Nintendo’s Wii is the best product ever

Wii, best thing everI’ve said that headline about a thousand times this month alone, but now it would seem the mainstream press is starting to say it too. Well, PC Magazine columnist Lance Ulanoff is anyway.

In a column today, Ulanoff channels my inner fanboy to do a comparison between the year’s runaway success — the Wii (and Nintendo as a whole, for that matter) — and its utter failure, the PS3. That sentiment may be a bit extreme, but it’s how I and my new brother-for-life Lance roll.

Let Go and Think Big: There’s a scene in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (originally released as Star Wars in 1977), when Luke Skywalker is being trained by Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi to use a lightsaber. Ben tells Luke to “use the force” and “let go of your conscious self and act on instinct.” This is what Nintendo obviously did with the Wii. Instead of trying to one-up the competition, it took a moment to imagine a console system that would appeal to everyone.

Sony, on the other hand, seems to have learned nothing from the popularity of the PlayStation 2. Instead, it created a gaming-console monster that has all the elegance and appeal of a coffee enema.

That’s just a sample. Ulanoff goes on to break down several other categories on his journey to prove that the Wii is not only the greatest tech invention of 2007, but, like, ever. Design, “keep it simple,” “don’t overreach” and “satisfying game play” all make an appearance — both in the column and on the Wii — which is the point.

One gripe about the column — Ulanoff seems to think Tiger Woods has decent graphics. I think a few in-game deer would beg to differ. Otherwise, it’s an entertaining read, and a sign of what’s to come from the media as we approach the holiday.

So, the Wii (and the DS) — one of the best products ever? I think if you combine present day capability — retro games, first party games, ports, pending “hardcore” titles, and original 3rd party IP — and the latent potential that’s yet to be unlocked, the answer, so far, is yes. It has its hiccups, sure, but it was designed by a human being, and nothing made that way is perfect. It’s close though 😉