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Wii Launch Report: Nintendo's Next Generation is Set in Motion

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November 21, 2006 2:56:16 PM

Nintendo made its long-awaited comeback bid Saturday night with Wii, and the console's launch was deemed a success. Two million Wiis sold out (or came damn near close to selling out) and Link returned with Twilight Princess. But can a cute, affordable console with motion-based gameplay win the next-generation console race?
November 21, 2006 4:38:09 PM

I honestly don't care if the Wii wins the console race. I'm buying the system and I'll play it until the next generation, and beyond. Nintendo just does so many things right for gaming that I won't be able to resist. And I'm glad to see the support in the community as well.

The phenomenal sales of the DS (of which we have two, with more coming for Christmas) are testament to how much people appreciate the personality and attention to detail of these games. Sure I feel like I'm playing kids' games most of the time, but I was a kid when I played the originals! It's a great nostalgia trip. I can't say enough about how awesome the virtual console feature is going to be. I missed out on the SNES and N64, so I'll love jumping in to the classics.

For me, the Wii is a personal party to celebrate my childhood. The fact that it's easy for non-gamers to pick up and play (what Nintendo system wasn't? I mean we weren't all hardcore to begin with) means it'll be something I can do with my whole family, a lot more than my Xbox 360 or PC. I mean how many people play Halo with 50 year olds? I know they're out there, but not in my house.

Right now, my only complaint is I don't have one and don't know when the next stock will come in. But when mine does, I've already got Zelda, Red Steel, Rayman, and seven people waiting for it.
November 21, 2006 4:50:43 PM

I got the tenth one in town, my bro got the 12th. We had the first NES in our town as well. Die hard Nintento fans here. I've also got a PS2 though.

I agree Nintendo always has everything "just right", I have a $3000 computer for my graphically intense games, no console/hdtv could compare. That's why the Wii will probably be the only console I buy this go around, it's so dam unique. And the motion sensing controls are great. My 4 year old picked up baseball and bowling quicker than my wife!

Course literally everyone waiting in line had a DS (or two) to pass the time, and I brought a couple battery backups to keep us all juiced up as there was only one electrical outlet. :)  We were only in line for around 7 hours though. The first two guys showed up a day earlier, too much PS3 hype scared them I think.

Zelda is awsome BTW!

Edit: VBDude, missing out on the SNES is terrible! Best RPG's of ALL TIME! Secret of Mana and it's breathren, even better than Final Fantasy IMHO.
November 21, 2006 5:25:30 PM

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Edit: VBDude, missing out on the SNES is terrible! Best RPG's of ALL TIME! Secret of Mana and it's breathren, even better than Final Fantasy IMHO.


Yeah, I got a Genesis, and then switched to PC when Doom 2 came out shortly after, when I was about 13. At least the Genesis is emulated too. My childhood is fully represented!

I'll look into the Secret of Mana. My favorite NES RPG was Crystalis, btw. If it's more like that than FF, I'm sold!

Thanks.
November 21, 2006 6:16:53 PM

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Then there's the PC gamer. The Wii certainly has a couple of things going against it. First, PC gamers are used to superior graphics, and the emphasis for the Wii is most certainly not on advanced visuals. Play Red Steal after, say, F.E.A.R., you can't help but feel you've taken a giant step down on the graphics ladder. And Red Steel isn't the signature action title that many hoped it would be. Second, PC gamers are used to sitting comfortably at their desks, tapping the keyboard and using a mouse for precision aiming and movement. In that sense, the Wii will be a drastic departure from their comfort zone

I disagree with you here.

I am a PC gamer through and through. In all my life I had owned only one console. Yet I am going to buy Wii, and not PS3. Why?
Exactly for the reason you mentioned but in revere. I already have a system (computer) that produces excellent graphics and has all those multimedia features. And in half a year with DX 10 cards and games the PC graphics will be better than that of PS3. So graphics are not attractions for me in consoles - I have it better on my computer.

What I am looking for, is completely different experience. I foresee that gaming on PS3 will be somewhat similar to gaming on PC, only worse (I like mouse + keyboard + joystick combo much more than PS2 or PS3 controller). But Wii gaming will be that unique and different experience I am looking for. It is precisely because it is "outside my comfort zone" I am going to buy it! With games - the more variability - the better!
November 21, 2006 6:41:34 PM

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I am a PC gamer through and through. In all my life I had owned only one console. Yet I am going to buy Wii, and not PS3. Why?
Exactly for the reason you mentioned but in revere. I already have a system (computer) that produces excellent graphics and has all those multimedia features. And in half a year with DX 10 cards and games the PC graphics will be better than that of PS3. So graphics are not attractions for me in consoles - I have it better on my computer.

