The Nintendo Wii had a great year in 2007, with the help of clutch First Party Games and the support of the casual crowd. Shortages, and problems with production though stalled the Wii's success a bit. Nintendo was being accused of holding back supply, and the demand of the Wii was high. 2008, the Wii demand is bound to be high again, but production this time around should be better as Nintendo is aiming for April of this year to even out production. Coming attractions this year include great Wii games, channels and more, enough to satisfy Wii owners now and get more to enjoy what this system has to offer.
The Wii in 2007 did have a decent library of good games, but it was quite overshadowed by the rush of casual games just a bit. 2008 is starting already to look much much better.
First, Nintendo is coming out with easily the two best Wii games of 2008, and maybe even throughout the Wii's console run.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii aim to bring back fans of previous games in the series' as well make new ones. Both games offer Online, which is something many people have been waiting for. So much hype is surrounding both games, and for good reason. Both games like I mentioned offer Online, but they also look amazing and seem to play very nicely. Brawl though seems to have just a bit more hype around Nintendo fans, mainly because of what this game is offering. Online play, 10+ hours of story mode, some of your favourite characters, and new modes. Plenty to keep Wii gamers busy this March.
The casual crowd in 2008 though is still not forgotten, with the release of Wii Fit, which comes out in May of this year. Casual gamers may not be the only ones to enjoy this, but the majority who play this game will be from the casual market. Weigh yourself, and play through games and activities to really make you "fit". However, the board that is included with this game will surely be used in conjunction with non-casual games, so I guess its a win-win in that regard.
Another thing to add to the games of 2008 and a nice thing to see is the look of stronger third party offerings. Sometime this year we will see Disaster Day Of Crisis, a game that for the most part has been kept a big secret from all who try to uncover details of the game. We also could see a Red Steel 2 this year, although that has yet to be confirmed. And as of now, Nintendo doesn't seem to have a "Holiday Hit" just yet, but many feel that it could be Animal Crossing Wii to fill the void, although Nintendo could surprise us with something we were not expecting.
This year's E3, if done right, will be a big year for Nintendo. What I and many others are hoping for most this year, is the announcement/announcements of previous series making their jump to the Wii. I think its safe to say at this years E3 we will hear about a new Pikmin, StarFox and Donkey Kong game. All three of those seem to be the most wanted and mentioned series from Nintendo fans, and all of them want to see some Wii versions.
We should also expect a Wii specific version of Zelda mentioned/shown at this year's E3 as Twilight Princess was more of a Gamecube port.
With the recent internet grumblings of Nintendo announcing Wii Pay and Play, it seems Online of some sort will have to be paid for very shortly. Hopefully this means that the Online for Wii is ramped up a bit or improved in some fashion. Many Wii owners will not pay for Online if its similar to what it was like last year with hardly any Online offerings coming out that year.
Although, with Brawl and Mario Kart on the way, online does seem to be going in the right direction. More news about the Pay and Play should come out in the next couple of weeks.
WiiWare and The Everybody's Nintendo Channel
WiiWare is one of the most talked about Wii related items as of late. The main thing I hope that comes out of this service is that mini-games coming to Wii will not be as common. WiiWare could help deal with the casual crowd, as developers have the options of putting their shovelware into WiiWare titles, and the rest of the games could be better Wii games if more time was put into them. WiiWare is expected to be its own channel when it is released in May.
The Everybody's Nintendo Channel could soon become every Wii owners favourite Wii Channel. Japan was fortunate enough to get this channel early, and the channel packs quite the heavy punch. Firstly, DS demo's can be downloaded and played on your DS. The Wii acts as a signal, and it sends the demo to your DS where you then begin the download of the game on your DS. You cannot play this one over and over, at least not after you turn off your DS as the demo will disappear.
Also the channel offers Wii game previews of upcoming Wii releases, and allows users to preview upcoming WiiWare titles so you know what to spend your Wii points on, and which WiiWare games to avoid. I would think this channel will come out before Wii Fit and WiiWare is released, this way you can preview the WiiWare games once they are out.
The Wii could be just as successful, or even better than what it accomplished in 2007. With all that is mentioned here, and with all the stuff out there Nintendo has planned that we don't know of just yet, I think its safe to say that the Wii will indeed have a great year.
I am sure we can all agree that the competition from the other consoles will be great as well, but there is no denying how strong the Wii's 2008 is shaping up to be. I hope the Wii owners out there are as happy as I am to be a Wii owner, as we are set to see and play some pretty incredible things. Fasten your belts Wii owners!