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Why Wii Will Win The Console War

Discussion in 'Nintendo News & Rumors' started by Corey, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Corey

    Corey WiiChat Member

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    [xFLOAT=left]http://www.wiichat.com/consolewar.jpg[/xFLOAT]You may have heard, but just in case you haven’t:

    Nintendo's Wii is selling rather well. Exceptionally well, even.

    The February sales figures for the U.S. came in last week and showed the little white machine shifted around 335,000 units, beating both Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 in the short month. Not only that, but sales refuse to slow down across the globe, with over four million sold to date. Wii is STILL the hardest games console to find in shops and as long as demand continues to outstrip supply it's not churlish to assume that come the end of the year it'll be the dominant format. Somewhat impressive and shocking given very few outside of Nintendo could have predicted it would gather such vast popularity within such a short space of time.

    It's only natural some may think this is a fleeting thing. After all, PS3 had yet to fully launch worldwide and has some great games around the corner. While Xbox 360 is still going strong and the potentially brilliant Halo 3 (which is bound to be a sales juggernaut) should make the competition between the three machines very close.

    But the thing is, we're in a relatively quiet period in the gaming year. Very few big name titles are released during this time and so momentum is especially important. Some naysayers would have you believe it's novelty factor keeping Wii upright, but considering the high demand still three months post-launch, that must be one hell of a novelty. Especially when the there's been a distinct lack of major releases on the machine since December.

    However, the comparative shortage of software at this stage doesn’t matter because Wii comes with one of the most effective killer apps ever created; Wii Sports. And by attaching that to each machine, Nintendo has guaranteed sales without the problems that typically come with a games deficiency. No need to shop around looking for that ideal extra to buy with the console, because it's already there. No fuss, no muss.

    Taking that all in mind, if Wii is still doing this well during a typically patchy season, relying off Wii Sports, Twilight Princess, Sonic and the Secret Rings, WarioWare and assorted virtual console games, then just think of what will happen once the really big guns come out to play. I'm referring to the likes of:

    Super Paper Mario.

    Pokémon Battle Revolution.

    Big Brain Academy.

    Mario Party 8.

    Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros Brawl at the end of the year.

    And this isn’t even accounting for the potentially huge crossover hits like Wii Music and Wii Health Pack/Fitness, to name a few. All these games are exclusive to Wii, spread out throughout 2007 and all expected to sell massively to a wide audience. It's fair to say the party has only really just started.

    This liberal sprinkling of big name franchises and potential killer apps (mostly in terms of audience and sales, although some of that list obviously have the chops to be critical darlings too) is just the latest in a wealth of astonishingly smart business decisions made by Nintendo. Decisions that may have appeared foolish or short-sighted at first, but have turned out to be hugely important in helping Wii become the clear success it already is. Packing in Wii Sports was -and still is- brilliant. The price point was spot on, even when many hardcore gamers were complaining it would appear too expensive compared to its rivals. Marketing correctly to new or lapsed gamers and the Apple generation was equally bright – it all sounds very easy to do but pulling it off effectively without appearing conspicuous or condescending isn’t. Yet Nintendo did it - the very same Nintendo some had written off and left for dead barely 12 months ago.

    It's all in the software, though, and perhaps the true secret to the Big N's success is the genius level of franchise expansion it's created. The likes of Mario, Zelda, Metroid and such all appeal to hardcore gamers, but the company has gone on to mine the casual market with titles like Nintendogs, Wii Sports, Brain Training, Pokémon and more, creating a layered effect of desirability. There's naturally some crossover, but while one section of the audience goes for the hardcore aimed titles, the other goes for the casual marketed games, rippling sales potential and increasing the machine's attractiveness with each one.

