: The Software-Less Wii Is A Marvel

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The Software-Less Wii Is A Marvel

I have always been a big supporter of the maxim: "great games sell consoles." Despite all the advancements we have made; despite all the bells and whistles available on current generation consoles, I used to believe that without the must-have software, the hardware simply wouldn't move off store shelves. Now, regarding the Wii, one of two things is happening: either it's the very first console to break the rules and still become a massive success, or - and I apologize in advance, Nintendo fans - it doesn't qualify as a video game console in this generation. Everyone always gets bent out of shape if you compare the software to Flash titles on your five-year-old PC, or if you say it only appeals to children and senior citizens. So I won't say that.

But at the same time, I always find myself standing in GameStop, staring at a giant wall of Wii titles, scanning the racks with incredulous eyes. All I keep thinking is, "...this? THIS?! This is what pushed this console to what appears to be an insurmountable hardware sales lead?" The Wii must be a marvel of the industry; it's the first piece of hardware in history that simply doesn't require decent software. All it needs is the gimmick, which has single-handedly vaulted Nintendo into the stratosphere, and by no means do I fault them for this. They shot from third to first, and they did it when few journalists and analysts gave them a chance in hell this generation. Nintendo recognized that they couldn't compete with Sony and Microsoft in terms of technical achievement, so they simply went another way. Now, you can say that "other way" is unique and innovative, and that would be a valid point. But how can they keep selling Wiis without software? How?

Well, I suppose it's simple. The Wii is more of a gadget and belongs in the same part of the electronics section that holds iPods and Blackberries. You swing a wand around and play a variety of games that all seem extremely similar to one another, and the non-gamers have plenty of options. Wii Fit is a darn good example but there are others. The problem here is this: when it comes time to award the greatest achievement in video games from here on out, from Game of the Year Awards to the prestigious AIAS awards, I don't see very many Wii games making the lists. Look at last year; were there any? The PS3, 360 and PC continue on their merry way, breaking down new boundaries and barriers and providing us with better and better experiences, ranging from MGS4 to Gears 2 to Crysis. What happens when we compare the best of the best on any of those major platforms compared to the best on the Wii? What happens when we do this in the future?

I suppose it all comes down to this: the Wii is a wonder. As far as I can tell, you can just pump out any ol' title for that thing, and it doesn't even really matter what it is. Then, sixty trillion people will buy it so they can play Wii Sports for ten years. I don't want this to sound like I'm bashing on the system; I really do find this amazing, and you just have to give it up for Nintendo. Those guys and gals are all business geniuses to have pulled this off; plain and simple.

3/16/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (54 posts)

Deleted User []
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:04:21 PM
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The Wii's success remains a mystery. I do like the Wii but I can't subsist on it solely. It's a fine number 2 console to pair with the PS3. Let's see what other people have to say.

Last edited by n/a on 3/16/2009 11:04:55 PM

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Cpt_Geez
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 12:39:32 AM

II have ps3 360 and the wii. II havent brought a game for the wii in almost a year.It has no software its only selling point is the wii-mote. The wii is for kids with ADD lol.

Last edited by Cpt_Geez on 3/17/2009 12:42:09 AM

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Wage SLAVES
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 10:57:44 PM

@Cap_Geez

That just had to be said. That and the fact that people pathetically think they can look like Jessica Simpson after gettin on their Wii Fit!!! LOL!!! Can you say GIIIImIIICK!

$100 advise go run around the block a few times and trash that WiiFit.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 3/19/2009 10:58:56 PM

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SerendipityDeus
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:05:16 PM
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Its magic I tell you, they're using voodoo to convince people to buy it lol

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 7:38:57 AM

More like it's cheap and there are alot of un-educated sheep just following the herd.

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Fatcat3788
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:06:26 PM
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A transaction of souls perhaps? I mean wtf?

