Saturday, October 6, 2007

Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii is a wonderful and flawed technology wonder. If you are one of the lucky ones who has gotten your hands on this game system be happy. For those who are waiting for one good luck. Like all great companies Nintendo made the right choices. Upfront it seems pretty cheap but the expenses mount as you get into the game play. The initial purchase of the system with one controller, some software and a few multi-player games will cost you about $265. You will want to spend another $40 for a second controller, plus $20 more for the controller attachment. This will give you a very nice 2 player setup. You might want addittional controllers for up to 4 players, but you can get by with just 2. I'm happy SD Memory cards can be found for so cheap. The Nintendo brand cards will cost you extra, at about $20 for 1 GB. Additional games cost around $50. Though some games like the very cool Resident Evil 4 are only $30. In this case it is because the game was made for the GameCube system but it is a very good port and the new controller makes it worth it. Speaking of GameCube, I'm very happy I can play my old games on this system, you can use your old memory cards and GameCube controllers. Not only that but if you have a wireless router you can hop on the internet and buy classic games from all the the previous nintendo systems as well as some Sega games and TurboGrafx-16 games. Nintendo continues to update the library. Games must be purchased with wii points and 100 points equals $1. To browse the internet you will need to purchase the $5 web browser. It's pretty fun to sit back and watch videos on YouTube. However I am still waiting for someone to master web browsing from the couch. Hopefully Apple's FrontRow will one day make this happen. The console can also communicate and connect with other Wii systems through a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multiplayer on different television sets. Battalion Wars 2 first demonstrated this feature for non-split screen multiplayer between two or more televisions. The one thing I'd like to see in a game system is the ability to store all the games on it. Ideally the system would have a hard drive and all games could be downloaded from the internet. It seems that the wii would be perfect for such a system, but lacks the memory space for large games. The system has built in 512 mb of flash memory and takes SD memory cards up to 2 GB. This brings up another issue I have. You can not play DVD movies on the Wii. And to play them it requires more than a firmware upgrade. I would have also liked to have 1080p output but most people do not have the TV for that anyway. All these things will be fixed when it can make Nintendo money I'm sure.

My original plan was to wait for a black system to come out. Everything is white and I have to wonder how clean they are going to stay. Nintendo has shown the console and the Wii Remote in white, black, silver, lime green and red, but it is currently available only in white. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that other colors would be available after the easing of supply limitations.

I have to say I love the glowing blue light on the front of the system. Yet you only get to see it when you put in a disc and when the system is updating it's software. Overall this is a fun system for groups of people and some strong single player games as well. Hopefully more multiplayer games come out this Christmas. This is where the console really shines.

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