I'm a bit older than all of you - I'm 51. I purchased my Wii a few weeks ago because I saw that the controllers were so innovative - and also that the were not so confusing as the prior ones (to me of course).
I played the first video games when they were released back in the 1970's. Yep, before most of you were even born. I played the sit-down console version of Pong. I played a Pin-ball version of Video Flying Saucers - when you got a certain combination of targets hit, then a video screen would light up and you could shoot at the saucers on the screen. To us back then it was state of the art technology!
Then the Atari 2400 was released and everyone had access to some excellently designed games in their homes. And everyone had to have one. Then Mom and Pop designers came on the scene and flooded the market with poorly designed games. And what happened? The Video game market crashed.
But the game market kept trying. The Intellivision came on the scene. The Odyssey, and my favorite, the Colecovision. Colecovision had the rights to the Nintendo games - they had the rights to the original Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. Back then they were powerful games that had a huge share of the market. However, the Colecovision's power pad controllers were often times difficult to use. But they did work and they gave us gamers the closest thing to the actual video games in the arcades. (and I still have my colecovision).
For those of us into RPG and Fantasy gaming, that took quite a while to develop. I didn't see them appear until home PC's became more popular in the early 1980's. The Commodore 64 and the one I owned, the Atari 800XL. They ran on DOS and had only 64K to operate. Yes, fairly primitive compared to today's PCs.
These Role-playing games were Text only. That's right - no graphics - you yourself created everything including what the main character's looked like, the layout of the land, what you carried, what you encountered. Of course the authors of the game had to thoroughly describe everything.
I don't know if any of you have heard of these titles, but I started off on Zork and its sequels. Wishmaster and it's sequels, Hollywood Hijinx, Planet Fall and a host of others. I remember playing hours and hours and hours trying to work my way through dungeons, fight demons, solve puzzles to get to the final glorious endgame.
You may think these games were simple because they were text. Well, think again; mostly because you had to picture in your mind's eye where everything was in a room, including any tools you may have found that may have not have been pick up yet.
That's how the Internet was when I first connected to it around 1986/1987 - no graphical interface. Just text. That's all. Back then I belonged to a group that did Dungeons and Dragons through the Internet. We were all over the country and our Dungeon Master was in Reno. He controlled the Dice and ran the game. It worked, but it was slow since it was all done through email. Today that could be done less expensively through real time chat. But back then we paid high costs for Internet hook up by the hour - not like today where we have unlimited time for a low cost.
I only did gaming on my Atari PC for a long time after that - I had a lot of Atari PC games from their library of arcade releases. Some were fairly close to the originals. Others were fairly bad. But I still played them when I could. That was until I bought my first 386 pentium PC. It was then I had to retire my Atari 800XL set up and put everything in cold storage.
I had to buy new games - the Role Playing games from Sierra - King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry - they were fair, but didn't seem to be up their with the old Zork one's - which I still preferred.
It was around that time that Nintendo came out with its first game unit - the original. I tried it but could not for the life of me get used to the controls. The up/down/right/left and all those buttons. My hand just couldn't handle it. That and my arthritis screamed at me, when I tried to use them. So, I tried, even have a unit, but I really couldn't play the unit. I put my kit away and only took it out when younger company came away.
I watched all the other systems come out - Playstation, Xbox, Gamecube - all had those darn controllers that I couldn't handle. I kept saying to myself that someday, someday one of the manufacturers will come up with a more intuitive controller so it won't need all those darn buttons. But when, I said. When?
The answer came when I saw Wii. When I saw the controller I said to myself - Whee! Internal Gyroscopes. Wireless technology, only a few buttons, and you can use that Nunchuck device as a controller too - a tidy little joystick with two buttons. It answered my prayers.
So when I was in my local Target Store a few weeks a go and saw some in stock, I bought a system. I didn't hook it up right away - I waited. I wanted to read up on it more. Then about 3 weeks ago, I hooked it up. I learned how to use the remote, albeit slowly. I bought Wii Play. I bought Wii Mario Party 8 and brought it over to my younger brother's house (he's 38 and went goo-ga over it). I also bought Rapalo Fishing (strange), andd I bought Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess - mostly because 've heard so much about it. (I did try that one today - beautiful graphics, but I'm going to need help on how to use the remotes).
I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the Nintendo Wii. As a retired Systems Technical Expert, I know how much programming and testing, went into this device to get it running properly. I'm amazed, truly amazed.