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What if Wii won the west?

April 20, 2007


Cause it’s certainly won the East, the North, the South, whatever. Playstation 3 whimpers along, sitting inside store windows begging to be bought. Xbox 360 is trumpeted as THE next-gen system of choice, despite the fact that Microsoft quotes “units sold” when what they really mean is “units shipped”. Stories abound of moms and granmas and uncles and aunts and toddlers all picking up a Wiimote and nunchuk and having loads of fun. Nintendo has succeeded in drawing more people to gaming, but where does that leave the people reading this blog? For all that you people seem to think that Nintendo’s losing the battle, I beg to differ. It’s winning the war in ways that you can’t even imagine because you weren’t the market Nintendo was trying to win over. Nintendo already owns you and your pals anyway, so they’re not even trying anymore. People you don’t know are buying the system because they are buying Nintendo’s “expanding the market” philosophy and loving it.

I finally got a chance to play with a Wii last Saturday at a friend’s birthday party, and with had shitloads of fun playing Wii sports and Warioware. But I distinctly remember setting the Wii up and going a few rounds of Wii baseball and bowling on my own and finding it terribly boring. I haven’t had the chance to play games like Twilight Princess or Super Paper Mario, but for the most part it finally dawned on me the Wii really is a party system. But for single player games, it’s total crap. Yes, there are a few titles I’m excited about like Metroid Prime, RE: Umbrella Chronicles and RE:4 (because I have’t played it yet, though I might just get the cube version on the cheap), No More Heroes, Day of Disaster, etc. But in this era of fading exclusives, I also want to play games like GTA4, Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear…4.

Sorry, the abundance of 4s in that head just struck me all of a sudden. Anyway. The point is the non-exclusivity doesn’t really benefit Wii because it’s much harder and more expensive to scale down graphics to accommodate Wii’s weaknesses than it is to simply port GTA4 with all of its textures and art assets intact to xbox 360. This means if i pick Wii i’m gonna miss out on some of those great games that I’ve been drooling over. This tears at me because I don’t want to have to buy more than one system. I really can’t afford it. I love Wii and its intuitive interface and party game mindset but there’s also a hardcore gamer inside me begging for full on HD graphics.

Which leads me to another tangent, graphics. Graphics still matter sometimes, they really do. Historically, Graphic capability has been pushed by developers working on a console as they try to squeeze as much power out of it as they can. For the PS1, vagrant story stands out. For the PS2, God of war 2 has awed even HD avowed fanatics. It’s been said that the current generation’s full capacity has yet to even be maxed out, but manufacturers were chomping at the bit to release their next gen systems, so we’ll never really know.

Now the Wii comes in with original Xbox+ graphics. They look good, but they’ll never look as good as anything 360 or PS3 can dish out. Potentially, the graphics capabilities of Wii could be maxed out as time progresses, but for developers other than Nintendo what would the point be? Imagine spending so much time trying to make the best looking Wii game ever only to be compared to first gen 360 or PS3 games. That would royally suck.

I’ll end this long winded post by predicting that Wii will win the current console arms race, in leaps and bounds. But what that entails for your core/hardcore gamer, only time will truly tell.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2007 9:54 pm

    Saleswise? I agree.

    Hardcore appeal? No appeal. At all.

    Happy 420.

  2. frisby permalink
    April 20, 2007 11:26 pm

    You know, I am having the Next Gen blues. I think all hardcores are. You really have to have a 360 or PS3…yeah a 360 and a Wii to enjoy the Next Gen. Spiderman 3 for example. While the Wii version will have amazing controls (I hope), the scale of the 360/PS3 version is mind blowing. Decent graphics (In comparison to other HD titles) and did I mention its fucking huge. It’s like having control over Rollin with spidy powers and making him swing sling all over and under Manhattan.

    The Wii version has cool controls…but the graphics are weak. Shits WEAK!!!

    Thats just something we have to cope with. While PSP has much better graphics than the DS, the PSP has problems that the other next gen consoles don’t. Comparing DS to PSP is almost silly since the PSP is so very very flawed.

    I don’t know how I’m going to trick my wife into buying a 360, in fact I have a feeling it wont happen. I play VC and Cube games on my Wii more than I do Wii games. In fact, if you add up my gameplay time I am sure VC and Cube dwarf my Wii hours.

    This comment should just be a fucking post.


  3. April 21, 2007 1:34 am

    Welcome to the party Ry. That feeling’ll wear off soon.

  4. April 21, 2007 2:31 am

    >>It’s like having control over Rollin with spidy powers and making him swing sling all over and under Manhattan.

    Wait, so you get to play Venom in the game? Ha! I kill me.

  5. Bill permalink
    April 21, 2007 8:20 am

    A nice read, and has been the feeling being slung around quite a bit now that the dust is settling, and the summer lull is queing up. I’m mainly a PC gamer, so I’m already used to great graphics and deep gameplay. Nintendo will win the console war simply just because their system is cheaper, and the DS has 40 million owners who may just want to actually play games on their TVs again. I think the hard part is for us hardcore people to do is step back and see just how games are viewed by most people. We talk about games with our friends and read about them all day, so we know whats up. I talk to my average co-worker about games, and they lose interest very fast. The Wii will get this market, and will just be an extension of the DS.
    BUT I also believe despite the graphics lacking, there will be compelling games down along the line that go beyond visual. We saw it with the DS’s weak startout, then a year later..
    Anyway, wow, diarrhea of the fingers. In short, well written , and I agree.

  6. April 23, 2007 11:49 am

    If by “Wii will win the current console arms race”, I sure hope you don’t mean that eventually we’ll only have Wii as a choice for gaming! While I love my Wii (snicker!), I still crave the 360’s HD immersion…

    I want my Pokémons AND Halos, dammit!!

  7. April 24, 2007 9:55 am

    That’s exactly what i mean, and exactly what I fear. Of course, I’m a blogger, therefore I am not to be trusted.

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