Written on: 04/10/2006 by Julian Crosby (1 review written)
Graphics in comparison to Xbox 360 and PS3
I've just come back from pre-ordering my new Nintendo Wii and as far as I'm concerned December the 8th can't come soon enough - this console looks set to properly kick start the new games generation and is being marketed and valued in such a way that it can appeal to everyone.
The Nintendo Wii is different from the competition in a number of respects - these being the new controller, the price point, the back catalog and the games.
The Wii's controller is designed to be as comfortable and attractive to new gamers as possible while at the same time offering one of the most immerse and satisfying game playing experiences possible for the regular gamers amongst us. There will also be a number of attachments available for the Wii'mote including a nunchuck with analog stick and a gun attachment for shooting games.
The controller is wireless and is full of motion sensing technology so it knows exactly where it is in a 3d space - this means you can move it up or down, turn it, twist it, spin it or push it - any movement, no matter how small, will be recognised by the Wii and translated into a command on the screen. To help you imagine how this will work I will describe a few of the up coming games set for release on the Wii and how their control scheme works.
Wii Sports - this will be packaged with the Wii at no extra cost and contains a number of different sport simulations including tennis and baseball. In tennis you hold the remote sideways like a racket handle and use it as you would a regular tennis racket - swing it through the air to hit the ball normally and in the opposite direction for a back hand, twist to add spin and hit from above for a lob.
The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess will use the controller in a number of ways - hack with your sword by swinging the remote or aim your bow by using the Wii'mote as a pointer. The game also features a number of non-fighting elements including fishing - cast your line by flicking the Wii'mote forwards and real it in by rotating the nunchuck in a circular motion.
There will be around 15 games available on release day in the UK so there should be a wide variety of game play styles on offer. What I am most lucking forward to though is the innovation after the console has been released - the DS has now been available for over 2 years and developers are still finding new and fun ways to take advantage of it's touch screen control system.
Price Point - The Wii will be available for £180 at release including Wii Sports and a controller - (I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this as after you have done the price conversions this is around £40 dearer than our US friends will be paying but I guess this is just the way the UK works) this makes it a cheaper than the Xbox 360 which is available as I write this and a lot cheaper (about a third of the price) than the PS3 and that won't be available until next year. This in my opinion makes it great value for money and a very affordable option when you consider what you are getting for your money.
The Wii will also allow online multi-player games against other players which was one feature lacking from Nintendo's old console - the Gamecube. Using a similar system to the DS you can play anonymously against strangers or, with the use of a friend code, (thankfully one per console, not per game) you can play against your friends and build up a player profile. There will be lots of games that allow this feature and best of all it will be free to use so you don't have to worry about monthly or annual membership costs.
Another great feature of the Nintendo Wii is the huge back catalog of games that will be available for the console - you can download these games over the Internet for a small, fee payable with Credits purchased offline, and they are stored on the Wii itself so you don't have to mess around with memory cards - the games available are from a wide variety of consoles - Master System, Mega Drive, Nes, SNES and Commodore - and new publishers are signing up all the time so this should be the console of choice for retro fans out there. The Wii will also play Nintendo Gamecube games out of the box as well so you have another chance to catch up on some of the classics you may have missed out on first time around.
Although the Wii is first and foremost a games console it will also have a number of features available to increase its usefulness in the home. The Wii can be connected to your wireless network without having to buy any expensive add-on's - you can also browse the web with the Wii'mote using a new version of the opera web browser. The Wii allows you to view images, check the weather, read the news and download updates and games to your Nintendo DS that you can play with while away from your house.
The Nintendo Wii is shaping up to be a great success and is garnering a lot of interest from both online and offline journalists - fingers crossed there won't be any shortages when the console is released (Nintendo have made it clear they will try their best to keep up with demand) but with it being released so close to Christmas it may be a good idea to pre-order, as I have to done, to help avoid any disappointment.
I hope this review has been useful and has given you some more information on Nintendo's new console - Be sure to check back here around mid-December as I will write a new review based on my experiences once I have the console in my hands.