Wii are not amused.
Well, at least I’m not. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
Nintendo’s press blitz finally put an end to months of speculation, hype and fanboy hyperbole. Now we know pretty much everything we’ve wondered about, straight from the horse’s mouth. I take no issue with the price, the launch date (two days after PS3’s monstrosity lumbers into stores), the bundle, the Channels or the VC pricing structure. I dig it.
Predictably (re: To Wii or Not To Wii), I’m irked by the staggered release of Twilight Princess – Wii version November 19th with the console itself, GameCube version on December 11th. I can’t fault Nintendo’s logic. A Zelda game at launch = a license to print money, and Nintendo is leveraging people’s excitement for the game to move consoles. As a business decision, it’s flawless. But it sucks that as a diehard fan who wants to experience TP as it was originally designed I have to wait yet another month. I bite my thumb at you, Nintendo.
There’s a lot of fodder for discussion about TP and the Wii events, so I’ll end my petty tantrum there and open it up to the rest of the crew joining us for this Roundtable. So guys… what do you think?
I agree that the staggered release seems like a slap in the face to the Gamecube fans, I know that for the longest time I was worried that TP would be Wii exclusive, back before I wanted to buy one. However, I honestly can’t fault Nintendo for doing that, the one true ‘killer app’ that they’ve got for the Wii’s launch is Twilight Princess, and if you could get it on the GCN at the same time then the Wii would be launching with 20 or so games that are undoubtedly decent, but hardly console sellers.
First let me get this out of the way- I cannot explain how pleased I was by Nintendo’s conference, and I’m completely in favor of TPWii, so yes, I will be will be acting like a little Nintendo minion here, but for good reason.
As for the delay of TPGC, I don’t blame Nintendo one point. I’ve said this in many places, and the simple truth is, Nintendo needs a boost. Gamecube, much as I loved the thing, was a disappointment, and it ended up tossing Nintendo behind Sony and Microsoft in the console races. TPGC is not going to help the company; sure, it’ll give them some money, but no one cares about Gamecube anymore, no one’s cared about it in months. Having a game get all kinds of hype, great reviews and incredible recognition on a past console is one of the most painful things for a company, because it’s not doing anything to brighten their future, despite the wonderful results. Gamecube’s out, Wii’s in, and if Nintendo wants to regain respect in the video game world, they have to make sure that Wii succeeds. TPWii will be a great help to make that happen (and it makes the launch awesome).
I never understood the point of delaying information about this and keeping it so secretive. The fact that the NY Times were able to post the exact release date and price a few hours before the conference even started that night showed that it really wasn’t all the secretive to begin with. Plus, they got so many people linking to their site, so it even helped them.
I have to agree with Mirren on the Wii In/Gamecube out deal. Nintendo knows they have to move forward in order to be a big competitor in the new market, however, I do believe pushing back the GC version was a dumb move. Many preordered this game when it was a Gamecube game thinking they would only have to pay $50 to get it. Now, if you want to play it when it comes out for the first time, you have to dish out $300 just to play it. Dumb marketing move on Nintendo’s part. I understand they want to push the Wii out quick and make them the best, but pissing us off for a little extra exposure isn’t the best of ideas.
I guess one of the better things to come out of them holding the information could be the goof on Sony’s part. Them having to push back their release date from the spring to the fall was a bad business move, having promised the spring and having to delay, and we all know how much we love delays.
…I guess i’ll stop for now.
You know what bugs me the most? I’m probably going to buy it. So I’m a hypocrite – but in my defense, it’s not just because I can’t wait the month.
Word from New York on the gimmicky control is getting better; after E3 Miyamoto talked about developing something that felt more natural, and that was always my biggest concern. I don’t want the experience to be cheapened by broken mechanics. If you can’t do better than a traditional controller, it shouldn’t be on the Wii.
The latest gameplay trailer is eye-bleedingly gorgeous. I want to take that footage to a movie and make out. I know Nintendo once said that aside from control the games would be identical – could just be that final bit of development polish, but… damn.