What I am looking for, is completely different experience. I foresee that gaming on PS3 will be somewhat similar to gaming on PC, only worse (I like mouse + keyboard + joystick combo much more than PS2 or PS3 controller). But Wii gaming will be that unique and different experience I am looking for. It is precisely because it is "outside my comfort zone" I am going to buy it! With games - the more variability - the better!


Ah, excellent point MxM. Thanks for the post. I hadn't really considered that PC gamers might go with the Wii because it doesn't try to emulate a PC's intense graphics and instead offers a radical change of pace.
November 22, 2006 12:57:08 AM

I like the Wii a lot. Its simplicity is like having a good ol pong console in the living room. Everyone can play the Wii without having to be hard core. I have the PS1, PS2, XBOX, XBOX360, and hopefully the PS3 sometime in the near future. Here's my problem with the Wii. I was at Walmart and Target the other day, and the game prices are about $50 and most of the accessories are priced similar to the XBOX360. I like the Wii because it's $250 and it would be a winner if the games averaged $25-$30. For now I'd rather spend $50 to $60 for XBOX 360 games and save up for PS3 games.

I truly think we are in the Golden Era of consoles. In 6 months anybody will be able to buy the PS3 for $579, XBOX 360 for $349, Wii for $229, XBOX $119, and the PS2 for $99. Now the only thing that I truly wish for is a keyboard and mouse to play all of these... I don't care how innovative the controllers are.

One more thing... Hey Coleco, Intellivision, Atari... I know you guys are 6 feet under (except for Ataris game division) but how about a come back and show Microsoft and Sony how to really make a real gaming experience. I admire that Coleco and Intellivision had the innovation of having a good controller with multi-function keypads.
November 22, 2006 3:49:08 PM

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I am a PC gamer through and through. In all my life I had owned only one console. Yet I am going to buy Wii, and not PS3. Why?
Exactly for the reason you mentioned but in revere. I already have a system (computer) that produces excellent graphics and has all those multimedia features. And in half a year with DX 10 cards and games the PC graphics will be better than that of PS3. So graphics are not attractions for me in consoles - I have it better on my computer.

What I am looking for, is completely different experience. I foresee that gaming on PS3 will be somewhat similar to gaming on PC, only worse (I like mouse + keyboard + joystick combo much more than PS2 or PS3 controller). But Wii gaming will be that unique and different experience I am looking for. It is precisely because it is "outside my comfort zone" I am going to buy it! With games - the more variability - the better!


Ah, excellent point MxM. Thanks for the post. I hadn't really considered that PC gamers might go with the Wii because it doesn't try to emulate a PC's intense graphics and instead offers a radical change of pace.

Yeah, it might just be me and MxM, but I think you made some grave errors in estimating the PC gamer interest.

Us PC gamers, we already have the killer hardware to play titles like FEAR and (soon) Crysis. We have the high-end graphics experience in the bag, unlike these poor PS3tards who wait a week in line and still probably don't get a system which only supports up to 1080p. High-end graphics? PS3 can't touch the PC.

Also, being a PC gamer, I've invested a lot in my computer but not my TV setup. A $400 monitor is totally reasonable and I know I'll enjoy it every day, but spending $400 on a TV would just be useless as I don't have a need for a TV. I would bet that PC gamers are actually less likely to have HD TVs than other kinds of gamers, making the PS3 and Xbox 360 more limited in their usefulness.

Most of the PS3's high-points include high-rez HD graphics, a hard drive, online connectivity and lots of M-rated games including shooters. Yet it sounds like I'm describing a PC right there. I'm not going to pay $600 for more of the same stuff. I want a different gaming experience. And the Wii looks like it will have that.

Another thing, as I think you said, is that PC gamers tend to enjoy their FPS titles. We love the precision control of a mouse for aiming, and laugh at the awkward thumb-fumbling controls of consoles. This is exactly why we should embrace the Wii, however. Its control style, with point-and-shoot simplicity and accuracy, bests anything the PC has. I think that the vast majority of PC gamers, even those who consider themselves proficient with the mouse and keyboard, would find that they can point and click sequentially at a half dozen or so objects faster than they can aim at them individually using the mouse. Add in the ability to use other motion sensing to do things like realistic leaning, or looking independently of aiming your weapon, or using the Wiimote like a sword, and I think many PC gamers will find it hard to argue that the Wii is almost perfectly tailored for all varieties of first-person fighting games. Its only issue, of course, is that it doesn't have the sorts of graphics we're used to--but I think people will be able to get over that. Its price especially makes the lower graphics much more forgivable than a high-priced PC-clone like the PS3.
November 22, 2006 4:48:25 PM

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Not a whole lot is riding on the launch of the Wii - just Nintendos's future.


Not really. Even if Wii tanked, the extremely strong DS and gameboy sales would pay the bills at Nintendo for a long while.

