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MMR: Is the Wii a "piece of sh*t"?

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  • Games
  • Wii
  • Video Games
Last response: in PC Gaming
March 12, 2007 5:01:04 PM

The 2007 Game Developer Conference had number of interesting developments and odd headlines, including a mini-comeback for Sony and a Maxis designer calling out Nintendo’s new console. Here’s a GDC rundown.

More about : mmr wii piece

March 12, 2007 5:16:26 PM

I can't wait for Dead Rising co-op. I can't believe they left 2 player out of the game, it just seems so obvious that it would be great.
March 12, 2007 5:27:42 PM

Sounds like a great show. Wish I could have been there.

[Random Ramblings]

Halo Episodes only brings one memory to mind: King Kong. Not a great game. Unique, but not great.

I guess I'll wait for Dead Rising Platinum Hits. :wink: The demo was a lot of fun, so I'll pick it up as soon as that happens.

Yes, free games are awesome.

Two extra hours for HL2:E2? Meh. I'd buy it if it only had two. No need to go out of your way, Valve. :p 

Mmmm...independent games.

Quote:
Behemoth's Castle Crashers, which is currently on Xbox Live Arcade...

It's not available on XBLA yet. But Worms just came out. Mmmm...Worms.

A proposal at a conference? What a geek. :lol: 

Oh yeah, you left an unedited "sh*t" in the apology.

[/Random Ramblings]
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March 12, 2007 5:30:16 PM

Coop is what kept me hooked on halo xbox.. I tried playing halo 2 alone, but it was just not fun without a buddy to try to TK with sticky nades.

And.. lol @ Maxis' Chris, has Maxis ever developped a game for any nintendo system since the... uhh, I know there's one I played... someone help me identify the console/game (SNES?)! UGH! Brain freeze! Maybe that was a godzilla type game, I remember this dinosaur running through my city..

I wish more games were co-op, especially on the PC, co-op oblivion, comon bethesda, you know you want to...
March 12, 2007 5:44:41 PM

SimCity. Godzilla was a "natural disaster". :wink:
March 12, 2007 6:18:52 PM

lol, that made me so mad.. Nuclear Launch Detected > Natural Disasters.
March 12, 2007 11:01:00 PM

So now its starcraft is it?

@ maxis
When you can make a good game(aside of the old sim city games) come back bitching. You can quote me on this "Maxis is a pile of monkey fecal matter".
March 13, 2007 1:50:46 AM

Sorry Nukemaster, but Maxis has quite a line-up under it's name.

For one, the best-selling series of all time, The Sims.

Also, they've got a guy named Will Wright, who's been creating quite a scene with Spore, which happens to be under development by Maxis.

But, I'm going to have to agree that SimCity wasn't the greatest game, although it was extremely revolutionary.

Spore should prove to be revolutionary and hopefully a good game as well.

-Monstrous M
March 13, 2007 2:33:56 AM

You are correct, and Spore looks bloody amazing. I hope it is even half as good as the demos have seemed.
March 13, 2007 10:47:55 AM

They also have/had alot of crappola.. I never like simcity, and the sims, my little sister does, but I shown her Oblivion recently, she seems to like it alot.
March 13, 2007 12:27:55 PM

I've never been a big fan of the sims (despite its success), but I do have many fond memories of playing SimCity for the SNES. At the time, the game was quite good and even revolutionary.
March 13, 2007 12:42:33 PM

I actually played quite a bit of SimAnts.
March 13, 2007 2:46:24 PM

I totally forgot about Sim Ant too. I remember playing that in school a lot. Stupid spider, killing all my ants...
March 13, 2007 2:50:11 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't SimCity start off as a PC game? Personally, I thought it was a great game for SNES.
March 13, 2007 3:38:28 PM

Came out for Amiga, Amstrad CPC (:?), C64, DOS, and Mac in 1989, two years prior to the SNES version, according to MobyGames.com. (Please skim around the future imdb of games if you've never been there, and contribute if you can.)

I played it on the Amiga myself. It was lots of fun, but I'd eventually end up in the hole with taxes bringing in less than my expenses. SC2K was more fun, especially with the SimCity Urban Renewal Kit.
March 13, 2007 7:03:47 PM

SimCity (original on Mac).

I'd build up a nice balance of industry, commercial and residental areas. I stuck my power plants and industries on one part of the map... my polution charts in those areas were just one massive black cloud.

Loved the nuclear power plants, but every so often you'd have a meltdown (you have to put it far away from everything else).

I'd also have multiple airports, full trolley system, etc... the game was addicting. Laying down the electric was a little tedious.