And finally, I’m getting a Wii anyway – it was just a matter of when. If word stays positive on the controls, I may just go against my better judgement. And if it sucks there’s always old faithful.
Regarding Wii control in general: while I’m excited for Elebits and Rayman’s Raving Rabbids, word on some of the other games has me worried. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is being developed for all platforms. For Nintendo, it has all this Wiimote functionality tacked-on to what is essentially a dungeon crawler, and from what I’ve read it really overcomplicates what can be done better with buttons. My feelings are the same as TP – if the game is not designed specifically for the system, how will Wii controls fare? Even Metroid and Red Steel are struggling to make FPS mechanics work fluidly and intuitively, and while each successive update seems to improve matters, the difficulty developers are having with non-traditional control in traditional genres makes me think the Wii won’t really hit the ground running.
About Wii control:
I agree that devs seem to be having far too much trouble making it work right. You’ve pointed out all of the examples I was going to use, but it’s still discouraging that something so similar to a PC control setup is, apparently, so hard to get to work right. It also raises questions about how many multi-platform titles will make it to the Wii, or rather, will make it successfully to the Wii. The only titles we’ve seen so far that, apparently, use the Wiimote well were either developed by Nintendo or are Wii only.
Grabbing the topic and running the other way with it: not all of the games using the Wiimote are having trouble with it, apparently Wii sports plays like a dream, as do a few other titles.
Bringing Zelda back into the topic, apparently controlling Link with the Wiimote is the same as pushing the ‘B’ button in the Zeldas of old, there is no mapping of your movements onto Link’s actions, which raises another question: Why did Nintendo mirror the entire game? If it doesn’t matter which hand you use to control Link, then what’s the point?
Apparently the mirror factor came about simply because of Link would interact with the environments, such as doors, gates, and a few select objects. Since going back and individually editing all of these would take some time (probably another delay, according to most critics), Nintendo decided to just simply use some kind of coding that would mirror the entire thing.
Nonetheless, as pipking said, this game looks beautiful, and any visuals that we haven’t seen before won’t look any worse because they’re mirrored. One thing I expected about this game was that we’d see jaw-dropping graphics, despite the Wii’s limited hardware, and the fact that this is one of its first games. Zelda has a tradition of making great imagery without anything flashy or photorealistic, they make it amazing through awesome art styles. And, quite frankly, Twilight Princess probably has the best one yet.
Even the controls seem fine, at least from what several sites have said. I know it’s not smart to automatically believe something because one person says it, but it really was a relief to know that Gamespot found the controls to work well. Out of all video game sites, they’re easily one of the most critical, to the point where if they say its good, chances say it really is good.
I don’t get how one could say developers are having trouble with the Wii controls, at least as of yet. Yes, UA needs some work, but everything else seems to be coming along nicely. Metroid Prime 3’s expert controls are supposed to be excellent, Project Hammer played well, other than some turning issues, Excite Truck is apparently easy to play. Sure, these are all first and second party games, but thus far, Ubisoft seems to be having little trouble. Red Steel has improved incredibly since E3, and Rayman has been said to play very well. Heck, even Atlus has been doing fine with Trauma Center. Thing is, very few third party developers have introduced their games to the public, so we only have a couple games from Ubisoft, Konami and Atlus to go on, and those have been moving along smoothly. Once we see more companies showing off their titles and how they work, can we truly criticize their methods of using the Wii remote.
You’re right, Mirren – it is a little early to be predicting doom and gloom. But I remain dubious; Nintendo is trumpeting the Wii as an entirely intuitive new way to play games, but from what I’ve read a lot of titles – Metroid and Red Steel included – fail to be improved by the new control scheme.
For all appearances, I think you can justifiably compare the Wii to the DS. For it’s first year, the DS had very few worthwhile titles – until developers got comfortable with it’s new take on the interface, and it’s library started to shine with genuine innovation. Right now, the DS is unstoppable – it’s the fastest selling game system (counting both consoles and handhelds) of all time. While the Wii has tons of potential, I don’t think it’ll be realized with traditional genres. It doesn’t just represent a new way to play games – it’s about a new way to think of games as a whole, just like DS. DS is responsible for renewed interest in the ‘point and click’ adventure genre, something that hasn’t been relevent for ages. I tend to think of Super Mario Galaxy as Wii Jesus – everything I’ve read about it suggests it rethinks not just how to play a platformer, but what a platformer can be.