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hart_attack
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:08:22 PM
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pretty much the only games my friends with a wii like to play are smash bros and wii sports which is always fun for about 10 minutes every time. i think what made them stand out was simply the wiimote sensory and little kids going crazy over some game and begging their parents to get it. anytime i see someone look at wii games, its parents with their little children. i dont think the wii can be put in the same category as the ps3 or 360 simply in terms of variety, graphics, and is just clearly geared towards the interest of the younger folks

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cLoudou
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:11:44 PM
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It's the price, at $250 it's the cheapest.
for the price of a ps3, you can get the wii, and a handful of craptastic games.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:28:02 PM

indeed, but not anymore, 360 arcade is 199 so maybe the wii will have a drop in price? or maybe it'll stop being bought all-together

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chicko1983
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:15:22 PM
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My sister, an avid wii owner, was very jealous when she saw me playing Flower.

She even asked if it was going to the wii as she thought it wouldn't be too hard to port. Then I read the article today on this site that only the SPUs can model the 200000 blades of grass and laugh!

I think Ive played the wii for a couple of hours total, just doesn't do it for me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:20:52 PM
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The success of the wii has been pretty good for the industry, I mean how many people are going to use it as a 'gateway console' to something more hardcore?

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Jed
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:28:13 PM

I feel the same way. One good thing that the wii does is allow people to look past the gaming stereotypes, and eventually move on to playing real games.

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Jed
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:24:22 PM
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"...sixty trillion people will buy it so they can play Wii Sports for ten years"

That is about the extent of it.

You hit the nail on the head when you said the wii was a gadget. The wii appeals to many more people than gaming consoles. The ps3s and 360s will only be bought by gamers. While the number of gamers is growing, it is nowhere near the number of people who will buy gadgets.

There is no way the wii alone could satisfy the appetite of any real gamer.

I just thought of this. It's almost like the wii is an accessory you buy so you can play a few games, as opposed to a gaming system that plays all games. I think I'm on to something.

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BigTonesAUS
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:24:43 PM
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I agree with you ben, i've been surprised how well the wii has performed. but when you take into account its price, gimmick and its branding it sort of falls into place. no doubt the wii is targeted at younger gamers, and like any 'toy' that becomes popular every child wants one. developers see this and pump out trash games accordingly, flashy colours, gimmick controls, that attract children. thats how i explain it.
And hey, i had a cube and loved it, awesome games came out (metroid prime, RE1 remake). nintendo is just cashing in on the hole left by sony and MS, just ended up being the most profitible one this generation.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 11:31:48 PM
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Wait for it....what if they use all this outlandish surplus...and make...a super gaming console next-gen =O but honesly nintendo really needs a new ip, i'm sorry but metroid, mario and link just doesn't cut it anymore.....ok well link and metroid do, their games are always great...but mario...has become...eh..anywayz...Nintendo do something fantastic next-gen...or i will again skip on your 'console'.

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ps92117
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 12:05:17 AM
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I don't think wii is going to be the new playstation. Simply because unlike the ps2 it is incapable of holding the higher core gamers. It lacks any online community, it lacks high rank games and it obviously does not have graphics.

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 1:05:24 AM
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lol....

*loves Nintendo*

I miss their great games :(

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karneli lll
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 1:48:36 AM
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The wii fad is over. the wii has started trailing in Japan.

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ImTheMan
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 2:28:42 AM

Yeah right. Try again.

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Alienange
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 6:25:15 AM

ImTheMan has had too much to drink. He's seeing double. The end is nigh for the Wii.

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 7:41:26 AM

I'm just thinking of all the poor landfills being overflowed by the Wii in a few years.

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dveisalive
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 7:40:02 PM

Try to find one in stores lol!

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ImTheMan
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 9:05:33 PM

@alienage You're the one thats been drinking. Just look at what dve said.

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ImTheMan
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 2:28:53 AM
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Twilight Princess!!!

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Random_Steve
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 2:46:18 AM
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hopefully the wiis success has attracted more people into gaming. so when it comes to the 720, ps4 and whatever nintendo does, more people will do their research, realise that nintendo nowadays is crap and buy xbow and playstation

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Qubex
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 3:22:15 AM
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Yes "Random_Steve"; there may have been some advantageous graciously transferred to the industry the Wii has achieved :) ...the greatest one I can think of is that it did create jobs, keep some factories humming and, as you mentioned, enlightened the minds of many potential gamers to be that gaming is fun.

