What has Wii done for Mii?
23rd Dec 2007 | 15:37
Wii has been on sale for just over a year now. It landed in the UK last December (8) but one year later it's still just as hard to track down in the shops.
There's no doubt that Wii has had a successful year for Nintendo, having not only trashed PS3 sales - six-to-one at some points - but also having caught up with and surpassed Xbox 360 in global sales, which had a full year head start.
This success is put down to Nintendo's notion of appealing to everyone, and its success in expanding the games market by turning people who'd previously never bought a console into a new type of gamer. 13 million console sales later and it's clearly been a good plan.
This new appeal is thanks to Nintendo's approach with games. Wii Sports kicked off the Wii generation brilliantly. It showcased the motion-sensing capabilities perfectly while providing five quirky and addictive mini-games that everyone from your granny to your dog could play.
Since then we've had games like Cooking Mama, Big Brain Academy, Rayman Raving Rabbids, MySims and a huge list of movie-licensed titles that have continued the mainstream-focused charge for Wii.
That's great - if you've just discovered games - but what about us? The hardcore that've been at Nintendo's side through the dark days of GameCube? Has it been a good year for us? For the gamers that don't care for training our brains, or playing cooking simulators?
Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption are the only two Wii-exclusive triple-A games in its first year for the hardcore crowd. Granted, they're incredible games - MP3 is one of the best in the series, and Mario Galaxy is some of Miyamoto's best work ever.
Count in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (which also released on GameCube) and that's three must-buy games... in a year.
The rest of the year was crammed with rushed, half-assed ports of PS2 games and motion control boob-jobs as publishers scrambled to get on the wagon with the top-selling console.
This meant that there was little reason for a hardcore gamer to turn on their Wii between finishing Zelda back in December '06 and getting Metroid in October '07. That's a lot of dust-gathering.
You might have flirted with the idea of buying Super Paper Mario, or Trauma Centre - both decent titles, but nothing to go bananas about. But it was easy for a Wii owner to look with envious eyes at other platforms and their lists of quality games, particularly on Xbox 360.
It's no wonder that the question of Nintendo abandoning the hardcore has been topic of many discussions, as the company constantly nails home its efforts to win over our mums and dads.
Nintendo says it isn't abandoning anyone, but the fact remains that the company previously dedicated to making top-class games for its fans now has other things on its minds. The fact that dust really did gather on our Wiis this year is evidence of that.
2008 could be better though. Third party developers should be getting over the initial teething problems with the motion controls, so we should hopefully see much better results from them.
Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Brawl are on their way from Nintendo and should already be on your must-have list. The Wii Zapper hits UK stores next year, followed by what we hope will be a run of ace arcade-style shooters, starting with Ghost Squad.
Super Mario Galaxy has set a new standard on the graphical front. We're hoping it'll be a wake-up call to other developers who haven't figured out how to get the most out of the microchips.
And what other surprises could Nintendo have for us? Animal Crossing? Wave Race? The long-awaited return of Pilotwings? Pikmin 3 (would be perfect for Wii)? Fingers crossed we'll get all four of these, and some more...