Why the Wii could never win the world (and how it's come so far)

Recently internet writer Wagner James Au was given the opportunity to speak with one of the higher-ups at Nintendo and came away sure that the Wii could be every consumer's home entertainment fantasy box. He also concluded that Nintendo is choosing not to live up to what he believes to be the Wii's hidden potential. I'm going to tell you exactly why the Wii could never be the miracle system Wagner James Au believes it can be, and suggest how Nintendo has managed to deceive the public into believing the Wii is anything more than the gimmick box it really is.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Parapraxis3492d ago (Edited 3492d ago )

Wii, the iPod of gaming consoles. Supply and demand is definately being used as a marketing tool.
Like the author said in the last paragraph, when you look at the 3 current consoles on the market (not to mention PC gaming), it's blatantly obvious the Wii is barely in the same league.

I'm not disputing how susseful the Wii is BTW, it's hugely successful, but are there better options out there for gaming? certainly.

BrotherNick3492d ago

I like the part where he talks about how they're starving the demand, which contradicts how far ahead the console is in sales now. I'm totally confused at how people think they can start factories on command to create wiis at will. Nintendo is making wiis almost as fast as people are buying them finally. If you look at sales that are double that of the other systems every week, it's a very big difference than last gen where they were having trouble selling systems in general.

Mahr3492d ago

"First, you need to know that the Wii will never be anything more than a funny looking little box with a controller that looks eerily like some sort of adult toy"

Ah, a nice start. Recycled arguments from Summer of 2006. I remember those. Hey, remember when everyone was laughing because Nintendo was calling it "Wii"? Fun times.

"As pointed out in Wagner’s article on Gigaom, Nintendo has specifically said it wants nothing more for the Wii than “to provide a platform for fun and games.” There you have it, right from the horse’s mouth."

Fun and games? On a... game console?

My mind is blown.

"I hate to break the bad news, but people who buy HD sets that display crisp and beautiful colors will want to use systems and media players that can render such quality."

When exactly is this supposed to happen? I've been hearing this same line "HD Consoles will dominate! The TVs will move units! You'll see!" since the 360 came out. First this was supposed to happen when the 360 was released, then when the PS3 was released. Then the 2006 holiday season. Then the 2007 holiday season. Then when Blu-Ray finally achieved dominance over HD. Then when GTA IV was released. Then when MGS4 was released. Then Little Big Planet. Now the time where the lightbulb is supposed to go off is "This holiday season for sure!"

"The Wii falls pitifully short in the awe department, providing only bland colors and big blurry pixels."

Yes. For people whose number one priority is graphics when it comes to consoles, it would be wise to buy a different system. Or, *god forbid*, invest in a gaming quality PC.

"If it were a proposition that could succeed in a greed-driven capitalist market, it would have succeeded already."

'Greed-driven capitalist market'? Oh geez, are you going to start ranting on the exploitation of TEH PROLETARIAT by the BOURGEOIS industrialists and the CAPITALIST-PIG DOGS of the DECADENT West?

"The PS3 and the Xbox 360 are high-definition gaming rigs that offer the latest and greatest in gameplay mechanics, visuals, and audio. The Wii can’t claim that."

Um, how exactly does being a console's definition affect the gameplay mechanics?

"Microsoft and Sony have virtual marketplaces in which users can download a wide array of content. The Wii, in comparison, is quite limited. No one is debating this."

The fifteen million people who've downloaded off the Virtual Console and whatever the number is who've downloaded off Wiiware *might* debate that.

"But the only reason people still consider the Wii to be the casual gaming victor is because “casual” games are all the console has…so, shouldn’t it be de facto winner of that category?"

Or, because it's the console popular among 'casuals', as defined by people who don't log in ten hour gaming sessions at time.

"So, if the Wii really isn’t superior to any of its competitors in actual gaming (and is in fact inferior), why has the console garnered such a crazed following?"

Because it appeals to a different market? A market dominated by people who don't care about HD and are turned off by the prospect of a game requiring them to score twenty headshots while simultaneously dodging enemy fire, putting up a shield, and charging an energy sword for melee attacks?

"But the answer to how Nintendo has managed to make so much of such a little console is this: the company has fabricated the success of its own console. Nintendo has interestingly never been able to completely meet demand for the console (though it has been on the market for over two years now),"

Which *could* have something to do with the fact that it's popular.

"something for which it has never apologized."

"We apologize that it continues to be a difficult problem to get your hands on [a Wii]" - Reggie

"By not distributing an appropriate amount of consoles, Nintendo has simulated a famine-like demand month after month."

Not distributing an appropriate amount? It's moving more units than either of the competition.

"That has directly caused the media to respond to the hype surrounding the shortage of consoles by deeming the console some sort of revolutionary gaming machine."

I like how this logic runs along the same vein as that used by the people who believe in the 9-11 Truth Movement: The government was able to use the event as a reason for invading Iraq! George W. Bush therefore orchestrated the attacks! The Pentagon was really hit by a cruise missile!

"People want what they can’t have, and Nintendo has made sure consumers are always struggling to get the little console."

Or, in a world that I like to call "Planet Earth", people, rather than waiting in line week after week for years, decide that waiting in line isn't very fun, look at the piles of 360s and PS3s, and decide to buy something else, which is known as a 'substitute good'.

"Aside from being completely unethical and questionably illegal as stock prices have benefitted from the fabricated success and demand for the console,"

Your logic is beginning to go off the deep end here.

Hey, who benefits from the current financial crisis? The people who are getting all the money! Obviously, it's the work of the secret cabal of Jewish Bankers who control the world economy as they plot a new world order.

The only solution is for us copy and distribute as many copies of Loose Change to the SHEEPLE as we can *before it's too late!!*

"the way Nintendo has rationed its console distribution to retailers has made it a “success” even years after its launch. But when you pull aside the curtain and see the small man frenziedly trying to keep the wool pulled over everyone’s eyes, it becomes quite clear that the Nintendo Wii is nothing more than melded plastic and a large dose of hype"

Is this before or after we put on our tinfoil hats, 'lest the alien mind control rays sap us of our free will? Also, we shouldn't drink the water because the communists introduced fluoride into it to make everyone sterile.

"I’m just saying that when you look at it objectively"

Yes, because you are objective.

In the way that that guy who hangs outside Wal-Mart and tries to convince me that the Moon-landing was actually filmed on a soundstage or the guy behind the Timecube website is objective.

Gr813492d ago

Always love a worthwhile post, especially one that dismantles (word for word) this amuteurs lame attempts to somehow tell us the Wii's success is not a success at all.

Definitely enjoy reading your posts.

Nugan3492d ago

Excellent response Mahr. Thanks to you, I don't totally regret clicking on this article.

Now, I do think that Nintendo uses shortages to help to stimulate demand for the Wii. That's a smart, if ruthless, way to help to keep console sales high during the slower periods, since it creates some spillover of consumers who failed to obtain systems during times of high demand and low supply. It also helps to reinforce the hype surrounding the product, as obtaining one feels like an accomplishment.

That said, you cannot use short supply to stimulate demand on a product unless it is already highly desirable, so planned shortages are only one of the many reasons why the Wii continues to sell. The unique control scheme, price, the Nintendo brand, the consistently high quality of first party releases, marketing to a previously untapped group of consumers (i.e., everyone who doesn't post on N4G), an extremely popular pack-in game (even if Wii Sports is a tech demo, it is a tech demo that sells systems), and other factors are all just as influential as supply manipulation.