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Nintendo Wii: Why?

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Nintendo Revolution.

The name was strong. It had purpose. It made a bold statement. It gave the distinct impression Nintendo was building up for something so incredible the likes of it had never been seen before.

The Revolution would take the gaming world by storm. The Revolution would be the kind of console that would make gamers’ heads spin in delight. The Revolution would be, well, revolutionary.

Revolution was the kind of name that could compete with the likes of the Xbox 360. The PS3. It had a ring to it. People identified with it.

But, alas, we have the Nintendo Wii. It’s cute. It’s cuddly. It attempts to create a sense of solidarity, breaking down the barriers between gamers and even non-gamers the world over. I’m hearing “shiny happy gamers holding hands” in my head and I can’t seem to make it stop.

The Nintendo Wii! Why?

Not too long ago, I talked up the virtues of the then-called Revolution to a co-worker of mine who was considering going next-gen sometime soon. He has two young boys, and from what I’ve read, the Revolution sounded like a good fit.

His response: “That’s going to be a console for girls!”

My glare, being a “girl” and a serious gamer, could have melted steel.

He explained the system looked to him like it was going to be made for “everyone,” not really designed for hard-core gamers into serious action.

I defended the virtues of the “bold Revolution.” I mentioned the expected cost savings, the developers’ interest in the console, which of course is always a good thing, and some of the planned titles. I was convinced he was wrong.

Now this from Nintendo itself: “Wii will break down that wall that separates video gamers from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games…and each other.”

I still think the console sounds like it has a lot of merit. Nintendo doesn’t generally disappoint, even if it doesn’t always appeal to the “hard-core gamer.” But I’m finding myself wondering if the name alone will be enough to scare potential buyers off. Wii just sounds weak.

Kind of leaves me wishing for the Go name that was speculated about earlier this year.

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  • Uli

    Well, its ok. I like more Revolution, but its original and good.

    Its not like those horrible console names, nintendo 64 and xbox 360.

  • I think ” play staion” is really ‘cheesy” ” I play play stion”

  • The Nintendo 64 was a great name, everyone I’ve talked to likes it, it was catchy and simple, easy to spell also. The Xbox 360 isn’t too bad either, everyone calls it the 360 and leaves the Xbox off so it works okay. The terrible console names are the ones such as the Sega Genesis that are overly long and don’t roll of the tongue well, also a lot of people find it hard to spell and remember. The Nintendo Wii isn’t that great either. The console looks pretty cool, but lets stick to names. I have to agree that it does sound weak, I wouldn’t want someone to ask me what console I own and then have to tell them I own a “wii”. It sounds lame no matter what tone of voice you say it in, it just doesn’t imply that you’re at all serious about gaming and that you own any game other than Super MonkeyBall 3 or whatever. The PS3 sounds solid and a sleek. The 360 sounds like pure muscle and power since it’s all just hard numbers, no soft letters, just numbers.

    As to if potential buyers will be scared off by the name, I think so. I know a few people who have expressed interest in the console but wouldn’t want to buy it with a name like Wii, especially if it has the sappy love and non-gamers united with gamers message written all over it. Again, the name conjures up images of little kids playing Mario Party and SuperMonkey Ball. Call it silly and stupid, but if I buy one, it’ll be online and when people ask I’ll call it the “new Nintendo” or better yet, “the former Revolution”.

  • Eric

    It’s actually just the Wii, not Nintendo Wii.

    It has grown on me but that doesn’t mean I like it. I just don’t want to call it that. Some people call Gamecube just Nintendo. I’ll this one just Nintendo.

  • It seems more and more that it’s a cover up. That Nintendo will reveal the REAL name at E3.

    What a branding expert said on “Wii”:
    “…it’s not possible to engineer a worse name for this product.””

    This console is a make it or break it for Nintendo. I doubt they’ll screw up on the name.

