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Tuesday 19 September 2006
Nintendo's European Wii event at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands last Friday revealed most of the remaining secrets surrounding the new console. We now know the launch date and price, what functions will be packed inside the miniature machine and many of the games that we'll be able to play before Christmas.
As well as clearing up many of the launch day loose ends, a generous crop of playable titles meant that we could cosy up with the beautiful little box for another lengthy spell of enjoyable kinetic gaming. But while Wii has already burrowed itself a special place in our collective hearts, we're still not convinced that Nintendo's new console will offer enough to satisfy dedicated gamers.
There's no doubt that Wii will make good on its promise of appealing to people beyond the core gamer. Its showcase titles, like Wii Sports, demonstrate the motion-sensing magic incredibly well, making it easy for anyone to pick up the remote and start playing without the need for extensive and exasperating 'which-button-does-what' tutoring.
However, the games that are the most intuitive to play are little more than novelty lightweight titles tailor-made for impromptu friends and family gaming sessions - they're all about having fun with your real-life clan and lack the depth and challenge that seasoned pad handlers depend on to keep them truly engaged.
Of course, this is what we expected from Wii, but we were also hoping that - as loyal punters of Nintendo consoles past - we would also be well served with the kind of gilt-edged gaming experiences that we've come to expect from the hallowed house of Mario. At the moment, though, we're still hoping.
Above: E3, Leipzig Game Convention and the Wii event in London (pictured) have all left us wondering how motion-sensing will truly enhance gaming beyond - admittedly very fun - party entertainment