Man, I'm now in the mood to go play som classic SimCity.
March 13, 2007 8:59:49 PM

The obvious question is what does the Wii lack that Maxis needs? They've never been a real arcade-title developer. I mean, the XBox 360 is primarily a FPS platform, that's what he thinks they need? They need a physics engine or what?

His apology didn't even explain wtf he was referring to.
March 14, 2007 12:47:24 AM

Hecker' statement seemed to be made out of some kind of fustration or hatred at Nintendo. If definitely wasn't intended as a joke.
His packpeddling statement didn't cover his arse.
Personally I think Maxis should give him a week off w/o pay. Nothing brings you to sobriety like losing 25% in one month.
March 14, 2007 7:04:49 AM

He probably just did it for the show. You know, to get ppl taking about him
March 14, 2007 4:23:17 PM

Criticizing the Wii for being underpowered is a bit like criticizing the 360 for not having motion sensing controls that are intuitive to casual gamers or criticizing the gameboy DS for not having HDMI hookups....

The Wii has enough power to have simple but decent graphics. It is not designed to knock anyone's socks off with 3D, it is designed to have simple intuitive controls that anyone can enjoy and that approach seems to be working for them as none of the stores around here have ANY Wiis or Wiimotes on the shelves STILL!

Hell some people are selling them for upwards of $400 for the standard bundle, even on places like Amazon.com. *shrug*

Just my $.02
March 14, 2007 4:30:43 PM

I'm still not sold on the Wii yet, but it is kinda odd for somebody at Maxis to trash the Wii like that. Why ruin ties with a potential customer? Maybe he was drunk or something.
March 14, 2007 4:49:35 PM

Quote:
I'm still not sold on the Wii yet, but it is kinda odd for somebody at Maxis to trash the Wii like that. Why ruin ties with a potential customer? Maybe he was drunk or something.


I don't think he was drunk, but he was clearly trying to get people's attention and start a little entertaining controversy. I'm not sure his opinion has anything to do with Maxis; after all, what does the developer have to gain by burning a bridge with Nintendo? The Wii is certainly not above criticism -- it's graphics are noticeably less detailed, there's no online play yet, and the game library is extensive but lacks few top shelf titles -- but there's a better way to point out its shortcomings and make an argument for the PS3 or 360 instead.

Who knows, maybe someone from Nintendo will call Spore a crappy Black & White knockoff next year.
March 14, 2007 7:23:54 PM

I just don't see why people feel the need to criticize the Wii, or the 360 for features that were quite simply not important to the design goals of the unit.

The Wii is not designed to compete apples to apples with the 360. It was designed for simple intuitive controls and a reasonable pricetag.

The 360 was not designed to attract casual gamers with its controls and pricetag. It WAS designed to offer a superior online experience and excellent graphics, which it delivers on.

These are two very different design goals and two very different markets. There is some overlap between these markets but really.... criticize it for what it fails to do, not what it doesn't even try to do.
March 14, 2007 9:02:31 PM

The problem with saying that the xbox 360 is for hardcore gamers and the wii is for casual gamers for me is that I only game once or twice a week for a couple of hours (usually with friends) and consider myself a casual gamer but I prefer the games that the so-called hardcore gamers play. I love games like Dead Rising and Gears of War.

I don't understand the claim that the consoles are targetting different markets. The motion sensing controller is cool and I can understand how that would be a selling point, but the whole casual/hardcore gamer thing never made sense to me. A good game is a good game, now matter what kind of gamer you are.

I think its great that Nintendo's new console is doing well, but other than a fancy controller, it is just an underpowered cheap console. If the controller ends up being more than just a neat gimmick (which I hope it does), then there isn't really any reason that Microsoft or Sony couldn't make a similar controller and still offer a superior graphical and online experience.

Maybe I'm just being cynical, but to me it seems like the only reason Wiis are selling so well is hype.
March 14, 2007 10:11:01 PM

This is mostly a matter of semantics.
I personally categorize the markets as such...

Gamer : Person who plays high end, graphically intensive games, often also a person who spends a decent amount of money on the hobby.

Casual Gamer: Person who plays casual games such as tetris, Zuma, Lumines, etc and does not spend a lot of money on the hobby.

The two markets can and frequently do overlap but if drawn out in a venn diagram there would be a fairly large non-overlap section, especially on the casual side. It has nothing to do with how much time is spent, but what that time and what the person's money is spent on.
March 14, 2007 11:02:06 PM

Ok, fair enough, I didn't see it that way. If people want to play simple games, why would they spend more than $10 on a game? There are plenty of free games online that a casual gamer could play. As far as I can tell, looking through the list of wii titles, none of them seem like simpler games like you mentioned.
March 15, 2007 7:15:00 PM

A few of the Wii titles are collections of minigames. Raving Rabbids Bananna Blitz for instance.

