Is Nintendo fumbling it's position with the Wii?

As I stated in my other video game thread this morning, I own all 3 game systems and like certain things about all of them and as such, I am not a fanboy of any particular system.

Anyway, I got a Wii for fathers day this year and me and my family enjoyed it for a month or so and I will break it out when friends come over that have never played it, but in my deep thoughts over video games this weekend I got concerned about the Wii and heres why.

Just like the N64/GC the Wii is almost 100% dependent on Nintendo released games. There are very few 3rd party musthave games out/coming out in the near future. It’s true that the controller setup makes the Wii so popular with the casual crowd, but the Wii has been out for a while now and the selection of games is REALLY slim. Nothing has come out on the Wii in the last 2-3 months that I have been compelled to purchase and as such, the Wii gets played far less than my 360 and even my PS3 (Ninja Gaiden).

I think Nintendo is making 5 big mistakes with the Wii:

  1. Supply of the console should not be painfully low this long after launch. It’s basically glorified GC hardware and I don’t see why they are having these supply problems still. Anyone should be able to walk into WalMart by now and buy a Wii at any time.

  2. Slow trickle of mediocre games coming out. Nothing earth shattering is on the horizon (except MP3, but Ill touch on that in a minute). This is their biggest failure IMHO. Nintendo should have more decent games on Wii by now but they don’t.

  3. They need to stop advertising the Wii controllers and start advertising the GAMES for christs sake. MP3 is coming out next week and there hasn’t been a single TV ad and very few online ads for this game. MP was one of the biggest selling GC franchises and they are ignoring this important entry right now for some reason. I still see plenty of commericials showing people having fun playing Wii sports or (faking) having fun playing Mario Party 8, but no commercials for any big games.

  4. Get rid of the stupid ass Friend Code system. Nuff said.

  5. Wii publishers are being EXTREMEMLY lazy with the graphics on this system. This thing is supposed to be twice as powerful as the GC, which should make it more powerful than the PS2 and Xbox yet the games typically look WORSE than the best games on GC. I don’t expect them to look like my 360/PS3 games, but at least make them look as good as they can so it’s not so jarring when I move between systems.


I think they’re losing momentum after a great start. The games just aren’t there, nor are they really on the horizon. I went through IGN’s release dates list and, except for MP3, I don’t see anything I’m looking forward to. On the other hand, I just saw their review of Bioshock and will probably be getting a 360 upon it’s release. That game looks absolutely incredible.

I agree with you. I have a Wii and haven’t played it in about, what, three or four months now. I played through Super Paper Mario, that was great. Wii Sports was very good. Zelda I sort of got out of the habit of playing and never resumed, but it is a very good game, as well.

However, there’s nothing I’ve seen lately that’s inspired me to go out and purchase a new title. The game offerings, frankly, are still pretty paltry. And the graphics still suck for most games. Even Super Paper Mario seemed needlessly sloppy, even though I enjoyed the gameplay enough not to bitch too much about the graphics. The Wii certainly has capability for better graphics. Rayman Raving Rabbids and that new soccer game look competent enough in the graphics department. And then there’s games like Big Mama Cookoff (or whatever it’s called) that are simply embarrassing in the visuals. Painfully bad.

I still think the Wii has the greatest potential for innovative games. I certainly haven’t given up on it, but I think it’ll still be some time before we see developers truly exploring its potential.

But, yeah, Nintendo have been pissing me off with Wii.

The Wii is selling faster than any console has EVER. Saying “why can’t Nintendo make them quicker” when they’re already meeting a demand that has never been seen before is just asinine. They are appearing “in the wild” a lot more frequently lately, but as long as demand is what it is, it will be hard to find a Wii.

It took the 360 forever to get more than a handful of worthwhile games. It will likely take the Wii just as long. The PS3 has been able to ride the 360’s coattails with a bunch of simultaneous releases that the Wii can’t handle so it’s library looks like it has more worthy titles.

Oh, and between Resident Evil, Mario Galaxy and Smash Bros Brawl, my Wii will get plenty of work this holiday.

Turn on your Wii and download the freely available Metroid Channel. It has been selling Wii owners on the game since Nintendo released it a week or so ago. And aren’t people who already own the system the best people to advertise to? And it costs Nintendo nothing.

