Games

How the Nintendo Wii ruined gaming

Left, right, up and down and side-to-side, now stretch. Now that Sony’s PlayStation Move and Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect are out and on sale alongside the Wii, I can guarantee in millions of homes across the globe, bodies are in motion. The gaming future is here.

And what a bothersome future it is.

As a gamer, it’s my opinion that the entire motion control age is unhealthy for games. I am not opposed to the concept of motion controls but the history must be considered. When Nintendo pushed out the Wii in 2006 everyone marveled at the potential this new method of input would bring. I still think that there is tremendous potential in motion controls to improve and innovate how we play games. But after four years it’s still just potential.

In four years I can count only a few Wii games that have actively engaged the gaming senses of the “career” gamer. Very few of these games were good. Most of Wii’s games were directed at an emerging market, people with little to no gaming experience or causal-gamers. Causing the games to be too simplistic, catering to a community still getting to grips with the medium.

This new direction makes good business sense on Nintendo’s part. They created a new market instead of competing with established giants like Sony and Microsoft in existing. They reaped the reward in the form of $75.9-million units sold as of September 2010. Compared to PS3′s $41.6 and the Xbox 360′s $44.6-million units sold in the same period.

Nintendo’s success has encouraged Sony and Microsoft to take a shot at these casual gamers. The problem this creates is that games will become far too simplistic for “career” gamers. With games such as Wii Sports, Wii Fit and various other party games. Bringing us back to lot of gaming potential but very little delivery.

Should this strategy prove successful, more of these “casual games” will oust “hardcore games”. This remains the case with the Nintendo Wii. The games announced by Kinect and Move, prove that history will repeat itself. On the other hand Forza Motorsport 4 seems promising and it incorporates some measure of motion control.

Hardcore games like Mass Effect, Uncharted and Call of Duty will not disappear. These games have convincingly established that they make money and there will always be a market for them. The latest Call of Duty has reportedly made $818-million already. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that more games of Call of Duty’s appeal will be making use of motion controls.

Nintendo’s example has shown that minimal effort still results in healthy sales. That is why many Wii games still look like they are PS2 ports. A good example is Mario Galaxy; we can agree that its lack of high quality visual fidelity is nothing more than laziness or cost cutting on the part of games developers.

There seems to be no need to innovate, no need for progress because the games sell. Today’s Wii games are not much different from the games that were available when it launched. There is a sense of repetition with the games currently available in the Wii selection. The same pattern is creeping into the Xbox and PS3. The lack of innovation seems to have no end.


  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.darmousseh Michael Darmousseh

    You have to consider that video game companies will not simply shrug off an entire market simply because there is an appeal to a wider generation of people. There will be plenty of games that are directed to those with more of an interest towards gaming without motion controls. The entire point of innovation is to provide a better experience to gamers.

    I expect games like Mass Effect, if it had been developed using kinect, would use void input and the camera to add a little to your personality. The game would still mostly be played using a controller. Until the entire experience can be replaced using motion controls (which is borderline VR) then the controller will always have a place. Consider how many more buttons the xbox has compared to the original nintendo.

  • Straight up!!!

    Gaming giants Sony and Microsoft? And I thought that Nintendo was the gaming giant.

  • Some Guy

    Oh brother, what a lame article. Another gamer afraid of change calling doom on the gaming industry because of motion controls and the market having grown. Talking about ‘hardcore’ crap.
    The wii selection is repetitive you say? How many shooters are in the HD consoles’ selection? How many sequels? We’re on the 3rd sequel of Uncharted in just one generation for crying out loud.
    You know what I got from this article? Graphics, graphics, graphics. Nintendo needs more graphics. That’s all.

  • LOL

    The Casuals are coming! The casuals are coming! xD

  • aREALgamernotsuchafpsfanlikeu

    “…That is why many Wii games still look like they are PS2 ports. A good example is Mario Galaxy; we can agree that its lack of high quality visual fidelity is nothing more than laziness or cost cutting on the part of games developers…”
    Actually, Super Mario Galaxy 1 as well as 2 are probably the games with the best graphics ever seen on the Wii. Saying that they look like they were PS2 ports is just ridiculous, and saying that Nintendo cuts costs or is lazy at doing games is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Do your research before writing such nonsense, please.

  • Nick

    Couldn’t agree more. F Nintendo and there 1000 remakes of the same games.

  • Andy

    Retard! Nintendo is 10x better than the stupid ass people at Sony and Microsoft.

  • aREALgamernotsuchafpsfanlikeu

    Just a small addition: This whole “Nintendo-lacks-innovation”-attitude shows that the author is clueless concerning gaming. Here’s a small list to show you some of Nintendos “rare” innovations:
    - first monoscopic 3D Jump’n'Run (Super Mario 64)
    - lock-on (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
    - analog stick (Nintendo 64 controller)
    - handheld device with 2 screens, one of them a touchscreen (Nintendo DS)
    - motion control (Power Glove, WiiMote)
    - handheld device with autostereoscopic 3D (Nintendo 3DS)

    There’s still a LOT more, I’m just too lazy to write it all out. And by the way: besides autostereoscopic 3D, all innovations Nintendo has made so far were copied by its rivals right away. Saying that Ninty lacks innovation is blasphemy, Nintendo is the brain and the heart that keeps gaming alive!

  • PeterBlood

    Funny thing is, to me, the best use of motion control is for games that are staples on the HD consoles. Using the Wii remote as a pointer in a shooting genre game is far more immersive and challenging than using a joystick to control crosshairs. Yes, I’ve even got the Wii zapper which makes it more comfortable on my wrists (and more realistic). I’ve lost track of the time spent online with Conduit and COD:MW Reflex. That and swinging a golf club on Tiger Woods 11 take up the majority of my gaming time until I pick up Goldeneye and Black Ops.

  • choddo

    “their”

    And for that matter, it’s “reaped their reward” in the main article. “ripped” indeed.

    “Mario Galaxy; we can agree that its lack of high quality visual fidelity” – we cannot agree anything of the sort. Fantastic looking game. Jesus, no, give me more shit brown and grey toy soldier games, pleeeease.

  • Wisemanz2000

    LMAO xD

    If anything, Nintendo “helped” the gaming industry by making games more casual friendly, thus increasing sales.

    http://www.Highlife.ws/

  • J-e-s-g

    OH MI GOD. Dude, this is article is a epic faill. Nintendo is not quilty from being ripped by the “GIANTS” that you mentioned: shit-station and BugSoft. YOU DONT KNOW WHAT ARE U SAYING. N00b

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