Ars Technica review: Nintendo Wii

“With the Xbox 360 and the PS3, the primary focus is graphical prowess,” Ben Kuchera reports for Ars Technica. “In many cases these new games feel a lot like old games with a new coat of paint. One might begin to wonder if we are going to see the same basic gaming concepts over and over, simply with better graphics as time goes on?”

Kuchera reports, “Nintendo is saying no; they are dropping out of the graphics race. Fact is, the Wii is not very powerful in relation to its two competitors. Where it can fight back is innovation; instead of a normal controller, you interact with the game via a remote control-like device that many simply call the ‘Wiimote.’ In-game movements are based on, well, real-life movement—and one or two buttons. This control scheme is designed to be intuitive and to really immerse you in what you’re doing.”

Kuchera reports, “You’re going to have to learn a whole new way to think about games. When it comes to the Wii, we’re all newbies, and while that may make some hardcore gamers uncomfortable, it’s a revelation for new gamers who finally have something they can pick up and figure out instead of feeling like they couldn’t compete without years of practice. The graphics are underwhelming, sure, but that Wiimote is a brand new way to play your games.”

“While I’ve played some great games this year, I don’t know if I’ve had as much fun with any of them as I do with the Wii. It was hard to keep from smiling as I played. It makes me feel like a kid again, and if you’re a kid, you’ll be entranced. This may be that magical system that’s going to interest your non-gamer parents, girlfriend, or wife—people who never thought they could pick up and control a video game,” Kuchera reports. “The Wiimote has nearly unlimited potential, and while we’ve seen some novel uses of it so far, I can’t wait to see what talented developers will come up with in the next few years.”

Full, very comprehensive as usual from Ars, review here.
Not Apple-related, but may be interesting to some MDN readers. We’re following the story of Nintendo’s Wii for pretty obvious reasons.

Related articles:
Nintendo sells over 600,000 Wii consoles at launch – November 20, 2006
PC Magazine Editor’s Choice: Nintendo Wii is ‘fun, engaging, wildly innovative’ – November 14, 2006
5 must-have Nintendo Wii launch games – October 09, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii on Toys ‘R’ Us hot holiday list – September 26, 2006
Nintendo to launch Wii in Japan on December 2nd, priced around US$200 – September 14, 2006
IBM ships first microchips for Nintendo Wii – September 10, 2006
Can Nintendo’s Wii end up number one in market share? – July 18, 2006
Nintendo Wii wins E3 ‘Best of Show’ award – June 01, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii steals show at Electronic Entertainment Expo – May 12, 2006


  1. Now if only I could buy a bloody Wii. Even getting to Best Buy 2 hours before opening on Sunday didn’t get me one, there was already a line of 25 people and only 18 Wiis. Nintendo need to up production or else there will be a lot of unhappy people this Xmas, including me.

  2. The graphics are underwhelming […]

    I haven’t played video games since ColecoVision so I need some context here. What does underwhelming mean if I’m used to a little red happy face that shoots arrows out its nose?

  3. The Wii in our house is seldom idle and has pulled both me and my wife into the games. Just the included Wii Sports is enough to capture new gamers. We had all the family bowling and playing tennis on Thanksgiving.

    Nintendo has a hit on their hands.

  4. I have about zero interest in the Wii. If not for the price, the PS3 is the only next gen console that really has some compelling features. The PS3 is the only one with all of the latest technologies (1080p HD, Blu-Ray, Wireless, etc) built-in. The Wii is too stripped down (no HD, etc), plus it’s graphics capabilities are no better than the first gen Xbox. I’m not a big fan of Sony, but I don’t see how the Wii appeals to anyone over the age of 18 unless you’re into Zelda.

  5. I have a wii at home and it is so much fun. Although, I am getting really tired of hearing how it isn’t a “real” gaming machine. Guess what? Not all of us care about these shooter games. I have no desire to go around and blowing people away for hours on end. It’s not my idea of a good time. The wii has games that are just plain fun to play. I haven’t owned a system since the original NES. I have played the Xbox, Xbox 360, PS, PS2, and Sega Genesis but never had the desire to own any of them. As for the people that say it isn’t for anyone over the age of 18; I am nearly 30 so that really shoots your theory to hell. Its fun and actually gets more fun with other people. So, please take your game snobbery and go elsewhere because some of us play games to have fun not to try and get a high kill ratio.

  6. I’m 31 going on 25. I’ve played video games for 20+ years. These days I play for about an hour to unwind or kill a little time then it’s off to whatever adult task is at hand. I for one think the Wii is the most interesting of the 2 consoles. The 360 bores me as a console, but I do want a PS3, but not at $600. When I’m ready to buy a new console it’ll be the Wii. It’s truely innovative, whereas the other 2 are just graphic beasts of power. Don’t need prettier pictures, I need a little video game fun every now and then. I still play with my Dreamcast, I’d play with my Master System if it still worked.

  7. I hope to god that Nintendo has patented every detail of that Wiimote concept,usage and technology!

    We all know what’s gonna happen if they havent – Microsoft will copy it and make one for the xbox and then BANG goes Nintendo’s unique selling point of the Wii.

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