Wii, Natal, and the Future of Gaming

Another cynical and annoying rant from XCVG. This time, it’s back to gaming. Project Natal, the Wii, and the “future of gaming” will all be severely and semi-justly slammed.

First off, the Wii. From a business and marketing sense it’s pure gold. Take crappy old hardware that doesn’t even do HD (one guy remarked that the Dreamcast has better graphics), add “revolutionary” controller, load it up with shovelware, and market it to casual gamers. And the sad part is that it’s working.
Ahh, the Wiimote. It works pretty good for some games. Anything with pointing, like strategy and some types of simulation, pretty much. It works okay for certain types of games, like shooters. But for a lot of games, including some of Nintendo’s best franchises, it sucks. That’s why the gamepad has been used since the days of the NES. Because it’s versatile. It works okay for almost all games. Although I’d rather have a keyboard and mouse for Call of Duty, a gamepad is way better for Super Mario and it works okay for CoD too. Bad example, but oh well. The Wiimote is not revolutionary, it’s barely evolutionary. The Nunchuk is a meh idea all down the line, and the Wii Motion Plus seems like a cheap cash grab. Oh, and the trigger is B. So you point to what you want to select, pull the trigger, and go back a menu.
Of course, it’s not meant for me. Nintendo is marketing to “casual gamers”. Which explains all the shovelware and garbage semi-games, which wouldn’t sell at all for anything else. There’s Wii Fit, which is stupid. Look, if I wanted to exercise, I’d go get out the dumbbells. There’s Virtual Console, which is quite frankly for idiots. If you wanted the authentic experience, VC isn’t it. And if you just want to play the old games, go get an old PIII PC or something for cheap and load it up with emulators. Overall, when I played with my friend’s Wii (joke intended), I found it fun initially, but it didn’t really have any lasting appeal.
Oh, and the name is retarded. Revolution was a way better idea.

Onto Project Natal. As far as I can tell, it’s just a stupid gimmick aimed at making even more money of the money-sink they call the XBOX 360. It looks genuinely idiotic. I mean, look at it. It’s even dumber than Wii. You can wave your arms around even more, and feel even less like you’re playing a video game and more like you’re doing a retard impression. You have to pretend to do things, and apparently it doesn’t work very well either. The games sound stupid and I don’t see any way to play a serious game with it. Didn’t Sony try the same sort of thing with Eye Toy a while back? Admittedly Natal is a lot more advanced, but it’s still the same dumb idea. Oh right, stupid casual gamers.

Predictably, motion control and “interactivity” (which it isn’t, really) is being flaunted by critics as the future of gaming. Maybe there’s a reason for the recent interest in retro gaming. I highly doubt the future of gaming is in obtuse control schemes or (hypocrite warning) better graphics. I say more interactivity, and not “wave your arms around” interactivity, more destructable environments and ridiculous amounts of objects that can be interacted with (like Shenmue but even better/worse). Online multiplayer is definitely a big thing, and will stay that way. Casual gamers should stick to addictinggames and that version of Solitaire that comes with your computer.


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