Wii BubbleMicrosoft says Wii is just a gateway console to prime gamers for bigger and better things, namely Xbox 360! Jeff Bell, Microsoft VP of Marketing implied the message in an interview with 1UP recently, but he's not the only one. Critics of Wii say the rise of the Nintendo console's popularity is a bubble and it's ready to burst.
Bell said of Microsoft's space in the console market:
"We're positioning ourselves to be ready if, in fact, gamers find they're ready to graduate from a certain experience potentially with the Wii, either because it's limited on the type of gameplay that's available or the technology in that box."
Let me translate the marketing speak. Bell is saying Wii's graphics suck and when you're bored of its childish games you'll look for an Xbox 360.
Is Wii a gateway console?
Is it just a primer to get these new casual gamers hooked? Like, let's say marijuana.
The casual gamer gets all giggly with a few tokes of the Wii-mote-bong and next thing you know, spacing out to Super Mario Galaxy doesn't get the endorphins kicking like it used to. Now you need stronger graphics and space-out games like Mass Effect.
The belief that a Wii popularity bubble is about to burst is steeped in the lack of third party publishers finding their games profitable on Wii. Critics charge that these third party games for Wii will eventually go dry. This would leave former Wii gamers walking the streets sunken eyed and emaciated, perhaps wearing tattered trench-coats, begging for an Xbox 360.
It's an interesting speculation and only time will tell. But isn't discounting Nintendo a favorite hobby of Microsoft and Sony?
It seems I remember another time, like 2004, when speculation was that Nintendo might get out of the console market and just peddle its game franchises to other ... ahem... more successful consoles.