I have never understood the problem with Friend Codes.

I don’t know. Excite Truck looks pretty good to me. Sure it’s no Gears of War, but it does it’s job. But you’re right, some developers are content to be lazy with the Wii’s graphics because they assume no one cares.

I had the feeling when it started that it would be the ultimate novelty device. They make money off every unit sold so perhaps they don’t care about games sold just units.

Never mind…

For anyone else confused about MP3 (is it an audio file format?), I’m guessing from context clues the OP means some sort of game title, perhaps Mario Party 3.

I think the idea was that Friend Codes would mean you didn’t have to share new codes with other people whenever you wanted to link or share stuff or whatever; you get one single code, and that allows you to do it all. Problem being that some games actually have their own code as well as that, making it somewhat pointless.

I don’t know, but I would guess Metroid Prime.

MP3 = Metroid Prime 3.

One game I’ve heard a lot of complaining about (graphics-wise) is Cooking Mama. I’m assuming they just copied the 2D cartoon-like graphics from the DS version?

I have just two points to add.

First, game publishers have been incredibly stupid when it comes to the Wii. Hardly anyone had significant resources in developing for it when the platform hit and many of them moved very slowly in rethinking their position. The end result is that third party development for the Wii has been undermined. It takes a lot of time to develop a AAA game and no one except Nintendo had even started when the Wii was released; nearly a year later and they’re just starting to move with the development on them. It’s not a fatal trap since Nintendo is going crazy floating the platform until everyone is on board.

The other thing is that I don’t believe online gaming is really what console players are looking for. The XBox Live crowd are a small, vocal minority, but I can’t stand playing online with the service because it’s filled with obnoxious twelve year olds. You’ll also note that the console with a lot of online play (XBox) was creamed by the one with effectively no online play (Playstation 2) last generation. I don’t think the market has shifted enough to change that into a desired feature.

Hmmm…with a name like “Justin Bailey” it’s not hard to guess which system you would froth over…

It wouldn’t be hard to find them if they would produce them at the appropriate rate. People jizz themselves at each new Ipod release, but within a month or two of a new one coming out you can easily find them at any retailer. There is nothing exciting or new technology wise in the Wii so any number of manufacturing facilities should be able to make these things, unlike the PS3 blue led issue which used a relatively new GaN based semiconductor processes, which only a couple of companies can even do on a large scale.

The 360 had plenty of huge games “on the horizon” by the last 1/4 of it’s first year. The Wii doesn’t even have that. Resident Evil? That’s the same game that’s been out for years on GC and PS2. Whoopie. Mario and Smash Bros? Again, Nintendo games that trickle out. Give me some new 3rd party games that are at least decent.

And actually I have said the opposite about wortthy games on the PS3. There are few good games on there and they need to get it together if they want to succeed. Read my other thread.

This is nonsensical. If I was a company and one of , what should be, my marquee games was on the horizon I would probably be advertising to all GAMERS, not just Wii owners and you can bet that the advertising would start much earlier than 1 week before release. I don’t think Wii owners are the ones that need to be sold on MP3 since most of us have been waiting for that game for a while now and have had jack squat to play for months now, so we are all going to buy just about any game that comes out at this point.

Not sure what to tell you on this one. I have yet to meet a single person who likes the Friend Codes even on the DS.

Excite truck could have easily bee on the GC, no problem. I think paper mario looked the best so far, and that’s not saying much.

And yes, MP3 is Metroid Prime 3. Sorry for the confusion.

The real problem is that third party software companies were not on board with the Wii at first. However, with it’s sales they can’t really ignore it, so many are developing for it. Some turned around quick ports that, frankly, blew (for example, Call of Duty 3). I have read that the Wii is not an expensive or difficult platform to develop for (which is probably why the game for it are cheaper), compared to the PS3 for example. I’m not sure what momentum is being lost, the Wii is it’s own system, cpomplimenting the PS3 or Xbox on somebody’s shelf. Xbox and PS3 compete side-by-side, really, but I don’t see the Wii doing the same.

We have to remember that the system hasn’t even been out for a year yet, and ALL consoles have a slow first year. There have already been enough great games to justify the system’s first year, even if half of them are Gamecube ports or games that were originally started for the GC.

