Infendo exclusive: Interview with a Wii Ambassador

Earlier this week we found some of the first photos of a Wii Party, hosted by Wii Ambassador Tracey Clark and her family. Clark represents the non-gamer sect Nintendo is trying to reach with the Wii console, a label she freely admits is true on her own blog and in emails with Infendo. For editorial purposes wand=Wiimote in this interview 🙂 That said, here’s Infendo’s exclusive interview with one of the first Wii Ambassadors to hit the Net:

Infendo: Which titles were you allowed to play, and which ones were liked most by the adults/kids?
Tracey Clark: On each of the 4 TVs there were different games. There was the Wii Sports (which included baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing), an off-road driving game [Excite Truck], Trauma Center, football [Madden], and a kind of “use the wand in a bunch a different ways to beat the clock game” [Wario Ware]. I don’t know what it was called but it was funny. It was geared for the younger set I think but most people tried it because it gave you a good feel for the many ways the wand could be used. It was entertaining for the new user, that’s for sure. And it was quick so everyone could pass it around and give it a try. I would say baseball and bowling we’re the most popular in general. Everyone wanted a turn for those. The men all wanted more time to play golf. The football seemed harder to get the hang of but the older boys (and their dad’s seemed to really have fun with it). And the younger boys really gravitated to [Excite Truck].

What was the learning curve like for the kids with the various games? With the adults? Did you feel as though there was an all-inclusive nature present while playing the system?
Clark: There was an all-inclusive vibe for most of what was included in the sports pack. Of course it takes some time to get to know the wand (how responsive it is to your movement, etc) but overall with the various sports, and driving the kids and adults were able to participate right away. My three year old even figured out how to use the wand herself for the bowling after she had some help for a while. It was pretty cool and made it more appealing for someone like me to consider buying it. It’s not easy to find something like that that an 8 year old and a three year old (and their parents!) can play together and equally enjoy. For me, that’s a big factor. The other games took more effort and practice. The football was a little more complex (I think there were two hand controls to use for it) so it didn’t appeal to everyone. People really liked the idea of the Trauma Center (it’s pretty cool) but because the party was about just trying different games out you couldn’t really sit down and concentrate on it. It seemed to me, everyone had the most fun with the physical games. Having to put that kind of “action” into a game on your TV screen is pretty new concept, something most of us had never done before, so that made it really fun and very entertaining!

Did the Wii keep people’s interest? (Did they get tired, bored, stay the course all the way thru?)
Clark: People didn’t get bored at all. I’m sure we could’ve played for another 3 hours and still not done it all. I didn’t even get to try everything so that tells you something.

Bonus question: As a parent, is $250 too much to pay for a system with one controller and a pack-in game? Just right? How about your thoughts on a $600 system with no game included?
Clark: I don’t think so although I think it would’ve been a better move to include 2 controllers in the pack from my perspective. I just hate when you buy something and then realize you really have to buy accessories to go with it to make it optimum. As far as the games go, the sports pack it comes with has so many fun sports that it doesn’t seem like just one game which I think is great. I’m not sure how much additional games will be but that would be a factor too I guess.

I can pretty much say that I wouldn’t buy any game system for $600 with or without a game.

So let’s put those controller sensitivity concerns to rest — a three-year-old can use this console! And, it seems like even the non-gamer crowd wants a second controller. Nintendo, you listening?