    The scary thing is, even with all the above games there are still a large number of inevitable titles yet to be fully announced that have incredibly strong brand names behind them. What do you think will happen to sales when the Wii version of Mario Kart gets thrown out to the masses? What about a true Wii designed Zelda titles in a few years? Another Donkey Kong game? Animal Crossing? Mario Golf and Tennis? And this isn’t even touching any <a href="http://www.wiichat.com/nintendo-wii-articles/8793-why-wiis-future-shines-bright.html" target="_blank">unexpected surprises</a> or the third-party titles on the way too, games that sure to sell to their established markets which will be given a boost through Wii's strong and ever-increasing user base. Madden, Pro Evolution, Resident Evil, Burnout, Need for Speed, FIFA, NiGHTS into Dreams (ahem… 'maybe') and so on. While GameCube suffered through a comparative lack of these because its hardware competition was so strong, Wii has already started to establish itself as a winning ticket through force of numbers. Third-parties are shifting resources to Nintendo's format all the time and that looks to be something that will continue. What GameCube lacked in third-party support over its four to five year lifespan, Wii is already looking to rival in half a year.

    With this, however, comes the usual concerns that third-party shovelware is going to do more harm than good to the system. There's been a large batch of quick and easy ports to Wii that have not come off well in either sales or critical stakes. But worries that this will somehow damage the machine's reputation or create a discontent audience are somewhat spurious.

    As with any popular system, shovelware comes as standard. The market is often flooded with bad or lazy titles designed to get as much profit as possible for minimum effort. That's the blessing and curse of a successful games console. And Wii will not sink from it. It's not an idea situation, true, but the background logic is that publishers stand to gain more by putting a half-arsed game on a system that's in more homes than doing it on a system in less homes. Pretty simple and obvious, but it's a market tactic that's been used for decades and not going to go away now. No one is forcing you to buy these games and companies only do it for quick profit so they can push more money into riskier or less viable titles. Cheap software may create more competition for shelf space, but it doesn’t harm the system per se because by the time the market gets to saturation point (as eventually seen by the Game Boy Advance's library) the format has already been declared a clear leader and has too much momentum to ignore anyway. And usually by then we're approaching the end of the generational cycle and gearing up for the next big thing.

    But right now, Wii IS the next big thing. You could say it was <a href="http://www.wiichat.com/nintendo-wii-articles/4804-curse-wii-ning-console-war.html" target="_blank">always destined to be</a>. Nintendo is selling more machines than it can make through pre-orders and consistent demand, all against strong opposition, relatively limited software and noticeably weaker hardware. And don’t worry that we're experiencing some sort of step backwards in terms of generational progression, either. While there's not been as big a power gap between older competing formats as there appears to be between Wii and PS3/Xbox 360, the 'weaker' of the machines has almost always ended up as market leader. Regardless of what we may want in terms of visuals, the technologically driven difference between generations has been getting smaller as our expectations outstrip them - anyone remember the overreactions to the first batch of Xbox 360 games and the needlessly vocal cries of "downgrade total" that we get even now whenever we see a title that doesn’t match our high hopes? Maybe we'll focus on other, often more important changes to videogaming on a whole as a result. After all, you can pretty much guarantee following machines will use a Wii style motion device from this point onward, which holds far more promise as an advancement. And we've barely started to scratch that particular surface for gameplay possibilities.

    Wii is on a long and exciting journey that's only just starting to get REALLY interesting. And you've already got a winning ticket. Enjoy the ride, because from here on things are only going to get much much better. And sooner than you think…
    <script type="text/javascript">
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  2. Rolex

    Rolex Moody Loner

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    Cory,

    A glowingly biased article :lol: - I am living in Oslo for a while and damn it's quiet on a Sunday with no snow and I needed something to read...anyway...I trust you're well anywho.

    Will all these titles appeal to casual gamers? IMHO I don't think that a vast number of them plugged into Wiisports will go ape for the majority you've included, plus we all have an idea of what's coming out in the short term - and herein will lie the problem of longevity for the Wii on a grander scale at least.

    Pulling in existing franchises will ostensively provide familiarity for existing gamers but will it really attract the range of casual gamers Nintendo are really trying to gravitate to Wii.

    Will this mean bad publicity for any platform associated with the game(s) in question - after all... "all publicity is good publicity" when attempting to generate awareness but surely not in the area of sales - I mean, sure people will be more aware of Wii but they will also be aware of the crap getting the attention? Although even I admit that this may be an overly harsh statement.


