Having a Wii in the corner

Okay, I’m not referring to my two giant Great Dane dogs, as I’d be all-day cleaning up.

Thankfully I’m talking about the console that’s taken me completely by surprise.  Not that I wasn’t aware of it, not that it’s crept up behind me and whacked me over the head with a nunchuk, and not that it’s masqueraded as the small orange ear-slapping man in the Tango adverts.  I say this as a committed Xbox man, who swears by everything Microsoft.  No I don’t think they are perfect, but I reckon they’ve done a damn fine job with the various business applications and operating systems over the years.  Oh yeah, and I used to be one of them too.  I started using Windows for gaming before I got into the original Xbox, and it was a natural progression to the 360 Premium and the Elite after that.

So what’s the big fuss?  Well, basically I had my tunnel vision on and could only see Xbox as ‘the’ console for me;  I was blinded by my evangelism.  Understandably so in the case of Xbox vs. Playstation naturally, but was I being too judgemental with other consoles?  The answer to this hit me when I was completely unprepared for how addictive the Nintendo Wii actually was…  strangely enough it was my wife that changed my initial perception when she started looking for info on the Wii Fit, and the opportunity to look closer at it all suddenly presented itself.  A few folk in my regular gaming group had taken the plunge and got Wii consoles pretty much when they first came out, and admittedly I’d body-swerved anything to do with them – I just wasn’t interested.  Xbox was where my groove was at and besides, I had Gears of War!  I mean, what more could anyone want from a gaming experience, right?

Well, wrong actually… not everyone is into combat shooter games, and the whole gaming genre has changed immensely over the last few years.  A new breed of gamer has risen that demands a different experience – more sociable, less achievement-based, genuine light-hearted fun that draws on the ideas of the 80’s arcade and platform games.  And it doesn’t stop there!  I did some research into what made the Wii and its games so addictive, and it really boils down to its interactability.  The controllers are quite different to other consoles in that we no longer have the ‘game-pad’ of mad buttons.  We now have this ingenious design like a TV remote that even the most beer-infused bloke will find hard to put down (note I didn’t say “accidentally throw at the TV” or “break a window”, both of which are common place if you’re infused with beer and are let loose with a Wiimote).

Yup, gaming just upped a notch on the “Wooo!” scale. Why just veg on the couch, chilling with a bud, when we can actually swing the remote like it’s a Star Wars lightsaber? Can I hear a, Hell-Yeah!? All those child-hood dreams of being ‘in’ a video game just got a step closer to reality.  Somehow the physical aspect makes it seem all the more ‘real’ to us, and your direct interaction now determines whether you win or lose.  Yes, it’s a newly merging skill to wield a Wiimote, and I’m sure employers will see this popping up on CVs before too long.

So my tunnel-vision has changed to encompass the Wii console, and it’s baby steps in a new direction for me.  The prospect of being shown up on the Wii Fit balance board scares the pants off me, and if memory serves me well, Martin did just that in a showcase stand-off at the Edinburgh International Festival where Ready-Up had a presence.  But it’s early days in our household, and I’m giving the Wii a fair trial.  It’s quite exciting actually, and it has changed our lives!  I don’t expect to get to the ‘Super-Fit’ stage and balance on my fingers, but maybe one day.

In closing, I’d just like to thank everyone for their support over the blogs I’ve posted.  I’m having to step down from writing for Ready-Up due to other commitments, but I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure and an honour.  Best wishes to you all!

Chris, Gamertag – LaChook







7 responses to “Having a Wii in the corner”

  1. Barry avatar

    You’ll soon get over the whole Wii gimick soon, I loved the console to start with but after the honeymoon period was over I didn’t go back for more, its now gathering dust in the corner of my living room.

  2. City avatar

    I am still undecided about the Wii, I’m a Sony girl and only used an Xbox for the first time at VGL which I admit wasnt all bad… until it broke down..

    But with the Wii..
    Ack I just dont know, it seems fun but then everyone i know whos had one says the love fizzles away after a while, and I dont want that.. I have to have commitment in my consoles to bring me good times, any time!

  3. Chris avatar

    Hi both, thanks for the comments. City, that’s how I feel about the Xbox, and it meets my expectations for my gaming style. The Wii may very well become a novelty that will wear off, but it’s a different type of gameplay and won’t take the Xbox slot in my living room

  4. Donna avatar

    The Wii is a wonderful piece of kit. Its main target though is social gaming. If you have friends around or a significant other to play with, then it’s great for gaming together. For single player games it’s not really there, but for gaming with a bunch of friends who are actually in your house, it’s great. The Wii is the ultimate party accessory.

  5. Chris avatar

    Hi Donna, thanks for comments. Yes social gaming exactly. Great for parties or with a gaming partner, but can’t replace what other consoles can offer. Still, I’m giving it a fair go lol

  6. Scott avatar

    @ Chris: Sorry to hear that you’re leaving, but I understand how other committments can really dig into writing time. It was great working with you, and EIF was a good laugh!

    @ Barry: I can understand where you’re coming from – the console certainly doesn’t have the output rate of core games of the other consoles – but I’ve honestly never had the problem of the Wii gathering dust. Maybe it’s because I’m an NTSC gamer and have a wider (and cheaper) selection of games, but between titles like Super Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, Boom Blox, as well as everything on Wiiware and the virtual console, I never have that issue.

  7. Chris avatar

    Hi Scott, great working with you my friend. Keep in touch mate. Yes EIF was a great laugh!

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