Are we really satisfied with the Wii?

Infendo

wii (1)

Are we really satisfied with the Wii? Should we be? Shouldn’t Nintendo be trying harder? It’s a question IGN’s Matt Casamassina brought up in his December editorial Nintendo is Lazy and You Don’t Care. Although not the only, or the main point in his editorial, Casamassina repeatedly cites both The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy as the “epics” the Wii is missing, the effort Nintendo hasn’t been putting forth. He elaborates, suggesting that gamers what bigger games, with bigger graphics – and – like many before him, asserts that the lack of HD output on the Wii is offending true gamers.

Infendo discussed this article internally awhile back, and some interesting thoughts came from it. As a new “HD Console” owner, something about Casamassina’s suggestion didn’t seem right.

ps3xbox360wiisizeI’ve just “upgraded” to the “next gen.” Within two months I’ve acquired both an xbox 360, and a ps3 – and although I enjoy them a lot, something feels wrong every time I pick up the controller. “Only buttons?” I think to myself, “I thought we’ve moved beyond this.” Better graphics and HD resolutions were never really “new” or “exciting.” They never changed the game. The Wii did – the pleasure I get out of a game that really GETS what you can do with motion controls FAR outweighs the pleasure I get out of a “traditional epic” 360 game with amazing graphics and high metacritic scores.

hdmi_cable225Despite what seems like a well reasoned argument, I’m worried it can’t overcome the disease of HD expectations. It seems that everybody I know that “graduated” from the Wii to an Xbox or Playstation eventually started giving HD resolution priority over all else. And like the last hero to be bit by the zombie horde, I’m constantly afraid that i can feel myself turning – but then I pick up that dual analog controller and just think – something is missing.

Okay, so my argument is the Wii’s superior control scheme, what’s the counter argument? Often it’s that games that really “get” motion control are few and far between, or that there’s no good third-party offerings in terms of well designed motion. Let’s discount “motion showcase” titles such as Wii Sports and Sports Resort for a moment, and ask if this is true. Is it? Just glancing at my gamewall produces a lengthy list of excellent motion based titles, at least half of which are third party. Here, you can read it:

31 Comments

  1. hmmm what do i think? i think infendo wrote a nice article without blatant cheerleading. nice article!

    also, i think the experiences are very different between consoles. to pick on one point. i find the experiences on xbox and pc to be deeper. if i want to mimick a sport… well generally i just go play the sport. wii sport games (and gh games) only appeal when i get back from the bar. and that doesn’t last terribly long.

    my controls of choice are still kb/m for anything i’m trying to be competitive at (esp since i’m mostly abotu fps). games for just relaxation go to the console.

    and the wii just doesnt do fps like xbox or pc. which is too bad. i really wanted it to.

    so yeah- all consumers look for the best entertainment. but for some that weighs visuals highly (like for me, esp since they add a lot to gameplay), and for others they want to pretend to bowl (not me so much… at all).

    so i def see differences in types of consumers and appeal.

  2. The problem is that the editorial comes from IGN staff. IGN is joke when it comes to any opinions Wii related! They same clowns that gave “Just Dance” a 2.5 score, and trust me, the game is fun if you like dancing and moving around. Your kids will also love it. Stupid IGN.

  3. “Are we really satisfied with the Wii? ” We ?? I cant answer that, and neither can you.
    Am I satisfied ? No, not really. I was hoping for more, but I do enjoy the time I spend with the system when I have a group of friends around.
    AS a bigger fan of the X-box 360 than the Wii, I can say there is room for both. The Wii is what the Wii is.
    I would love to be spending more time with it than I do, time online, time with friends locally, time with more ” hardcore ” games, but I still enjoy the time I spend with it when I turn it on. Even if its my secondary game machine, its still fun enough.
    If ALL I had was a Wii, I would be much less satisfied with my gaming this generation. But like I said, it is what it is, no use complaining about it, just enjoy what you like about it….

  4. The IGN article is based on a faulty premise. Nintendo is not lazy, they just make games that sell. Galaxy sold 8 million, while NSMBWii is set to sell 20 million. Metroid Prime 3 sold ok, but WiiFit sold so much more. Which games would you prioritize? The market has spoken. Nintendo isn’t lazy for prioritizing software that sells, the rest of the industry is CRAZY for NOT following Nintendo’s lead.

    Big, epic time-sucks are now a niche product. Everything the industry has been championing is niche, HD graphics and multi-media functionality. Like it or not, what is now called “hardcore” gaming has become a niche in the larger marketplace. IGN and other websites are echo chambers; people arguing with others who agree completely, yet totally ignoring the reality of the larger market.

