To date, one of my best purchases as a gamer has been my trusty Nintendo Wii. The thought of using motion controls was certainly a novel idea when the console first launched -- but after a two generation hiatus from Nintendo in general, I was excited to revisit what I consider to be an old friend.
Over the years, my excitement for the Wii hasn't dwindled. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Manhunt 2, and Super Paper Mario have taken up considerable chunks of my time. But recently, I seem to have fallen into the minority of Wii users who still enjoy playing on their system.
A considerable of the community has been throwing shade towards the Wii in recent times, most of which I feel is largely unwarranted. From the understandable to the obscene, these complaints are pretty consistent with claims like...
The Wii Has Too Many Shitty Games
In an effort to make video games more accessible to everyone, Nintendo released the console alongside titles like Wii Sports and Wii Fit, which seemingly catered to everyone else who wasn't an 18-32 year old male. Unfortunately, this move may have opened the floodgates for wave after wave of low-quality titles, aka shovelware.
Monster Trux Offroad, Puppy Luv, Neighborhood Games...it definitely begins to look like the Wii became the de facto choice for some of the laziest attempts by developers hoping to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting buyers.
At this point, detractors may be asking themselves if the Wii had any titles that appealed to core gamers. Well...
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Dead Space: Extraction
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
I literally could go on and on, but this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of awesome Wii games. In short, anyone who discounts the Wii simply based on its admittedly large library of shovelware is missing out on some of the most iconic and enjoyable titles ever released, all of which are optimized for the Wii's motion controls.
The Graphics Suck
At the time of its release, the Wii was competing with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. The latter two touted a graphical output of 720p, which could be upscaled to 1080p on the right display.
And as for the Wii? 480i with the included composite cable.
This was a revelation that many could gamers could not abide, and left the Wii behind for its beefier competitors -- even if they had previously identified as Nintendo fans.
Yeah, 480i may not look the best on a 52" 4k display, but I've always felt that placing too much emphasis on graphics leaves behind the other factors that make a game great, such as responsiveness and fun factor, which the Wii has in spades -- and if graphical output is all that's holding you back, there are plenty of component cables or Wii2HDMI adapters can bump it up to 1080p.
No Cross-Platform Titles
The war of cross-platform support for popular titles has been ongoing since the emergence of Sony, Microsoft, and Steam. Fans want to play their favorite games on whatever medium they choose, and many say that the Wii's notable lack of smash-hit games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Skyrim are what made players abandon Nintendo's console altogether.
Cross-platform titles may sound like a developer's wet dream in regards to total sales -- but in the end, it's a pipe dream that may never come to fruition. Varying technical specifications, customizable gameplay options, control schemes, and server issues all contribute to the problem. But the Wii decided to forego these issues in favor of playability.
The few cross-platform titles that did come over, like Call of Duty: Black Ops, may not have offered players the chance to play with their 360/PS3-having buddies, but were optimized for the Wii's interface and received critical acclaim.
So is the cross-platform melee the Wii's fault? Absolutely not. Is it a viable reason to completely forsake the Wii as a Nintendo fan with PC buddies? No way.
Wiimotes Can Damage People and Property
YouTube is full of videos showcasing bonehead after bonehead lobbing their Wiimote into their TV at full speed. The main offending title in many of these videos is Wii Sports Bowling, but could also include Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream and any other game that requires rapid forward movement.
As adults, we like to think that we possess some modicum of common sense. Shoes on the right feet, fly up, don't stick your tongue in a toaster, etc. Bt that doesn't stop us from flinging these lightweight controllers into our televisions (or at each other).
Plenty of TVs have seen utter destruction at the hands of an eager Wii bowler -- but that's peanuts in comparison to the multiple incidences of people getting hit with errant Wiimotes. From clotheslining a small child to knocking out rivals during a spirited round of Wii Tennis, injuries abound. (And apparently, the console has even been blamed for causing tennis elbow.)
Lots of people have been quick to blame the console and its developer for all these accidents. But with Nintendo offering Wiimote straps and sleeves, alongside putting a warning before each game, the company is doing basically everything it can to mitigate the problem. There's really no reason to discount the Wii based solely on the poor choices (and coordination) of others.
And while we're at it, let's stop blaming the Wiimotes specifically for things like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. Both of these injuries are caused by repetitive motion -- which means those types of injuries are likely to happen to anyone playing on any console for extended periods of time.
The Wii Has Little to No Online Functionality
Those who enjoy a rousing match of Call of Duty complete with expletives hurled at buddies were greatly disappointed that the Wii failed to deliver on many levels. From the lack of a chat function to no headset support on either the console or Wiimote, many veteran gamers who thrive in online arenas found little reason to invest in the Wii.
Even with Nintendo casting as wide a net as possible on the Wii, a certain demographic was bound to be missed -- which in this case was anyone who solely plays competitive multiplayer games.
Historically, Nintendo has demonstrated little interest in making their consoles a multi-purpose entertainment hub. From limited Netflix support to zero movie playback options, the intent was clear: this is a gaming system, and they want you to play with your friends in the same room.
Luckily, local couch co-op has been making a comeback in the indie game scene, but has largely been left behind by most AAA developers since the mid-aughts.
If your intent is to play Diablo 3 online with your friends for a spirited round of shit-talking, the Wii is definitely not for you -- but that doesn't mean that it's a bad choice for everyone. The Internet has proven time and again that it can quickly devour anyone in its path, but at least the Wii is there to provide safe harbor when it's time to log off.
Do you think these complaints about the Wii are valid? Or is it just not a system that's made to suit every kind of gamer out there. Let me know down in the comments!