Well, the wife finally got her wish on Monday when UPS finally delivered her Nintendo Wii. It was supposed to have been delivered on Friday, but the packages never made it on the truck. She had been looking at getting one for a while now, more since some of her employees have been raving about it for months on end, and constantly saying how much fun it is.
So it arrived Monday. Got it set up, and running in less than a half hour. Man is this thing small. I think the 5.25″ Floppy Drive I had for my old C-64 was larger than this console unit. The package deal my wife got came with the unit, and six games, the biggest name being Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Total was around $500 from Toys-R-Us.
As we had the weekend to get additional bits for the Wii, we went around and picked up a 4 controller charging station, two extra controllers and “nunchuks” (The unit only comes with 1, and there are 3 of us), as well as “jackets” for the controllers. I highly reccomend getting the rubber/rubberized jackets for the controllers, just so you get a better grip on them while playing, thus saving you from potential damage to your TV, wall, other family members.
I have yet to play an actual game on the Wii. So far, I’ve just been puttering around with the Wii Sports, which comes with the basic unit. Despite the very basic nature of the Wii Sports, and the limitations on it, this is still a lot of fun. Plus, just like the ads say, you will get a work out with this.
The unique feature (and selling point) of the Wii is its controller. When playing Wii sports, you will use the wireless controller much like the real sporting equipment. Playing baseball? You’ll need to swing the controller like a bat. Golf? Grab it and swing like Tiger Woods. Bowling? Just imagine the controller is the ball and bowl like you would at the lanes. Tennis? It’s a racket, so swing it like you would on the court. The real work out comes when you play the boxing game.
Boxing on the Wii Sports is a cardio work out. You have to not only punch with both hands (the remote in one hand, the nunchuk in the other), but bob and weave to avoid getting hit. The sensor system of the Wii can not only gauge where you’re hitting, but how hard based on your punches with the controller, This system also works with the other games, like baseball and golf, where your swing can have different strength levels and effects.
So far, only my daughter has played a “real” game on the Wii, Zack and Wiki. It’s a platformer puzzle game, obviuosly targeted for a young audience (not the adult or late teen crowd), but is as interactive, both mentally and physically as the Wii Sports. The game rewards you based on how “smartly” you solve the puzzles (there are often more than one way to do so), and how quickly. In the meantime, you end up using the controller to saw through things, rings a bell, or hammer away on something. It can be tiring just watching her play.
This is not a console for everyone IMO, no matter what Nintendo says. Though the release of the “Wii Fit” may change that somewhat. This console is geared towards the younger set (8-13), but has some great potential for the older crowd as well (35+). Those in the 14-34 range will be better served with either a PS3 or X-Box360. Despite the timeing, the Wii is not a “next gen” console like the PS3 and X-Box360. But it is a vast improvement upon the Nintendo Game Cube. I’ll have more once I get around to actually playing a game or two on this.