Written By Richard Palethorpe
Wii set to win in consoles sales?
A couple of months ago nobody, but the most hardcore of Nintendo fans and the most extreme of the free thinkers (i.e. crazy people) thought the Revolution could take any other spot than third place in the console rat race. Now however as Nintendo steals the show at E3, it seems that those previously declared clinically insane might have their neurons in the right order after all and that Nintendo can take the ironically named Microsoft and Sony on in unit sales after all.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always been my opinion that Nintendo would make a profit on the Revolution, both before and after the controller was announced and it has always been my opinion that those who said Nintendo wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make a profit, were blithering morons with an equal grasp of reality as those who said Nintendo would outsell Sony. A couple of months ago you couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possibly predict either of those two extremes with any certainty above that of predicting who the RIAA is going to sue next.
While it is still a highly sensational and rather risky thing to say, Nintendo can move more Wii units than Sony and Microsoft can shift of their systems. The console is good enough, the games are good enough, Nintendo just need to make the general public realise it.
Novelty Graphics vs The Novelty Controller
Why is the PC not the most popular gaming platform? For years it has enjoyed the most advanced technology that is constantly at the bleeding edge. So why do more people play on consoles? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because of two main reasons, the gaming PC is expensive and complicated. All the other problems with the PC as a gaming platform extend from these. The problem with the Xbox360 and the PlayStation 3 is that they are taking on the PC in terms of technology, so they are in turn encountering the
same issues it has. While they are not configurable like a PC is and thus can never be as complicated, they have taken on a level of technology that requires more expense and increases peoples confusion over which plug goes where and which TV is best to use with the console. Meanwhile the Wii uses cheaper technology most people are familiar with and still manages to offer the consumer something the other consoles donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. For years people in the gaming community have been complaining that the focus for games has switched from game play to technology. While technology can help game play it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it for free, game developers have to find ways of making it help and it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always work. The unfortunate thing is, people get easily hyped about fancy graphics and physics, so game developers end up just fitting the game play around the technology which often results in bad games. Nintendo appear to have actually listened to pleas of these people and have produced a console where developers canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make games which will just sell on graphics, so they have to use game play. Devs wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to spend much time getting the most out of the console graphics wise anyway. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a simple console and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s similar to the Game Cube. The Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 have graphics as their main selling point, Wii has the controller and when I stagger into a computer game shop to buy one before I go to a house party, I know whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be more important to meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Games Make System Sales
I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand what people see in Zelda, I have no idea why Ben wants that Mario game and I bet there are a lot of people who canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see why I want to play super monkey ball and duck hunt, but the fact is I do and I am not alone. These games all have appeal (oh lets not forget red steel) and the queue at E3 proves it. Ok so the people at E3 arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t normal, but the reason why they are all flocking to play these games is one which I think will also appeal to the general consumer on the high street.
People see someone else waving the controller about and then they look at the screen and see that personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s movements with the controller mysteriously turn into the actions of something in the computer game world. This sort of technology is new for the consumer market so naturally it excites the consumer and makes them want to have a go themselves. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more the sort of thing you see in computer arcades which generally have a much wider appeal than your average computer game store.
So basically Nintendo is bringing the novelty and mass appeal of arcade machine to peoples living rooms and just like an arcade game, most of the WiiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s games will take little getting used to for someone who isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t familiar with gaming in general. When someone is handed the controller at a friendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house or in a store, they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel lost trying to decipher how to use it for a game like Duck hunt or tennis.
A game like Red steel or Metroid wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be as accessible, but will still appeal to people who are more into gaming and need to know what an FPS game is like with the WiiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s controller. The third party support that has already been announced for Wii will ensure it has plenty of variety in games that appeal to all.
The Stupid Name
My initial outrage has already subsided even though I was intent on stubbornly calling it the Revolution. The name will constantly be ridiculed for sounding like a certain synonym for urine, for the rest of the products life, but that may not even be a bad thing. Having a name so stupid that people may bring it up in conversation purely just to discuss itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stupid name is free publicity, once the console is in the conversation itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unique controller, price and games could also be mentioned, which is everything you would want in an advert.
Also the non serious, simple and jovial name sets it apart from thevcompetition. The Wii is not the same as either the Xbox360 or PlayStation 3 and the name makes sure people realise it. The fact the Wii isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the same kind of console as the other two, brings me on to my next subject.
You Can Have Both
If I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a PC gamer I would probably own an Xbox360 by now, I need my fix of pretty graphics and over the top physics. However IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m both a game play bigot and a graphics whore at the same time and I can have both. The Wii is cheap and maybe the games will be too, so why not buy it as well as an Xbox360 or PlayStation 3? It offers a different experience from either and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that expensive, so it is worth
getting it as well.
So in effect Nintendo have tried to side step the technology war between Sony and Microsoft, aiming for a market with nobody else in it except themselves. Being in a market on your own is no bad thing, so long as the market is big enough to make a significant profit, which it almost certainly is.
If Apple Made a Console
It would probably look something like the Wii. For some reason whenever I look at the Wii remote I think of the iPod and Apple Mac. As you probably know the iPod is very popular with the general public, so perhaps using the same style for another technological product such as a console is no bad thing, in fact itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very good thing. Apples image is very good right now (ignoring DRM) and the iPod is about as mainstream as a technological product can get, so if Nintendo associate their products with them it may result in a considerable image boost.
The game cube looked, to put it frankly, like a toy for small children. The game cube, sounded like a toy for small children. The Wii sounds plain weird and the consoles looks like an electronic toy for adults (no not dildo, although IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure less reputable game developers have ideas about the controller). Adults and teenagers will like its slick appearance, but it will still appeal to children because they like things teenagers claim to like.
Despite being relatively quite cheap, the Wii looks expensive because it looks like something Apple would make and Apple are expensive. Nintendo are doing themselves no end of favours by giving the console the style they have. The fact it is so small is also a bonus, it will fit very neatly into the space around people TVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and you will be able to take it round someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house with minimum effort. I think people will also appreciate the amount of power such a small box can produce, which adds to the mystery of the product.
Diggers CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Get Enough Of It
Once again, just like the people at E3, people who own a Digg account have an unhealthy interest in technology which most of the population donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t posses, but then lets not forget they represent the same demographic which plays World of War Craft and lets not forget how successful that is. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get enough of the Wii, there is a story or four on the Wii almost ever day. Despite being a big bunch of nerds the sheer level of enthusiasm amongst this collection of lunatics could indicate a hit in the mainstream.
There does appear to be a pattern of when so many nerds get this exited about something the little bit of nerd that lives in everyone gets exited and makes the rest of that person pay attention to whatever it is that has got their piece of nerd so agitated. Anyway, regardless of how well it does I will enjoy playing with my Wii. Thank you Nintendo for giving me the first console in years that I feel there is a point to buying.