I think the third party problem, which has always plagued Nintendo, is even more pronounced with the Wii right now because nobody took the system seriously or prioritized development for it until it sold a bazillion units. Now they’re still in the process of scrambling to make games for it.

I do think there are some great-looking games on the horizon - Mario Galaxy looks cool and innovative, and No more heroes looks great. I’m not excited about the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game (why is anyone? The first is one of the biggest failures in gaming history), but the Dragon Quest Sword game and the new Resident Evil look great.

Actually, right now my 360 has my frothing demand as I really want Beautiful Katamari, The Simpsons Game and Blacksite. I’m also super pissed that Culdcept Saga was delayed into next year. Oh well, Smash Bros. Brawl should fill that gap.

But again, what’s the appropriate rate? They’re already operating at capacity. You can’t just wave a wand (or a Wiimote) and make more Wii consoles appear. And I’ve heard the accelerometer used in the Wiimote is actually a rather complicated piece of electronics to make on a large scale.

I think Just Some Guy covered this well enough: “game publishers have been incredibly stupid when it comes to the Wii. Hardly anyone had significant resources in developing for it when the platform hit and many of them moved very slowly in rethinking their position.”

And why the hate on Resident Evil? Umbrella Chronicles looks sweet.

It actually makes perfect sense in the context of Nintendo’s Wii advertising. They know they’re selling them faster than they can make them, so advertising has been slow to really ramp up. They don’t want to try to sell something they know they can’t deliver.

But advertising a big game to people that already have the system for no cost? That’s brilliant.

I don’t really like them either, but I don’t see much of a difference between playing Bomberman Live with “xXxNARUT0D00dxXx” as I do with playing Mario Kart DS with “12345678901234”.

Half the problem here is that the third parties thought Nintendo was a dead man walking, and developed for the 360 and PS3.


That said, I do like Spiderman Wii, for some reason. (Thwip!)

It’s taking a while for them to ramp up development. But Galaxy is coming. And Metroid Prime 3.

Tell me about it. The controls feel so natural in that game for the webslinging that I wish that Activision hadn’t decided to finally rest on their Spider-Man laurels and just dump a crappy, no effort movie license out. If they redid Spider-Man 2 with those controls I’d be in heaven.

This thread is encouraging. As a “casual gamer” (as in, I haven’t owned a console since SNES) I am really really intrigued by the Wii, but circumstances bar me from getting one any time soon.

If the Wii ends up sucking, I am excited to find oodles of them, and games, on eBay by the time I am ready to buy :slight_smile:

I’m guessing it’s probably more difficult than people think in getting production ramped up that far. Might it not be possible that whomever Nintendo contracted with to produce the hardware has other clients that it can’t easily scale back on to allow greater production for Nintendo?

Speaking only for myself, the Wii came out about the same time as the PS3 did, yet the Wii has FAR more games that I actually care about and want than the PS3 does. I own 7 or 8 wii games so far. How many PS3 games do I own? Zip, zero, zilch, nada. None of them look THAT interesting to me right now. At least the Wii games are novel, thanks to the controller.

The controller is, by and large, what makes the system what it is. Why not advertise it? After all, Wii Sports wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it was controlled with a gamecube-type controller.

I can agree with that.

Appearance is in the eye of the beholder. I happen to like how many of the games look on the wii. Then again, I tend to prefer cartoony graphics to the gritty polish of games like Gears of War. Gears of War is, after all, technically beautiful, but the graphics for Super Paper Mario are nostalgic and fun.

I think they’re still shooting themselves in the foot a little. Not everyone who has a Wii has it hooked up to the net. But demand is still high enough that I can see not wanting to advertise in a way that will promote sales for the system.

The game selection doesn’t look quite so poor for people who never owned a GC. I’m slowly working my way through Super Paper Mario and my next purchase for the Wii will probably be Thousand Year Door. Since I jumped from the N64 to the Wii, I haven’t had a system to play it on until now. I’m sure I could find a few other GC titles worth grabbing (My husband wants SSBM fairly badly–he’s big on party games).

One more thing.

Wiimotes are a dime a dozen, figuratively speaking. Find me some nunchuks and we’ll talk. (Yeah, I know, the nunchuk probably uses it too. But it’s a lot harder to find)