Nintendo Wii (original, Wii Sports bundle)
Typical Price: $439.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 4.0 / 5
The good: Revolutionary controller design offers unique motion-sensitive gameplay options; built-in Wi-Fi delivers free online services and gameplay; Virtual Console has major nostalgia appeal; compatible with all GameCube games and controllers; built-in SD slot for storage and photo viewing; latest bundle includes Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort games, plus MotionPlus attachment; compatible with Netflix video streaming.
The bad: Controller eats batteries and takes some time to get used to; online gaming and community features hobbled by horrible "friends code" system; lacks the advanced HD graphics and surround sound found on the Xbox 360 and the PS3; requires a wired receiver unit placed near the TV to interface with wireless controllers; can't play CDs or DVDs; lacks a steady stream of compelling game releases compared to rival consoles.
The bottom line: If you don't mind the dearth of HD graphics, the Nintendo Wii's combination of motion-sensitive controllers, included Wii Sports titles, and emphasis on fun gameplay make the ultra-affordable console hard to resist.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Nintendo has ventured off the beaten path with its newest system, and the company knows it. While the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 both emphasize their impressive graphical capabilities, Nintendo downplays the importance of graphics on its new console. While the Sony and Microsoft consoles keep the branding of their respective predecessors, the oddly named Wii is a semantic departure from Nintendo's more literally named 2001 console, the GameCube. And while the PS3 and the Xbox 360 both use conventional gamepads bristling with buttons, control sticks, and directional pads, the Wii uses a device that looks more like a TV remote than a gamepad to control its games.
These strange choices could have spelled failure for Nintendo's newest endeavor. Underplaying processing power, using a strange new controller setup, and giving the whole package an odd name could have been major mistakes for Nintendo. (Consider some of the company's earlier attempts to go against the grain: the Power Glove and the Virtual Boy.) But the gamble paid off: since its November 2006 release, the Wii has become a runaway hit, so popular that it remained tough to find two years after its initial release. It's strange, it's different, and it's not as powerful as its competitors, but the Nintendo Wii succeeds in its primary mission: it's fun to play.
Opening the box
The Wii box includes everything you need to hook the system up to a standard television: the Wii console, a wireless controller with nunchuk adapter, the sensor bar, a cradle (for mounting the console vertically), the Wii's modestly sized power adapter, and a set of composite AV cables. Unfortunately, composite cables don't support the Wii's top resolution of 480p, so HDTV owners will want to also purchase a set of Wii component cables (sold separately).
The console itself is downright tiny--easily the smallest and lightest of the new generation of game machines. At 1.75 inches high by 6.25 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep (when oriented horizontally), it is--as Nintendo promised--about the size of three DVD cases. The initial model is available only in iPod-white, but it's a safe bet that we'll see plenty of other colors become available as the months and years progress. Like with the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, you can lay the Wii horizontally or stand it vertically (either by itself or, for added stability, in the included plastic cradle). Like the PS3, the Wii uses a slot-loading mechanism; it accepts the Wii discs (full-size 12cm) and older GameCube discs (mini 8cm), without the need for an adapter.
The Wii includes 512MB of internal memory for storing saved games, downloaded Virtual Console titles, and other data. If that half-gigabyte of onboard storage isn't enough for you, the system has a standard Secure Digital card slot for additional storage. SD cards are cheap and plentiful, and the Wii's support of them is a refreshing change of pace from the proprietary memory cards used by older game consoles.
In October 2008, Nintendo released an update for the Wii that allows WiiWare and Virtual Console games to be played directly off an SD card, thus essentially eliminating the console's dreaded lack-of-storage issue. There is one catch, though: as of this writing, the console can only support up to 2GB SD cards.
While it doesn't come with a memory card or component-video cables, the Wii does include one pleasant surprise in the box. The system comes with Wii Sports, a simple but infectious sports game that lets users get a feel for the Wii's capabilities without investing in additional games. Wii Sports uses the system's wireless controller as erstwhile sporting equipment, letting users swing and mock-throw it to play baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, and boxing. The different games can support up to four players at a time, but most modes require more than the system's single controller for multiplayer options. Players can swap the remote back and forth for golf and bowling, but players who would like to box or face each other in a tennis match or a baseball game will need to purchase at least one more controller. Wii Sports feels more like a collection of five minigames than a fully fleshed-out title, but it lets users have fun right out of the box while simultaneously showcasing the system's potential.
Starting in May 2010, all Wiis--both black and white--come bundled with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii MotionPlus in addition to the standard Wii remote and nunchuk controllers.
The Wii's simple design makes it very easy to hook up. The back panel of the console has only five ports: one for the power adapter, one for the proprietary AV cable, one for the sensor bar, and two USB ports for future accessories. Just plug in the sensor bar and put it either on top of or under your television, plug the video cable into your TV, and plug the power cable into the wall, and you're ready to go.