Also it comes with Wii Sports which is pretty simplistic.

It is just widening the horizons of a market that has been steadily growing over the past several years.
March 15, 2007 8:03:52 PM

I guess I have just played too many flash games over the past 4 years or so (like 1000s of them) to really want to pay to play simpler games.
March 15, 2007 8:07:01 PM

Have you guys played Viva Pinata? Just curious, since we're on the subject. I just received a copy though i haven't actually played it yet.
March 15, 2007 8:13:11 PM

:lol:  I know info does. He recommends it regularly.

I just noticed last night that they have a demo up on Live. Downloaded it, but haven't had a chance to play it yet.
March 15, 2007 8:25:50 PM

Actually, when talking about gaming segmentations:

The wii is targeted towards families with kids under the age of 10-12. Also to parents who do not want mature video games for their kids. It's also been a very hot console for women due to the controller (e.g. fun and burns calories).

The wii has more than adequate power for the "cartoon" games (e.g. Mario games).

The PS3 and Xbox360 are primarly for males and (to a lesser degree) females between the ages of 13-40. The key $$$ segment is the single male gamer that is 25-35 years old (high discretionary income and time to play).

One of the fastest growing segments of video game players are women over the age of 40. However, they mostly play simple online games (like Yahoo Hearts). My hypothesis is that the kids have flown the nest and they have a lot of newly found free time.

It's very interesting how the video game market has changed since Atari 2600 (which I owned).
March 15, 2007 8:42:23 PM

I was actually going to pick up a copy of Vinta Pinta in the next few days. I've read a few reviews talking about how fun it is. Its not exactly my kind of game, but my gf is always comlaining that I only play uber violent games and she wants to play RPGs (FF style) and the like. Anyways, it looks interesting and considering the favorable reviews, I'm going to grab a copy and try it out.
March 15, 2007 10:27:10 PM

Ah, yes, Chris Hecker. I think he’s really just angry he didn’t get a Wii.

I’m actually still a bit miffed that people are still eating what IGN shoved off as “the inside scoop” from “secret sources” on the internal specs of the Revolution (!) back in 2005 or so. At the time, as I suggested, it wasn’t even called the Wii. And, an examination of the physical chips themselves indicates that they’re anything but Game Cube chips. The Wii’s graphics processor, the “Hollywood” array, is nearly the size of the “Xenos” in the Xbox 360. Obviously, this includes a “Daughter die” of EDRAM, which allows effectively unlimited writing bandwidth, but even the main core is still much larger, close to around half the size of that in the Xbox 360.

I recall that around a year before IGN’s statements, (all other media mentions of the specs, from Popular Science to the New York Times and so on, that I’ve read have all been traced back to IGN) That the Xbox 360 developer kits that were floating around, even as late as E3 2005, included only two processor cores, and an ancient Radeon 9800pro video card using the R350 core; a far cry from the R500 Xenos in the Xbox 360. At the time, IGN spoke of the Wii’s “developer kits” which were clearly alpha versions, much like those of the Xbox 360.

Personally, while the Wii appears to be a bit limited on RAM (that can simply be counted by looking at the chips) the actual processing power doesn’t seem too shabby. And let’s not forget that while in some ways, yes, it might only be twice as powerful as the Game Cube, the Xbox 360 is only about four times as powerful as the Xbox, and the Xbox was just a tad more potent than the Game Cube, and both were vastly more potent than the Dreamcast and Playstation 2. So, I’d say the Wii’s powerful enough, and people should stop worrying about paper specs, and worry more about the games, and the features you’ll use. In this case, the Wii’s current main shortcoming is that most of the ports seem fairly crappy, and there’s a large lack of multiplayer at the time being; they don’t need a LOT of games, (Xbox live made another million PAID subscribers just by adding Halo 2, after all) but they need SOMETHING.
Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't SimCity start off as a PC game? Personally, I thought it was a great game for SNES.

That is correct. However, it's worth noting that unlike the other ports, the SNES version had quite a few changes, such as "gifts," etc. It also had a serious graphics face-lift, from EGA (16 colors) to the SNES's level, which is equivalent to VGA. (it's 256x224, with up to 256 colors)
Quote:
I played it on the Amiga myself. It was lots of fun, but I'd eventually end up in the hole with taxes bringing in less than my expenses. SC2K was more fun, especially with the SimCity Urban Renewal Kit.

That's what the million-dollar code is for. ;) 

I don't know if it works on things other than the SNES version, though, but the way it works indicates it's more of a glitch that could possibly mean it could work on other platforms as well.