I don’t want to drop this topic if there’s more to be said, but I do think we should talk about the biggest point of contention regarding the Wii – price. Nintendo always said they would come in under $250 and they have – by a penny. Not to mention $40 Wiimotes and $20 thumb-chucks (sold seperately). Wii is supposed to be about playing together, and with very little online support at launch, how much of a risk is Nintendo taking by not including two controllers – especially when Wii Sports is supposed to a fantastic multiplayer experience? Is $250 a good price?
I think if they were smart, they would start a bundle at launch for like $279.99-$299.99 for a two-player set up. That way you save some money for an extra controller and you have the multiplayer setup.
But I do agree. Why give us Wii Sports, a real multiplayer game, and only one controller.
pipking, you hit the nail on the head. The Wii remote isn’t going to improve games (because seriously, how much more can we do to see drastic improvement?), but what it does instead is add a completely new and unique way to playing the games. For the first time in years, the FPS and Beat-Em-Up genres have a chance to bring out a swarm of high quality titles. Think about it, if Red Steel, Project Hammer, and Samurai Warriors Wave were all on Gamecube, with traditional controls, how well received would they be? Chances say, not with the most excellent reactions, because there’s really nothing special about them outside of the motion controls, but because of the Wii remote adding some originality to them, they have the potential to be solid games, something we especially haven’t seen out of the Hack ‘n’ Slash genre in years.
As far as the pricing goes, I have my ups and downs. I think the fans hyped themselves up too much for a 200 dollar or lower price on the system itself, so $250 may be a bit depressing, but it’s hardly bad, in fact, it’s awesome; $150 less than 360, and less than half the price of the PS3. And hey, you get some nice stuff to boot; Wii Sports, a Wii remote, AC Adapter, online browser, photo storage etc.
The prices for the controls though is far from cool, however, sixty dollars for that is ridiculous. Even if they just bundled them together for fifty, it’d be better, but right now, it’s not something I consider to be nice. Though, it’s not going to affect me all that much, because there’s not many superb multiplayer games at launch, so buying an extra controller right off the bat would be useless to me. I plan to get Red Steel for Christmas, but I’ll just have my parents get me that and a remote. Once more multi games come out (Smash Bros. Brawl and Battalion Wars II for me), then I’ll be more concerned on the cost.
I’m also very disappointed with the cost of the Wiimote, I was expecting a $50 price, tops. Instead we get $60. Now, it is actually rather nice of them to sell the Wiimote and Thumb-chuck separate, as not all games will use both.
Moving on to some of the Wii’s other features, what do you all think of the various channels? They seem rather gimmicky to me, I know that I certainly won’t be editing photos/movies on my Wii. Although I will admit that I tend to be very behind on current events, so the news channel might be useful.
I dig the channels – remember, Nintendo is trying to seduce the non-gamer market. Adding information feeds is relatively easy to do (I’d assume), and relatively easy to ignore if you don’t like them. But from the perspective of a non-gamer, it might be the thing that tips them over into purchase territory.
I think the Mii channel is ten kinds of awesome. Now I get why Wii Sports is so graphically simple – you use your Mii avatar in the game. Plus you can store your Mii on your own Wiimote and take it with you to a friends place. I’m just guessing, but I figure you’ll be able to pop it on your DS at some point, too.
The only thing I don’t like about the channels is how each Virtual Console game appears to take up its own channel. Could get messy, after a while.
I got no problem with them. I still love the idea of the Virtual Console, and I may even end up using some of the other features once in a while. It’s a good idea from a hardware standpoint, because obviously Wii can’t compete with 360 and PS3 in terms of running systems and graphics, but now it’s got it’s own set of interesting stations. Also, this helps to even out the recent announcement that Wii won’t be able to play dvds.