  5. really??? i am super happy with my wii. i haven’t had so many games that i truly enjoy and still have to beat since the super nintendo and 2010 has just begun. yes i know it doesn’t have HD or a bunch of fps, but that’s not what i’m looking for. this fills my gaming niche just nicely and i play at least once a day for a couple hours, but i guess that doesn’t count as a true gamer, thanks for speaking for us matt.

  6. also i got rid of my x360 as i liked my wii & ps3 better, so don’t get me wrong i just don’t really get why people like matt keep drawing lines in the sand. i bought all three, i only liked two, and i’m fine with being fans of both. why is it us or them with ign???

  7. just realized i never really answered the question

    No, I’m not satisfied with the wii. The games the wii offers are very different than other consoles.

    i recently followed an infendo comments link to the top selling games by console. that was cool. but boy did it ever remind me that I have no need for a wii- the 360 and pc games are just much more up my alley.

  8. I find it humorous that IGN seems so ready to rap Nintendo’s knuckles by calling them “lazy,” yet third party efforts on the Wii, which actually ARE lazy, seem to go by without notice or comment.

    Also, Nintendo being “lazy” just doesn’t mesh anymore. Just Nintendo’s lineup alone, this year, puts any other company’s output to shame, regardless of console. This year threatens to be Nintendo’s most diverse, most highly rated lineup in years. Nintendo made this retarded editorial obsolete in only about 2 months.

    If anything it makes IGN look out-of-touch, a pointless doomsayer, and either not able or not willing to deal with reality.

    Of course, anybody that would give Heavy Rain a 7.anything, just on graphics alone… well… you can see where their loyalties lie, eh?

  9. But you see, Sean, the best and biggest 3rd party games for the Wii aren’t even using motion control- Tatsunoko vs Capcom and Monster hunter 3. These are the two games I looked most forward to this year and an HD upconversion would make them PERFECT.

    In fact, all of the Wii’s library would look fantastic in HD- its just a fact. And as a hardcore gamer I want it. Of course, gameplay comes first (hence why I play my Wii 90% more than my PS3) but HD visuals would just make the Wii that much better. Super Mario Galaxy would change from an SD adventure to an HD epic in terms of visual quality.

    Am I satisfied with my Wii? Almost. Just needs HD.

  10. We have a Zelda game 4 years in the works, so we know Nintendo isn’t lazy all the time.

    And I would have to have to say that gameplay always comes before shiny graphics, but I am kind of bummed that develops will just skip over releasing their game on the Wii because of a different control scheme and lack of HD. In my opinion, those developers are the lazy ones.

  11. Well, gaming technology is always going to increase. Of course its not always about graphics, but alot of people think otherwise.
    Nintendo would be fucking stupid not to take that path as their next step.
    This is 2010, where we already have 3d televisions and gaming. ps3 and 360 already advanced a bit at last years e3 with natal and ps3’s magic stick thing…. and what did nintendo bring? why the vitality sensor. and wii motion plus was 2 years ago and they took forever to release it.
    Its obvious nintendo is lazy, they were focusing on casual audience, and anything thats fun with shitty graphics can catch the attention of little kids and old people. Thats why theyre lazy, they spent less time and money on it.
    sighhhh nintendo always settles for less and its disapointing.

  12. I am satisfied with the Wii. Although it can be a little different in graphics, I care more about the experience with the game. I still can’t get over how funny Sony and Microsoft claimed that the Wii controller was a gimmick in the beginning of the generation. Now however, they think using a wand and project natal with motion will give them even more success with their consoles. How ironic?

  13. IGN and company are ignoring the sea change from hardcore dominating the market to hardcore being a niche because so-called “casual” gamers aren’t their demographic and they don’t know how to appeal to those gamers. “It’s hard to get someone to believe something when their livelihood depends on not believing it.”

    As for the HD thing, I’ll concede that it’s mainstream when Blu-Ray sales exceed DVD sales for the first time. Wake me up when that happens. Until then, why is everyone so surprised that a console with essentially last-gen graphics still kicks the asses of the HD stuff, even when the price differential is largely removed?

  14. Satisfied? Nope.

  15. Well a pretty solid article for a not so great title.

    I for one am plenty satisfied with my Wii. It lacks two things in my mind – great online play and RPGs. The online play I only need from time to time, so my PC can fill that void. My RPG fix is taken care of by the DS – Nintendo’s other platform.

    I have a fiance that when I owned a gamecube didn’t play with me besides one time when I was really sick, and we played Mario Tennis. now we play lots of games together because the Wii has a great controller for beginner and advanced players.

    Do I want HD quality graphics? Not raelly. I want great games. All the systems have a great games, but Wii has the first party exclusives that put it above the rest.

    And on a side note, Matt C is a douche, and so is the staff at IGN. I wouldn’t trust them for anything video game related.