Once everything is hooked together, just turn on the Wii to go through the software setup. Settings such as time and user name can be easily selected with the remote control's pointer. The only remotely technical setting most users will have to deal with is the network connection, and the menu system practically walks users through the setup. The Wii's Wi-Fi connection can work with secure WEP and WPA encrypted Wi-Fi networks, so you don't have to make your network vulnerable just to play online. We had no problem connecting to our open wireless router, though we couldn't test the network connection beyond that. If you don't have Wi-Fi at all, Nintendo is said to be offering an Ethernet adapter that interfaces with one of the USB ports.
Once the Wii's network settings are set up, the system is designed to be constantly online through Nintendo's WiiConnect24 service. The Wii can use WiiConnect24 to automatically download system updates, additional game content, and even weather and news. When a message or system update arrives on your Wii, the disc slot glows a bright blue, even when it's not in use--unless you disable that notification feature in the preferences menu.
Wii Channels: Media and online capabilities
The Wii's navigation is done through a series of pages called Wii Channels that take advantage of the WiiConnect24's always-on design. Among the Wii's default channels are a weather forecast channel, a news channel, a message channel, a photo channel, and the cute avatar-generating Mii channel. The channel home page is the system's default gateway, which also provides access to the disc-based Wii/GameCube games and Virtual Console titles.
The Mii Channel lets users create and modify Miis, cute little avatars for use online and in certain games. The Miis are cartoony and extremely simple, but the Mii Channel includes enough customization features for users to create Miis that look like themselves, their friends, or even celebrities. (Our Wii is currently populated with characters from "The Big Lebowski.") Miis don't seem that useful, but they can be used as characters in games such as Wii Sports, and as avatars in the Wii's Message Channel. Since Miis are so simple, players can use their Wiimotes' 6KB of storage to carry around as many as 10 Miis and use them on their friends' Wiis.
The Photo Channel was a pleasantly useful surprise, though a bit of a misnomer. The channel can display and edit photos. Nintendo claims that the Wii can also play MP3 music files and QuickTime videos, but these features feel like afterthoughts; MP3s can be played only in a photo slide show, and we were unable to load a QuickTime movie on our Wii. Fortunately, the Photo Channel's emphasis is clearly on image viewing and editing. Once up to 1,000 of your photos are loaded through the SD card slot, you can view them individually, browse them in an album view, or watch a slide show of them. The Photo Channel also includes a basic image editor, though it's clearly built more for fun than serious editing. With its upbeat background music and some very cute image options, the editor feels a lot like the old Super Nintendo classic Mario Paint.
While on the subject of media, it's worth noting that the Wii does not play audio CDs or video DVDs, which is something of a disappointment. Yes, everybody already has a DVD player, but with DVD playback capability being standard-issue since the last generation of game consoles, its omission here is something of a conundrum. Nintendo claims it was to keep the price down, and the company's last-generation console, the GameCube, also lacked DVD playback. Nintendo also hasn't indicated that it's going to launch any sort of downloadable video or music store, and--with the Wii's lack of a built-in spacious hard drive--that doesn't seem like it would be on the docket anytime soon.
The Wii's online capabilities are a mixed bag. A series of online "Channels" offers a decent alternative to PC-based Web browsing, but the system's online gaming and community features leave a lot to be desired. That's largely because each Wii has its own unique "friend code," a series of numbers you can find in the system's configuration menu. To become friends with another Wii owner, you need to send them your friend code (through e-mail, instant messaging, or a phone call--any non-Wii form of communication). Then they must give you their own Wii's friend code, and you must enter it into your own Wii. When that's all done, you two have become friends and can finally send messages to each other via the Wii's "Message Channel." If that weren't bad enough, you have to essentially repeat the process for every Wii game you want to play online (each title has its own separate friend code, above and beyond the system's main code). Compared to Xbox Live's incredibly easy system of entering your friend's Gamertag and them accepting you as a friend, the Wii system is entirely too byzantine. (That said, parents may appreciate the fact that the convoluted system makes it all but impossible for online strangers to interface with their kids.)Beyond messaging, the various online channels offer some handy and entertaining features. The Forecast, News, and Internet Channels form the Wii's trinity of nongaming services. They're not quite as impressive as the Xbox Live or PS3's online media systems, but they're still fun and are occasionally useful to have around.
The Forecast Channel turns your Wii into your own personal weather report. It displays the local weather, a five-day forecast, and even UV reports. If you want to know more than what the weather's going to be like in your town, you can zoom out to a global view, complete with recognizable weather icons for nearly every major city. A quick drag with the Wiimote can get a weather report for anywhere from San Francisco to Tokyo. It won't replace the Weather Channel or more in-depth online weather services, but for a quick glance at the forecast in between games, the Forecast Channel is pretty neat.
The News Channel functions similarly to the Forecast Channel, only with news instead of weather. It downloads stories from the AP wire service, which are displayed in text that can be resized and zoomed in for easier reading on large screens. The stories come with either some form of accompanying photos, or a map indicating where the news is taking place. By default, the News Channel organizes the different stories in the manner of a newspaper into sections such as national, international, regional, and sports news. Besides the newspaperlike format, stories can also be browsed through a slide show or a globelike interface similar to the Forecast Channel's. Much like the Forecast Channel, the News Channel offers a nifty service that doesn't replace dedicated television or online news sources.
