So the Wii... Looking back on it. Was it a fad?

Posted by insanejedi (654 posts) -

Back in the day, I used to be a prominent contributor of the System Wars forums of Gamespot. Yeah.... that was a long time ago. Anyways I distinctly remember wii fanboys getting all excited about games like Tenchu: Shadow Assasins, The Conduit, and Excitebots.

So what we got was this...

Now I know there were good wii games (generally exclusively Nintendo) but this was the stuff that people actually got excited over that was in between the long lulls of Nintendo first party content. The Conduit was hyped up as "The Serious Shooter" on the wii. So... what? We got a hacked together shooter that looks like it came from the default art assets that came with the engine and thrown in some bloom shaders in a half-assed attempt to make the game look any good? Do people even remember that these games exist anymore?

Most importantly I remember people saying back in 07-08 that "the wii is not a fad." Well it's 2012, and the new WiiU is going to replace this one, what console is everyone developing for and spending their money on these days? At some point during 09-10 it seemed like third parties just threw their hands up and gave up giving us half-port jobs that only appeal to people who own a Wii and only have access to a computer with specs that cant even play this video properly.

So the Wii.. Still the best selling system this generation with 94 million sold, was it a fad?

#1 Posted by insanejedi (654 posts) -

Back in the day, I used to be a prominent contributor of the System Wars forums of Gamespot. Yeah.... that was a long time ago. Anyways I distinctly remember wii fanboys getting all excited about games like Tenchu: Shadow Assasins, The Conduit, and Excitebots.

So what we got was this...

Now I know there were good wii games (generally exclusively Nintendo) but this was the stuff that people actually got excited over that was in between the long lulls of Nintendo first party content. The Conduit was hyped up as "The Serious Shooter" on the wii. So... what? We got a hacked together shooter that looks like it came from the default art assets that came with the engine and thrown in some bloom shaders in a half-assed attempt to make the game look any good? Do people even remember that these games exist anymore?

Most importantly I remember people saying back in 07-08 that "the wii is not a fad." Well it's 2012, and the new WiiU is going to replace this one, what console is everyone developing for and spending their money on these days? At some point during 09-10 it seemed like third parties just threw their hands up and gave up giving us half-port jobs that only appeal to people who own a Wii and only have access to a computer with specs that cant even play this video properly.

So the Wii.. Still the best selling system this generation with 94 million sold, was it a fad?

#2 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Yes. It wasn't sustainable, so it was a fad.

And annoyed about that I am.

#3 Posted by Brendan (8164 posts) -

The only way to know without personal bias is if the WiiU, which keeps the spirit of the Wii going, is still popular with a large mainstream audience. If no-one outside of gaming hobbyists cares about the WiiU, then the Wii was probably a fad.

#4 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

It was an EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL fad. Like... Pokemon cards. Or Brain Training.

#5 Posted by fox01313 (5089 posts) -

Can't say it was a fad here but tended to have more fun playing the gamecube games (that I missed playing on that console) then many of the wii games but that might be due to a bulk of the games put out on the gamecube. Part of my through process on this is also due to the wii still being slightly unconfortable to play for longer sessions versus playing something for extended amounts of time on the 360/pc (where you'll lose track of most of the day while playing something on those platforms). So for me not as much a fad but surely missing a lot of things built into the PS3/360 that they could have put into the wii at some point with friends/multiplayer/ui to make it more convenient.

#6 Posted by TruthTellah (9480 posts) -

Honestly, it's too early to say. Considering how it pushed gaming toward motion controls in some capacity, it really seems to be having a lasting impact, and depending on how impacting the Wii U will be, it could really represent a turning point for gaming in its efforts to appeal to a wider audience and embrace alternative control schemes.

While it may feel nice as a hardcore gamer to say that it was just a fad that we've moved past, it's far too early to say.

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Hell no.

#8 Posted by Mikemcn (7023 posts) -

That COD4 airplane level is way better looking than I thought it would be on the wii.

#9 Posted by Dalai (7074 posts) -

Unless motion controls go away completely in the next few years, then no, not a fad. And I don't think motion controls are going away.

Online
#10 Posted by MegaLombax (428 posts) -

The Wii did help to commercialize motion controls. The console itself mightve been a fad, but the concept that it embodied wasn't.

#11 Posted by TheHBK (5563 posts) -

No, because that is where we are going with the next set of hardware and where we are now with Kinect and move I guess? Sony sucks ass at this stuff. But the quick fall was due to the fact that a lot of stuff that Nintendo sacrificed to cut costs and keep the price low to give it that quick advantage that it only gave up in the last year came back to bite it hard. The lack of HD output or even HD capable graphics hardware. The Wii Mote being not all it could be and only adding motion plus later. And what I think is worse is one of the worst systems for Nintendo franchises. Look at what we got with Zelda. Not something on the level with Ocarina or Wind Waker. Metroid was treated horribly by capcom. Super Mario was a beacon of light but really, they just did not keep pumping out games like they should have. Imagine how great we all would have thought the system was if they packed in Mario and Wii Sports? That is what Nintendo needs to do for the Wii U. Not necessarily pack in, but they need, they have to have Mario or a big franchise there at launch.

#12 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

Excitebots was great. This thread is not.

#13 Posted by mrfizzy (1555 posts) -

I've never been able to decide if it was actually just a fad or if it could have been genuinely good and the potential was just never realised. I think it was an idea that looked good on paper but in actual fact the system was never powerful enough and the motion tech was not advanced enough for what Nintendo and the devs would have liked to do. It wasn't a total loss, there were some good games and I guess it helped to advance motion tech.

