I bought Claire and me a Nintendo Wii last month. I’ve found the console extremely enjoyable. I’ve had the standard fare of games such as Wii Sports and Wii Play. I managed to add a couple of games to the collection, too.
What I find greatly appealing about the Wii is that there is no doubt that it is targetting casual gamers. I haven’t owned a games console since I had a SNES in my teens.
I think that it is a fair assessment to say that if I was a hardcore gamer who wanted to perfect every single game, I’d have opted for an XBox, or the mortgage-busting PS3. I think it’s fair to say that the PS3 priced itself out of the game any. The XBox wouls have probably been my choice of console.
Retro-gaming is Fun
One of the nice features of the Wii is the access of the Virtual Console store. Just for a bit of fun, I downloaded Sonic 2 and completed that over the period of a few half-hour sessions. I had forgetten how easy the game is.
Then I treated myself to Mario 64 this Easter. What a joyful surprise playing this game was. I’ve only just completed it with the 70 stars, but I feel compelled to crack on and go for all 120 stars. Mario moves well, and the whole motion is slick. “I feel like I missed out 10 years ago,” I told Steve while evangelically raving about a game he played on the N64 all that time ago.
One of the other neat things about the Wii is that it is 100% Gamecube compatible. We splurged on eBay by buying a Gamecube with 4 Bongos, Donkey Konga 1 & 2, a couple of controllers and a few other games.
Obviously, the Gamecube is immaterial to me, but over Christmas a colleague of Claire’s brought a pair of bongos and Donkey Konga around to our house. We had a great time, and I knew that I’d like to have a bit more of that!
I took the bongos up to Yorkshire and we played 4-way Donkey Konga and had a great time. It’s a cool party-piece. Probably more so than any Wii party games.
Cool Controller Stuff
One thing that really has got me excited (although I haven’t tried any of these things) is the extra stuff that you can do with a WiiMote. Johnny Chung Lee’s website has a number of projects that use the WiiMote for 3D headtracking (which is incredible), Minority Report-style finger controls and a makeshift interactive whiteboard. If you have a Wii (or even if you don’t) you should take a look.
So Where to?
I’ve been enjoying playing the thing. It will be interesting to see if I still play it in a year’s time. I’ve read on various gaming forums that people see it more as a fad than a real console. I’ve been more engaged by the drop-in/drop-out idea of playing games, so I think this fits quite nicely with me.