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How the hell was this ever controversial?!

Why it caused such a stink

Rewind to TGS in 2005 and the shock within the attending crowd, as Nintendo bigwig Satoru Iwata unveiled the console and its controller, was palpable. The controversy stemmed from Nintendo deviating from conventional wisdom by making their console substantially less powerful than their competitors’ machines. Sure, the Wiimote was innovative. But it was also strange, foreign and no one was quite sure how it would work with the actual games.


Above: The Nintendo Wee - cementing cultural stereotypes

Fast forward to pre-E3 2006 and that shock had turned into childish sniggers and name calling, when the name for their fifth home console was changed from Revolution to Wii. Even people in the industry couldn’t contain their bile. Ernest Adams, game design lecturer and columnist, remarked: ‘Nintendo has just named its console in a way that sounds like a slang word for urine. Or the Scottish word for "small," and by implication, insignificant.’

Couple this with a pre-launch advertising campaign focused more on pretty people playing games than the games themselves, plus the fact it was aimed more at your granddad and little sister than the traditional hardcore gamer who’d kept the N64 and Gamecube afloat, and it really seemed like the company had jumped the shark.

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

Well, 34 million Wii owners can’t be wrong, can they? Nintendo had an innate confidence in their console, its name and the market they wanted to appeal to. And, thanks to a canny, if cringe-worthy ad campaign, they were able to strike a nerve with the general public. As a result, what was once an innovative and slightly baffling piece of state-of-the-art technology, is now something your mum is more comfortable using than you.


Above: Nintendo's baby pre-mountains of souless shovelware

By concentrating on inclusive casual gaming, Nintendo have tapped into a market that never existed before and are now absolutely creaming it in. Look at Nintendo’s direction for the Wii from a business perspective and it’s about as controversial as betting on Michael Phelps to do quite well at going up and down a swimming pool.

Why it caused such a stink

If fanboys are dismissive about games appearing on their rival platforms, they’re anything but if one of the cherished exclusive franchises from their beloved console crosses those murky multi-platform waters.


Above: What PS3 DMC fans were promised...

That’s why some fans of Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy started online petitions to Capcom and Square Enix when the companies revealed the previously exclusive PlayStation series would be appearing on the 360. The most hardcore fanboys of the former were so disgusted with DMC 4 going to a Microsoft console that over 12, 000 of them vowed to boycott buying any further Capcom games when they put their signatures to Petition Online.

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

Because almost all third party games are multi-platform now and the practice of porting titles over to multiple machines is industry standard. What's more, fanboys are narrow-minded souls whose exclusive attitude will never carry much weight in a market where business models for most developers are founded on inclusiveness – i.e. selling their games to as many punters as possible. No one who was going to buy DMC 4 or the next Final Fantasy has ever been denied that right - well, aside from the three Japanese people who own 360s and want FF XIII - and so the controversy only lay in the minds of reasonless fanboys.


Above: What PS3 DMC fans got

40 comments

  • Twizinator - December 9, 2010 4:50 a.m.

    @ HoraceQS That is his opinion. Sounds like someone cant take sarcasm :P The Xbox is a great console. I haven't bought a PS3 because I don't have the funds, and I do own a Wii. Monster Hunter 3 is great!
  • FanofSaiyan - January 1, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    Bet those Celda haters are rolling in their graves... or there parents basement Lol
  • DryvBy - December 23, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    34 million were wrong with the Wii. The reason this sold: great marketing, and people who foolishly thought Nintendo was going to release great games. That Nintendo stamp of approval is just passed out for the Wii. Have a generic "babyz" game? Sure! That's a great choice for the Wii. I don't even shop for my Wii because of that. Oh, and let's not forget those 'great value' Wii VC games. $5 for Donkey Kong? No thanks.
  • jackthemenace - December 19, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    I'm actually really glad nintendo created the "toon link" style, because, and i know this will get me flamed like hell, i actually prefer the toon style. twilight princess was fantastic, but the grraphics left me feeling more than a little like shutting myself in a dark room and slitting my wrists. also, the wii does, (generally) suck. Don't get me wrong, the wii has had some great games, and again twilight princess was BRILLIANT, but the ratio of wii gems to wii shames is something like 1:372
  • Slapdog - January 19, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    Another citation might help here too: "Sony is in bad shape right now..." Really? Care to cite your source?
  • theguru - January 19, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    "Well, 34 million Wii owners can’t be wrong" you say? I beg to differ. So anoying trying to play anything on it, I'd prefer to to have most of its gmaes on another console, or atleast for the remotes to have a bit of a bigger range!
  • roguedvdrom - January 18, 2009 2:27 a.m.