    I personally feel; either from experience or reviews etc..; that unless both Nintendo & 3rd parties can iron out any niggling prevalent responsiveness issues with the control system then it may hobble the unique perception associated with Wii - couple this with the proviso that if the control system isn't taken full use of - taking Wiisports as a benchmark - and not just adapted as has happened, then Wii may not continue to win hearts and opinions.
    [I have got to say that I have responsiveness issues with most of my games - Redsteel & COD3 being the worst - I do appreciate that these are launch titles etc etc - it's a fact but not a criticism]

    Although given the current userbase then if it does someone wants a kick in the nadgers and no mistake!!!!:blush2:

    With the possibility of Nights into dreams and I would dearly love to see the little known 'Burning Rangers' (Sega Saturn - which would really lend itself to Wii controls). The future certainly looks rosey

    Let's hope so mate :thumbsup:
     
    #2 Rolex, Mar 25, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  3. WiiZero

    WiiZero Game Wiizard

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    I think Wii will win by a long-shot but it will take a while come the start of '08 Wii will have one guarantee
     
  4. My god the Wii owns...

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    Please...sh...

    Although slightly biased, your article has a lot of good points to it, and makes a good argument. Even if the Wii ends up selling more consoles or having more users, I won't set the title "Winner" to any console; they all win in their own way (excuse the childish win-win situation reference.) The PS3 will sell as a great Media Center, the Xbox360 to "hardcore" gamers, the Wii to just about everyone. I'm not saying the previous sentence was original or anything, but I just agree with it.
     
  5. pizzaluvr

    pizzaluvr world crown chimpokomastr

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    the 360's a Media Center too...

    i think the 360 and Wii will sell alot, both because they are cheaper than the ps3
     
  6. CyanRussel

    CyanRussel 2062-8990-6509 GET READY!

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    I've got mi bread on tha wii, & nothin else!
     
  7. pizzaluvr

    pizzaluvr world crown chimpokomastr

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    yeah, the ultra thin bread works best
     
  8. CyanRussel

    CyanRussel 2062-8990-6509 GET READY!

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    Your dam skippy!:smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. RedProdigy

    RedProdigy NOD fanatic

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    {As with any popular system, shovelware comes as standard. The market is often flooded with bad or lazy titles designed to get as much profit as possible for minimum effort. That's the blessing and curse of a successful games console. And Wii will not sink from it. It's not an idea situation, true, but the background logic is that publishers stand to gain more by putting a half-arsed game on a system that's in more homes than doing it on a system in less homes. Pretty simple and obvious, but it's a market tactic that's been used for decades and not going to go away now. No one is forcing you to buy these games and companies only do it for quick profit so they can push more money into riskier or less viable titles. Cheap software may create more competition for shelf space, but it doesn’t harm the system per se because by the time the market gets to saturation point (as eventually seen by the Game Boy Advance's library) the format has already been declared a clear leader and has too much momentum to ignore anyway. And usually by then we're approaching the end of the generational cycle and gearing up for the next big thing. }

    THANK YOU QFMFT!! People whine about all these "kiddy" games and how all the Wii gets is "crap". The PS2 wasn't exactly getting nothing but AAA. It's the job of a gamer to shift through the crap and buy the good stuff.
     
  10. chwisch87

    chwisch87 Wii-Convert

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    This is so true ... I or anyone else would have ever predicted Nintendo would have come back like this.
     
  11. cbrotherson

    cbrotherson WiiChat Feature Writer

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    Howdy Rolex, good to hear from you, mate. Things aren’t too bad thanks, busy as sin, but getting by! How's things in Oslo? (Oslo??)

    Sorry, this is my bad - I should have explained a little better! I see it more as a split – there's casual gamers and non gamers. Casuals are the ones who will buy the franchises above. They're established, safe and appealing; the very reasons why PS2 and every other format before it that became mainstream reached the level they did. Wii's unique interface means they'll change in terms of input, but typically speaking casuals base their purchases on brands and names, rather than quality or content, which is what I'm getting at.
    The motion control is more a cherry than anything else for that type of buyer who constantly puts Need for Speed update 3000 or Harry Potter at the top of the charts every year ;)

    The non-gamer on the other hand, are the ones who -like you've said- will be happy with Wii Sports and little else, as FIFA et al means nothing to them per se (through being relatively unfamiliar to gaming). Thus to me, Wii has a broader appeal, attacking the market on more fronts than any other format because the appeal is not linear by any means – Pro Evo and FIFA may look the same to an onlooker, but they have very different markets. Wii effectively has both, PLUS Wii Sports, and stuff like Mario Strikers. All of which will be released over a periodic period of time. To the non gamer they can live off Wii Sports for a long time, the casual gamer will happily be more promiscuous in their selection but ultimately go for the big name, while the hardcore will go for whatever they deem more critically viable to their needs.

