Wii Woes

260px-Wii_Wiimotea After talking with Sean a little about this, I've come to the conclusion that as of now, I just don't like the Nintendo Wii very much as a gaming console.

I should qualify.  I feel it is fun if:

  • you've never played one, and are trying it out for the first time
  • you have 4 people around who don't know how to play conventional video games
  • you're a guy trying to get your non-game inclined girlfriend to play with you
  • you're someone who doesn't know the differences between the consoles
  • you have trouble using buttons to play video games

Otherwise, I don't get it.  The entire premise behind the console is that it's a gaming console for non-gamers.  Their business model, and it IS ingenious, is to sell video games to people who wouldn't normally buy video games.  They've made a ton of money initially, but from everything I've read, the attach rate isn't so great. 

The attach rate means how many games are sold after someone buys the console itself.  Many people seem to be buying it, playing the crap out of Wii Sports until they're sick of it, and shelf it, waiting for the NEXT controller gimmick, like the Wii Zapper or the WiiFit.

It suffers from TONS of shovelware games, made only to promote the use of the controller, and not being that solid of a game.  There are definitely exceptions, like Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Kart, that have a more broad appeal.  These are generally games developed in-house, though, and have the highest level in quality.

Third-party games, many times made for the Wii and the other consoles (PS3 and X360), are FAR inferior on the Wii.  First of all, for a gaming console in this generation to not be able to output high def is ridiculous.  Secondly, since the guts of the Wii are primarily just a repurposed Gamecube's, the graphics are literally last-gen quality.  Tweaks can be done here and there to squeeze out as much power as possible, like Super Mario Galaxy, but nothing will ever look like Gears of War or Grand Theft Auto IV.

The games that DO have a new, fun type of controller?  Hang on to your wallets.  You can't just buy the game, you have to buy the new gimmick.  The WiiFit is nearly $100.  Steering wheel controllers for Mario Kart cost between $10-$15.

A smaller complaint I have is for the lack of left-handed support in many of the games.  I'd think maybe because it's a Japanese company, and everyone does things right-handed, whether one is or not.  But many Japanese Nintendo DS games support right- or left-handed functions, so that's apparently not it.

There definitely will be a niche market for this thing.  I'm not saying anyone who LIKES the Wii is wrong.  I just don't like it very much.  I feel like I paid $250 for the opportunity to pay for more peripherals that you use for one game then set aside and never play again.

It's like those little Tiger Electronics "TV Games" that don't have any interchangeable games, you just plug it in, and play one monotonous Spongebob game and you're done.

I still have mine, and am hoping something changes my mind about it soon.  It's just that I was also hoping something would've changed my mind long before now.  I'm not holding my breath...