The Internet Channel is an Opera-based Web browser for the Wii. New URLs are entered with the Wiimote via the Wii's onscreen keyboard, and favorite Web pages can be stored in the browser's bookmarks. The browser is surprisingly full featured, and can even load complex, Flash-heavy Web pages such as YouTube and our own CNET.com. Much like the News Channel, the pages can be zoomed in and out for comfortable reading on larger screens. It occasionally chokes on some sites, but this might be more due to the sites' browser-sensing scripts that automatically assume the Internet Channel won't be compatible.
While once free, Opera's Internet Channel browser is now a 500-point ($5) download. It offers surprisingly flexible web browsing on the Wii, made even more useful with the system's recently added USB keyboard support.
Since the Wii's release, Nintendo has launched a handful of new channels. While they offer fun little diversions, most of these new channels feel shallow and gratuitous. The Everybody Votes channel offers a daily online survey on various, seemingly random subjects. The Check Mii Out Channel lets you share your various Miis online and have other users rate and vote for them in informal contests.
The Wii now also offers on-demand Netflix streaming, just like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Users will need to use a disc each time for watching movies; the disc is available for free from Netflix.
The Wii's Virtual Console offers the bulk of the system's online content. Rather than new downloadable titles like Xbox Live Arcade or the PlayStation Network, the Virtual Console plays classic video games from generations past. Originally the VC supported NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and Turbografix-16 titles, and recently expanded to Neo-Geo titles. Nintendo currently boasts a library of over a hundred classic games, with new titles added every Monday.
Shopping for old-school games with the Virtual Console is easy. If your Wii is online, just go to the Wii Shop channel and browse. These games cost Wii Points, with each point equivalent to a penny. They range from 500 points ($5) for NES games to 1,200 points ($12) for certain N64 titles. Wii Points can be purchased in gift card form at major retailers or with a credit card directly through the Wii Shop. Regardless of how you get your points, you'll need to enter them into your account through the Wii Shop. If you have a Wii Points card, you can redeem it by entering a code through your Wii. If you want to buy the points directly online, you have to enter your credit card information with the Wiimote through the Wii's software keyboard.
Once you have your points, you can start shopping. Go into the Wii Shop and select Virtual Console, then browse through the various games available. Each game has a title screenshot and a short description so that you can learn a bit before you decide to buy. When you're ready, just click Download, and you can confirm the purchase. The Wii will tell you exactly how much space you'll have left on the Wii and how many Wii Points you'll have left in your account after the download. After you confirm the purchase, the Wii begins downloading your chosen game automatically. The progress of the download is shown by a cute animation of the 8-bit Super Mario Bros. Mario chasing coins and hitting blocks. The downloads can take less than a minute for NES games, or as much as 10 minutes for Nintendo 64 games. Once the game is downloaded, the program will boot you back to the Wii Shop's main menu.
Downloaded Virtual Console games appear as individual channels in the Wii's main menu, and playing those games is as simple as selecting their channel and pressing start. The VC emulator loads the game, and your retro fun begins.
VC games are essentially perfect emulations of their original versions, which is both good and bad for gamers. Classic purists will be thrilled at the genuine, old-school gameplay experience, but more casual players hoping for the enhanced graphics or online play found in some XBLA retro games will be disappointed. At most, a few N64 games remove licensed logos from in-game billboards for legal reasons, but otherwise remain untouched. For extra old-school experience, the Wiimote itself can be turned sideways and handled like a conventional controller for NES and Turbographix-16 games. For SNES, Genesis, and N64 games, however, you'll need either an old GameCube controller plugged into one of the system's GC ports or the Wii Classic Controller plugged into your Wiimote.
Wide-screen users will notice the one annoying flaw of the Virtual Console: old-school games have no wide-screen support. If you play on a wide-screen TV, your retro game will be stretched noticeably. Though a firmware update may be in the system's future, the only way to fix this issue currently is to set your television to a 4:3 aspect ratio for Virtual Console games and set it back to wide-screen for regular games.
Also new to Wii's online shop is WiiWare, a marketplace for downloadable software made my developers of all kinds. The WiiWare marketplace is updated weekly and features hundreds of titles of varying genres.
The Wiimote controller
Wii Sports also doubles as a tutorial for familiarizing yourself with the system's unique wireless controller, which is what really sets it apart from competing consoles--and all the game systems that have come before it. The Wiimote, as it's been affectionately dubbed, is a sophisticated motion-sensing controller that connects wirelessly to the Wii via the Bluetooth wireless protocol.
This revolutionary design isn't completely wireless: to function, it requires the placement of the Wii's sensor bar either on top of or beneath your television screen. Fortunately, the sensor bar is extremely unobtrusive, and we forgot it was even there minutes after setting up the system. The sensor bar is a small and light plastic rectangle about the size of two pens laid end to end, and it connects to the Wii with a very long cord (about eight feet), so its setup is simple and flexible. The sensor bar comes with a tiny, clear plastic base with adhesive squares on its feet, so you can stick it securely on the top of your television, even if it's a narrow flat-panel screen. (If the thin cable is an issue, the battery-powered Nyko Wireless Sensor Bar works perfectly well.)