On the PC gamer thing, as a PC gamer myself, the Wii is a mixed bag. Some of the actions (like "thrusting the nunchuck forward") are awkward to execute and work only half the time. I'm glad there is something different, but unless it really evolves it's just going to be a gimmick that eventually fades, shadowed by the better controls of a PC and better graphics of the other consoles.

In fanboy mode though, "Twilight Princess" makes the system worth buying anyway ;) 
November 22, 2006 5:17:12 PM

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Even if Wii tanked, the extremely strong DS and gameboy sales would pay the bills at Nintendo for a long while.


Laughy, I see your point about the DS and handheld gaming sales for Nintendo. However, there's a reason that Nintendo has been the subject of buyout and acquisition rumors in recent years. They're just not that big. It's surprising for a company that successful and with that much of a cultural impact to be as small as it is. Consider the following:

Nintendo annual revenue: $4.5 billion
Employees: around 3,000

Microsoft annual revenue: $44 billion
Employees: 71,000

Sony annual revenue: more than $60 billion
Employees: nearly 160,000

Granted, the size of each GAME business is probably pretty close, but that's not the point. The point is Sony and Microsoft could completel botch the PS3 and Xbox 360 and still see the sun rise. Nintendo wouldn't.
November 22, 2006 9:20:29 PM

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Yeah, it might just be me and MxM, but I think you made some grave errors in estimating the PC gamer interest.


I wouldn't call them "grave errors" if it was just the two of you, but it isn't. I've been a die-hard PC gamer since '94. (Look at my sig; I didn't buy those components for productivity. :wink: ) And I've yet to see Wii bashing from any of the PC gaming community. Everyone I've seen mention it said they wanted one, though some of them admittedly apologized, or came close, in their confession.

I don't think there's anything to apologize about, but then I don't have one yet...Only time will tell if it's the break we've all been waiting for.

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I would bet that PC gamers are actually less likely to have HD TVs than other kinds of gamers, making the PS3 and Xbox 360 more limited in their usefulness.


I don't agree. For gaming alone, that would be true, but I think it's gonna be hard to find a PC Gamer that doesn't appreciate high-def video. And I'm not talking about HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. (When you download game/movie trailers, are they standard-def? I'll actually wait on some trailers until the high-def version comes out.) We are generally movers of technology, not adopters out of neccesity. We aren't PC gamers because we prefer the controls; that's just a bonus. We are PC gamers because we like hardware, options and power.

As a side note, I've got my Xbox 360 hooked up to my CRT, and will hook it up to a Dell 2407 WFP LCD when I get one this January to make my PC better suited for widescreen video. I took the 360 off of the HDTV as I was the only one playing on it and everyone else wanted to use the TV...to watch TV! 8O

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Another thing, as I think you said, is that PC gamers tend to enjoy their FPS titles. We love the precision control of a mouse for aiming, and laugh at the awkward thumb-fumbling controls of consoles. This is exactly why we should embrace the Wii, however. Its control style, with point-and-shoot simplicity and accuracy, bests anything the PC has.


So, was that just personal observation on the Wii-mote potential, or was that based on experience? I'd love to hear more about how it plays if you're already using it.
November 23, 2006 3:56:35 AM

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I would bet that PC gamers are actually less likely to have HD TVs than other kinds of gamers, making the PS3 and Xbox 360 more limited in their usefulness.


I don't agree. For gaming alone, that would be true, but I think it's gonna be hard to find a PC Gamer that doesn't appreciate high-def video. And I'm not talking about HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. (When you download game/movie trailers, are they standard-def? I'll actually wait on some trailers until the high-def version comes out.) We are generally movers of technology, not adopters out of neccesity. We aren't PC gamers because we prefer the controls; that's just a bonus. We are PC gamers because we like hardware, options and power.

Of course we appreciate high-def video. But with the exception of over-priced HD-DVD and Blu-ray players, there's just no reason to have it anywhere other than the PC. As you said, when I download my trailers and such, I do get the high-def versions. That's where the content is. I know that, with my PC, I can get high-def trailers and games and photos and eventually videos (TV and movies) too. For a TV, you have to pay extra. Hell, for a TV, you have to pay period. I'll be the first to admit that I don't pay for TV. I download what I want. Maybe I have to wait a day or so, but I have total control over the content, can archive it for years, and skip commercials. Increasingly there's no usefulness for a TV, especially if your PC display is large enough to act as one. I still think my point stands however. You'll find media buffs all over the technology spectrum, from some guy who's never used a PC but wants a big-screen TV and $2000 sound system to people who have put their PCs right in the middle of that setup. But I think, in general, PC gamers tend to have both the PC hardware, PC knowhow, and display resolution and size such that they have very few reasons to get a TV, period. Someone who has a low-end PC or very little knowledge would have many uses that I wouldn't (watching DVDs and TV shows, playing consoles, listening to the news, etc).


