And the winner is... not the Wii. Now, I know there's a lot of console love and hate out there. Considering my past consoles and anyone who's read this blog or other posts of mine in other places - I don't think anyone can honestly call me a fanboy to a particular company. I've owned Every. Single. Nintendo. System. Ever - with 2 exceptions - virtual boy and 3DS. Stil, the Wii comes up short in my mind when weighed in again the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360.
The full motion gaming controls and marketing were brilliant. The initial price point and slightly cheaper games made it more accessible to a larger audience than ever before. However, mistakes were made, and corners were cut in order to make all of this happen.
While the controls were immersive and in some games, very organic - in others they felt forced into place. Many third party companies struggled to make proper use of the controller options. Additionally, it wasn't until around midway through the console's life that the motion plus - something that granted true 1:1 motion control - was introduced. Now it feels like you need it for many of the best new games, but it seems like something that should have been there in the first place. The controllers add up to be expensive - especially if you want a full set for all four players.
The online store made for some great purchases, but most games simply did not make good use of online play. No voice chat, no achievements/trophies, most games with limited to no online play - it feels like the Wii really missed the move to online while their competitors capitalized on this.
The use of Miis in many of the games was a cute, clever way to add some personalization to some of the games, but the lack of true accounts made it easy for people to delete one another's data accidently - something that's happened quite a few times in our family.
The audio and video not being up to par with the 360 and PS3 was easier to overlook early in the life of the three consoles, but as developers have learned to make better use of the 360 and PS3 hardware, the Wii looks and sounds more last-generation than ever.
The library of games has been a mixed bag. The first-party Nintendo stuff has been amazing, ranging from Kirby's Epic Yarn to Mario's many adventures to the oddity of Link ushering in and out the Wii in some ways. Twilight Princess was a great introduction to the Wii, and it feels more and more like Skyward Sword is going to be something of a farewell as Nintendo has been showing very lukewarm support for the Wii in favor of their current projects - the Wii U and 3DS.
While the first-party games have been generally excellent, many third party titles have not been so successful. There are plenty of very good games out there from third party developers, but there are also truckloads of crap - something I'm not able to sugarcoat.
Favorite games so far on this system:
- Metroid: Other M
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- Mario Kart Wii
- Unique Control Scheme
- Great first-party titles
- Best full-console price points
- Audio & Video feel last generation
- Lots of poor third party titles
- Weak online presence