Houston, We Have A Wii Problem

Reports from Japan (via Enterbrain, the publisher of mega-popular gaming mag, Famitsu) and the US (via everybody's favorite website to hate, IGN.com) suggest that 67% to 75% of people who own a Nintendo Wii haven't touched the games console in months. I'm not surprised in the least. I've been saying that the Wii seemed destined to be a fad of "pet rock" proportions since I first laid hands on it at E3 in 2006. And not just because they were letting input devices dictate game development, but because Nintendo has a very long track record going back several generations of not being able to release enough quality software to support their system. It happened with the N64 and the GameCube and now it's happening again with the Wii. Nintendo will no doubt make one or two good games every year or so, but the third party companies just don't think like Nintendo. So what happens? You get regular games shoehorned onto the Wii that require various Wiimote attachments and accessories to, essentially, nullify the console's primary feature -- motion control.

Sure, the Wii is selling tremendously well and has all but made up the 1 year head start that the Xbox 360 had and, together, the Xbox 360 and Wii are destroying Sony's PS3 in sales with 83% of the market split evenly between them. But what good is a console that has nothing to play on it? It's like I said last year, making a console based exclusively around the Dance, Dance Revolution dance mat would be a most stupid decision. Basing a console around the Wii Sports arm-waving Wiimote is proving to be equally daft. The software should dictate the input device, not the othe way around. Guitar Hero is a phenomenal success because the perfect input device was created to compliment a specific game. Not the other way around.

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