The Wii60 Expereince

I alluded to my purchase of the Nintendo Wii but I really didn’t talk about the system itself.  The Wii is the ultimate party box as far as I’m concerned for those of you that still meet people in person.  The innovation of the Wiimote controller gives the system a universal appeal for games in a way I haven’t seen any playstation or Xbox game match. 

Gretchen and I spent hours playing Wii sports bowling with her mom over the holidays.  This is someone who has no interest in “video games”, but when we packed up our Wii she started asking where she could buy one… just to play bowling.  We also had a small Festivus dinner over our house and probably sold two of them to the couples that came over… just from playing Wii sports.  

There is a huge amount of potential in the Wii that, when playing some of the other games for the system, you can tell hasn’t been tapped yet.  Zelda probably succeeds simply based on the game itself and would work just as well with a standard controller, but none of the other titles we’ve played come close to Wii Sports and Wii Sports feels more like a demo than a real game. 

The Xbox 360 seems to have a universal appeal as well. It’s just that the “universal” doesn’t seem to apply to the actual games as much.  I’ll never get Gretchen to play Halo 3, but she uses it as a Media Center extender almost daily.  When they start adding more content to the Video Marketplace I predict we’ll also be a regular user there as well. The 360 is also a hit at party’s but it’s mostly for the photo slideshow and music streaming from the Media PC. 

The Wii also misses out on the mass appeal of home media streaming.  I love the picture puzzle game, but I have to put photos onto an SD card to get them onto my Wii… despite the fact the Wii comes with a wireless card!

What else do I miss on the Wii?  I can’t play bowling against my friends online and I don’t see hints that Nintendo really cares.  The Xbox 360 still takes my vote for best gaming platform if you are flying solo locally and want to play games with real humans online. It’s a strange touch that, with the Wii, you can create your own characters (something I would love to see with Xbox Live) and they can “travel” to other Wii machines via a series of tubes… unfortunately they leave you behind!

So my advice is that you really need both a Wii and a 360.  There is just nothing on the Wii that compares to Gears of War (and original Live Arcade titles) and there is nothing on the 360 that compares to Wii Sports. 

Comments (6)

  1. Erik Porter says:

    I love the 360, but plan on getting a Wii at some point to.  Zelda was going to be enough for me, but it sounds like Wii sports rock too.  Can’t wait!  🙂

  2. Liz Lawley says:

    Josh, I highly recommend Rayman’s Raving Rabbids as a game that takes full advantage of the Wii interaction, and is incredibly fun to play with others. Totally ridiculous silly fun.

    I also love Elebits, but it’s really more of a single player game. Also takes good advantage of the Wiimote/nunchuk combo.

  3. MSDNArchive says:

    Erik: Yeah, I was surprised by Wii Sports. It’s a load of fun with a group.

    Liz: Thanks! I’ll give Raving Rabbids a try next weekend.

  4. MSDNArchive says:

    I agree that the big difference with the Wii platform is the ability to hook non-gamers of all ages.  This great party toy has been the hit of every event we took it to, and we have people knocking on our door to try it.  I too was amazed to see how many folks in the 60-80 age range, some of whom don’t even have a computer, want to buy the Wii to bowl, play golf or tennis.  An anti-gaming mother in our neighborhood decided to buy one for her kids when she discovered how sore her muscles were after a few hours of boxing and tennis.  

    I’m expecting physical therapists to offer custom-built Wii "games" to drive range-of-motion recovery programs in the next few years. This is a really fun way to train your muscles to move.

  5. I know I’m having a good birthday when I can report that today I suffered my first Wii injury. …

  6. I alluded to my purchase of the Nintendo Wii but I really didn’t talk about the system itself. The Wii is the ultimate party box as far as I’m concerned for those of you that still meet people in person. The innovation of the Wiimote controller gives