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Pre-E3: What Wii is Expecting; What We are Expecting of Wii
posted by: Chris Martin
date posted: 07:14 PM Tue May 2nd, 2006
last revision: 02:29 AM Wed May 3rd, 2006

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Click to read.Talk about tossing food to the lions! Not only did Nintendo they reveal that their \'Revolution\' console would have the name Wii (even though it was reported way back in November) only to make headline news, but they did so a week and a half before E3. It was a bold move that started a hailstorm of press coverage, and a whole lot of hype for Nintendo\'s latest foray into console territory.

It\'s been said the Wii isn\'t meant to compete directly with Microsoft or Sony--a smart move in my opinion. \'Course, if you were up against one of the fattest cash-cow companies (Microsoft) and one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world (Sony) wouldn\'t you opt-out of that one? And so Nintendo takes the road less traveled, and our journey through the underbrush is beginning.

The Nintendo Wii is Nintendo\'s answer to mundane video games. In a world of A, B, X, Y, Z, R1, L1, Back, Start, R2, L2...you get the idea--in a world of all those buttons Nintendo is trying to simplify. By adding gyro and sensor technology, they will attempt to throw a curveball to the video game industry, pushing games in a bold, new direction. Nintendo\'s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, has been known to boast. Only yesterday, May 1, \'Reg\' made the statement: \"We\'re going to show off a racing game at E3 where you use the core controller in a very different way. That will answer all the questions about how you\'ll play a racing game [with the Wii controller].\" Yes, we do have many questions about that. We have questions of how the controller functions in general. And so speculation and rumor started up, in forums and on blogs, showing hope that Nintendo would revitalize the old racing franchise Excitebike.

Wii is expecting to simply \"outclass\" the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in gameplay thanks to the unique controller. Nintendo execs have been quoted, taking words from Sega (before their resignation from the console races), that \"It\'s all about the games.\" With the Wii\'s uber-backward compatibility with old Nintendo games, GameCube games, and even Genesis and TurboGrafix 16 games, I have no doubt that they\'ll be able to validate that statement. There will be no way the Xbox 360, hell any system, will be able to compete with the sheer number of games the Wii will be able to play out of the box.

Backwards compatibility be damned, the new games, too, will have to be a draw. We know of a few new games: Avatar: the Last Airbender; Metal Slug Anthology; Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz; Madden; DragonBall Z Tenkaichi 2; Elebits. There is a handful more that have been announced, and more expected. Even the new GameCube title, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is going to be compatible with the Wii controller. This should make the transition from one Nintendo generation to the next even smoother.

But if the wacky controller, the number of old-school games, and these new titles don\'t entice you, then what? Maybe the next Legend of Zelda, maybe Metroid. Maybe Nintendo\'s namesake is enough to get you. The Wii is expecting to tap into previously untapped gaming markets, to appeal to casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike. To allow people to interact with each other while playing games. As quoted from the official Wii website revolution.nintendo.com, \"So that\'s Wii. But Now Nintendo needs you. / Because, it\'s not really about you or me. / It\'s about Wii. / And together, Wii will change everything.\" Nintendo is really emphasizing the help of its fans, to converge for its namesake. By now it\'s apparent, we need Wii, and Wii needs we, er, us.

Plays on the name aside, what is expected of Nintendo\'s new console? The console has a lot to live up to. A videogame revolution only comes around in so many years. The last revolution? Probably the Game Boy. Accessible portable gaming at a budget price is what still bolsters Nintendo\'s pocketbook. We have, in each of our minds, an idea or two of what the Wii is capable of. Baseball, swordfighting, first-person-shooting-physically interactive video games. Things we have, so far, only seen in prototype at E3\'s Kentia Hall (and in arcades). Nintendo has promised something different, and now we all want something different. How different the games will be is up in the air. Mostly, though, the Wii demands gamers keep an open mind and an eager hand.

Wedbush Morgan Securities has gone on record to state that as consumers are purchasing a second console, \"we think that market shares will normalize, with Sony capturing around 45% of the total market, Microsoft capturing 35%, and Nintendo capturing 20%. These estimates do not include market shares in Japan, which we expect to be dominated by Sony (65% through 2010) and Nintendo (25%).\" Only 20% in America? That\'s okay, Analysts are notoriously wrong. Remember, we used to call them Soothsayers way back in Achilles\' time.

But our quest for information is nigh, as E3 is merely a week away. Nintendo is expected to have a huge showing of games for the Wii, as well as personal demonstrations on the floor. And we will have the information for you then regarding how it works and what it feels like. The whole Kit \'n Caboodle. And we\'ll answer the tough questions--is the control tight, were the games awesome, will your mother like it?--so that you can know for sure if Wii will change everything.

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