It would be good if these maturing players eventually make it across to some iteration of "next gen"... if even half do... it will no doubt boost Sony in the future... and also M$ to some degree... it just depends if Sony can continue to spark the imaginations of gamers the world over... get them to part with their cash at a reasonable price, and have more imaginative games like "Flower" and "Flow" coming out to support the current platform, or future PS4.

Q!

"i am home"

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realmadpuppy
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 3:39:46 AM
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The Wii is everything I disliked about console gaming from the past, until the PS3/360 came out I was quite content with PC gaming, Now that the PS3 is connected to my projector with a 100" screen and surround sound it is hard for me to play a PC game. nice to get off the upgrade merry-go-round.

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firehahahahaha
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 4:53:00 AM
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I bought a Wii for a select few games, like Metroid and Zelda, but other than that, there isn't too many ones out there that aren't on the PS2. most of the wii goes to 10 year olds who avidly play pokemon on their DS all day.

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thepill
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 5:48:02 AM
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I liken the wii to a virus.
Person 1: purchases said wii, almost on a whim (at $250 with a pack in game who can blame them), takes it home hooks it up, puts in wii sports and has a blast. They in turn, call over Person 2 to show off their new toy. Person 2: spends 2-3 hrs playing wii sports, and decides "I HAVE TO GET ONE OF THESE".

Person 2 goes out and purchases their own wii, takes it home and plays wii sports, and calls over Person 3, to show off the wii. Person 3: after several hours of drunken bowling also decides they "HAVE TO GET ONE".

Now by the time Person 3: goes to the store and picks one up for themselves, Person 1 has started to recover from the "fiiver", and has begun to live a normal life as dust begins to pile up on their wii.

Nintendo's decision to pack in wii sports is THE single reason for the success of this epidemic we call the wii.

Last edited by thepill on 3/17/2009 5:49:14 AM

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JohnnyGold
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 6:00:03 AM
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plug a wii into an hdtv...

its certainly NOT a next gen system.

but then again, after seeing kz2 and lbp... along with gow3 and uncharted 2, is anything but a ps3 really a next gen system?

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Alienange
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 6:23:58 AM
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Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit. Those are the three culprits right there.

Any devs making games for the Wii are fools. First, they have to compete with Nintendo's blockbuster IPs, then their game sits on a shelf with dozens upon dozens of shovelware just to find out that their target market doesn't even have the Wii plugged in anymore, if they still own it at all.

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PSNclaw18
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 7:19:38 AM
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I bought one for my girlfriend, she rarely plays it and I only play it because I have a good collection of Gamecube games.

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migabyte
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 8:20:12 AM
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I really like Nintendo games, but I don't like their consoles. They are always inferior in important ways. The wii is sort of a gimmick.

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chaosrunner
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 8:39:58 AM
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I was reading an article elsewhere (can't remember the site off the top of my head) that was discussing the new House of the Dead game and that Mad World game, both of which seem to be trying to appeal to the hardcore gamer audience more than the 'typical' Wii audience. While it's never going to have the power of the 360 or the PS3, with its install base, if software developers start producing games to target the correct audience, I think the Wii could maintain its position of strength.

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Silent_J
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 8:53:17 AM
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i bought the wii to play zelda twilight princess,mario galaxy, metroid prime 3 etc ,you know the main guys.but then i just end up giving the system to my 7 year old cousins since they were to playing it way more than i did.

Last edited by Silent_J on 3/17/2009 8:58:46 AM

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Gone
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 9:23:29 AM
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Like one person said before, the Wii is just a Gamecube and a Power Glove. I actually owned the Power Glove and it was horrible. I bought a Wii a year ago and realized it didn't have any decent games coming out for it, so I returned it. I am glad I didn't waste my money. You will see Gamestop giving away Wiis when this fad is over, which is soon because I see a lot of them on store shelves.