    Very informative. I agree with all of it except for the wii which i still cant stand although i;ll admit that it was a huge success for nintendo. (noooo, really?) but i friggin LOVED Wind Waker.
  • Rzl - January 18, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    Oh I absolutely think exclusive titles do matter, it was why you bought it in the first place back in the day. I'm not here to debate which system is better, or defend Xbox. I just think so far Xbox beat Sony to the punch. Things like a late launch date, price, and so so line up of games for said launch kinda didn't help it.
  • HoraceQS - January 17, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    "Well, it just seems to me Sony was stagnate and dropped the ball by thinking PS3s were just going to practically sell themselves on the strength of the name alone." Unless you count all the new features like Blu-Ray and Wireless Integration out of the box a new archetecture and free online. Sony clearly tried to do new things with the PS3, I would actually make the argument that they overreached because those features made the console too expensive. "It's good hardware but thats only gonna get you so far if you don't have the games and marketing to support it in my opinion." And here it is, for everyone who says exclusives don't matter and that it's not a big deal when formerly exclusive franchises go multi-platform. Of course they matter.
  • Rzl - January 17, 2009 10:54 p.m.

    Well, it just seems to me Sony was stagnate and dropped the ball by thinking PS3s were just going to practically sell themselves on the strength of the name alone. It's good hardware but thats only gonna get you so far if you don't have the games and marketing to support it in my opinion. I have both systems, and for me there aren't too many games I'm willing to drop 60 bones on for PS3 that I don't already have on 360. It has alot of cool features but you wouldn't know it unless you get it.
  • Rzl - January 17, 2009 12:18 a.m.

    I've been playing games since '84 and I've seen systems come and go. Microsoft isn't going to kill gaming. Sega and Nintendo blew atari out of business in the 80's and were basically running the console market. Sony then seemingly came out of left field with something new and kicked the door in on them in the 90's . Microsoft did it in like 2000. They all had good hardware, good marketing, and good timing in common to make them stand out. In a few years some new system gonna do the same thing. Love it or hate it it's the way it is
  • Slapdog - January 16, 2009 7:42 p.m.

    "first titles" = "first party titles"
  • Slapdog - January 16, 2009 6:27 p.m.

    Is the word "first" really so offensive that people hate anyone who types it? Does it burn when you read it? Or are you just jealous you didn't get it? Did it start as jealousy and grow into "I'm too cool and 'mature' to put that?" Any defense would really only prove my point. Great article. I actually agree with the Microsoft thing. Microsoft has been hostile and killed a lot of software. However, they simply aren't big enough to "kill" Sony, and their involvement will only perpetuate competition leading to an overall better experience for the end-user: you.
  • hectorv1979 - January 16, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    everybody run screaming horace said microsoft is going to destroy the world ahhhh he was right my 360 is turning into a terminator
  • Xplosive59 - January 16, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    @HoraceQS Completely agree with you cause bill gates has done it before. Good Articles this week guys
  • NelosAngelos - January 15, 2009 11:02 p.m.

    Wind Waker was very good, kinda like playing a Saturday morning cartoon (the good ones anyway)
  • phoenix_wings - January 15, 2009 10:08 p.m.

    Haha, fun! I need to be first to compensate for the fact that I have nothing interesting to say or do, and spend all day refreshing the GR page to find new features! The Wii's novelty has pretty much worn off for me, I'm just looking for good games to come out...Same with the DS--especially since every time I walk by the Nintendo section and see more crapware like BABIEZ and the like littering up the shelves. And to be honest, I never played Wind Waker, but I did play Phantom Hourglass. While it did seem like more of a kiddie game, I have to say that I enjoyed Phantom Hourglass more than Twilight Princess, despite how pretty TP looked.
  • nudger - January 15, 2009 9:39 a.m.

    I don't understand why tardos add comments to these features saying things like "first" or "second, good feature", at least offer something like the next two guys have The Zelda controversy I thought was always ridiculous, its my favourite of the series personally (even beating Ocarina of Time!) and I actually enjoyed the sailing, I loved discovering new locations and changing the wind direction tactically to suit my needs. Fantastic game
  • Shellghost - January 15, 2009 5:45 a.m.

    i dont really understand how these Fanboys can get so worked up about a system, or even call themselves gamers if they are going to only touch one brand of a console.
  • Bioshockraptor - January 15, 2009 4:29 a.m.

    second. good feature

Showing 1-20 of 40 comments

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