Accelerometers inside the remote sense how the device is being held and if it's being moved in any direction. These sensors control actions such as baseball bat and golf club swings in Wii Sports, Link's sword slashes in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and even steering trucks in Excite Truck. Moreover, you hold the Wiimote differently depending on the game: grasp it like the hilt of a sword in Zelda and Red Steel, as a baseball bat or tennis racket in Wii Sports, or hold it horizontally as a steering bar for Excite Truck. Because the Wiimote is so light, these controls and movements can take some getting used to. Fortunately, a speaker and a force-feedback module built into the Wiimote can provide additional tactile and audio feedback for your actions and add an extra bit of immersion to the Wii experience. For example, the remote's tiny speaker makes an audible "Clang!" when Link swings his sword, and it rumbles when Link strikes an enemy. Even menu selections on the Wii are signaled by helpful little vibrations of the Wiimote.
The Wiimote also uses a set of infrared sensors to determine the remote's orientation in regard to the television. A set of IR diodes in the Wiimote communicate with the Wii's sensor bar to serve as a pointer for navigating menus and aiming weapons in first-person shooters. Again, this control system takes some getting used to, but once you adapt to the control, pointing with the Wiimote feels much more natural than using an analog stick. It doesn't quite replace the beloved mouse-and-keyboard combination for FPS games, but--after getting acclimated to it--we found it worked better than traditional console controllers.
While the new control system is both fun and innovative, the pointer gets occasionally jerky or twitchy, and the tilt controls require a light and subtle touch. Part of this can be attributed to the Wii's learning curve, and after a few hours we barely noticed those quirks. Unfortunately, the Wii doesn't currently have a way to manually calibrate the Wiimote's controls; you're forced to trust the Wii's generally accurate automatic calibration.
The remote's stand-alone abilities are impressive enough, but it also has a device port so that accessories can be plugged directly into it. The Wii comes with a nunchuk attachment, a small device that plugs into the remote and contains an analog stick and two additional buttons. The nunchuk augments the Wiimote in many games, such as controlling characters' movements in Twilight Princess or Red Steel. The nunchuk also contains motion-sensing equipment, so it can be shaken and rocked to perform additional actions. For example, shaking the nunchuk in Twilight Princess executes a spinning slash attack.
The nunchuk is the most commonly used Wiimote accessory, but others are available. In addition to the aforementioned Classic Controller (for Virtual Console games). Nintendo launches the Zapper this November, a plastic enclosure for the remote and nunchuk that lets you handle both controllers like a machine gun. Several games are already being crafted for the Zapper's design, though it remains a simple enclosure; besides the the nunchuk and the classic controller, we haven't seen many more uses for the port at the bottom of the remote.
This wireless, motion-sensing goodness doesn't come without a price. The Wiimote uses two AA batteries, which must power the remote's accelerometers, IR sensors, Bluetooth radio, speaker, rumble module, and any attachments you plug in (the batteryless nunchuk draws its power from the Wiimote). The Wii doesn't come with any sort of charger, so you'll almost certainly want to pick up a set of at least four rechargeable AA batteries and a battery charger, or opt for a third-party solution such as Nyko's Wii Charge Station. Another factor to consider is that extra controllers a pretty pricey: $40 for additional Wiimotes, plus another $20 for the nunchuk.
In June 2009, Nintendo introduced Wii MotionPlus, an attachment for the Wii remote that promises improved motion control and accuracy. While the initial games that took advantage of the device didn't really impress us, Wii Sports Resort displays the true potential of Wii MotionPlus. For more on MotionPlus and how it affects gameplay, check out our review.
Gameplay and graphics
The Wii's biggest and most obvious appeal is the ability to use its motion-sensing controller to play Wii-specific games. The Wii's release lineup includes the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the addictive pack-in party game Wii Sports, as well as a variety of more traditional third-party titles (many of which have been enhanced to use the Wiimote control). But while you're waiting for some more innovative Wii titles to arrive, there will still be plenty of games to play. The Wii is fully backward compatible with the Nintendo GameCube and includes four built-in GameCube controller ports and two GameCube memory card slots for gamers who want to enjoy their last-gen games. To play those older games, you'll need at least one GC controller (best choice: the wireless WaveBird) and (if you want to save your progress) a memory card. Truth be told, though, the list of truly great GameCube titles is short and sweet.