  16. It really boils down to what you expect from video games. I’ve never been a huge fan of HD graphics (I care about art direction not resolutions, and to me NSMBW has better graphics than anything on the PS3/360), I don’t care about cinematics or story (I’ll watch a movie, or read book/manga if I want that), I don’t care about online play (local multiplayer is just so much more fun), and I don’t like dual-analog FPSes. To me the HD consoles have nothing to offer. To people to whom those factors are important, they just need to accept that the Wii might not be the best console for them. There are three consoles on this market. Do we really want all three to be exactly the same and offer the exact same experience? But as someone who likes pick-up-and-play games, new, more intuitive control schemes, doesn’t really care about graphics, and is just looking for pure fun without having any sort of “deep” experience, its perfect. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And apparently there’s a lot of other people out there like me judging by the Wii’s sales. I think we just have to accept that there’s no definitive standard of quality in video games. We, as hardcore gamers, like to think that “casual gamers” are idiots who don’t understand “true” gaming. I think its more just a matter of two groups of people with two conflicting ideas of what a good game is. With three consoles on the market, why can’t we have offerings for both? We’re all gamers, and we all deserve to be treated with respect and to be delivered quality (by our own differing definitions of the word) games. And if Nintendo’s the only one who understands that then throw us a freaking bone, and just let it be. Its just one company (since everyone else feels fit to treat Wii owners like myself as if we’re mentally challenged).

  17. I’m very satisfied. HD would have made me super satisfied. Remember I am talking about true widescreen, and no jaggies. I am NOT talking about photorealism as a must have.

  18. I am very satisfied with the Wii. It may not match the expectations I had when it was first announced, but it’s definitely fun. I remember talking about how awesome it was going to be that a friend and I would be doing realistic sword fighting games online with each other. My imagination kind of got away from me, but it’s sort of what was implied. I also thought they’d basically throw every classic game into the Virtual Console and that didn’t happen either. But yeah, I love the games that have come out for it and its upcoming titles still appeal to me more than games on the other systems.

  19. Matt is actually a really nice guy if you ever meet him. Or at least he seemed to be when I met him, I just partially disagree with him regarding a few points in the editorial. He makes a few interesting points, but I feel they are wrapped up and overshadowed by a large opinion stands as an inaccurate representation of the real majority of gamers, disregarding hardcore niche gamers.

    Someone earlier said it was a “fact” that Wii games would just look better in HD – it depends on what you mean by that. As is, I have to disagree – I’ve seen emulated images of NSMB Wii upscaled to HD output, and I really can’t tell the difference. If the game wasn’t designed with HD in mind, HD is not going to do a lot for it. If you are speculating on a fictional Wii as powerful as a ps3/360, and the games that WOULD have been designed for it, than yes – things would be different.

    As I said, there’s no reason NOT to have both, but if I only had one – i’d choose the gameplay over the graphics anyday. I’ve played (rented) a lot of amazing looking 360 games that really weren’t very fun. Then I played Punch-Out!! Wii for the first time, and realized I had more fun with that game than I had with any of the 360 titles i’d played in several weeks prior.

    gameplay design over visual. For me at least. Interesting to see different opinions though.

  20. I haven’t been especially satisfied, hence getting a ps3 a few weeks ago. My main problem with these arguments is that people just bring up graphics alone when they argue about HD. To me, and this is as a traditionally chronic sports gamer, it’s more about the graphics and processing power allowing for better physics and animation. I absolutely love Tiger Woods 10, but that is the lone exception. There is nothing gameplay wise that anyone could do with a sports game on the wii that could make the experience even remotely close to any of the current sports titles for ps3 or 360. I know that I’m in the minority of gamers with my sports focus, but I think there are parts to the argument that carry over to other genres as well.

  21. Kwad, you bring up an interesting point, but I feel the argument still stands.

    Sure, for your sports Niche, HD output and nice animations are important – it’s a big selling point of the genre – but would you still enjoy a Sports Game that looked photo-realistic, but was impossible to control – or was bland and boring in gameplay?

    The main argument I present is that gameplay comes first, and a well thought out, designed, and well executed motion control game trumps a generic, tired, and badly designed game with amazing visuals.

  22. I’ve been happy with my Wii purchase since launch. I just recently got a PS3 last december for those games that won’t release on Wii, but mainly for Bluray movie playing since it was cheaper to buy a PS3 now than to buy just a BR player and buy a PS3 later.

    All in all, IGN goes out of it’s way to say Wii owners are stupid and that’s Wii their readers have gone elsewhere. Wii is the majority now, and they don’t know how to win them back…

  23. @raindog469,

    I agree with your comments. I was given a Blu-ray player for Christmas. It is still sitting unopened in its box (gathering dust?). I have an HD television, it just doesn’t have hdmi input (I bought it the year before hdmi was introduced). Why bother using the Blu-ray player and spending extra money on the movies when it won’t add any value to me?

