Nintendo’s new Wii game console goes on sale in the USA Sunday and in Japan on December 2 and expectations seem to be high for the inexpensive system which simply plays games, unlike its big ticket competitors from Microsoft (Xbox 360) and Sony (PS3) which have broader home entertainment aspirations. And if games make the console, it’s interesting to read Chris Morris’ review of the games launching with the Wii:
Typically, when a new video game system launches, it proves to be anticlimactic. The thrill of seeing the machine boot up the first time is very real – and the first time or two you play a game is always fun. But before long, you start to realize that the titles that came out alongside the system aren’t as entertaining as you initially thought.
Happily, that’s unlikely to be the case with the new Nintendo Wii. What the system lacks in technical achievements, it makes up for in the quality of its games. With “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” leading the charge, the Wii’s launch titles offer nice diversity.
Shooter games are usually the bulk of a system’s launch, because hardcore gamers love them. But the Wii leans more in the direction of action/adventure, with titles like Zelda, Konami’s “Elebits” and Ubisoft’s “Rayman Raving Rabbids,” all set to appear in the first month or so.
The Wii appeals to a different demographic, of course. Anyhow, Morris thinks highly of Zelda, but I was most interested in his comments about the sports games:
Let’s face it: Fans of Electronic Arts’ ”Madden” series probably already have their copy of the game, whether it’s for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 2 (or 3) or their handheld gaming system of choice. Normally, there wouldn’t be any reason for them to consider buying a copy for Wii.
But “Madden” for the Wii is an entirely different game. Want to pass the ball? Don’t worry about which button to press, just grasp the controller and mimic a pass. Bullet pass? Fake-throw it faster. It’s intuitive, fun and physical. You might actually work up a sweat before you’re through (which seems rather fitting for a sports game).
“Wii Sports,” which comes bundled with the Wii, is a good introduction to the system and controller. It’s not advanced – and not all of the games are fun (boxing was something of a letdown) – but it’s an ultimately addicting group.
What he’s referring to is the Wii’s wireless motion-sensing controller. Check out this Wii TV commercial to get the idea. CNET’s review says the controller “eats batteries,” but I’d say that can be solved with an investment in rechargeables if you don’t already have some. Overall:
It lacks the graphical prowess and rich media features of the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but the Nintendo Wii’s combination of unique motion-sensitive controllers and emphasis on fun gameplay make the ultra-affordable console hard to resist.
The Wii may be hard to find, but the suggested retail price is $249.99, about half of the big guys.