If Wii and GameCube games aren't enough, the Wii also features Nintendo's Virtual Console, a library of games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and Turbografix-16 systems. Games can be purchased and downloaded over Nintendo's online Wii Store, where they are stored on the Wii's system memory or SD card. Virtual Console game purchases are tied to the Wii's network ID, so you can't pop your Virtual Console games onto an SD card and take them over to play them on a friend's Wii. On the bright side, Nintendo is pledging that already purchased games can be downloaded again free if you accidentally lose or delete your data. Games are purchased with Wii Points, which can be purchased via credit card or gift card (100 Wii Points equals one U.S. dollar)--the system is essentially identical to Microsoft's tried-and-true Xbox Live Marketplace (Sony's fledgling PlayStation store will denominate purchases in real currency, but is functionally the same). NES games will cost the equivalent of $5 (500 points), Turbografix-16 games $6, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games $8, and Nintendo 64 games $10.
While the Wii's controller is very advanced and innovative, its processing power is not. The system uses a more powerful version of the Nintendo GameCube's processor, and it doesn't have nearly as much polygon-pushing power as the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. While Microsoft's and Sony's consoles support high-definition outputs of up to 1080p, the Wii can hit only the GameCube's ceiling of 480p, and even that mode can't be used with the Wii's included composite AV cables. (Most if not all of the Wii's games will, however, be optimized for wide-screen TVs.) The Wii also lacks advanced surround sound, instead sticking with the GameCube's Dolby Pro-Logic II matrixed surround (based on a stereo signal, not native 5.1). In other words, if you're looking for state-of-the-art eye candy, you're going to want to opt for the PS3 or the Xbox 360--either of which will take a significantly larger chunk of your bank account.
Is the Wii worth picking up? It all depends on what you're looking for. If you've been clamoring for an all-purpose next-generation multimedia box with blinding HD graphics, the Wii will be a disappointment. But Nintendo didn't intend to compete in that arena anyway: the Wii is focused squarely on delivering fun and innovative gameplay, leaving Sony and Microsoft to battle it out at the high end. The Wiimote and its motion-sensing, pseudo-virtual-reality controls are the biggest draws of the console, and its online capabilities, Wii Channels, Virtual Console, and GameCube backward-compatibility are just a thick, sweet layer of icing on an already tasty cake. Likewise, the Wii is the only home console that lets you play games featuring nostalgic Nintendo-only franchises such as Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. With a price tag of just $200 and the addition of Wii Sports Resort and MotionPlus, there's plenty of fun to be had right out of the box.
|Product Description||Nintendo Wii - Game console|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||1.75 in|
|Input Device||Joystick - Wired, Remote control - Wireless|
Average User Rating: 4.0 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 526
4 Star: 155
3 Star: 72
2 Star: 47
1 Star: 37
WHY THIS ARTICLE IS NOT FAIR TO REVOLUTION
Rating: 5 / 5
on May 22, 2005
213 out of 249 users found this review helpful
Pros: Read in opinion
Cons: Read in opinion
Summary: I will first start to say that I am a poor college student. Ok, not VERY VERY poor but I am extremely thrifty. I do not buy video game systems. I do not buy video games (I am convinced that I have video game ADD and can not finish a game). With that said, what do I do? I play games with my friends. What do I look for in a game then? Do I really care about HDTV capabiillities? Or if the lighting effect of System A is better than System B? No. I care about playing games with my friends, being able to learn quickly, and having fun. What many of you fail to realize is there are a lot of people just like me. The market of "extreme gamer" isn't that large (my personal speculation, no numbers to back this up; hey, i'm honest). And by "isn't that large," i mean there's no way most of you, who I would classify as "extreme gamers" take up even 40% of the video game market. This results in two very interesting results:
1) price is extremely important. I can't imagine having to drop $50 + tax for each game that i really want, let alone having game prices raise to ~$80 and more. Why will this raise so high? developers need to adapt to new technology, spend more time working, etc. Furthermore, I need HDTV to truly enjoy any of this so called super-duper-graphics-that-none-of-you-can-live-without. Suddenly, if I don't have an HDTV, which I don't, nothing really matters anymore does it? You can't compare graphics on the three systems when you're using a tv that takes the red, white, and yellow plug-ins.
Nintendo is working hard to lower costs. They anticipate a lower costing system and lower costing games.
2) Someone mentioned how Nintendo is becoming a niche company that will only focus on kids and junk. If Nintendo is really going to revolutionize the way video games are played, I would imagine that it could appeal to so many more groups of people. I know people who don't play video games, yet have a PS2 just because they can play DDR. They like to excercise, it make sense. If you can expand your market and bring in people who don't even consider themselves gamers, you have so much more power at your hands.
3) Nintendo will use a developer kit very similar to gamecube. What does that mean? Nintendo has a huge advantage over developers for PS3 and Xbox 360. Why? Developers for Nintendo already know how to do everything. Not only that, but it's a given that as developers use a package longer, they are able to optimize everything a lot better. Best example? God of War on PS2. I mean MY GOD! That game is just gorgeous. Clearly Xbox level graphics on a ps2! Someone else said to expect true PS3 level graphs 1.5 years after PS3 initial launch. Revolution won't be hindered by this problem.
4) Nintendo is finally taking advantage of it's huge history. I just started playing Contra 1 on an actual NES that a fraternity brother brought from home. Still amazingly fun. Has anyone noticed that these games are harder to play now than when you were younger? I had no trouble when I was 9 yet now when I'm 19, I'm struggling (when you'd think I'd play games better, although I still dominate in Halo 2, I die twice on the first stage of Contra...).
