We are currently nearing the endgame of the Nintendo Wii. Wii will more than likely go down as the most polarizing console of this generation. The opinions of the things that the Wii did or didn’t do range far and wide. While at first, the negative backlash seemed to mostly just come from those who didn’t like what Nintendo does on a regular basis, it’s grown larger in the recent months. So now, most folks seem to look at the Wii as being a failure. I’m here to ask that one simple question: was it really that bad?!
This is not to say that Wii was the greatest thing to ever happen to the world of gaming. While it has had some revolutionary ideas, there was a lot that didn’t go well for the system. The fact that there were very little third party games really didn’t help them with their business. They seemed to estrange themselves from those third party titles and that in turn alienated a lot of the hardcore gamers. Another issue that plagued Wii was WiiWare. While there were some decent games that came out of WiiWare, it was just way too much of a joke compared to its competition’s online gaming shops. And while it was nice to play classic games and download them, their library of original games was just…well, rather pathetic.
However, the biggest issue with Wii was its online gaming. Nintendo underestimated the potential market for online gaming and they underestimated it bad. There are some games that were online driven, such as Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but they were more concerned with doing party related games that involved several people in the same room rather than people all around the world. What made XBox 360 and Playstation 3 do well was their online gaming. Nintendo, however, seems to have learned from this pretty well.
Now you may be thinking that I’m being a fool for not going on about how the graphics are behind the HD graphics of XBox 360 and PS3, and while this is a decent argument, I don’t believe that graphics were that big of an issue. Besides, gameplay should reign supreme over graphics any day of the week– unless, of course, it’s a game that relies on its graphics in order to know what the heck you are doing at all times. Yeah, Wii may not have had the most state of the art graphics out there, but you can’t tell me that you didn’t see Kirby’s Epic Yarn and say “Damn…That level looks so amazing,” to yourself while taking in that cloth-covered wonderland.
You can’t tell us Nintendo don’t know how to crack a good joke, either…
Despite this however, I honestly don’t think that Wii was that bad. It had a lot of good things that were going for it. The most notable of these is obviously the motion gaming. This was a huge selling point for many folks when it came to buying the console. You give a couple of demos to the public on how to use Wii and suddenly, everybody wants it. I know I was eager to buy a Wii when I tried it out at my cousin’s house a month after it came out. The motion gaming brought a whole new angle to how one could game. While some vocal hardcore fans write this off as being for casual gamers only, I prefer to wave that off. Gaming doesn’t have to be just with controllers and sitting down. I will admit that sometime the motion gaming could seem tacked on in some places, but in the right context, it was pretty awesome.
We also can’t forget that there were also some flat-out amazing games released for Wii. You had Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, both of which were a new and fantastically fun way to experience the Mario franchise; you had Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort helping to bring motion gaming to the forefront and making for some pretty entertaining rainy days; and you had Wii Fit, showing that video games aren’t just for the couch potatoes. There’s also the Wii version of Okami, which had flawless motion controls and was just as stunning and amazing as its Playstation 2 counterpart. And I haven’t even begun to mention some of Wii’s other amazing games like Metroid Prime Trilogy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, both Zelda games, and Xenoblade Chronicles.
Of course, Wii may not have come out with anything super-amazing as of late, but don’t let that cloud your opinion of the overall game haul of the console. As Wii enters into its twilight months, it makes very little sense to me to call Wii a failure. Yes, there were issues with the system which could be a result of being released so early or being unprepared for the internet gaming. However, it still had its good points. It was a fine gaming system that brought a lot to the table, and there are plenty of games there that will stand the test of time. While the new generation will embark its own journey, hopefully learning from the mistakes of its predecessor and making an even better console, I really don’t think it was a complete and utter failure. We should also keep in mind that it wasn’t a fantastic success either.
So, overall, was it really that bad? Nope. Not at all.