The simple way it worked was that you had to set things up so that one time, when the budget screen popped up at the end of the year, you were forced to provide less than 100% funding to everything, even if you fell short by $1. You then pressed and held the L or R button, which sends a CPU-interrupt-like command that prevents the game from running simulation cycles; in essence, it allows use of the interface, but the actual city is frozen in time.

You then close the window, go back into it MANUALLY, and raise everything up to 100%. When you close then, and THEN release the button, technically zero cycles passed between those two tax screens, effectively forcing your cash below 0. Since cash is stored, as I saw, as a positive-only integer, that seems to trigger a trip which results in it setting your money to $999,999US. So it's one shy of a million, I'll admit. Everyone still calls it the "million dollar code" anyway...

Quote:
I don't understand the claim that the consoles are targetting different markets. The motion sensing controller is cool and I can understand how that would be a selling point, but the whole casual/hardcore gamer thing never made sense to me. A good game is a good game, now matter what kind of gamer you are.
You have hit upon something I noted well before the Wii's release; in fact, the whole "casual gamer" bit Nintendo has gone on about is really just a marketing bluff. Just like Sony's and Microsoft's claims on their consoles' power; sure, they're more powerful than the Wii, but you CAN actually build a PC of comparable power to the PS3 for $600US. (it just lacks a Blu-Ray drive) Their graphics chips? After the research I've done on them, they'd fit into the ~$120US category on Cleeve's list. They're potent for gaming, but hardly the "OMGWTFBBQ" that they've used to describe. Certainly not in the "Terraflop" range; in actuality, it's more of 105.6 Glfops for the Xbox 360, and 198.4 Gflops for the PS3; about one tenth of what they claim.

However, Nintendo likes this because it’s marketing hype that works. Their lineup ain’t all that different from what the others are offering, (other than it’s smaller than that of the Xbox 360, and better than the PS3) so much of the difference in games selection, aside from the usual console-exclusive suspects, is illusory.

Quote:
Actually, when talking about gaming segmentations:

The wii is targeted towards families with kids under the age of 10-12. Also to parents who do not want mature video games for their kids. It's also been a very hot console for women due to the controller (e.g. fun and burns calories).

The wii has more than adequate power for the "cartoon" games (e.g. Mario games).

The PS3 and Xbox360 are primarly for males and (to a lesser degree) females between the ages of 13-40. The key $$$ segment is the single male gamer that is 25-35 years old (high discretionary income and time to play).

One of the fastest growing segments of video game players are women over the age of 40. However, they mostly play simple online games (like Yahoo Hearts). My hypothesis is that the kids have flown the nest and they have a lot of newly found free time.

It's very interesting how the video game market has changed since Atari 2600 (which I owned).
While you’re most certainly right on the >40 women category (last I checked, it was readily one of the largest of all categories, only potentially rivaled by the abovementioned key segment) I don’t think the Wii is as targeted as you think. For certain, some titles are likely going to attract more younger audiences (Pokemon Battle Revolution, for one) but others are clearly not for children; take, for instance, the large number of ports that have had quite a bit of work put into them to make them unique to the Wii, like Far Cry Vengeance, which have garnered the M rating. And though there have yet to be true “exclusives” rated M, there are plenty that are T-rated, from Twilight Princess to Red Steel and upcoming Smash Bros: Brawl.

I think that what might be taken as TRUE from here is that the segment they go after is a bit different from the so-called “typical” gamer, the kind that would like the PS3 or even Xbox 360 hands-down no matter what. These would be males likely from the ages of 14-20, who like console FPSs, have very poor social skills, and hate anything that doesn’t have the best graphics for the moment. In reality, this heavily-stereotyped segment is very small. Real serious gamers will like a good game, no matter what the theme is. It’s just that the genre preference, of course, can shift; the only real thing that holds the aforementioned group together is really their preference for playing a shooter with a controller, and a quick look over what’s sold indicates that they’re not the biggest group.

And for more serious gamers, it’s less that the Wii-remote is a “fun, exercise-inducing thing,” but more of that it’s the best of both worlds of mouse and analog-stick; technologically, little separates the Wii-remote’s motion-sensing techniques from those used in a 3D presentation mouse, which is ideal for aiming in shooters, as well as using anything you’d want a mouse for, including large strategy games and even the so-called “casual” games like Solitaire, Bejeweled ot Bookworm. (from my experience, there’s nothing casual about how much time “casual gamers” spend at these :p )

The way I see it, the “market targeting” exists purely in a sense from an advertising standpoint. After all, it appears that most of the Wii’s players are not children at all; the adults are having too much fun to let go of it yet.