Nintendo says they will revolutionize the way the game is played and I believe them. They change the game in so many ways. Each system did its part to change the way games were played. NES was the beginning of home console entertainment (ok, not THE beginning, but it was a huge beginning in commercial home video game ownership), SNES was all about the RPGs and side-scrollers. Nintendo 64 had the amazing 3-D environments, not to forget GOLDENEYE. No one can deny the perfection of Goldeneye. Gamecube, however, did feel more like an extension of Nintendo 64 for me but you know what? That means Nintendo Revolution will be that much better because they had the time to think things up.
One last note: a lot of you serious gamers are too caught up on the specs. "Oh...I'm worried for Revolution because it'll only be 2-3 times as powerful as Gamecube while Xbox 360 is 15 times more powerful than xbox." That doesn't mean squat. There aren't many must-have games for the xbox. The good ones are on gamecube as well (first to come to mind is Madden 2005). I am extremely excited to see what Nintendo has in store for us and like the guy at the conference said, 2 (or 20? the number escapes me) billion copies of games sold. That is more than any of the other companies can say.
It's not the size of the whale but the motion of the ocean, my friends.
I love you Nintendo.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on August 7, 2005
31 out of 41 users found this review helpful
Pros: Download Play, Innovative controller, etc.
Cons: Lol I think that only time will reveal that point.
Summary: the following concerns only game geeks. the smart ones.
so like me you probably read everything there was to read about this year's E3. from wha i hear it was the worst ever. there was barely any games playable, no big suprise, and the 2 big console unveilings were all hoaxes. running on unfished hardware, showcasing pre-rendered animation of what they wish they'll pull out with the actual machines.
and then nintendo absolutely underwelmed the world by showing us only a work-in-progress version of the revolution. no controler, no game, no specs no NOTHING! we do get a gameboy small enough to swallow accidentaly tho.
so nobody talks about the revolution because theres nothing to talk about. speculations run wild about whats so revolutionairy about it, but no one knows. first it was that it might be somekind of hologram machine, or that it would display stereoscopic images. whoever said that must have been 12 years old and i hate them for making me imagine, even just for a moment that it might be real.
now theyre saying that its all about the controler. its gonna be gyroscopic, its just gonna be a big touch screen, its gonna plug right into your brain.
but something no one talk about is this:
for pretty much ever, all consoles had some sort of screening process for games. you cant just make a game and have it published on ps2. sony has to aprouve it first. and they reject tons of games for tons of reasons. making the concept of indie console gaming almost impossible.
also, if you add up all the hardware sony sez theyre gonna have in the ps3, it comes arund to something like 4000$. but then again. its 35 times more powerful than the ps1. they even say that its now 1% as powerful as the human brain.
and what does nintendo say? «the revolution is gonna be twice or even thrice the power of the gamecube»
gee...3 times better than the gamecube? how underwhelming. that should make it something like 33 times less powerful than the ps3? cmon!
but what i think the strategy here is, is that nintendo is gonna release theyre little machine at a price so ridiculously low that every mom in the world is gonna buy that one at x-mas instead of the 400$ ps2 or xbox 360. whats probably gonna happen too is that nintendo wont be selling theyre machine at a loss. i think that for every xbox sold, microsoft lost a 100$. something that probably wont happen with the rev (im callng it the rev from now on).
so thats good.
but what the real revolution will be about is this.
nintendo wont be screening games for quality. anybody in the world will be able to code for it and release theyre game one way or another. probably on the internet. this will make for tons of crap games, but it also means tons of great games based on simple but effective ideas. return to the source. gameplay before holywood-like production values. where EA will take 3 years to develop a 200-million$ game, some team of bedroom coders will be able to spend theyre free time on a good idea and have it playable on a home console anywhere in the world. and the bedroom-coded game is probably gonna be tons more fun than MADDEN UNDERGROUND 2008.
thats the revolution. theres less money to be made that way, but better games to be played. and thats what nintendo as always been about. GAMEPLAY.
this is an idea i beleive so much in. the current state of the industry is simply depressing to me right now. i dont want to beleive that ill be spending the rest of my life doing splinter cell sequels (ubisoft has 3 more sequels in the work as we speak right now).
what i want to beleive in is 3d artists and games designers everywhere getting tired of working on crap games for giant publishers. artists wanting to make something new, something original, something fun again. if the revolution does happen, theyre gonna be able to.
wow...what a messed up post this is. im sorry. i founf out about this last night and since then life is good again. nintendo is gonna save the universe from itself. i want this to happen so much. cheap machine, cheap hardware, cheap games, new ideas.
i love you nintendo.
[Edited by: admin]
Can you find an honest review buried in all the ‘fan boy’ comments?
Rating: 3.5 / 5
on February 24, 2007
18 out of 20 users found this review helpful
Pros: Price. Proven interface (not gimmicky). Great 1st generation games.
