I got my first look at a Nintendo Wii last night at a friends house and all I can think to write is "Cool!" and "Finally!" I’d pretty much given up on video games because I just couldn’t invest the time to familiarize myself with the controllers, with the plots and the bouts of vertigo that a couple of them can induce. To me what’s brilliant about the Wii is that it gives the kids (and gamers) something different than what they’re used to and it gives the adults (and other non-gamers) something that’s approachable and doesn’t require hours of practice just to get started.
For those not familiar with the Wii the biggest difference between it and the PS3 or Xbox 360 is that the controllers are wireless and the games are designed so that the players must physically move to play them. So if the game is boxing the players are essentially throwing punches at the TV, if the game is tennis or golf the players are moving the controllers with motions similar to those used when playing the real sports. Watching the boys play it last night I saw them literally break into a hard sweat and end the games panting as if they’d just run a mile.
Another difference between the Wii and other current game systems is that the Wii went with less processing power so the emphasis is definitely not on graphics. It was a risky, but brilliant move by Nintendo to focus on interaction and approachability rather than hard-core graphics. They’re going to own the non-hardcore gamer market unless Sony and Microsoft do something soon.
We hadn’t even discussed getting one of these for the kids since we figured the X-Box was enough, but now this thing is going on the wish list if for no other reason than I want to play it myself. From what I understand the backlog on delivery is long enough that if I put it on my x-mas wish list I might just get it in time for the holidays.