Short Nerd Chief

Posts Tagged ‘Wii’

Should Nintendo’s Wii plans target core gamers?

Posted by Fred on June 19, 2008

Joystiq says that Nintendo promises ‘core’ gamers will be happy with its upcoming announcements at E3. While new games are always welcome, this Wii owner certainly hopes they don’t expend too much effort competing for so-called core gamers. What would a core gamer strategy result in? yet another port of Grand Theft Auto or a slew of first-person shooters or a Halo knockoff? If Nintendo tries to compete for the hardcore gamer market, it will lose big-time. There are a lot of great things about the Wii, but it’s not a 360 or a PS3. Nintendo needs to focus on what differentiates its console from the other two. Here’s some of what I’d like to see:

  • Quality entries from some of the core franchises as yet unrepresented. Starfox would be great, or a good RPG.
  • Sports games other than Wii Sports that make appropriate use of the Wii controls. Madden 08 was adequate, but the baseball games are lacking. Not everything has to be accomplished by a gesture.
  • Accessible storage for downloaded games, but not a HDD. Eventually, the Wii’s motion controls will no longer be a differentiator, but the Wii will continue to compete on price. A $100 storage accessory would be a Really Bad Idea. Enabling use of the SD slot would be a good idea, as would allowing use of third-party USB drives.
  • More downloadable content. Not downloadable games per se, as they seem to be headed in the right direction there, but Nintendo hasn’t really done much with DLC. I don’t understand generally why the console MLB games don’t update stats frequently as the season progresses. It would certainly make things more fun.

In the end, of course, none of this matters that much. The Wii is a cash cow, and will continue to be so for the indefinite future.

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NCAA Football 09 Is Coming For Wii!

Posted by Fred on February 15, 2008

ncaafb09 EA has announced their first NCAA football game for the Wii. We’ve been playing a lot of Madden NFL 08 on the Wii (strangely enough, the Browns offense with Charlie Frye at QB is really good, 2007 Patriots-before-the-Super Bowl good), so a college game would be welcome.  The NCAAA games have always been a bit of a mixed bag; EA gets the atmosphere of a college game to the T, but since they can’t license player names for college athlete, you get a lot of “TD; QB #10 pass to WR #9 for 13yds” instead of Taylor Tharp to Jeremy Childs.  Also, the time I played NCAA Football (which was, granted, more than 10 years ago), the triple option offenses were essentially unstoppable.  One presumes EA has addressed that.  Hopefully they’ve also addressed Madden 08’s propensity for face mask offenses.  They say they’ve kept the Family Play mode, which is good, and Madden’s Wiimote control scheme, which is more good than bad.

 

mascots Unlike NCAA Football 08, which featured a cover image of Boise State QB Jared Zabransky, NCAA Football 09 will feature a college mascot, and EA is having a contest to decide which one.  The last time someone did this, the Capital One Mascot Challenge, the winner was Akron’s Zippy the Kangaroo (did you know that Zippy is a she and has been around since 1953?).  I vote for Zippy this time, too, because (a) Akron needs some glory for a program most notable for Gerry Faust and Charlie Frye and (b) who doesn’t love kangaroos?

[via CrunchGear]

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Happy Belated [insert holiday here]

Posted by Fred on December 26, 2007

Here’s hoping your Hanukkah/Christmas/Festivus/Winter Solstice/Kwanzaa was a happy one (that last one hasn’t happened yet, but you get the idea).  We carried on a family tradition and probably started a new one.  The old tradition, which probably doesn’t have too much time left, was tracking Santa with Norad.  We’ve been doing this since the beginning, and times have changed since it was a few videos accessed via dial-up. This year, we tracked Santa in Google Earth, which was updated every 60 seconds using the Google Earth fly-over animation. This had the added benefit of teaching the kids more world geography and keeping their attention (no more waiting five minutes or more for updates).  The latter being especially important with a five-year-old that really didn’t want to leave presents under the tree for another day.

The new family tradition, which is really an old Richmond tradition, was a trip to the Byrd Park Carillon for the Richmond Community Nativity Pageant.  This half-hour production began on the steps of the State Capitol in 1924, and has been around so long that Douglas Southall Freeman (b. 1886), former editor of the Richmond News-Leader and Pulitzer Prize winning historian, was the original narrator.  This was the 76th production of the pageant, which since 1987 has been sponsored by a non-profit community foundation since the city acknowledged the obvious church-state conflict.  It’s a nice production, complete with orchestra, choir and a cast of about 300.  The weather even held out long enough for the show to go on.

The materialistic side of the holiday was a hit as well.  The eight year old got his Wii, which dutifully reported to us that it was played for eight hours and 55 minutes on Christmas Day.  Wii Sports got the inevitable workout, but Mario Party 8 was a bigger hit. He’s off to the target today to get Madden NFL 08 at the after-Christmas sale.  The five year old was pretty thrilled with everything, but three teddy bears and three new Webkinz were particular favorites.  The Webkinz site was hammered all day, so only one of the Webkinz was actually added to her account successfully.  The Gorilla and the Pig will have to wait.

I got some clothes, which is nice considering that fatblogging has depleted my wardrobe in a good way.  I also have a new Philips digital photo alarm clock that I’m keen to play around with, and will be going to see Ira Glass at the Modlin Center in February.  My big present won’t come until I’ve traded in gift cards and cash, however.  I’m torn between a new laptop and finally going hi-def with an LCD.

I got the wife some jewelry, and she received additional jewelry from family.  Her favorite presents, however, may have been glassware – some Luminarc from her parents and glasses from Anthropologie from me.