Quote:
Another thing, as I think you said, is that PC gamers tend to enjoy their FPS titles. We love the precision control of a mouse for aiming, and laugh at the awkward thumb-fumbling controls of consoles. This is exactly why we should embrace the Wii, however. Its control style, with point-and-shoot simplicity and accuracy, bests anything the PC has.


So, was that just personal observation on the Wii-mote potential, or was that based on experience? I'd love to hear more about how it plays if you're already using it.

Observation only, sadly. Our local stores don't have any Wiimotes for the demo units so I can't speak from personal experience. However, I did view a video of two people playing a target practice game. The speed and accuracy with which they lined up shots was quite impressive, and I don't think I could have competed with them if I was using a mouse and keyboard. You can do a sort of test yourself though. Find a couple objects in the room you're in--say, a doorknob, the bottom left corner of a window, the rim of a trash can, a light switch, and a pillow--and see how long it takes for you to point at each of them and say "bang". Do you think you could do that with a PC? Open up Paint, put a few (6-8 maybe) red dots on the screen spread out on the canvas. Sit back a few feet and try the same thing. Point at the dots as fast as you can. Then try to click on each with the mouse (using a different color for the paint brush). See how long it takes you. Now try for accuracy. Using your mouse, try to write "Sweet!" on a blank canvas. Now try doing that with a fingertip.

Its raw potential, if sufficiently accurate, is about as high as you'll be able to get unless you use a touch screen for more fast/accurate input. Whether the Wiimote is this accurate or not is up to debate and testing, however I heard from a friend that it was "dead accurate". I'll update this if/when I get to try out a Wiimote ;) 
November 24, 2006 12:25:51 AM

Yeah the Wii makes sense to people with decent PC's for 500$ I can get a new DX10 video card ! (of course the 360 is cheaper but its still a good portion of a video card)

I want the Wii becouse I believe it offers something different then just a graphics upgrade and the same old games with a new coat of paint... I think Nintendo has a winner on its hands.

I owned a NES and SNES after that I jumped on the PS1 and then the PS2 so PS3 is like more of the same with better graphics. (and about 12 PC's in the same time period)

Now if I can just find one so I can play my copy of Excite Truck.... Blasted shortages....
November 24, 2006 5:57:10 AM

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Now if I can just find one so I can play my copy of Excite Truck.... Blasted shortages....


Excite truck? Get a Wii and download ExciteBIKE! Man that game kicked arse (probably have better gameplay than Excite Truck too :wink: )

Now if Nintendo just engineer the motion controller for it...
November 24, 2006 1:28:38 PM

hmmm, I think my NES favourites would be:

Super Mario World
Super Mario World 3
Strider (you may not know that one)
Mike Tyson's Punch Out (would'nt it be cool if they got nunchucks working for that?)
I'm sure there are more that won't come to me....

Street Fighter for SNES would be cool. I can hardly remember Turbo Grafx 16, that would be cool to try, and it sounds like all this will be really reasonably priced to play again.

So much potential for reminiscing, and really enjoying the new stuff. I am so excited about this system! I have not been this interested in a console since original NES!
November 25, 2006 1:28:16 AM

Most of the people I know who want Wii's are PC gamers. Alot of them are banking on the fact that one of these days some company is going to realize just how awsome this generation of Nintendo hardware would be for real time strategy games. ( Nintendo need's a Starcraft as far as I'm concerned )

The Wii-mote can be used as a rediculously responsive mouse, the touch pad on the DS would be a great control for such as well. Why no one is working on this kind of thing is beyond me.

As for myself, I'll be getting a Wii eventually for the same reason I got a Cube; hours and hours of MonkeyBall greatness. I've put more then 10 times the hours on that one game than I've put on my PS2 (period). I'm really tired of how most modern console games have nill replay value, and I'm sorely jonesing for the classic style games I grew up on. While no one seems to be making anything as great as BurgerTime, right now Nintendo feels the closest too me.
November 26, 2006 5:13:04 PM

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Most of the people I know who want Wii's are PC gamers. Alot of them are banking on the fact that one of these days some company is going to realize just how awsome this generation of Nintendo hardware would be for real time strategy games. ( Nintendo need's a Starcraft as far as I'm concerned )

The Wii-mote can be used as a rediculously responsive mouse, the touch pad on the DS would be a great control for such as well. Why no one is working on this kind of thing is beyond me.


There is one serious disadvantage of Wii to become a platform for RTS games: resolution. If in FPS games we need good resolution just for nice graphics, but in RTS we need to be able to see and distinguish many different units on the screen, to see their weapons and to see statistics and special abilities of the selected units. It is hard to do it with 480i. I wish Wii had 780p, THEN it would become a perfect RTS platform.
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