Aside from a few rays of hope, most games on the Nintendo Wii are barely passable as games according to modern standards. Only 4 games have managed a Metacritic score of above 90% and one of those isn’t even a new title. Although this is more than the PS3 has managed from its own library since launch, the significant issue is the overall average score for each consoles library. The PS3 is at a healthy 73%, while the Wii is close to a complete failing grade of 63%.
Next-Gen Game Sales
Why Is This?
The easiest way to explain this is that most game developers see the Wii as nothing more than a gimmick, and they're making their games to follow suit. It's now common place for developers to only spend months on a single games development on Wii, instead of years like almost all games made for the PS3/Xbox 360 libraries.
They do this because it's "cost effective". Carnival Games, one particular Wii game, is a typical example of this. The game took within 6 months to develop and is sold for $39.99; the same price as Lost Planet for the PS3. Despite its short development cycle, according to VGChartz, it has sold 1.14m copies since it hit the shelves, netting $45.6m in sales, a tidy sum you could say.
Square Enix on Wii
Square Enix is no stranger to the quick Wii cash in party. So far they have developed and shipped two Wii games, both of course have done poorly in reviews, but also sales have not been as stellar as Square Enix were hoping.
Dragon Quest Swords: The Mask Queen and Tower of Mirrors was the first game to finish development and hit retail, the game being also a quit cash-in on the Dragon Quest franchise and not only the Wii. The series is known for it's insane popularity in Japan, hence why a quick game for the series on the Wii makes so much business sense. Metacritic has rated Dragon Quest Swords at 68% after 11 reviews, and it has apparently sold 500,000 copies in Japan.
Dragon Quest: Swords
Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Lost Time is the other Wii game Square Enix has quickly developed and pushed out the doors to retail. Not surprisingly, only one American source has reviewed the game at the time of writing; Go! Nintendo, who gave it a score of 48%. The game was released in 2007, but has horribly missed the Wii craziness entirely, selling only 100,000 copies to date, according to VGChartz.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is the other title which Square Enix are currently developing on the Wii (excluding WiiWare titles), as they hope to try and use the Crystal Chronicles niche audience to bring in some good sales. It's hard to tell if Square Enix had smartened up in time to make this game worth playing or not though.
Why This Will Change
Following the news that Square Enix's PS3, XBox 360 and PC game engine, the White Engine, is now to be referred as Crystal Tools, Taku Murata also revealed that the engine is now also working on the Nintendo Wii. Furthermore, taking a page from EA's handbook, he hinted that we might start seeing games appearing on all three major platforms; Wii, PS3; and XBox 360. This shows that Square Enix is now taking game development on the Wii as a much more serious task, more than likely because of their drab Wii entries so far. They are finally realizing that they have to produce games which we have known and loved, and exciting new quality experiences, to capture their fan's hearts and wallets, not these ridiculous cash-ins.
With the announcement that Crystal Tools are now Wii compatible through and through, Square Enix has given us a sign of good faith that things will change in the future.