by Mike Shea on 27 April 2007
For four months I've lived a lie. I talked about it. I wrote about it. For a brief time I even played it. But it was all bullshit. The Nintendo Wii isn't the next generation in home entertainment, it's a crummy box of white plastic with a fancy controller. Let's discuss five reasons why.
There are only two games even worth mentioning for the Wii, Bowling, and Zelda. Bowling is really exciting until you realize its a fancy controller for a game you'd be more likely to find as a flash ad for a crooked mortgage company. Zelda is a wonderful Gamecube game that happened to fall over to the Wii. Wiggling your controller to mow down grass isn't exactly a next generation interaction between human and machine. Besides those two games, there isn't a single game worth mentioning over the past five months.
Exactly how many times is Nintendo going to sell me the same game? How many times do I have to pay for Super Mario Brothers and Zelda? Why would a next generation console sell itself on overpriced games for a system twenty years old? I don't need to remember how bad I sucked at Contra, and I sure as hell don't want to pay five bucks to find out. Ten dollars for Golden Axe? Are you kidding me? Go back into your holes and don't come back until you have a game worth playing.
I am sure I shouldn't expect to Nintendo Wii to properly hook up to my obscure Linksys WRT54G router (hint, that's the most popular wireless router in the world) but why would the Wii be the only device that can't seem to connect? I have an Xbox 360 and an Apple TV sitting right next to it and it is the only device that can't figure out how to connect. I shouldn't have to debug a wireless router in order to connect to a virtual store that sells me overpriced games from thirty years ago. I will admit, though, that trying to hook up to the net was more entertaining than any of the other games for the Nintendo Wii and I didn't even have to pay ten bucks to play.
If you're going to be revolutionary, be revolutionary. Don't hedge your bets with some weird controlling monstrosity. Seanbaby was right to label it the "breastpump and the dildo". If you're going to make a game system for everyone, just stick to the Wiimote. Don't try to be the Gears of War console by adding some crappy analog controller thing. And what the hell is with the classic controller? Do I really need to pay another twenty bucks for a third controller? Complicating the controller was a mistake. Stick to the Wiimote and get rid of the rest of that crap. Let the 360 focus on the first person shooters. Even with the Nunchuck the Wii can't compete.
A lot of people may still not have HD support but now is the time to give them a reason to upgrade. I've had an HDTV for five years now and the Xbox 360 showed me how good games can look. When I switch back to the Wii it looks like I jumped back ten years.
I remember Woody Allen's joke in Annie Hall:
"This food is terrible!"
"Yes, and such small portions."
The only saving grace to all of the existing problems with the Wii is the fact that it really isn't out yet. Sure, there are games on shelves, but people are still forced to wake up at four in the morning on a Sunday to even buy one. Then they get it home, play five minutes of Warioware and go back to playing Crackdown on 360.
All isn't lost for the poor Nintendo Wii. Sure, I took a rubber hose to it right now, and it deserves a good beating for wasting space on top of my TV for the past four months, but there are ways it can improve. Here are my suggestions:
Release more quality games. Quit screwing around and prove you're a viable system. Get some good games out now.
Focus on the Wiimote. Ignore the Nunchuck and quit selling the classic controller. We bought this system because of the Wiimote. Make games that use it exclusively and let go of the past. You don't need a first person shooter to prove you're a console.
Fix the internet connections and give me a reason to connect. How about some free game demos? The Xbox 360 has the best online service right now because of the free game demos for both full games and Xbox Live Arcade games.
I may change my mind again in another six months, but right now the Xbox 360 is killing the Wii in the console wars. It supports HD video and six channel audio, it offers hundreds of free game demos, it has a great selection of games it's worth buying the system for, it has a more simple controller, and it is available everywhere right now.
The Xbox 360 is the best console currently available. As for the Wii, wait until November and check again.