Review It's midnight and all over the country videogames fans are freezing their butts off while they wait in line to get their mitts on Nintendo's newest - or maybe not, if they haven't pre-ordered. Yes, the Wii goes on sale today, though Reg Hardware has been lucky enough to have enjoyed the company of Zelda and co. in its warm, dry office for a few days now. And boy have we worked up a sweat...
The Wii has to be the first games console to get you up off your rump and onto your feet. Wii Sports, the game that comes bundled with the hardware, will have you swinging your arms around, punching your fists and, if you're not careful, bumping into the furniture and falling over fellow players.
First, the hardware. The Wii is surprisingly compact, though that's as much because it runs off a separate power block - and a large one, too - as the simplicity of the internals. It's about the size of a large hardback novel. All the pre-release publicity pics sent out by Nintendo showed the Wii in its stand, which has the console thrusting up at an angle, but you can sit the machine less prominently on its base, NES-fashion, or on its side.
The power block connects into the back of the console, as does the sensor bar, which sits in front of your TV. Both plug in next to the Wii's video output port. Like the other two, it's a proprietary connector - the only standard connectors on the back are a pair of USB ports. The sensor bar's cable is long, so you should have no trouble siting the sensor beneath that wall-mounted 50in plasma screen you're planning to buy. Nintendo bundles a plastic mount for the sensor bar with a pair of self-adhesive pads on the back for sticking to the wall or your TV.
The front of the Wii is dominated by the slot-loading optical disc drive, a slash of black against the Wii's shiny iPod white fascia - though it lights up when data comes wafting on over the airwaves courtesy of Nintendo's WiiConnect24 online service. Beneath the disc drive are the Power, Reset and disc-eject buttons and a hatch that opens to reveal the SD card slot and a Sync key used to pair extra wireless remotes with the console.
Specs aren't so important to some of us
I see a lot of people moaning about the lack of HD and comparitively low specs. Not all of us have the money to spend on a PS3 not to mention the additional hardware required to really appreciate it. A 720 HD LCD and a 5.1 surround sound setup arent exactly cheap, and neither is the PS3 itself.
The Wii is an attractive choice for anyone looking for a console for casual use. It's relatively inexpensive, with innovative (and not to mention fun) controls. The PS3's HD graphics and 5.1 surround sound might be really awesome for so-called hardcore gamers. Many of us are buying a Wii simply because its good clean fun. An absolutely perfect excuse to get the mates round with a few beers and some pizza.
Mario Kart is still a firm favourite with my friends after a night out. The Xbox usually sitting forlornly powered down on the next shelf.
A lot of the current high-def craze is really just fashion. Eyes have a limited resolution to start with and that resolution drops off rapidly at the periphery (and if stuff starts moving around). Our color resolution is also nothing like as good as black-and-white (brightness) resolution. TVs were designed around this knowledge, so while its neat to look at the textures of the clothing in a PS3's character in practice you won't notice it at normal viewing distances, particularily if you're fighting for your life!
What utter nonsense! I have a 2k LCD and the 360 is outstanding as would a ps3 hooked up. I work in the tv industry also. To say HDTV doesnt matter since you cant tell the differ is about the most dumb thing I have hear in years. YOU must be blinded by sheer wii ignorance!! its the only reason. 720 or 1080p are so sharp and vivid.
As for not seeing differencesin textures. lol omg are you for real. Your blind!
Wiii... a wiii behind
Nintendo is very far behind in terms of hardware specs. Anyone who says that does not matter should take a closer look at games like Gears of War (x360) on a 1080p TV and then try to play Mario. Nintendo games will look exquisitely bad in comprising.
The only thing that Nintendo has going for it is the new controller, and few good titles (Zelda, etc). I am very intrigued with the new controller, however at launch; there are simply no real killer games to sell it. Wii sports is fun enough but embarrassingly bad looking (why not just release the new controller for the gamecube if you plan on making games like this). I had high hopes for Red Steel, but… wow is that ever bad. I am yet to see a game rated 9/10.
Zelda, Mario and Metroid will only get you so far, and I would love to see more innovation on the kind of games are being released on Nintendo systems.
