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Summary:

[qi:002] We all love the Wii — gamers, game developers, marketers — in theory, anyway. But mine has been collecting dust since the spring, and the ardor of developers has cooled as well. Sure, there was Metroid Prime — an excellent game, the first solid shooter […]

[qi:002] We all love the Wii — gamers, game developers, marketers — in theory, anyway. But mine has been collecting dust since the spring, and the ardor of developers has cooled as well.

Sure, there was Metroid Prime — an excellent game, the first solid shooter for the console, but decidedly not the type of game that will please those housewives and grandfathers featured in Wii’s much-touted advertising campaign. The same goes for the charming but hardcore Super Mario Galaxy, due to be released in North America on Monday. But there are nearly 5 million Wiis out there in North America alone, and 13.5 million worldwide. What are all those Wii owners going to play?

Here are three ways Nintendo can bring the Wii back to the party this winter:

1. Launch third-party titles that appeal to the casual gaming sector. Eidos CTO Julien Merceron warned today that if third-party titles don’t sell well this holiday season, developer support for the platform could falter. That’s actually fine — get the heavy-hitting major studios out of there and make room for some indie development, for studios working on casual games, and for ports of popular PC titles. Bring those types of titles to the Virtual Console. Make some of them free. Just get people excited about the console again.

2. Explore more robust community features. In an effort to maintain market relevance (I presume), Nintendo today announced a nifty little feature called “Check Mii Out.” Miis, for the uninitiated, are the cute avatars that represent you to your friends’ lists via the console’s WiFi connection. “Check Mii Out” comes off a bit like a “Hot or Not” for the geek gamer set — browse through the avatars, select ones you like, and stalk them — er, add them to your “favorites” list. It’s a step in the right direction, but a mere baby step. Wii needs to do something really unique here to set it apart from PlayStation Home and Xbox Live. Give the players more ways to interact with one another.

3. Make Wii Sports 2 — please! Spruce up the graphics. Add a fun off-road racing game (Excite Truck proved you can use the Wii remote as a very effective steering wheel.) Badminton could also work, but what about fencing, or better yet, kendo? Sharpshooting could also be fun.

Wii, you know I love you. That’s why I’m telling you all this. It’s called tough love, baby. Don’t neglect that casual market you worked so hard to carve out.

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  1. Been collecting dust since the spring?

    Well for a journalist you’re incredibly narrow minded then and you’ve missed a lot of quality content.

    Maybe you should get rid of the Wii and stop depriving someone else of the fun you could have had.

  2. No. 1 seems to be pointless since we have enough casual games as it is, what we are low on are the games for the hardcore audience.

    Plus since when has Mario been for only the hardcore?

  3. There are plenty of casual gaming experiences for Wii out there. Plenty. Nintendo shouldn’t have to hold your hand and guide you to a store.

    This blurb is so bizarre. It’s like it stands independent of the rest of the gaming universe’s commentary on Wii games at the moment.

  4. I didn’t know they needed a revival but your description of when you played last is very similar to my family. We haven’t touched our Wii in 4-5 months either.

    We love the casual games and we have all the “party” mixers but something is just not holding us to the platform. We mainly play the PS2 and the kids are DS freaks. Maybe a Wii/DS game; Wii for the parents and DS so the kids can interact while the parents are playing. Just an idea in the air…

    5tacos

  5. My father and law would love a curling game in Sports II

  6. “Sharpshooting could also be fun.”

    This already came out on a game called Wii Play, not to mention they’re comming out with Zelda Crossbow Training…

  7. RandomThoughts Friday, November 9, 2007

    Revive the Wii? How about having them in the stores available for purchase? I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but they are impossible to find in the NYC area.

  8. A friend if mine, who has been a Nintendo-only person for many years and a Wii-uber-alles kind of guy, recently “gave in” (his words) and bought a 360 because his Wii has been collecting dust for many months, too. Please, though, not another Wii Sports game. Wii Sports was certainly fun, but it got old pretty quickly. Sure, my friends that had played the Wii talked up a storm about Wii Sports when it first came out, but no one has talked about it or played it for months. Wii Sports 2 has some potential, but I think it would be short-lived. The Wii needs more games with a high re-play value, something the Nintendo GC did not suffer from, I might add. The funny thing about my friend with the 360 is that the games he’s started playing are the types of games you found on the GC. Within my social circle, the bright light on the horizon for the Wii is SSB Brawl. We still play SSB Melee when four of us are near a system that can play it; it has a very high re-play value for us.

  9. Dave’s Football Blog Friday, November 9, 2007

    Wii Sports should be a series of games, not just a collection of minigames. How about Wii Sports Golf with 12 new 18-hole courses? How about a Wii Sports cart-racing game that lets you race with your Miis instead of Mario characters? How about a Wii Sports billiards that’s actually full-on 8-ball and 9-ball, rather than a cheap demo? They could do all this through WiiWare if they wanted.

    And where’s my disc golf game? I’ve been waiting for Sega to take that disc golf minigame from Super Monkey Ball and turn it into a full-sized game with multiple courses Miis and online play. Surely someone could make that idea work.

    Oh, and one more thing. Someone get Adobe on the horn and get them to build Flash 9 for the Wii. Browser gaming, blip.tv and Hulu would be pretty awesome for the Wii if someone would push that envelope just a little…

  10. Dave’s Football Blog Friday, November 9, 2007

    We don’t need Wii Sports 2 or Wii Play 2. We need more involved games derived from them — like a Wii Sports Golf game with a dozen full golf courses, or a Wii Billiards game that’s more than just some cheesy demo. They could do some of these things through WiiWare if they wanted. Hopefully, some indie developers will give that a try.

    And where’s my disc golf game? The 9-hole course in Super Monkey Ball was far from enough. You can’t tell me that a well-made disc golf game for Wii wouldn’t be a huge hit.

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