    Casual gamers tend to go where the popular thing is, in a very self-prophesising way – they gravitate towards what is deemed to be popular and then perpetually keep it popular. The 'swing voters' of importance, I guess. Yet the non/lapsed gamers are the untapped market capable of determining growth (which has shot up amazingly since Wii was released in comparison to the effect 360 has had on the market). Hopefully that makes a little more sense; it's my fault for not clearly defining which type of gamer I was referring to regarding 'casual' in relation to those games!

    Heh, that I'm not really convinced of – bad games tend to be a unnoticed blip on the radar of the people who make a console popular, I think. Casuals are far more forgiving than hardcore audiences, and they're the ones who determine a console's success. Licensed pap comes out every year for just about every format imaginable and usually sells through the roof despite being awful most of the time; it's of fairly low significance in the perception of the machine itself. When confronted with a bad game (which itself tends to be very subjective), the typical casual just goes back to what they like (compared to us hardcore who will go online and moan, lol).
    The bad games without a brand name to stick to rarely get any attention at all (after all, if the good ones without big names have problems – stand up Beyond Good and Evil and Pyschonauts then the bad ones merely slip by like a fart in the wind ;) ) Bad and mediocre games are the majority, by and large, and by that reasoning they're mostly on the format doing well enough to support them in a business sense, yet no popular format has been sunk or even noticeably affected by them. Even ET couldn’t kill the Atari 2006! ;)

    To be honest, I don’t see this as a problem – and I'm not trying to gloss over anything, but any issues of responsiveness tend to be something of an accepted thing with both casuals and non gamers simply through to the fact Wii's continuing to sell out. We're past the point now where we can safely say the system is ONLY selling to hardcore users, which means word of mouth must be pretty damn good for the machine. All the non/casuals I've played with have experienced a lack of response in some form or another yet just continue playing regardless (after a curse or two) and then continue threatening to take my Wii off me – this is of particular significance to the non gamer who wouldn’t be playing games in the first place, usually. They accept the tech isn’t going to be 100% flawless partly through the newness of it in the medium.
    The amount of times I've seen casuals complain about controls from the Atari 2600 days to the Xbox 360; "the buttons don’t work", "the stick is too sensitive/it's not sensitive enough", blah blah whinge whine moan ;) To many, no controller is perfect whether that be through response, layout or whatever. The very fact Wii has brought many more people into gaming that didn’t play before (or haven’t played in a long long time) allows a certain amount of good will, I reckon. If it didn’t, the word of mouth would be far less generous, and I think you'd see a reflection of that via the sales.

    In regards to not taking full use of the controller, well that again is a hardcore thing rather than that of the people who are making Wii successful. As snobbish as this may sound, the typical casual/non gamer doesn’t really give a crap about the progression of the medium, at least in a comparative sense to the hardcore user – they just want to have fun. Motion controllers allow them that, especially for non/lapsed gamers, who to them, haven’t had 'fun' in videogames since the days of a joystick and 2 buttons. They don’t really care if the next Wii Sports has improved competitions, better Mii selection, online or any of that, just as long as they can replicate their favourite sport with the controller and get a few different courses to play on. To us, we want to see the best possibilities for each genre using the Wii remote, but to them a whole new world has opened up. Companies could put out old titles with rejigged Wii controls all year and they would sell to that same audience because to them, who may not have been playing games up until Wii, it's totally new. They'd spurn an Xbox 360 version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance because of the controller but be more willing to try the Wii version because of the 'paired down' controls. Not to say it makes the game better, but it makes them more likely to want to try it. Which is ultimately where these sales are coming from – people wanting to try something they've not been interested in before. And with this generation, that's Wii's unique selling point (gah, excuse the market speak, lol) and will continue to be for the next 5 years. The mindshare of what videogames signifies and can do has already shifted, I personally feel, and short of Nintendo saying "sorry, we've changed our minds and want to go back to the old controllers" Wii's momentum will continue to build, even if MS decide to throw in motion controllers for the 360.

