Games and Sports

Why Wii Is Good

Since Nintendo announced the new name for its next video game console, there’s been a lot of pissin and moaning from what I guess are the ranks of hardcore gamers on boards like Slashdot and around the blogosphere. That’s expected, I don’t think any console’s official name has met with much enthusiasm. But I think that these people are missing the point. I don’t think the code name “Revolution” was an accident. Nintendo has stated over and over again, that they want to open up the ranks of video game players wider than it has ever been before. Doing that means doing something different, and doing something different usually makes someone unhappy, at least in the short run. Nintendo wants to redefine how people think about games and where they fit into their lives. The naming is just a part of that overall marketing strategy. And since they’re still playing catchup to Sony, what better way to pull off a coup than to redefine the terms of the conflict?

With the naming today, Nintendo has thrown down the gauntlet and is saying louder than ever that they don’t just want the hardcore, they want your mom, who’s playing Bejewelled, too. They want your little sister, and your grandpa too! Sony and Microsoft had better watch out because there’s just a chance that Wii could be the next iPod. It’s probably no accident that World War II, WWII, and Wii are similar. Nintendo will publicly deny that I guess, but it’s pretty obvious to their competitors.