But Wii isn't just a games machine. The Wii's designed with more a more family audience in mind than your average games console, past or present, and it's ready to retrieve content from in the internet, provided you have broadband plumbed into your abode.
The console has a built-in Wi-Fi receiver and getting it connect to your access point is a straightforward process. The console can cope with all the latest Wi-Fi security and encryption provisions, but it's a 802.11b box, so if like me your access point is set to operate on 802.11g only, you'll run into trouble. It took me ages to figure out why the console wasn't connecting...
Incidentally, the Wii will store three sets of connection details, allowing you to connect the console to a wired and wireless networks as appropriate, or add a couple of friends' WLANs so you can take you Wii to parties. Nintendo will offer a USB-connected LAN adaptor as an optional extra and a USB WLAN module so you can share a broadband connection with an otherwise non-wireless PC.
With the link up and running, the Wii connects and downloads system updates as necessary - including one to enable the use of the SD card slot. With the console not yet on sale in the UK, the news and weather Channels weren't operational and neither was the online Wii Shop from which you can buy and download NES, SNES and N64 games from yesteryear.
All these appear as separate entries in the Wii's main menu. Alongside them is the Disc Channel, which is where the currently loaded game appears; the Photo Channel, used to show photos and movies captured on SD card; and the Mii Channel, in which console owners can create cartoon avatars, called Miis, that are used in Mii-supporting games, including Wii Sports, not only as in-game characters but as IDs - visual usernames, if you will.
Nintendo imagines family members and friends all creating their own Miis and using them to retrieve saved games and the like. In fact, in some titles - again, Wii Sports is the main example - you can't save games unless you create a Mii. All the Miis on the system gather in a virtual playground where they can be selected for editing or deletion and even transferred to a Remote to allow you to take your creation and copy it onto a pal's Wii for multi-player gaming.
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.