curse of bad management/promotion doesnt strike this Nintendo console...
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
James Surowiecki wrote about this in the New Yorker recently, an interesting read:

IN PRAISE OF THIRD PLACE
Issue of 2006-12-04
Posted 2006-11-27


Fifteen years ago, the video-game industry was ruled by one player, Nintendo. The company had machines in a third of American homes, and it was Japan’s most profitable electronics company. The title of a 1993 book summed up the situation: “Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World.” Then the Sony PlayStation arrived, and everything changed. Today, Sony is the dominant force, and its chief rival is not Nintendo but Microsoft, which makes the Xbox. Two weeks ago, the début of Sony’s PlayStation 3 was greeted by crowds of hysterical consumers anxious to get their hands on the new console, billed as the most powerful gaming machine ever. When Nintendo’s new console, the oddly named Wii, appeared, a few days later, there were excellent reviews and expectations of good sales, but no more talk about world conquest. If Sony and Microsoft are the major-party nominees, Nintendo is more like a cool third-party candidate.

You might expect, then, that Nintendo would be struggling to stay afloat. After all, the prevailing wisdom is that companies need to be market leaders, or face disaster. This approach was famously institutionalized by Jack Welch, who, when he took over as C.E.O. of G.E., laid down a rule that he described as a “central idea” of his tenure: the company would quit any business in which it was not No. 1 or No. 2. The lesson that people took away from this was clear—third place is for losers. “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado,” Alec Baldwin’s character says in the film “Glengarry Glen Ross.” “Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.” Nintendo, though, has not just survived out of the spotlight; it has thrived. It has five billion dollars in the bank from years of solid profits, and this past year, though it spent heavily on the launch of the Wii, it made close to a billion dollars in profit and saw its stock price rise by sixty-five per cent. Sony’s game division, by contrast, barely eked out a profit and Microsoft’s reportedly lost money. Who knew bringing up the rear could be so lucrative?

Sony and Microsoft are desperate to be the biggest players in a market that, in their vision, will encompass not just video games but “interactive entertainment” generally. That’s why the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 are all-in-one machines, which allow users not just to play video games but also to do things like watch high-definition DVDs and stream digital music. Sony and Microsoft’s quest to “control the living room” has locked them in a classic arms race; they have invested billions of dollars in an attempt to surpass each other technologically, building ever-bigger, ever-better, and ever-more-expensive machines.

Nintendo has dropped out of this race. The Wii has few bells and whistles and much less processing power than its “competitors,” and it features less impressive graphics. It’s really well suited for just one thing: playing games. But this turns out to be an asset. The Wii’s simplicity means that Nintendo can make money selling consoles, while Sony is reportedly losing more than two hundred and forty dollars on each PlayStation 3 it sells—even though they are selling for almost six hundred dollars. Similarly, because Nintendo is not trying to rule the entire industry, it’s been able to focus on its core competence, which is making entertaining, innovative games. For instance, the Wii features a motion sensor that allows you to, say, hit a tennis ball onscreen by swinging the controller like a tennis racquet. Nintendo’s handheld device, the DS, became astoundingly popular because of simple but brilliant games like Nintendogs, in which users raise virtual puppies. And because Nintendo sells many more of its own games than Sony and Microsoft do, its profit margins are higher, too. Arguably, Nintendo has thrived not despite its fall from the top but because of it.

Nintendo’s success is not an anomaly, either. The business landscape of the past couple of decades is replete with companies that have flourished as third wheels, and with companies that have struggled to make money despite being No. 1 in their industries. (Today, would you rather be Honda or G.M.?) And while it’s true that in many industries there is a correlation between market share and profitability, one doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. A recent survey of the evidence on market share by J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green found that companies that adopt what they call “competitor-oriented objectives” actually end up hurting their own profitability. In other words, the more a company focusses on beating its competitors, rather than on the bottom line, the worse it is likely to do. And a study of the performance of twenty major American companies over four decades found that the ones putting more emphasis on market share than on profit ended up with lower returns on investment; of the six companies that defined their goal exclusively as market share, four eventually went out of business.

The point is that business is not a sporting event. Victory for one company doesn’t mean defeat for everyone else. Markets today are so big—the global video-game market is now close to thirty billion dollars—that companies can profit even when they’re not on top, as long as they aren’t desperately trying to get there. The key is to play to your strengths while recognizing your limitations. Nintendo knew that it could not compete with Microsoft and Sony in the quest to build the ultimate home-entertainment device. So it decided, with the Wii, to play a different game entirely. Some pundits are now speculating, ironically, that the simplicity of the Wii may make it a huge hit. Nintendo wouldn’t complain if that happened. But, in the meantime, third prize is looking a lot better than steak knives.