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raztad
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 10:39:06 AM
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I dont even consider the Wii as a game console, it is more like a toy. Kids have Wii sports and oldies have WiiFit (not wonder WiiFit is a REALLY hot commodity on amazon). Parents, meantime, are happy because their children are playing "good" games.

"Hardcore" nintendo gamers have nothing to play with and probably most of them already jumped to another camp, so it is quite common to see someone that bought a Wii in first place to buy a PS3 to get into some real gaming.

Last edited by raztad on 3/17/2009 10:46:55 AM

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slugga_status
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 10:41:07 AM
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The wii is indeed a great gadget. Especially if you mod it you can play whatever you want. Shame we don't see games like Tetsunoko vs Capcom here for the wii. Other than that the wii is not worth it for the hardcore gamer.

The only people buying the wii are parent for the kids.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 10:49:54 AM
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Wii captured the baby boom generation. Plain and simple.

I have designed for plenty of clients who want a "Wii Room" built into their home.

The Wii was good for gaming as a whole..

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SPS3
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 10:56:14 AM
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The Wii sells big b/c it appeals to non-gamers. It gives non-gamers a suck ass avenue to have something in common with gamers & real consoles that show real capabilities. I dont know about you guys, but new excellence in hardware is what every new generation is suppose to be about. The Wii shouldnt even be considered a console!

Another reason is that its dirt cheap! Who doesnt sell something for cheap if its dirt crap! No next-gen capabilities; no games!!!!!! The only titles off of the Wii that would be bound to sell millions if sold on other consoles are Mario IPs and of course Zelda IPs. Wii............you suck eggs really hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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IonHawk
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 11:57:56 AM
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Anyone check the NPD stats for the last 2 months? The game in the top 3 for 2 months standing was.... Wii Play!! Wonder how many of those bought it thinking "cool games and free wiimote? sign me up!", and then found out the games suck? :)

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Deleted User
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 12:49:20 PM
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The Wii might be cheap for a non-gamer but for someone like me, the costs add up. I'm going to need that Classic Controller. I'm going to need those Wii Points Cards. I'm going to need that Wi-Fi doohickey to buy WiiWare and VC games. Many of the games I'm going to buy aren't going to be cheap shovelware. When it's all said and done, the price is about $30 cheaper than a PS3. I don't see the Wii being worth its $279.99 price any more. Nintendo is just ripping off peons now; the technology inside that box is only worth $149 at the most.

Last edited by n/a on 3/17/2009 12:50:02 PM

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JDC80
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 1:05:52 PM
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My older sister got a Wii this past Christmas while Wii sports was fun to play for a hour I pretty much told my sister, the only games worth playing on the Wii are first party and selected third party exclusives games. What amazes me about the success of the Wii is that only a hand fill of games is holding them up Wii Sports, Wii fit and Smash Bros. when you look at game review sites or mags like Game Informer most other Wii games have low scores.

If you own a Wii how can you be excited about games like Ghostbusters when you see how different the game look from PS3 and the 360 versions to the Wii cartoon style animation?
While it seems the Wii has caught on to make decent games most of them still look like from the PS2 or Gamecube generation.

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tu24
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 2:19:30 PM
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I got my Wii last Christmas. absolutely loved it. SMG was great but became repetitive.

Then I waited for SMBB. and that was fun.... and ever since then I kinda regret getting the wii.

SMK was fun for about an hour.
Maybe I'll pick up Okami but the lack of REAL games pisses me off.
Sure its a nice way to make the players feel like they're IN the game but when its the same garbage over and over its pretty pathetic and its more of a gimmick than a "revolution"

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Robochic
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 3:27:27 PM
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I got a Wii for Christmas with Wii fit. I love the system not just for Wii fit but for the other games i have. I have more RPGS on this system that i love then i do right now on the Ps3. Not saying the Wii is better but it has more RPGS right now that are interesting to me. It's a good 2nd console to have.