Honestly though, it just looks good on the resume. It makes the Wii look better for Nintendo and fans to say that their system can go web browsing, that it can store all kinds of photos and images, that it has its own character model editing system, that it can download and play hundreds of region-free games from past consoles, that it can download extra content for Wii games, that it has its own messageboard for all of its customers, that it can give you all kinds of news for the recent events in the world etc.
It’s not exactly conventional, but it seems to work well, exactly what I’d expect out of Nintendo.
The only problem I have with the web browsing – you have to pay for the Opera browser. I’m sure it won’t be much, but I consider it one of a few small mistakes Nintendo has made with the Wii. Overall, I’m entirely chuffed, but expensive controllers, ported games with tacked-on functionality, pay-for-web and a few other things keep me from saying Wii is exactly the system I want it to be.
Only time will tell.
I think paying for the internet browsing is just a way for Nintendo to compensate the free online play. But I don’t intend to use it that much unless my current comp crashes sometime in the future.
Ported games with tacked on functionality? We really haven’t seen enough conclusive evidence to show that many Wii games are like this. Ultimate Alliance is like that, but otherwise, TPWii seems to have gotten a lot of attention from Nintendo (and has said to have good controls), and other ported titles such as FarCry (but even that has a bunch of new content), haven’t shown serious flaws just yet.
It’s almost funny to think of this, because we’ve been talking about it for the last two years, but Wii and Twilight Princess are now only two months away from reaching our households. I don’t know what all of your thoughts are for this, but man am I hyped. The fact that I now know for sure that one of Nintendo’s best consoles, and possibly their best game yet are soon to be on the market really gets me excited. I’ve dreaming about play TP since I was fourteen, and soon I’ll be doing that (with Wii). I can’t wait to see just how long the game is, will it really be 100 hours just as Nintendo says? I can’t wait to see all of the settlements, structures and landscapes of Hyrule, I can’t wait to see all the redesigned and brand new enemies that will challenge Link, and what the difficulty will be like after all of this waiting. I can’t wait to see what Midna, Zelda and Ganondorf do, I can’t wait to see how epic the story will be, and if it’ll have an ending that will finally blow Zelda fans away.
I can’t wait to visit Hyrule once again.
2 Years… It’s hard to believe that I was 14 when that first trailer for TP was shown, with the ironic “Coming soon” at the end.
As for the internet browsing, I seem to recall IGN stating that Opera would be free to download until summer of ’07, but then again, I don’t recall them ever citing a source, and it is IGN, so I guess I’m not counting on it. Not that I was ever too incredibly keen on internet browsing with the Wii. I don’t have any way to connect it to the internet, for starters. Besides, I suspect that the ‘fun’ factor of surfing the web on the Wii will wear off fairly quickly. (although I fully expect the people on our forums to have a “Post here on your Wii” thread up on the 19th.)
Anyways, it is hard to believe that the waiting will soon be over. I mean, in two months, 61 days, I will once again be roaming Hyrule, fighting Ganon’s vile minions, and saving the ever-lovely Zelda. I’ve arrived late on the Zelda scene, and TP is the first game that I’ve actually been around for from the beginning, it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like after I’ve finally got it in my hands.
I’ll echo Mirren in saying that I cannot wait to visit Hyrule again, especially this time, when it is apparently bigger and better then ever before.
So, Wii – we’ll see you soon. I think it’s safe to say the true test of the system will come when you hold it in your hands. I look forward to meeting you.
And Twilight Princess…
I’ve missed you terribly.
Nintendo reps keep telling us Twilight Princess will be the definitive Zelda experience. I believe it. My excitement had begun to wane; it’s hard to keep hope alive when a year passes after the deadline, the game jumps consoles, and no real ‘new’ information comes out.
But we’re here, now – coming to the finish line. I can feel my fingers itch.
It is time again to fight. Time again to save the princess – to weild the sword of evil’s bane. Time again for adventure, and mystery, and wonder.
Link is the oldest friend I have in gaming. His adventures have kept me interested for twenty years.
I cannot wait to see him again.