October decompression: Wii hype, Wii haters

Inevitably, the hype that has surrounded the Wii since E3 and the September “reveal” event in Japan, NYC and Europe was bound to turn around a little. I think we’re beginning to see that backlash this month as the news from Nintendo slows to a trickle, and the early previews for some third party titles start to hit the Net en masse.

Do some of the titles stink? If we’re being completely honest, then yes, some of them are real clunkers that will probably bomb and upset the delicate balance that this system must ride out for at least the first six months of its life. But again, that’s true of every system that has ever been released, from NES to the PSOne to the Xbox 360.

First impressions are always a good indicator however. For the most part, I’d argue that for those early reviewers who have played next-to-final builds of the Wii software, the first reaction they have had to the Wii is “hey, this is kind of fun.” It’s kind of a surprising surprise, which I attribute to the perceived failure of the GameCube and people’s natural inclination to shy away from trying drastically new things, especially when the comforting embrace of a PS2 controller or 360 wireless pad is an arm’s reach away.

Infendo reader Andrew G. made a good point in one of his comments regarding this (and the Bit-Tech ”˜less than enthused review’ as well): One less than enthusiastic review does not a failed console make. There are a plethora of solid impressions about the Wii, and several wait-and-see ones. More than the negative ones, at this point, anyway. And, most importantly, there will be people who just don’t get the Wii at all. Unfortunately, the blogs have been so starved for any kind of Wii news that this Bit-Tech “review” was blown way out of proportion.

In that vein, I say everyone just sit back and relax and enjoy the DS for now, or GameCube, or whatever. The reviews are going to be coming in fast and furious from here on out, but you’re really only going to ever understand this system if you get your paws on it and play it. And once you play the top tier titles, remember afterwards that it’s only going to get better as developers begin to master this system. The Wii really is about playing hands-on; it’s the only way you’re going to understand it ”“ for better or worse.