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.