    My Wii gets daily use; and not just by me. My teenage son, daughters nine and six years old, and three after school babysitiing kids all use the system daily. We play a large variety of games. Harvest Moon, NSMBW, Naruto, Bonsai Barber. Those are the ones sitting by the Wii right now.

    If we had one of the other two consoles, then I wouldn’t allow my kids to be playing Halo, or Assasins Creed, or anything like that (how long could they play LBP?) and I have no interest in playing them either.

    Online is good to download Virtual Console and WiiWare games but I don’t play any games that way.

    Nope, like @Mark said earlier, “To me the HD consoles have nothing to offer.”

    The Wii satisfies me and mine.

  24. Frankly, I think it really is a bad stance that wii games don’t have to look great if they are fun. True they don’t HAVE to, but I really do enjoy the fact that there are so many pretty AND fun games on my PS3 and one of my favorite things abut Galaxy was the fact that it looked so beautiful in addition to having great fun gameplay. Games don’t need to look good to play good, but it has been pretty well established that they can do both. I really wish that nintendo could add HD to the system, but still make the same games. People with Standard setups still have PS3s, and I’m sure are fine with that. But, for those of us with the option of HD, it would be nice to see that supported.

  25. Finally, someone who understands that Star Wars Force Unleashed for the Wii is an incredible game and not just some “Wii” version but, the best version. That made me smile 🙂

    PS. I am satisfied with what has been put out on Wii. Nintendo is just too good at creating potential oozing products so it’s a long way from done.

  26. @The_Julian: Ah, but if Nintendo were to release a “Wii HD” sort of console, than it would cause the price of the console and games to rise. While someone who is interested in HD likely wouldn’t mind, those of us who don’t care about the feature (or can’t support it with out TVs) feel like we’re being forced to pay extra money for a feature we don’t need. We feel like we’re being gypped. I know personally I wouldn’t want to have to pay extra for my games if HD was the only improvement.

    I’ll admit it would be cool to have HD in Wii games, but its not a feature I value enough to be willing to pay extra for it, is all.

  27. I kind of hate the term “HD.” Hd is meaningless. If the 360 didn’t output HD resolutions, would the graphics suddenly be down to “Wii Level?” At the graphics output of the Wii, HD resolutions would make little difference.

    How about a new question – would you rather see a Nintendo console with graphics capabilities that rival the ps3 and 360 without HD output, or a Nintendo console with HD output, but only the graphics capabilities of the Wii? “HD” is not important.

    And @manofgames, Force Unleashed Wii rocks it hardcore. That game “gets it.”

  28. The point I was trying to make wasn’t that shiny things are pretty and gameplay gets kicked to the curb, it was that the “HD” systems offer more processing power to present better physics and animations which directly impact gameplay. Not to mention being able to program better ai. Is it the end-all be-all? No. They still have to program an engaging, fun game. And I have really enjoyed the wii a great deal, I’ve had it since launch and it’s been consistently entertaining. Both sides of this argument are always stated in such a simplistic way, it gets tiring though.

    Also, Force Unleashed was a lot of fun, but come on guys, there were major problems with the camera in it and some muddy visuals, both things that hamper the gameplay.

  29. I’m just nitpicky about terminology. “HD” is an inaccurate descriptor to what most people use it for. Even i’m guilty of using it the wrong way.

    Force Unleashed seems to be a love it or hate it game on the Wii. I had minimal to no issues with the camera during my 2 playthroughs with the title, at least none that I recall – and I’m not sure what you mean by “Muddy Visuals,” …but then again, I played it on a 10+ year old CRT, perhaps it’s more apparent on modern televisions. I think it’s a gem, honestly.

  30. I’m satisfied with my Wii for what it is… But I did not see it as being in competition with the 360 or the PS3, nor did I think it would have more than a three year lifespan given its limited hardware. That I knew from the day I bought it on launch day!

    The DS, on the other hand, I’m more than satisfied with, it keeps on giving better experiences every year! But this is due mostly to software, not hardware: I could play the DS games I love on any of the DS’s iterations, from the original “Phat” version to the new DSi.

    You brought up some excellent examples of great Wii games that I love, but they are few: Tiger Woods PGA 10, Dead Space: Extraction (even better than Dead Space on 360!).

  31. The wii is definitely a great system. im somewhat satisfied with it, hence i got myself a ps3 and xbox 360 a year ago. what HD means really is a resolution of 1280×720 or 1980×1080, it does not mean the picture coming out is photorealistic at those resolutions. i think some people may have confused the term “HD” with high fidelity images that are crisp.