    Dont get me wrong, by the way - I love my 360 (Castlevania SotN and Turtles are currently the only games I'm playing in large doses - nostalgia for the win!) and hell, I also do work for Sony, who I have a far better relationship with than Nintendo. So I love the fact all three formats should be doing well; better for me, personally as a writer, on many levels. But at the same time, we're witnessing a marketshare shift, veritable gaming history in the making. I dont see Wii's huge momentum stopping when it has so many mass appeal titles around the corner, given the fact it's pretty much selling off Wii Sports at the moment - that game is the machine's Nintendogs. Things are going to utterly explode when the likes of Wii Music, karaoke and Wii Health Pack launch later this year (after all, if Wii Play can do that well, even with the carrot of a remote, then when those games come out... hoo boy). Seriously, the industry is about to be tipped on its head.


    Jesus, how long have I gone on for! ;)

    Nights is about as close as you can get to being confirmed, from what I know. Although Burning Rangers would be fantastic – I agree that would actually be a better fit in many ways; not to mention stand a better chance of actually being good, lol, poor Sonic Team is having a torrid time at the moment and needs a reshuffle…




    Thanks as always for your insight and input! And thanks to all the responses and readers so far, it's always appreciated.
     
    #11 cbrotherson, Mar 26, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  12. Rolex

    Rolex Moody Loner

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    Corey,

    I'm the opposite to you apparently :) - Oslo is laid back and decadently expensive, although I am bohemianly poor :smilewinkgrin: and hopefully I'll be out here 12 months+ working...thanks for asking!

    I think I touched a nerve there LOL - are you getting paid by the word!! :wink:

    I hear what you're saying about the casual / non / hardcore gamers and to a large percentage overall I totally agree with you. I, like all here, would dearly love to see the Wii go from strength to strength and innovate and sell like hot snot :)lol: ) and no doubt it will - but the biggest issue I have with...

    I also have Redsteel, COD3, Rayman, Kororinpa, NfS Carbon and Zelda and no body I have shown / converted to Wii has been really arsed for any of them and sports get shot back on and the fun resumes. Now I do think that all of the above (apart from NfS) is a worthy launch window title - and I'm really only a casual gamer on the whole myself.

    I agree with you re. responsiveness not really impacting on the non/casual gamer market but word of mouth from reviewers can impact on titles selling - I thought Redsteel & COD3 are cracking games but you would expect any issues to be ironed out in subsequent similar games like MOH Vanguard or Godfather - I have noticed on Gamespot that the Godfather review mentions fairly prominently, that the controls were not as responsive as maybe they could / should be [of course I know that this is a convenient example - I'm just trying to highlight my point] - if these games are to be entry level games for casual gamers getting back into full on gaming then would it not possibly have some bearing on purchases?

    I think all said and done - Wii will shine as bright as any technological innovation this century at least :)wink: ) and I hope that Nintendo progress along with the 3rd parties to keep a Wiisports type fun factor running along as far as possible..

    I will raise my £7 bier and toast...maybe not I may spill 2.50's worth...:sick:
     
  13. cbrotherson

    cbrotherson WiiChat Feature Writer

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    Sounds like Oslo is a nice place to be, all the same! Over 12 months of working? Woah. How's your Norwegian? ;)

    :p I know! Sorry about that, it was only when I stopped typing that I realised just how much it was! Crazy fingers dont know when to stop. For some reason I just got an image of an inhibitor collar being placed around my neck to prevent me from going over a word count now... (I'm reading Battle Royale, can you tell? ;) )

    I would agree to a point – although I think the thing with responsiveness on a whole tends to be quite analogue, so some are more likely to experience larger degrees than others to the point of distress or distraction. I'm not sure reviews have that much of an effect even on the hardcore regarding that issue (it's something more debatable because of the joys of the net where everyone can voice their opinion on the matter). As something to be aimed as entry level, I think the game itself is one that has the biggest impact – for example, The Godfather, Zelda, Red Steel etc are really more hardcore designates than say Wii Sports (or anything which doesn’t use the nunchuck), and as such the latter are probably more likely to have less issues in that area through either paired down control schemes or the dev keeping a closer eye on response times. It's a concern, but I doubt it'll impact on sales, I think, unless there's a catastrophic level of fault being shown in a particular game.