— James Surowiecki
 
Can't wait to have a go on this. When the rush dies down i'll probably be buying one.

I'm not a hardcore gamer - i haven't played games for several years now, but this is going to get me back in the habit.

I was brought up with atari consoles and nintendo game&watch, playing simple games with universal appeal. I think the Wii and DS (along with the emergence of non-violent MMORPG's) are some of the best things to have happened to gaming in recent years. Just check 2 player tetris on the DS - disarmingly simple, incredibly addictive and stimulating.

I get the impression that mainstream gaming, dominated as it is by war-oriented games, is acting as a promotional wing for the military-industrial complex more than ever before (as the games simulate 'reality' more and more faithfully).
 
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Guybrush

Dittohead
I get the impression that mainstream gaming, dominated as it is by war-oriented games, is acting as a promotional wing for the military-industrial complex more than ever before (as the games simulate 'reality' more and more faithfully).
With this game bringing the circle to a closure.
 

blunt

shot by both sides
I get the impression that mainstream gaming, dominated as it is by war-oriented games, is acting as a promotional wing for the military-industrial complex more than ever before.
With this game bringing the circle to a closure.
America's Army is just the beginning. By 2015, the US Department of Defense plans that one third of its fighting strength will be composed of robots. Even if they have human operators, I find this prospect supremely scary.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
This sounds comforting:
The Pentagon declined to answer questions about the issues raised by the use of robots, saying that the department would "be happy to discuss particular weapons systems under development rather than theoretical issues".
 

bassnation

the abyss
Absolutely. They apparantly surprised themselves with the mainstream success of the DS (being used as brain exercise in old folks homes etc). Nintendos philosophy has always been about gameplay and graphics complementing each other, and WII is a step sideways out of the faster/better graphics race.

Thanks god someone did it! First person shooters, 3rd person 'urban' adventure games just make me wanna puke these days. Its like the early-mid 90s all over again, when everyone was just making the same shit platform games. Lets just hope the perrenial curse of bad management/promotion doesnt strike this Nintendo console...
yes, its got very formulaic. i don't have a problem with manufacturers (and gamers) striving for great graphics and sound but not at the expense of game play.

i've got a 360 (currently being repaired after dying following an electricity spike) and i was recently looking at the game line-ups for xmas - is it just me, or are they totally uninspiring?

gears of war looks great, but its totally linear and its yet more running about shooting things. as much as i like the arcade / japanese gaming ethos of nintendo, what i really want from games is open-ended, non-linear immersive works of genius like deus ex with stories that intrigue and challenge. i want games that involve more than just twitch reflexes and / or cute little cartoons. (although i do accept that the nintendo controller is an amazing innovation that will be quickly copied by everyone - plus i'm going to pick up a wii once its easier to get one)

i have done my time in arcades but i do not subscribe to the japanese gaming fanboy scripture that all things nintendo is always the pinnacle of gaming. hopefully things like alan wake and bio shock will bring something i actually feel like playing, for a change.
 
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swears

preppy-kei
Playstation 3

Is it worth pre-ordering one of these to flog on ebay for a bit of a profit?
Or will anyone that's that desperate already have imported one from the states?
'Cause people doing this with the Wii and Xbox360 made a few quid. I know it sounds a bit mercenary, but I could use the cash.
 

tatarsky

Well-known member
My flatmates just got one of these, and it is awesome, there's no denying it. Generally, I avoid gaming, because of its capacity to eat entire days that could be spent doing far more productive things. But i had a bit of play, and it's really fun. And it's far more social too - we played 4 player 10-pin bowling, and it was great. Totally agree with what people are saying upthread about their mum playing it - it could have such mass appeal.

In fact, it was quite amusing playing against my mates, who are all big gamer-nerd-types. Not to stereotype too much, but their hand-eye coordination, and general physical skills are somewhat ...er..limited. I can see a lot of hardcore gamers actually being quite shit at some of the games!

