Yesterday I pre-ordered a Nintendo Wii (external link) from Amazon. I own a PS2 and a GBA, and had no plans to buy a next-gen console - certainly the PS3 and X360 do nothing for me, being effectively hardware upgrades for the previous consoles, offering the same old gameplay mechanics - but a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across some video of people playtesting Wii Sports (which comes bundled with the Wii) and it looked like so much fun. And it has the Virtual Console (external link), backwards compatability with the GameCube, and wireless networking - I never stood a chance.

The one area which has seen little progress since the birth of video gaming is the controller, and the way we interact with our games, and it looks like a smart move by Nintendo to tackle this head on and try to push the envelope. The Wii remote and nunchuck seem to have captured developers' imaginations too, judging by some of the previews in the gaming press. The mirroring in-game of your physical movements in 3 dimensions was the technical challenge, and it will be good for the industry and gamers if Nintendo have pulled it off.

When you consider the stunning visual and aural capabilities of today's gaming PCs and consoles, it really is time that more investment was made in immersive controllers. The Atari VCS paddle was the last real innovation I can think of that worked for console gaming, with most other controllers simply extending the traditional joypad/stick, with gimmicks like rumble packs or the addition of yet more buttons.

It's due to arrive on December 8th - if I can resist the temptation to sell it off and make a fast buck you can expect a full review here shortly thereafter.


Yes, I think I need a Wii, too. It's just the idea of it being somewhat DIFFERENT that appeals. I had been looking down the XBox 360 route but frankly I'm not into all the speed/super graphics stuff: my humble PC provides sufficient quality for that. And of course some older games (unreal tournament, for example) have much, much greater playability than some of the new cinematic stuff. It's time the focus was back on playability, not cinematography...

Posted by: JackP at November 22, 2006 8:02 PM

I used to have an Xbox. It's a smokin' system I must say, I would recommend it. Especially when you're playing something like Splinter Cell; and Live with voice was great. Mind blowing system really it is (sold due to a lack of time). I can imagine -- and have heard from my old gaming buddies -- that the 360 rawks.

I've been seeing the commercials for Wii though. I'll say this: I'm curious. I used to like sitting on my ass playing video games. With the Wii I'd be getting a workout ;-) I will be interested to read your review.

Posted by: Mike Cherim at November 23, 2006 7:41 AM

Fun is what I'm looking for. My hardcore gaming days are over, I just don't have the skillz (or the time) to compete any more!

And Mike's right, at least it'll be a bit less sedentary than Civilization...

Posted by: Dan at November 23, 2006 9:51 AM

My friends and I had a clan -- though we preferred the word team. We called ourselves A.S.S. for Assassin Sniper Squad. We used to compete with Rainbow Six 3 on Xbox Live. We were all older 30-40s and one 19-year-old, but we were pretty good. We did over 100 matches and were ranked 8th of about a 1000 teams during our peak.

I quit when we couldn't find another suitable game and I was consumed by web development. :-)

Posted by: Mike Cherim at November 23, 2006 3:46 PM

Ah, we were at the opposite end of the spectrum!

I belonged to a Quake 1 clan called "Clan That Can't Shoot Straight" (CTCSS) where my handle was "Fodder". We sucked, but had an absolute ball in the Quake Frag Fest League (QFFL) where we made the wooden spoon our own. :-)

Posted by: Dan at November 23, 2006 4:43 PM

I cant wait. Nintendo are so innovative with their games and their consoles that they periodically redefine the genre.

As soon as i knew there would be a new Zelda game I was sold.

Also, the first game that they bring out where you use the Wii controller as a Light Sabre and they will have the game market cornered for a long time! :)

Just my thoughts anyway...

Posted by: Andy Saxton at November 23, 2006 9:47 PM

Andy, nice to hear from you! Those web monkeys not finished yet?

Let me know when you've got your Wii, we'll need to have a game of something. Sadly Wii Sports isn't online capable, so there'll be no boxing match. :-(

Posted by: Dan at November 23, 2006 10:12 PM

just about back to normal now. Loads to catch up on and also i am back at college now for the second year of the PGCE so I have piles of work at the moment. Can't wait for the christmas break to be honest!

Posted by: Andy Saxton at November 24, 2006 10:01 PM

I've been trying for a couple of weeks to get the Wii, but to no avail. I'm hoping it's be a Merry Wiimas for the family here!

Perhaps when we all get this, we can play online, although I'm not familiar with the online game capabilities as of yet. All the more reason to get one :)

Posted by: Marco at December 1, 2006 6:20 AM

Well, as I was checking my bad grammar in my above post, I had one last look for the Wii. It looks like fortune has smiled upon me as I was just able to process an order.

No confirmation on a date yet, but it's gone through. Looks like it will be a Merry Wiimas, hopefully!

Posted by: Marco at December 1, 2006 7:09 AM

Excellent Marco! As for online capabilities Nintendo hasn't released a code kit for 3rd party developers yet, so we'll be restricted to Nintendo games at first.

Looks like the initial online games will be Pokemon Battle Revolution, Battalion Wars 2 and Mario Strikers Charged. I vote for BW2! Just a shame that Wii Sports doesn't have an online mode. :-(

Posted by: Dan at December 1, 2006 8:50 AM

I'm going to be starting off with Wii Sports, Zelda, and now Wii Play (not much in the way of games, but it was only a fiver more than just buying a second controller).

Although I do like the look of the medal of honour game.

You'll have to let me know what the online games are like (and how much that is going to set me back).

Posted by: JackP at December 21, 2006 2:52 PM

That's exactly what I had, but have now sold Wii Play (game only) on eBay. It's a very simple game and would be ideal for first time gamers and small children, but I just wanted the extra Wiimote!

No online games yet. You can buy Virtual Console games via the Wii Shop Channel, they are old console classics. The first online games should be with us early in the new year.

There are some fun things you can do online in the meantime - open up your Mii Parade to other folk for example. My Wii number is 8362-8358-2742-9021 if you (or anyone else for that matter) wants to share.

Posted by: Dan at December 21, 2006 5:50 PM

Written on my Wii!

Posted by: JackP at December 25, 2006 5:52 PM

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