#14 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

A fad isn't the biggest selling home console in a generation, a cultural phenomenon that lasted years upon years, and many fantastic games including two of the greatest platformers ever made (Galaxy 1 and 2).

#15 Posted by Demoskinos (15164 posts) -

No, it wasn't a fad... some amazing games came out for the wii. We haven't been seeing anything in the last year or so because the Wii-U is gearing up along with their push for the 3DS.

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#16 Posted by TooWalrus (13258 posts) -

People played the hell out of it until it stopped being supported, now they don't play it anymore. I guess it's a fad in the same way the NES, SNES, N64, and Gamecube were fads...

#17 Posted by sarge1445 (677 posts) -

no the Wii had a ton of amazing games and still sells pretty well

#18 Posted by Mijati (952 posts) -

It lasted about as long as Rock Band/Guitar Hero did, maybe a small bit longer.

While I wouldn't call it a fad as such a lot can be said with regards to that comparison.

#19 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

flavin adenine dinucleotide? No I don't think so.

It was a successful product that is still selling well. Even on today's sales, if the Gamecube was selling at the same rate, Nintendo would have been very happy. It is at the end of the normal product life cycle. They sold 95mio and a massive number of games to go with it, most non Nintendo (they had big selling games though). At 95mio units around the world, of course sales would taper off, just like the PS2 or the DS. Fad is a ridulous word to use in this context. It would be like asking if iPod was a fad.

#20 Posted by HadesTimes (827 posts) -

Of course it was a fad. But if Nintendo would have spent more time helping third parties get games together for it and less time making sure their own games had the highest sales and review numbers it might have been the best console in all of history. This was Nintendo's golden goose to kill and boy did they.

#21 Posted by RE_Player1 (7526 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

Yes. It wasn't sustainable, so it was a fad.

And annoyed about that I am.

Yup. I bought it into it day 1.

#22 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

The Wii wasn't no fad. Hell, it was a faddot. It created its own genre and dared other companies to join in on the parade. The parade is over. Let's see what's next.

#23 Posted by kindone (2841 posts) -

It ushered in motion controls to the console users, so no I don't think so. I think the Mainstream Granddaddy and Mommy phase is over, though.

#24 Posted by bigsmoke77 (791 posts) -

@TooWalrus: It was supported but the support was from shitty third party shovelware and the once and a while Nintendo title. It wasn't worth the time and the resources of third party game makers to make quality games because they didn't sell because the wii was put in the closet after the girlfriend got her use out of wii fit.

#25 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -
@bigsmoke77 said:

@TooWalrus: It was supported but the support was from shitty third party shovelware and the once and a while Nintendo title. It wasn't worth the time and the resources of third party game makers to make quality games because they didn't sell because the wii was put in the closet after the girlfriend got her use out of wii fit.

People keep saying shitty shovelware. I played Carnival Games. It wasn't that bad. There was a game to be played there. It was all based on having friends over, but that was cool too.
#26 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1903 posts) -

My parents have one. So do one set of grandparents. To my parents, it's the Netflix box with the annoying point-at-the-TV remote. To my grandparents, it is an advanced dust gathering machine. I can't see either set of these people buying a Wii U.

#27 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

No, because then every console was a fad.

#28 Posted by Mcfart (1729 posts) -

As much as I'm anti-Wii...no. Motion controls, and games are still being released on it.

#29 Posted by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

From what I can grasp from my own experience with the Wii...yes. It was the thing to have when it came out, motion controls, wireless net access, an array of potentially awesome games.

Then they released the motion+, which did what the Wiimote was promised to do, the system updates never replaced each other, instead stacking to take up space, the wireless was dirt slow, the games began to become limited in scale, specs that came out later in its life-cycle pointed to it being less powerful in many areas as the Gamecube and PS2, publishers and devs started pulling support, indie/WiiWare devs weren't getting funding, the console started to show its ware, so much so that Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story looked like shit and apparently suffered from slow in-game load times, and I remember one area of TLS which caused my game to slow so badly that I had to pause it in case it crashed outright, because a body of water was too much for the Wii to process, and at the end of it's life cycle, the Wii is no longer being supported, with the WiiU integrating the 'motion' controls, but opting for a main controller that is an impractically huge screen, for what is believed to be a consumer-unfriendly price, whose specs have been over-emphasised from the getgo, and will probably sell well initially, but won't rally that much support long-term. Even the games weren't viable at times, because of extra crap you needed, or simply because the content was sparse at the best of times. Again, TLS was compelling, but it was only one of a few games I've ever bought, and while it did me near enough 30 hours, Lost Odyssey and Skyrim have done me anywhere from 70-100 hours. The point I'm making here is that; the Wii's lack of hardware has damaged its games over time, making the truly great titles insultingly short and underrated for what they should have been. TLS was a a great game, but it suffered badly in quality due to the Wii's weaknesses, something that, I think, should never be tolorated.

The Wii gained massive support for a gimmick, it wasn't capable of support HD (yes it matters, when HD was on the rise, Nintendo missed the boat, so much so that now you can buy a HD ready tv for under 70 quid, quality be damned), the specs were underwhelming, and the company itself wouldn't release games because it wasn't financially viable, even though the games were anticipated beyond belief, and because they wanted to focus on the next console. Hell, half the games released on the Wii at this stage worth a crap don't utilize motion controls, instead opting for more classical control methods.

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