Nintendo has done an amazing thing with the Wii.? It’s so amazing that I still don’t understand how they did it.? They took existing Gamecube hardware, upgraded it, repackaged it and added the Wiimote.? They threw in a free game called Wii Sports and now every mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, father and grandfather who never gamed before has to have one.? They have successfully infiltrated a demographic that game publishers have been trying to crack for years.? In fact, the Wii’s success seems to be because of this new demographic.? The problem with these new casual gamers is that they aren’t really gamers.? So what does this mean for Nintendo in the months to come?
I consider myself a hardcore gamer.? I’ve owned everything from an Atari 2600 up to my recent PS3 purchase.? I love games and always have.? I know where to get information on games and where to find the games that I want to play.? I can tell you what’s coming out next year, what’s in development and what’s selling in other countries.? Most gamers can give you this information.? These new ‘Wii gamers’ are the next level of casual gamers.? They bought their Wii and maybe one or two games and play the hell out of them.? If you ask them about Eye Of Judgement they’d probably look at you with utter confusion.
These new ‘Wii gamers’ don’t know games.? They were bitten by Nintendo’s marketing campaign and invested in the Wii for the fun and exercise that it offered.? They know nothing of PS3 or Xbox 360 except for what they see on tv commercials.? Are these the people you want to try and sell multi-platform games like Need For Speed Pro Street or Soul Calibur Legends?? Well I guess you WOULD want to sell those games to these gamers, but are they even interested?
Game sales aren’t as hot as system sales either.? Right now the Wii is neck and neck with the Xbox 360 for number of systems sold.? If you look at what is selling on the Wii, it’s the same old story.? Nintendo first party titles are once again in the lead. Once Nintendo plays all their Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and Donkey Kong cards, what’s left?? It’s the same thing every time they make a system.? They rehash all of their great first party titles and when they are done, they start working on a new console.? It happened with the N64, then the Gamecube, and it’s bound to happen with the Wii.
The worse part of the Wii phenomenon is that 3rd party games just aren’t selling.? When 3rd party games don’t sell, 3rd party publishers jump ship.? They go to greener grass and setup camp.? So even with over 12million units sold, I still don’t see it outlasting the 360 or PS3.? And you have to remember, they haven’t even hit Gamecube sale numbers yet.? You have to understand that Nintendo, not unlike Microsoft and the Xbox, gave up on the GC after it had sold 21 million.
My question is this, with 2008 right around the corner, how is the Wii going to compare to the onslaught of Xbox 360 and PS3 titles?? Next year is supposed to be the BIG year for the PS3.? We don’t even know what’s in store for the 360 in terms of games but something like Gears Of War 2 would definitely sell millions.? The hardcore gamers are going for the Metal Gear Solids and Gears Of War games, but Nintendo will be sporting games like(I’m not kidding here) Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, High School Musical, Barbie As The Island Princess, Puppy Luv and all kinds of other sugary goodness.? Resident Evil:? The Umbrella Chronicles and Super Smash Bros. Brawl will be hot, but will they be hot enough to keep the Wii afloat?? Is the Wii Too around the corner?
For now we can only wait.? I do plan on picking up a Wii for my son this Christmas, but I really don’t know what the future holds for this system.? I almost think I’d be better off getting another Gamecube off of Ebay.