Friday, May 19, 2006

The Wii: precariously close to overhype

If you're a game news junkie, articles about the triumphant showing of the Wii at E3 have been as unavoidable as stains on a brand new shirt (sorry...studies show that Friday analogies are often flat). I would say that 95% of what I've read so far has been extremely positive and double-dipped in hype. During this entire week, however, something has been nagging at me.

Everyone is talking about the system, but is anyone talking about the games?

Cool controllers: Check. First class hardware: Check. Best in class games: Umm, we're going to have to get back to you on that.

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble but I'm going to reserve my judgment of how successful the Wii will be until I see more info about the games. I am just not in the camp that a system will be a market leader based on hardware alone. Hardware - Games = Junk.

The PS2 released in '00, which is the best selling console of recent history, didn't hit it's stride until 2002, when the games caught up to the hardware. (PS2 sold 10million units from release to about Nov. '01, from then to Jan '03, almost the same time period, it sold 40 million more.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Wii isn't going to be huge. There is the very real potential that some game developers are going to leverage the controllers to create incredible gaming experiences (the novelty of the controllers will quickly wear off if they're the same type of games as everyone else but just controlled differently). Until I see hints of that happening, I'm not going to jump on this bandwagon.

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