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Nintendo's Failure: Wii Way Not Meta Enough for My Century


Famed Astronaut Rolf von Ostrauch once quipped in his hilariously-stereotypical German brogue, “The Earth looks so quaint once you’ve been [sic] the moon.” If the PS3, Wii and Xboxx360 are the 新世代ゲーム (next—century consoles) they are cracked up to be, God should be currently painting a thick chalk line between those lucky few who have experienced the future and those laggards who are free to plug as many PS2’s into the wall sockets inside their caves as they please but fundamentally will never understand tomorrow today. On Tuesday, I played a Wii for the first time, and #$'(!”#’%#(%#%'(! #'(!”$FHD(#! $(!#$( — a phrase I can proudly say will make no sense to any of you yet to embrace the leather grip of the Wii controller. (For those longtime Wii players out there, sorry for all the cursing.)

The game I played on Tuesday — something involving pumping juice at rabbits from Ubi — was alright and all, but I realized how boring it will be to play the catalog of old NES titles on the Wii. Remember when games had austere titles wasting no words other than a one-word description of the actions involved? Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Pro Wrestling? Even Ten—Yard Fight feels like a leap of imagination in comparison. Somebody from Rockstar should have the balls to call the next GTA just Adventure instead of GTA: Good Morning, Heavy Metal Valley or whatever it will ultimately be.

The point is, Wii lets you purchase these old-timey games and play them on your HDTV (not in HD format). This is boring. This makes the gamer go back to the crusty old barnacle days of yore when kids sat down and played games motionlessly other than slight use of the arm and hand. WE ARE OUT OF THE CAVE NOW, Nintendo. (Sorry, I had my earphones in.) We are out of the cave, Nintendo, and we want these games adapted for full-body usage.

So, I recommend the following: all these “vintage” games should show a young boy about 8, who looks pretty much like me at age 8, sitting in the basement on the floor, eyes focused on a slightly old/broken TV playing Baseball. My Wiimote will be used exclusively to control the boy’s movements that control the game actions in Baseball.

If you want to make it really challenging, make the refresh rate on the real TV and meta-TV different so that it’s hard to see exactly what is going on.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
December 15, 2006

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

18 Responses

  1. Carl Says:

    I’m up to the final castle in Zelda (I think). I’ll probably beat it tomorrow sometime, then go onto the i——t to find out about all the little things I missed and do that for the next couple days.

  2. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    That shit nearly sent me into a seizure!
    Will there be SuperNES games available I wonder?
    My Mario-kart game is so tight I’ve got the princess eating her own mushrooms.

    Is the Zelda game good, Carl?

  3. clh Says:

    I know that’s not the point here, but…who is Rolf von Ostrauch? I thought of Ulf Merbold who i know has said similar things plenty of times and has annoyed the hell out of me all my life by appearing on any show that has anything to do with space…ANNOYING!!!!
    Someone give him a wiiiiii to keep him busy and off tv.
    thank you.

  4. dzima Says:

    Rory, you haven’t heard of SNES emulators have you?

  5. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    [ dzima ] yes! But I really enjoy the frustration of a cartridge not working for the first three tries. Godamnd computators work too well.

  6. marxy Says:

    clh –

    i have no idea what the hell you are talking about but it’s awesome.

  7. trevor Says:

    i dunno.. what about ” [ ” and ” ] “.. it’s been a slow rise, but it seems to me they have taken over for ” ( ” and ” ) “..
    ” ) ” seem to have been retired to smilies. sad.

  8. schultz Says:

    dude has got hella OPINIONS!!

  9. trevor Says:

    shit, i don’t even know where the hell i am anymore.

  10. Julian Says:

    But… but that’s what wii sports is all about.

  11. shiny floor occupant Says:

    I’m just angry at the whole Nintendo brand right now. Why can’t they just produce enough units so we can all judge the quality of the system/games. We showed up at Toys r Us this morning as they were getting a shipment of 200 Wii’s and 300 Ninetendo DS’. We wanted a Wii but figured the DS would be a good booby prize. We showed up 4 minutes (10:04am) after the store opened and they had already sold the wad of Nintendo and Sony product.
    Don’t know what this has to do with your post – I just needed to vent. If you don’t want to play classic games on the Wii I recommend you download MAME and play them on your computer instead.

  12. Laotree Says:

    Up until recently I was completely ignorant about this DS scarcity issue. A student of mine was telling me just last week that she had to wait in line before Toys R Us opened just to get a DS and I was really surprised considering how long it’s been around. (With Wii it can be expected, but DS Lite was released 9 months ago!!) Well, that’ll show you for not getting there an hour early, shiny. (Was the setting for your tale Japan or someplace else? Is this manufactured scarcity a global practice?)

    PC emus are fine but if you really want to play those old games on your TV go to the recycle shop and get a Dreamcast;(Even six years or so later, I still think the DC was a damn fine machine, although loud when loading.) Nester DC is a good choice for NES emulation. That shit doesn’t look right unless it’s bombarding your retinae with cathode rays!

  13. smart butt Says:

    When does metaanalysis stop because it’s really making everything kind of dull! Yes, your top 10 top 10 top 10 lists is very humorous!

  14. marxy Says:

    I feel like going meta is not being cheeky – it’s just being realistic.

  15. Ryan Cousineau Says:

    Laotree: I don’t know what the DS Lite’s current status in Japan is, but it has been widely available in the New World pretty much all along. There may have been a brief (week or two?) period right after its introduction in early Summer when supplies were constrained, but it has been reasonably available (with some sellouts at individual retailers) since then.

    Re: Wii, I can’t help but thinking with the current uptake rate of Hi-Def (my lovely wife is hardly a Luddite, but it counts for something that it was she who said “let’s get an HDTV”, and that was in February), the little console that could is going to be the best console to buy this year, and the worst one to buy next year. It apparently doesn’t do HD by design, and even if it ultimately manages to push HD-ish graphics out, it’s clearly (and by design) a step behind the XStation 3sixty.

    It’s still the one I am most interested in, but so far, it’s only interest. Mine DS Lite is the One True Console, and half my department is now planning to ask Santa for or buy one (several under the guise of “for the kid”).

    Oh Mario Kart, your sensuously responsive controls entice me!

  16. Laotree Says:

    Yeah apparently DS is the first game console in Japan to ever have such supply problems.
    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that Nintendo will probably release an HD version of Wii within the next couple of years? The impression I get is that they rushed the development of Wii to be competitive with the other new consoles, but consider they have a history of updates and add-ons for their consoles, esp. in Japan…

  17. Ryan Cousineau Says:

    Laotree: what baffles about the DS Lite is two things:

    1) apparently enduring shortages even to the present day in Japan
    2) simultaneously being readily available throughout the rest of the first world

    That said, even now it’s the most popular game thingy in Japan: latest weekly sales figures put it at about ten times the weekly sales of either the PSP or the XBox 360, and while it sells better than the Wii and the PS3, those two at least have the excuse of constrained sales.

    Regarding the HD Wii theory, it is intriguing. But it is pure speculation, and whether it is reasonable or not, my instinct is that it’s unlikely.

    Also, updates and add-ons are notoriously poor sellers, at least in proportion to the original console.

  18. Carl Says:

    1. The DS is sold out Stateside at the moment.