I've only played the sports game that comes with it so far, and the interface, whilst fun, is quite basic, in that there's only a few motions it recognises. For example, the tennis game is quite simple, it only appreciates the timing of your swing, but in theory it could get much more complicated,and factor in spin and so on. I reckon the success of the Wii is really going to come down to how complex a movements its going to be able to understand. We'll have to see once more games come out.
 

hint

party record with a siren
Is it worth pre-ordering one of these to flog on ebay for a bit of a profit?
Or will anyone that's that desperate already have imported one from the states?
'Cause people doing this with the Wii and Xbox360 made a few quid. I know it sounds a bit mercenary, but I could use the cash.
Sony have started clamping down on grey importers. So that's out of the equation, making the European launch more of an event.

The PS3 is set to launch in March though, so the lack of the Christmas rush will probably make any mercenary eBay dealing less profitable. Less mercenary too, since you're bypassing the "ripping off a dad getting one for his kids" factor. ;)

It all depends on the supply levels, I suppose, but it seems like there are shortages of every console at launch these days - all those shots of punters queueing outside shops at midnight are great free publicity. So pre-ordering a PS3 is unlikely to lose you money, let's put it that way.
 

bruno

est malade
Is it worth pre-ordering one of these to flog on ebay for a bit of a profit?
Or will anyone that's that desperate already have imported one from the states?
'Cause people doing this with the Wii and Xbox360 made a few quid. I know it sounds a bit mercenary, but I could use the cash.
i think you're a couple of weeks late for this, swears. notwithstanding being world's apart technically and all that, the wii seems to have genuinely robbed the ps3 of some of it's attraction. plus, a lot of people have been scammed by now (ps3 = ps1+ps2 bundle, for example!) and are probably more careful with their wallets. but what do i know! with so many people on earth there is bound to be one willing to make you rich.
 

swears

preppy-kei
My mate just phoned and he says the worse that can happen is that I break even.
I remember wishing I'd bought all the Aphex Twin Analord releases with the binder and flogged tham in mint condition, I even got the email from rephlex announcing the series...
I think I just assumed the binder would be reissued.
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
Some interesting comments on bbc news site about the Wii wrist-strap recall.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6182013.stm

"I got one of the first Wii but after a few minutes playing the strap broke and the controller shot off and hit my partner in the face resulting in two broken teeth. She slipped at the same time falling into the TV set and smashing the screen. The TV was plugged into the surround sound system and consequently pulled it over and smashing into my CD and DVD collection. I advise anyone to be careful of the wii"
Jenny Howard, Beijing China

"I bought a Wii and whilst in use, the strap broke and the controller flew out of my hand and into the face of my wife. Although it came as a shock, she wasn't badly hurt."
Bobbles Clifton, Derby

"When I got my Wii, The remote flew out of my hand and broke the TV screen because the strap broke, Nintendo should do more to improve its products."
Bob Sinclair, Dudley

"My wrist straps are fine. Over the years I've managed to develop an ability to hold onto my controllers for an extended period of time without them flying out of my hand. My grip works well on plates, glasses and various types of fruit as well."
Chris Brooks, Sittingbourne, UK
 

blunt

shot by both sides
"I got one of the first Wii but after a few minutes playing the strap broke and the controller shot off and hit my partner in the face resulting in two broken teeth. She slipped at the same time falling into the TV set and smashing the screen. The TV was plugged into the surround sound system and consequently pulled it over and smashing into my CD and DVD collection. I advise anyone to be careful of the wii"
Jenny Howard, Beijing China
Muppets.
 
N

nomadologist

Guest
I played some weird cartoon bird tennis game with these Wii things at a party a couple weeks ago. It was damn fun, I'm not gonna lie. I was drunk and still doing pretty well if I do say so myself.
 

gabriel

The Heatwave
i heard that old commodore amiga games are going to be available to download and play on the wii - can anyone confirm this? if it's true i'd love to get one...
 

Don Rosco

Well-known member
There is Impossible Mission, California Games (with Winter Games!) and Leaderboard from teh c64 coming out for the Wii. They appear to be pretty much the same, gameplay-wise, but will be jazzed up somewhat. Apparently.

It's a fucking great machine. The Sports is obviously the big killer app for non-gamers. Anyone who's tried mine has just lapped it up, even my resolutely non-gamer girlfriend. The way you can make little caricatures of yourself to use in the games is really cool. There's plenty of exchanging of famous lookalikes - I could end up having Stalin, Marvin Gaye and Sonic Boom on my Baseball team.

Then there's the weather channel with a globe you can spin, a free web browser out tomorrow, downloadable old console games . . .
 
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