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Wii in stock at Amazon

Posted by Fred on December 21, 2007

Lord knows how long they’ll last, but Amazon has Wiis in stock as of this moment.

Inevitable update: Now they don’t. They lasted for about 20 minutes.

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Nintendo to jerk-face retailers – cut it out, already!

Posted by Fred on December 19, 2007

It’s about time. Nintendo says Wii shortages hurt planning, and is critical of retailers forcing bundles of overpriced games and accessories on customers.

Nintendo, which is striving to meet Wii demand more than a year after the machine first went on sale, was also trying to discourage the practice of bundling the consoles with extra games or accessories and selling it for a higher price.

A Wii by itself sells for $250 — cheaper than Microsoft Corp’s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp’s PlayStation 3 — but some retailers have offered bundles priced for double that price.

“Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not big fans of that. We think it masks some of the price advantage we have versus our competition and, frankly, the consumer should decide what they want,” [Nintendo of America President Reggie] Fils-Aime said.

Asked if Nintendo had threatened such retailers with fewer Wii shipments, Fils-Aime said only that the company carried a lot of weight as maker of one of the most highly sought items this holiday season.

It really sucks that retailers are using the insatiable Wii demand as an excuse to gouge the customer, and it’s not just the $799 bundle I linked to above.  Gamestop does it, Walmart does it, buy.com does it. Unfortunately, as long as customers keeping buying the bundles rather than doing the legwork to get a $249 Wii (which is how Santa will be bringing a Wii to our house this year), there’s not much Nintendo can do about it.  Ultimately, if they can get and keep the shelves stocked, the market for this kind of crap will disappear.

[via CrunchGear]

Edit 12/20/07: Apparently, there’s some question about whether Buy.com does it (thanks, EM). I didn’t do a lot of due diligence, and just relied on the prices listed on this Wii tracker. To be fair, however, nowhere on the page for the Holiday 2007 Bundle, which the Wii tracker says was last available on December 17 for $589.99, does it say anything about it being from a marketplace seller.  That Buy.com sells the Wii at list price is commendable. That they also appear to sell bundles of games you probably don’t want is not (and if that bundle is not from Buy.com itself, they need to make that clear).

Posted in Shopping, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How I Got My Hands on a Wii

Posted by Fred on November 30, 2007

Wired has a nice explanation of Why You Can’t Get Your Hands on a Wii.  Nintendo says they’re trying to keep up:

Ultimately, Wii production numbers — and the United States’ allocation of consoles — are determined by Nintendo’s home office in Kyoto, Japan. [Nintendo Senior Vice President George] Harrison says the company will continue producing 1.8 million Wiis every month until demand subsides.That should happen next spring. But with many high-profile game releases coming after Christmas, like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart, Wiis could be hard to find well into 2008.

And if you want to put a Wii under the tree, without going to one of those eBay scalpers? “It’s going to take some luck,” says Harrison, who notes that retailers sometimes hold Wiis off store shelves until Sunday mornings, when the advertisements go out in the paper.

It was with much trepidation that I heard just before Thanksgiving that a Wii would be in the letter to Santa this year (although it’s probably still better than the fart machine that was also on the list for a while).   Thanksgiving morning was a bust – Kmart advertised Wiis, but the Lynchburg, VA store (where we were over the holiday weekend) only got 10, and 6 AM wasn’t nearly early enough.  I then tried an online inventory tracker for the Wii, but that was a bust, too. It reported stock at Sears a few times, but that was mostly due to Sears’ busted code. had I been awake at the right time, however, it may have let me get a Wii when Amazon infamously posted some.

We have a Wii now, and we got it the only way that seems to work – we sicked  my Mother-in-law on them.  She was also looking for a Wii for my niece, and by calling around was able to find out when stock was to arrive at Kmart (for Wii #1) and Target (for Wii #2).  So be diligent, and you’ll get your Wii.  It helps to be looking in a smaller market – the “pester the electronics manager at the big box store” strategy didn’t work nearly as well in Richmond (projected 2008 population 1,093,227) as in Lynchburg (230,651).

It’s not necessary to buy the $677 Walmart bundle or drop hundreds on Ebay (which currently has one with a Buy It Now price of $250,000 which appears to be in jest and one at $1299.99 which appears to be serious). I’m out of pocket about $300 ($249 plus an extra Wiimote and Nunchuck).  Now to make my Christmas list (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Smash Bros. BrawlGeometry Wars: Galaxies, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed).

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Amazon Customers Vote: a Wii for $79, Whee!

Posted by Fred on November 15, 2007

custvote.png

Amazon’s Customers Vote promotion is back. As the site itself says, “the products that get the most votes in each of six rounds will be offered at ridiculous winning prices, and the runners-up will also be sold at slightly smaller discounts. (But they’ll still be sweet deals.)” General categories include video game consoles, photo and video, toys, high-def DVD, and two categories that defy description (what do a flat-panel TV, stand mixer and robot vac have in common?). Here are the current vote leaders:

  1. Nintendo Wii for $79 (55%)
  2. Panasonic SD-1 High-Definition Camcorder for $299 (54%)
  3. Razor E100 Electric Scooter for $29 (65%)
  4. Toshiba HD-A35 1080p HD DVD Player for $149 (46%)
  5. HP Pavilion TX1305US 12.1″ Notebook PC for $299 (62%)
  6. Samsung LNT4661F 46″ 1080p LCD HDTV for $719 (65%)

I voted for all of those except the Panasonic SD-1. I’d rather have the Panasonic L1 7.5MP DSLR instead. As these things always do, the discussions page has degenerated into XBox 360 vs. PS3 fanboyism. Why are people such idiots?

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