Author’s note: The below article was first published on August 1, 2005, a full year before the Wii was officially named, detailed, and released on November 19, 2006. Looking back, would you agree or disagree with my below concerns?
Do we need a “Revolution”?
The short answer, yes. The long one: depends on how you define we. If you think we as an industry need a gaming revolution in the form of new input devices and hardware types, then yes. (Think of all the non-creative profit driven publishers that are turning the gaming industry into Hollywood) If you think we as a collective body of individual gamers always need a hardware revolution, maybe not. Here’s why.
Nintendo practically invented the modern console system; a box that connects to controllers that have a few buttons and a directional pad or stick. Ever since the NES, Nintendo and its competitors have merely upgraded the hardware. Faster processors, better graphics. A formula that worked for over 20 years because it has been the games that were revolutionary with Nintendo at the forefront. Do we want to completely dismiss that formula?
I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m anticipating new ways of playing video games on the Revolution [now known as Wii] just as much as the next guy. But I’m also hoping to play new games in traditional ways like I’ve always done before with past Zeldas, Metroids, and Marios. The point is that on an a personal level, I’m still rooting for the Wii to be part “GameCube 2” and part revolution.
I’m confident Nintendo will embrace this idea given the huge success of its franchise games, the GameBoy handheld, and the announced download offering of their entire games library on Virtual Console. In the end, I can’t wait to see these fancy new controllers and the new ways I will be enjoying Nintendo games via the Wii. I just hope Nintendo will still support games that use 2 buttons and a directionally pad with the game being more revolutionary than the hardware.