Thursday, November 09, 2006

Playing with my Wii

Hello true believers! Another blog entry in under a week, I must be feeling sick or something. The fact of the matter is that I have to share with you an experience I had today that I think is going to revolutionize (no pun intended) (If you got the last bracket you are a true nerd) the way I waste away my free time.

In the late hours of my shift a man walked through the door of the game store. He was wearing a Nintendo polo and was carrying a backpack full of wonderful things. Amongst these was the set up kit for the Nintendo Wii interactive demo that we had recently received at our store. After some set up and some BS it was ready to be played. It is glorious, innovative and deceptively easy to use.

For those of you who are lost (and most of my readers may be). The Wii is the new game system by Nintendo to be relised on the 19th of November. It is going to feature (among the typical processor and graphics upgrades) a specialized control scheem that utilizes a motion sensitive remote control that optionally attaches to a joystick, or "nun chuck" as Nintendo is calling it, with a motion sensor of its own. This allows you, through quick intuitive movements, to interact with a virtual world in ways that we have only dreamed of up to this point.

Why is this important? Well, while video games have been growing in budget and popularity over the last Nineteen years (I am counting from the nation wide appearance of the NES to present as it marked the true end to the Video game crash that occurred thanks to Atari and other companies of the early days) they have also been growing more complex and stagnant at the same time. Any new innovation has been minor at best and quickly copied by all of the competitors (Analog sticks were introduced by Nintendo with the N64 and quickly copied by everyone.). At the same time the controllers have been garnished with more and more (unnecessary and poorly placed) buttons. This has lead to a steep learning curve for people who haven't grown up on video games. Grandparents who want to spend time with their video game addicted grand kids, friends who maybe played a few games years ago but aren't exactly adept at using all those wacky sticks and buttons. These are the people we are shutting out. I remember my grandfather (god bless his soul) when I first showed him the NES he tried to figure it out but in the end we just ended up playing Duck Hunt. This was because it was intuitive to play; you aimed and pulled the trigger that was it.

That brings us to now... Nintendo has done it again! they have created a control scheme that is simple to use. I was playing a racing game and all you had to do was hold down a button (the gas) and tilt the controller left and right to steer! It's brilliant! It was so simple to use that after only a few seconds of playing i had completely grasped how to play with no instruction whatsoever!

That is my rant for the day true believers. You know what I'll be doing the evening of the 19th and probably as much of the 20th as I can. I know you may not really care, and I'm cool with that. But now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

*: "Hello true believers" is a quote from Stan Lee that preceded all of the episodes for the
Spider-man TV series in the 70's.
**: "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." is graciously ripped off from G.I. Joe public
service announcements. Which I might add are hilarious even before people reduced them
on the internet.

7 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Holy SHIT!! Andy two enteries in a Month is amazing two in one week is surreal. I'm glad that the Wii seems to working out well. I'm still going to wait to pass judgment on the nun-chuck until I play with one but I am looking forward to it.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Zeze the X said...

Wow, you ARE a nerd.
It's okay. So am I. We're all nerds about different things.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Nunchuck, huh? Joystick too homoerotic for Ninetendo?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

OMG, I was reading "Cold Mountain" at the show the other day, and one of the actors said "Huh, gay cowboys, huh?" and I was like "No, that's Brokeback Mountain," and he said, "Oh, all moutains are gay", which made me think of that hill in Stevens Point that people used to call a mountain and ski down, but that's not really a mountain. It has denial issues. Teehee.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

ALL mountains are not gay. That's a huge exaggeration. Billy the mountain wasn't gay. He had a wife named Ethel who was a tree growing off of his shoulder.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I think it would have been more accurate had he said all cowboys are gay. They are, just a little.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Reg said...

I liked Revolution a lot better as a name than Wii. But then again, I also liked Dolphin better than Game Cube so I suppose I'm just weird like that. Is it really that user friendly? Because I've heard people say that you just look like an idiot playing it. Not that I've had a chance to use or watch it being used yet or even see it in person, of course.

10:10 PM  

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