I usually try and keep my rants somewhat positive, I figure there's enough condescending elitist reading material on the internet. Well I've been bottling up my disdain for the Wii for ages - not letting it truly overflow in the event that something amazing would come out and turn things around for the underpowered little white box. I made sure I didn't prematurely write off the Wii as a completely gimmicky cash grab, and the poster child for Ikea furnished, ethnically mixed, pastel colored clothing wearing tools who were now "gamers". Since Nintendo officially announced the death of the Wii in the form of the Wii U, I think it's time to dance on Nintendo's little money printing machine's grave.
The more you waggle the faster you burn.
There's a group of hardcore Nintendo fans out there and they are a breed I do not understand. These are the people who never owned a PS2 but bought a Virtual Boy. Who insist PN03 is a good game, but call Uncharted 2 overated. These are the people who will complain about how unoriginal everything is and that graphics don't matter, as they rebuy a 10 year old Zelda 3d remake. People who consider themselves hardcore gamers, yet don't finish 90% of the games they have. People who complain about complex controls and how ridiculous and unintuitive a controller is, yet will no doubt rush out to buy the Wii U and its monstrosity of a gamepad. This is the group who grows a little restless every 3 or so years and starts to realize that Nintendo is not looking out for their best interests, then gets right back in line when Nintendo throws them the table scrap of a remake of a game from 20 years ago. You are Nintendo's core. I am not one of you and I pray I never join you.
I'm sure my hater ways have stemmed from outgrowing Nintendo franchises. I loved the NES when it was around, ditto for the SNES, the 64 had some amazing games, and the Gamecube had RE4 (first). As far as I was concerned Ninty was on the down and out. So when the Wii got announced all that time ago I dismissed the shit out of it. It seemed gimmicky and a step away from the precision in gaming we had built up over the years. I had the opportunity to get a Wii on release day from Nintendo at a discounted price, and I declined. I just was not sold on the idea. As we reach the end of the Wii's life cycle I am happy to say I never bought one.
When Wii was announced the masses went ape shit. "Think of the possibilities!" "This will usher a new age of immersion in games!" "If you can't think of how awesome this control can make things, you're an idiot!". So today, almost 5 years later, lets look back. Are Wii games more immersive? Do motion controls come more naturally? Are all our grandparents "gamers" now? Nah.
Any game worth a damn on the Wii (with a few exceptions) was better with traditional controls. At most the Wiimote boiled down to a slightly laggy laser pointer. The talk of innovation and immersion was great, but in the end all it did was get people who couldn't play good games to play shitty games. The people who wanted to play good games had to settle for mediocre games. Even if you could control a game with a standard controller, the Wii was not up to the task of providing the detail and gameplay of its competition.
While Microsoft perfected convincing people to pay for online play, and Sony slowly built a robust online network, Nintendo introduced Wii Fit, and made a plastic steering wheel attatchment for MarioKart. While new franchises and game staples were being created on other platforms, Nintendo was making more MarioKart, more Kirby, more Metroid Other M. As games became bigger than movies, and more connected than ever, Nintendo introduced an attachment to try to make their Wiimote work like it should. As competitors slashed the price of their systems by 50% Nintendo finally knocked $50 bucks off their overpriced Gamecube. Honestly guys what is the draw? What am I missing?
The Wii has done nothing over its lifespan to push gaming forward in any way. The only thing the Wii did was exist, and get promoted by the mainstream media. It's success was one of an unrealized promise, of the next leap forward in controls. All we ended up with was games that replaced pressing a button with waggling your hand. I'd say 70% of the Wii owners think of it only as a machine that plays Wii Sports. Weren't consoles invented to allow people to play multiple games in the comfort of their home on 1 universal device? If they aren't understanding that, the Wii is failing as a console. It's like an expensive Tiger Electronics game for most people.
At least the batteries lasted longer in these.
To me the Wii took video games, neutered them, and gave them to people who don't like video games. Then created a fake speculative market for these new "gamers". My dad LOVES the shit out of Spider Solitaire, he will not be buying Uncharted 3. My in-laws and sister in law have Wiis, they don't have Mario Galaxy, nor do they even know what that is. Wii gamers, real gamers, you are suffering because of the dead weight of the non-gaming "gamers" that Nintendo has shackled to you. It's like watching a movie in a theater, but having to have subtitles on the whole time, sit 10 feet away from the screen, and pause every 4 minutes so that people can stop and ask what's happening.
Assuming the new Wii U ushers in a new era of amazing games, some of which utilize the Wiimote, we can deduce that despite Nintendo's inane prattling, horsepower and graphics do count. If the landscape shifts towards more traditionally controlled games, we can assume motion controls are best left for Disclosure and mixed kids. Maybe one day the technology will be there to actually do motion control right. My gripe is the medium. I play a video game to easily and amazingly do things I can't do in real life. Not to ineptly fumble around as I try and mimic the most mundane everyday actions in a game.
Wii, good job. You sold a ton, tricked the mainstream into thinking they liked video games, tricked video gamers into thinking they needed motion controls, sold more odd looking pieces of white plastic than all the sex stores in the world combined, and even had one or two good games. I never liked you and I'm happy to say that you never got my money, now please, if you don't mind...KILL YOURSELF.
Better hurry up and release Wii U Nintendo, your target audience's clock is ticking....