Is the Wii a gimmick or is it a serious gaming console. Most gamers have come to a conclusion on this subject already and I am no exception. I’ve made my decision, and I’m gonna present it to you. Remember, this isn’t a question of it is a good system or a bad system. That’s a different subject all together and I won’t touch it. I’m sure some people out there may disagree with my points and that’s fine. In fact, I encourage you to let leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Lets first look at the game situation, an important point for every system. If you head over to GameRankings.com and take a look, of the 126 titles released between the first Wii being sold and the end of 2007 that had at least 10 reviews, three games ranked above 90% and 52 games ranked below 65%. So, for every A student on the system, there were 17 failures, with the majority of games getting below a 75. Developers are pushing out games for the Wii in hopes of people buying them. They don’t have to be good games, just games. And with the sudden influx of casual gamers who didn’t read reviews or talk to other people about upcoming games, developers could get away with this shovelware. So even if the usual game journalists reviewed it and found it severely lacking, Nintendo’s new market wasn’t aware of the reviews. Instead they buy games that have pretty box art or catchy lingo on it or some brand or character that they liked. People will only buy games for a system for so long if the games they buy are terrible.

Lets look at their Internet offerings next. Microsoft has Xbox Live and Sony has the PlayStation Network, but what does Nintendo have? You can read the news, check the weather, browse the Internet and download a few classic games, but not too many of them because you only have about 2 gigs of storage. The games that do come out with Internet capabilities have 25 character long friend codes. So you can only play with people who’s friend codes you have, which can only message to your friend’s across systems if they had your system code as well. Actually, only if you both had each other’s system codes. Yes, a couple games have random matchmaking now, but you can’t talk to these people or send them messages to try and play with them later. Nintendo has since said that all this code business is hampering on-line play and they are looking for a fix. They have fixed the lack of communication though. A mike will being released with the new Animal Crossing game this fall. And the mike works with… well I guess just Animal Crossing.

Now you may say I’m not part of the group Nintendo built this for. That may or may not be true, but these are the two issues that make the Wii look like a gimmick and not a serious system. I think there are three paths for the casual gamer Nintendo has targeted. The first path is that they get tired of playing the same old games over and over or get tired of bad games and just stop playing all together. Path two has them staying happy with the system. Just the right amount of good games come out to match the time they have to play and the Wii fits them perfectly. The final path has them use the Wii as a stepping stone into the deep world of gaming and they end up buying a 360 or PS3 as well. Then slowly, the Wii gets ignored a little more each day, until it just sits there, looking pretty and getting turned on when friends come over. I see paths one and three being tread a lot more than path two. Do I think Nintendo is ever going to look back at this system as a failure? No, I don’t think anyone can. But I do think that this system will see less and less play as time goes on. Remember, Tamagatchis and Beanie Babies sold a lot too, and where are they now? Let me know what you guys think about the Wii, does it really have what it takes, is it just a hook to grab people, or does it just not matter?

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