    (Managed to keep that down to less than 200 words, the collar is working! ;))


    I would hope so too – the company is easier to work with than it has been in a long time for devs, but that's not saying much, sadly! Reggie will get things sorted. Maybe. *peers over shoulder and checks under bed just in case Reggie is watching*

    £7? Good lord, man, you should make your own – moonshine is miiiighty tasty!
     
  14. Rolex

    Rolex Moody Loner

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    How can I put this to you English speakers.....SHiiiii...below par old chap!! ahem - succinctly put, I hope you agree :thumbsup:

    Ahhh but what comparison moonshine against sitting in the brisk night air in the rough part of town in a piss-poor English bar (Churchills!!) observing the clientele of many Nigerian ladies of the night, getting ripped off, sipping on an overpriced glass of gnats-piss...bliss my friend, bliss :prrr:

    But seriously - if you steer away from Karl Johans gate (which is the central boulevard) and wander into the various swanky districts of Oslo then you can find the cosmopolitan and the bohemian nightlife you don't realise is there when you first land here. It's a nice place to be...and long may I continue to live here.

    Sorry now what was the thread about again...:cornut:

    And just as a side note:

    I purchased a DS Lite (black fingerprint magnet!) yesterday do you have any essential games you can recommend at all?

    Just something snappy and easy to play - I bought brain training with it and it's ok but I need something mindless...
     
    #14 Rolex, Mar 29, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  15. cbrotherson

    cbrotherson WiiChat Feature Writer

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    Ah, but still better than most of us (especially me, I can guarantee) – want to swap? ;)

    Ouch. Sounds like… erm… heaven? "Churchills"? Lol, whenever I hear that I always think of the insurance ad with the dog…

    Well hope you have a good one – I'm still jealous :p

    It's a lovely machine (I still have my DS Brick, but I dont really play it enough to justify updgrading and I'm broke anyway). For games I would suggest:

    Mario Kart DS
    Yoshi's Island DS
    New Super Mario Bros.
    Elite Beat Agents
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    Metroid Prime Pinball
    Bomberman

    There's lots more, but those are biggies and quick pick up and play style titles (Phoenix Wright is borderline as it requires a small amount of constant play).
     
  16. Mojor Skittish

    Mojor Skittish Mario kart madness

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    ps3 hasent evan sold out because it costs so much 360 the discs break if u move it while playing
     
  17. David328ci

    David328ci WiiChat Member

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    Wii needs more games that hardcore gamers will play. Games like Halo 3 are the ones that keep people's interest peaked. Games that actually just a collection of minigames will not sustain a game console.
     
  18. roninjapan

    roninjapan "Move as swift as a wind"

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    Nintendo Wii Its becoming more popular everyday..gonna win 100%!no doubt.
     
  19. nintendowiigaming.piczo

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    so you are'nt a Norwegian guy? I live in Oslo ... My Norwegian is then ofcourse perfect: Du skjønner ikke en ting av hva jeg sier nå! eller hva?

    On Topic: Somehow the sales of the consoles is allemost as i predicted.
    All of my friends was wrong about the Ps3. And yeah i really agree that the console has too many party games. Yep Hardcore games! That's something it's lacking! Hardcore games.! But it seems like they are On their way!
     
  20. Evil Ways

    Evil Ways Full Time Toker

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    Wii Friend Code: 3529-4086-1578-7084
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    i dont think there will be a clear "winner" in this war, ps3 will definately be loser just based on their price range being too much for they target demographic. wii and xb360 will pretty much be a tie just cause they arent really competing for anything. hardcore gamers dont buy wii for first person shooters, they buy them for fun. likewise, the 360 is more of a competition system, you buy one to compete online more than to "play". i think as a little more time passes i think we"ll see more people with both 360s and wiis. the wii was a great thing for nintendo cause its target demographic is all over age and gender range.
     

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