Andrew's Stuff

Nintendo's Wii

Posted at Thu, 27 Apr 2006, 19:09:24

So... Nintendo have just released the name of their next generation console, previously only known by its codename of Revolution[/url]: Wii [pronounced "we"].
There isn't a lot I can say, here, because Tim Buckley has summed it up nicely in his latest newspost.
What I will say, however, is that I hope Nintendo listen to their fans and change the damned thing because there has already been a public outcry over the name and it has only been known for an hour or so at best - within minutes it was syndicated on news sites around the Web such as Slashdot and the comments left by readers on all of these sites indicate that it was possibly one of the worst names they could have chosen. It's almost as if they don't ask anyone outside of Japan for their opinion before deciding upon things, or if they do the people they question are too scared to give honest feedback so we end up with naming distasters like this.
It's a shame because I had plans to buy their next console when it's released for various reasons but I'm forced to question if I can stomach owning a device called a Wii... Nintendo had some ideas for the console that really can only be described as "revolutionary" - only time will tell if they're actually good ideas - but they've really shot themselves in the foot with the name, that's for sure.
But it appears that only Microsoft is immune to making really really bad design choices during this console generation: ignoring the supply issues and slight problem with some units not working entirely as expected they haven't made any fundamental design decisions that have come back to haunt them. Sony, on the other hand, has twice now, to my knowledge, changed their mind regarding the PS3. At first they said that they would not have a unified online service for it in a similar way to the Xbox having Xbox Live, but then they seemingly changed their mind and decided that they could better Microsoft by making their unified online service so much better than Xbox Live. Compare this Wikipedia article from 9th March 2006 with this one from today. They've also changed their mind over the controller which no one really liked: Wikipedia article about it from 22nd March 2006 compared to Wikipedia article about it from today.
Let's hope that Nintendo will listen to their fans in the same way and seriously consider a less-bizarre name, even if it involves having a different name for the console in Japan to the rest of the world - it's not as if they haven't done that before or anything and it certainly solves a lot of problems. No matter how much they try to deny it, Japanese culture is a lot different to Western culture and a name like Wii will really not go down well here.
... Unless, of course, their plan all along was to be ridiculed and sell as few consoles as possible - who knows? :)
*Back to coursework as he realises he's supported Sony far too much for one day in this post..*

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