Cons: Not High-Def. Controllers should have been rechargeable out-of-box. Questionable future 3rd-party support.
Summary: (Written 2/24/07)
If you are seriously looking for an un-biased review of any of the 3 next-gen consoles, be prepared to shift through a lot of uneducated, ‘fan-boy’ nonsense. Fist off, the Wii and PS3 just came out in November ‘06, so it’s too soon to put a definitive score on either at this point. The Xbox 360 had a year head start, so it currently has a much bigger library of games then either Wii or PS3. But nobody can claim a “best console” title until a year or so from now when all three had time to bring out quality software.
With that in mind, I’ve been a gamer for about 20 years and got my start with the Magnavox Odyssey2, Atari 2600, and the original Nintendo (NES). I currently own both an Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii (as well as all past equipment from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony). I’m planning on getting a PS3 as soon and more exclusive titles come out for it. But I’ve had experience with all three with at least 6 months hands-on time each.
The Wii is Nintendo’s ‘Hail Mary Pass’ in the home console market. While they dominate the portable market, their last two home consoles (the N64 and GameCube) have performed terribly in sales compared to the competition. Why does that matter? Because most titles that come out for a console come from 3rd-party publishers, and many have lost money in supporting Nintendo the past 2 console generations. Nintendo’s biggest hurdle is convincing publishers to support them this time around so they have as much compelling software as the competition. They are so far succeeding in this by offering a console at a great price point of $250 with a pack in game, currently outselling the competition in monthly sales (bigger audience = more people to sell your game to).
But the Wii’s other hurdle is also one of its major selling points – the new ‘remote-style’ interface. Nintendo has always pushed innovation; releasing new features to only have the competition mimic later, such as rumble feedback and analog control. But this new interface, while easy for anyone to pick up and play (including first time gamers), may not translate well to all genres of games. Being –so- different from the competition can pose an issue for any developer trying to release a game on all consoles (as many do). Many early cross-platform games have already been given better reviews on either the 360 or PS3, not just for improved graphics but control as well. Weather this means less cross-platform games and/or more unique titles for the Wii remains to be seen.
I personally love my Wii. I think the new interface will jump-start some much-needed creativity and original thinking the market desperately needs. The current library of games is great with some very exciting exclusive titles on the way in the next year. But would I buy a Wii if it were the only next-gen system I could own? No. This all adds up to an undeniable fact that the Wii is aimed at a different audience then the competition. And while even Nintendo itself says they are not competing directly with Microsoft or Sony, consumers are, and will compare them when making a purchasing decision.
So who is the Wii for? Nintendo fans, those looking for a way to get back into gaming, or serious gamers that can afford to support more then one platform. Anyone else curious should hold off until the system proves to have a more solid future then the company’s previous consoles.
This thing is Amazing! Over 20 years of Nintendo History, plus a whole new system! I'd pay $1000!
Rating: 5 / 5
on May 29, 2005
9 out of 11 users found this review helpful
Pros: New secret "Revolutionary" controller, Exclusive Nintendo content, tons of third party support, downloadable content, compact and inexpensive.
Cons: Prolly doesn't use "Holograms"... A real nice rumor ;)
Summary: I used to be a real playstation fanatic until I heard about this little amazing console. I just can't wait until they realease the revolutionary part of it (the controllers)... Something we have yet to see!! This will be by far the coolest (and only real) GAMING machine out, plus I will get Nintendo made games, the only good ones anymore, I am sooo bored of shooters and useless blood. I don't want to pay for a "media centre" either haha, one of the many things it has over the other consoles, you can only expect the best gaming experience from this...
Revolution: Not the worst, maybe not the best. But let's take a good look at it.
Rating: 4 / 5
on September 16, 2005
7 out of 8 users found this review helpful
Pros: Full backwards compatibility; sleek, futuristic design; Excellent gameplay; Unique and innovative controllers; Focuses on quality rather than quantity; Better quality at a lesser price
Cons: Kid-friendly games; HD Support?; Less sports-related games; Doesn't have the best grapics; Will be a success/failure (polarity)
Summary: I don't understand why Nintendo's getting bashed for making a better console.
Here's the arguments I've seen so far.
-No HD support, not as good graphics/speed as other consoles.
-Kid-based design and games.
-Downloadable library can be replaced by PC Emulators / XBox Mod chip; $ needed?
-Retro ideals; A generation behind; Not as much of a 'WOW' factor as others.
-Controller issues ('It looks like a remote')
-Not going to be a 'hub' like PS3 and MS XBox360
-Typical 'This is gonna suck b/c Gamecube sucked.'
So, I'm gonna go through and adress these as best as I can, while remaining unbiased.
----------- Graphics & HD issues
Yes, the Revolution is going to be less graphics-based, though some very good improvements have been made with the system and it WILL compete quite well against the other consoles. HD televisions start at around $2000 for the good ones that you would want to view your PS3 or XBox360 on, and not a lot of people have them yet, nor is it a real ISSUE TO THE GAMEPLAY. You can still play your Revolution on an HDTV, you just won't get 720p or 1080i, which isn't the worst thing in the world. Truthfully, I'd MUCH rather have HD possibilities rather than not, and I probably wouldn't mind paying the extra buck to get it, but it's not going to affect my decision to get it or not, and it probably shouldn't to yours. Nintendo isn't making a wise decision by doing this, but it's keeping unneccesary costs down to a kind-of-financially-damaged company.