  • Uli

    i say xbox 360 and nintendo 64 were horrible names, just because adding some numbers (64 for the 64 bit generation, 360 just because “Xbox 2” in some microsoft chief brain would look week than “Playstation 3”, better “Xbox 3.6”, or 36 or 360 he think, i disagree, i would like more Xbox 2 than Xbox 360) is not imagination, and numbers for a name… well just dont know a friend named steve 128 (ok, there were the kings Luis I,II,III,IV,V…)
    I understand “Playstation 3” beacuse is the same name, just like Pentium 1,2,3,4… Scary Movie 1,2,3,4 etc.
    But 64 y 360 is just nonsense for me.

    But lets get REAL, is just a name, if Jessica Alba change her name for any, i will still in love for her.


    READ MY BLOG!!!!!

  • “Like the name or not, every single tech related webpage, blog, or forum was talking about the Wii yesterday. You can’t buy that kind of media exposure. And Nintendo got it for free yesterday. The little poem they wrote explaining the meaning of Wii might have been a bit cheesy, but A++ in Business 101 for Nintendo.”
    – Tim Buckley, Ctrl-Alt-Del

  • “”Like the name or not, every single tech related webpage, blog, or forum was talking about the Wii yesterday. You can’t buy that kind of media exposure.”

    Yeah, but that’s selling it to the die-hard gaming crowd that’s going to buy it anyway regardless of name, not the mainstream crowd they’re trying to go after. Those people haven’t heard anything about it yet.

    As I’ve said in a few conversations in the past, Nintendo could put crap in a box and fanboys would think it’s a great idea. They’ve now named a console after urine and people think it’s a good idea. Close enough.

  • Jen

    Who really cares what the name of a game system is? Among serious gamers that is. From the beginning I was disappointed about this system. The main reason is because of the new controller system. I don’t want a “remote” as a controller, nor do I care about being “in the game”. I have been a strong Nintendo supporter (except for the brief Virtual Boy era) since we got our first NES in the late 80’s, and I usually am excited about their new ideas, but not this one. I must say I wasn’t even intending to buy a Nintendo DS, but I loved Animal Crossing on the Gamecube and will probably buy a Nintendo DS Lite mostly for that and a few other games.

    The other problem is caused by the competitiveness between the game console companies. One will release a new system, and then the others have to come out with one too. For those of us who can’t afford to be buying games all the time, it is really disappointing. Before you can get all the games you want for one system, a new system comes out. At first everything may drop in price, but then you find yourself having to buy used games that may not have cases or instructions because you can no longer buy them new. The stores run out of space for the previous system’s games and they don’t carry them anymore, and you are force to either live without it or search online and pay high shipping costs. Then once you have everything, you realize there will not be any more games coming out and you either play those games until you are too bored of them, or you buy the new system and the cycle starts over again. Of course, I know there are people like me who can’t part with some of their old systems because they have so many good games, which then you end up with game consoles surrounding your TV and wires running everywhere. I’m not saying I don’t want new systems, I just think we need more time in between.

    I always knew one day the great gaming world as we knew it would end, and I believe we have Microsoft and Sony to thank for that. Now I like the original Playstation, and I really like the X-box, but I love my Gamecube and, even more, my N64. Perhaps I am the only one in the world who feels this way, but a game console should be just that – a game console. Adding a DVD player or CD player was not a bad idea, but now we are reaching a time when game consoles are just small personal computers. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology very much, but for me gaming hasn’t been as fun as it was back in the N64 days, or even the SNES and Genesis days, when it was about more than just making money… it was about making great games.

  • Although the wii sounds small it has far more meaning than those of the far less imaginitive people of sony and microsoft. i mean come on “xbox” they just thought it’d be cool to put an x in the name. Also your opinion of hardcore gamers is completely wrong, what you have described are just a of bunch aggresive idiots who get off on blood and shooting. A true hardcore gamer appreciates all kinds of games and not just the over-hyped mainstream games. nintendo is a company that offers many diferent and interesting games and ideas which is why a true gamer can see there quality.l