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Deadman
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 3:29:59 PM
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I like the retro games on it. Its cool that I can get 8-bit Nes and SNES games for pretty cheap. But Metroid Prime 3 and Zelda Twilight Princess are great games also and for using an older format for games they are pretty long too it took me 4 weeks 30+ hours for Zelda and 3 weeks 25+hours for metroid there isnt a game that Ive played on the PS3 I can say that about. WII sports is the system seller everyone gets dazzled by that bowling and boxing.

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dveisalive
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 5:01:52 PM
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Ok BEN I am a huge Nintendo fan also, but to sum it up what you said RE5 is crack to me and I just got Madworld for the Wii. Apparently I havent even touch my Wii in the past 4 days since I have beaten a couple of bosses etc... PS3 has better consisntent games that draw me in any time. The Wii has nothing but the Conduit coming out this year, when PS3 is having another great year like last, coming out with hit after hit. So my Wii is collecting dust again. But it is a great 2nd console to have. The only disappointments of the Wii are no HD, no HDD, and wack online with the stupid A** friend codes.

Last edited by dveisalive on 3/17/2009 5:03:02 PM

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dveisalive
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 5:12:31 PM
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One thing I forgot to say its not the console its the publishers who put PS2 ports on the Wii, when the Wii is more powerful than all consoles last generation. Then again I blame casual gaming for all of these developers geting lazy for all 3 consoles. But I blame the Wii audience as well cause they keep buying those garbage mini-games for Wii. So when garbage sells on the Wii, PS3, 36o etc.. blame the casual audience for the shovelware on any system.

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Ultimate_Balla
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 5:18:46 PM
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Get A Game That Requires Alotta Movement AND Invite Some Ladies Over. . . Only Time I Touch That Thing Is When Switching It On. Lol/

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SerichA
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 6:08:37 PM
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It's that it's one of the very few (any others?) machine that is a cultural phenomenon. It can break the rules because it broke into culture with its name (intended to the highest degree to sound the way it does) and it's signature Wii Sports, while game sales of course reflect the true nature of its buyers. Random games hitting high streaks, most hitting the gigantic shovelware load fast.
Swinging a remote around has never been so much fun. Too bad they don't realize that precise/real motion is nonexistent yet.

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bamf
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 7:32:37 PM
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My mate just got the Wii and I was there yesterday at his house. His Mom and step dad along with his brother came round. His brother was too tired as he had done a 24hr session on Resi Evil 5. His mom wanted to play Wii Sports and nagged to play it, so we did. We all took turns on bowling and tennis etc. but after about 20mins, we all got bored.
Later after they all left I starting playing on Mario Kart Wii. Not being keen on the game anyway it was something to do while my mate was doing some paper work. I just can't believe how easy the game is, and did I say boring?

So far Metroid Prime, Mario Galaxy and Zelda are my mate's favourie Wii games. Those game are old and it shows there is no other good games out for the Wii since those 3 mentioned. He has been buying Cube games instead.

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HOODGE
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 @ 4:00:25 AM
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I have to agree with everyones comments here on the area of it appeals to children. The WII fits in the TOY category, not videogame. My neighbor across the street has two young girl, one 12 and the other 10 and last christmas he bought them a Wii. If you look at all the titles available, 98% of them lean towards the younger generation. Plus it isn't much of an online system, so parents with younger children can trust that their kids won't be exposed to the public elements found in the hardcore online machines. And remember the kiddie gamers outnumber the more adult oriented base of hardcore gamers. Nintento has always had its target base lean towards children. That's it's success.

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Dingodial
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 @ 8:07:11 AM
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It is a big seller because it gives people some exercise and it offers mario games, zelda, and wii fit/wii sports (all 4 games in my opinion are boring). Also, some people don't buy it because of its features, but because it's the latest nintendo system (*yawn*, even more boring X-)

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crawdaddy
Friday, March 20, 2009 @ 9:52:46 PM
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It is because of casual family people that just want a pretty nice inexpensive system for their families, and their children to play, and those people outnumber hardcore gamers that would not want one.

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