OK, next. The idea of Nintendo's consoles and games being kid-based... Honestly, I don't see much of a response or an argument here. Nintendo creates family games so that it can appeal to more users, and it has several games made especially for users that don't appreciate family games--the best of which is 'Resident Evil'--and Nintendo's makers and directors have said that the Revolution games will not only appeal to families but to many other genres through different games.
If you're weren't interested in Gamecube for this reason, then stick around, because the kid-friendliness has been expanded to much more.
The 'Backwards Compatibility' all the way? Some might scoff, but I think it's part of what makes this console very interesting. Sure, you can get emulators and a gamepad for SNES games, but the N64 games are not so readily available through emulators as it will be through the Revolution. To top it off, the Revolution controller on its side can be configured to look nearly identical to the SNES controller.
But, maybe 'staying in the past' is a bad thing to some people. However, some of the best games of all time were created back then, and I think it's important to keep them with us and keep playing them. Money might be an issue, I don't know how much they're going to charge, but it's definitely not going to be a lot.
Overused games is a tough problem to adress. Some of the games, like Mario, might be considered overused now, but it's not like they're improving the graphics and throwing it out again. No, each time, they're coming up with new adventures and making improvements all around, and not because they want to make a buck. It's because the publishers through Nintendo /want/ to make good games, and they are.
-----Staying in the past
Miyamoto et al. have created a new foundation and ideal for Nintendo--that the age of graphics is nearly over, that we've come far enough, and now we need to start focusing on gameplay. Nintendo's definitely not going to stop improving their graphics, as we've seen in the stats for the Revolution. Graphics are cool, yeah, but think about it. Would you rather have a great game with poor graphics (think early Sonic or Mario) or great graphics and a game that wasn't fun or couldn't keep your attention?
Ah, the controller. Yes, this amazing, shocking, almost crazy idea that somehow got into Nintendo's head. The controller really does look like a remote, and it doesn't have as many buttons as you would expect it to. It's pretty much a gyroscopic controller that relays its sensor's readings to the Revolution, somewhat like a lightgun, except this doesn't use the scan lines on the television, it actually reads where you are in its 3D field. Many doubt that this controller is going to work well if at all. If you read the reviews of the controller at IGN, they say that it works very well as a controller, even though nobody expected it to. Recently, too, IGN has stated that Nintendo WILL make a controller addon so that you can play the games in regular gamecube-controller mode, but with one difference: you can keep the gyroscopes working.
Also, Sony and MS are sticking to the traditional two-handed controller, which limits controls and possibilities for new innovations. The EyeToy for the PS2 wasn't as big as a success as hoped, but it was a leap out there that I thought was interesting.
No, sadly, the Revolution won't connect up to your home network (not the same as Wireless Internet), even though it probably will connect to your DS, as with the PS3 and the PSP. I have a home network already set up with media center, though, so it's not a big deal for me. For those who want/need to set up a home network with their console and share music/movies/photos, the best choice is Microsoft's XBox 360 with Media Center on your computers.
-----Gamecube Was A Failure!!!!!111
Nintendo's really making an effort this time. Gamecube was not a failure, it had better graphics than the PS2 and overall a better compilation of better games.
So, it's pretty much up to you whether you think the Revolution will be successful or not, but you can't tell me that it won't be innovative, unique, and overall a good system.
OK, people, I know I missed a couple of topics I could have discussed, so, if you want to see my opinion on a certain console, or want to have a small debate with me, leave a comment and I'll update my review with an answer.
(I have already posted my answer in a reply to his comment, but I'm going to make an edit because I think it's important) Don't worry, man, they're definitely going to have enough developer support. The controller isn't going to make a bad difference, in fact, it's for the good. IGN says that the controller add-on is going to entice more developers to the scene, while keeping the old ones (for example, EA Games) around for more oppurtunities.
Many developers considered pulling some support from games to the Revolution, but when the add-on was announced, they flocked back, very interested. Obviously, they were afraid that the controller would not work for what they were trying to get to, and the add-on did, maybe because it added more buttons, maybe because of increased functionility. But, whatever the case, you can be sure that we'll have the old developers and a couple of new ones on the side.
Thanks for reading..
Yeah, I think the new Legend of Zelda game's release at around that time is a good idea, but only to an extent. If you've got a new console out, then what's the purpose of making a Gamecube version exclusively? Oh well, they might switch to Revolution once Nintendo gives them more details... or they could release a slightly modified Revolution-game.
Either way, I'm sure anyone who's ever played a LoZ game is looking forward to this release, and I'd buy a Revolution just for it. That sounds kind of fanatical, but its developers have said that this is going to be the best game yet--so I'm definitely looking forward to it.
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