Innovation should not mean a MAJOR sacrifice in quality. I love the fact they have a new cool controller. At the same time they are pushing it along with substandard hardware that in no way can compete with other modern consoles. I would not mind if Nintendo was not quite as powerful as Xbox360/PS3, but it is almost an entire generation behind…. With more people getting HD TVs this will become more evident with time.
Do any of you own a wii, PS3 and XBOX 360?
well i do, and i have a little something to say about them all. The Wii is an excellent party console. Having friends round to play video games has never been more fun and anyone can play, not only those who play games on a regular basis. Hell, even my mother can play!
There is no completion to the way xbox live works, sony are trying, but they really arnt quite there at all, live may cost you £40 a year, but its worth every penny and alot less than many MMO's you find today. The live tag system is great, its like haveing xfire and teamspeak built into your console on a system level.
The PS3 on the other hand does have blue ray, even though i hold no hope at all in this being a winning format in the next hi-def movie format due to sonys track record in inventing new formats. (betamax, minidisc, atrac-3, UMD, and the memory stick mostly only works with sony devices) it does provide a much much larger capacity for data then dvd, this will come into play about a year after the launch when developers are getting to grips with the tech and can start to make much more detailed environments. Yet this is see has the only good point for now.
So basically what i am saying is, if you like the aspect of online play, go buy a 360 and stop bitching about the PS3, If you like casual gaming and have alot of friends who dont really play computer games, go get yourself a Wii. If you really need a hi-def movie player now, have the TV to back it up and are willing to wait a while before you can play any really decent games due to giving the developers time to figure out how to get the best out of the hardware then go by a PS3 and stop moning about the 360 and Wii.
All 3 consoles have good points, all have bad. But mostly, all 3 companys are in it to win it in thier on way and will still be there for the next round of consoles and fan-boy hype 5 years down the line.
Appreciate the games. Its the developers that make a console what it is. Without them there would be nothing. (gizmodo, case and point)
Well at least these comments give me a laugh. Really guys: very funny. After 3 years reading the register I finally, well, register to reply to the above:
I mean, reading a 5 page review of a gaming console, and having an account with el reg, and then taking the trouble to say "you're all geeks, go out and get a life"...? That's one of the funniest posts I've ever seen on the web. If you can't see the irony there, then ignore my comments, thanks - no doubt the healthy outdoor game of soccer you were enjoying when you posted this will distract you anyway.....?
And then there's this practise of calling console features a "gimmick"...?
Last I looked, video game consoles are probably the closest thing I can think of to being a "gimmick" in and of themselves: by their very nature, if you want to be a puris. They flash and bleep as much as possible, do no real "job" and have no real "function" (bar "recreation" which we all know requires no specific hardware LOL) - I mean, what a plainly dumb remark. All innovation in a game is a "gimmick" - moot point.
Honestly, the QWERTY keyboard I'm typing on this is just a "gimmick", too - the altair 8800 didn't need one, why should this machine?
But Hey, I could pick holes all day: fact is I'm no nintendo freak but time after time after time they point the way for everyone else. This is not an opinion, there is a thing called "the videogames industry" which proves it.
Remember the way the games market collapsed in 1983 because of the lack of structure for royalties, rights management and designers being paid? Remember who came along and rebuilt it with solid ideas based on gaming markets?
Remember the famicom / NES? Remember those wierd controllers - cross arrows on the right, two buttons on the left - they introduced... and how everyone now uses them? Joypads?
Remember who put the most effort into forming JAMMA and making coinops and consoles the same industry?
Please, don't be so silly: Nintendo are a games company. Sony and Microsoft are (naff) Stereo and (terrible) Operating system brokers, respectively. To try and say that Nintendo is using "gimmicks" when the Xbox and PS3 are just graphic processors with expensive optical drives attached is hilarious.
After all, in 30 years time what Sony or MS titles will people remember like they remember Donkey Kong?
Hats off to nintendo, they seem, as ever, to actually give a damn about their target market - kids and young adults - by producing intelligent, innovative devices at low prices with high usability.
The rest of the industry could take a couple hundred pages out of their book, really.