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Nintendo: Why Ask Wii?

Nintendo names new video game console Wii. Why Wii? Because It's pronounced "we." Why? Who knows, though CNN Money has a Q&A on the topic. Here's the announcement:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nintendo Co. Ltd (7974.OS) on Thursday said it has named its new video game console "Wii, which it said is pronounced "we" to emphasize that the console is for everyone.

The console up until now has been known by its code-name "Revolution."

"While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer," spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan told Reuters.

Nintendo, best known for its Game Boy portable video players, aims to gain share in the $25 billion global video game market now dominated by Sony Corp. (6758.T)

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) launched its next-generation Xbox 360 console late last year and Sony's new PlayStation 3 is due in November. Wii also is expected to hit store shelves later this year.

While the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony boast more power and high-definition graphics, Nintendo's goal is to roll out a machine that appeals to a broader audience than the young males who make up the traditional console gaming market.

A key feature of the Wii is its one-handed controller that looks like a television remote control and uses motion-detection sensors that allow players to control the game by wielding it like a sword, waving it like a conductor's baton, or swinging it like a baseball bat.

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94 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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94. Re: ... May 1, 2006, 12:14 Animals for Crackers
 
I have a feeling I'll end up owning one. Sure, they won't win any generation wars, but Nintendo turned something like $800 million in pure profit last year. How the hell?

Worldwide in sales they are in 2nd place after PS2, also GBA/DS are always hawt. Still enjoy playing/trying to unlock every last map or making my own and sharing them on Advance Wars :Dual Strike.

 
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93. Re: ... Apr 29, 2006, 01:00 Prez
 
Someone needs to tell Nintendo that April Fools Day is in the beginning of April, not at the end. Those silly guys at Big "N". Always kidding around. God, I hope they're kidding.

 
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92. ... Apr 28, 2006, 21:46 theyarecomingforyou
 
I don’t suppose you are related to a Charles H. Duell are you?
WTF has he got to do with anything? I was just commenting that a new form of controller likely won't be the best to play regular style games on, though no doubt games designed for it will take full use of it.

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91. Re: Letter to Nintendo Apr 28, 2006, 18:49 Parallax Abstraction
 
Am I the only one who thinks the GC still looks freaking awesome?

I still think Metroid Prime is one of the most gorgeous looking games of the current console generation, especially considering that it never dips below 60fps. I can't remember the last Xbox game I had that didn't have frame rate variance large enough to notice.

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90. The name is obviously stupid Apr 28, 2006, 17:16 Suddenly_Dead
 
Seriously, I want to get a Wii just so I can say I have a Wii. It's such a dumb name, it's terrific.

Maybe I'm just odd.

 
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89. Re: Letter to Nintendo Apr 28, 2006, 15:27 SquirrelZero
 
Also, the bit about the GameCube X2 specs is highly suspect to say the least. If you are basing that information off an IGN article that came out recently, there were a number of factors such as architecture in that article that the author chose to ignore. He based his comparisons purely off Mhz numbers which as we all know from Intel/AMD, is no longer a relevant way to measure it. Will the system be nearly as powerful as Xbox 360 or PS3? I highly doubt it, but that's not what they're going for.

I'm basing my knowledge on those specs, yes, but I'd say that if the numbers are correct, the assessment that it is a GCx2 is pretty close. You can't ignore that there are no new shaders being added. The architecture is supposedly very similar to the GC, and it's not a far stretch to think that it's basically a GC that can pump twice as many polygons with twice as much texture memory. Also, looking at the screenshots of that new Ubi game in the latest Game Informer does seem to support that assessment. But, is that really a bad thing? Am I the only one who thinks the GC still looks freaking awesome?

But again, I'm only basing my judgment off of what I know about game design and my experience working with hardware. And that's all any of us can really do at this point.


This comment was edited on Apr 28, 15:28.
 
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88. Letter to Nintendo Apr 28, 2006, 14:23 jm0ris0n
 
I emailed nintendo yesterday and this is what I got back:

Message(#6851-000497-xxx\4977xxxx)

Hello and thank you for contacting Nintendo,


I appreciate your taking the time to share your comments regarding the name of our next home console. If you haven't yet had the opportunity, please go to the news section of our website (www.nintendo.com/newsmain) to learn our feelings about the name. Rest assured that your feedback will be forwarded to the appropriate department for further review.

Sincerely,

Nintendo of America Inc.
xxxxx xxxxxx

Nintendo's home page: http://www.nintendo.com/
Power Line (Automated Product Info): (425) 885-7529

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Take our Survey! You have been chosen to participate in an e-mail quality survey. This should take less than 5 minutes. Please click here: <A href="http://www.nintendo.com/consumersurvey.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
-----



ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
-----------------


From: xxxxxx@txstate.edu
Posted At: 11:56:07.000 04/27/2006
Posted To: Nintendo <nintendo@noa.nintendo.com>
Subject: Webform: Revolution > None Selected

Nintendo Wii, AKA the revolution. Hello, I am an american gamer aged 23. I
am about to graduate college and will have a business degree in computer in
formation systems. I have taken marketing classes and can understand the na
me of your new system wii. However as a long time nintendo die hard fan I m
ust express to you my disappointment in the name wii. While wii might go ev
er well in Japan, this is the United States and as American Gamers the name
wii is not...err... well the name just not bring to mind the salvation of
nintendo. The name brings to mind a five year old school girl who is immatu
re and child like.
I care deeply about the future success of nintendo and want to let you know
I disgree with the name of the revolution console. In truth I felt revolut
ion is about as good as a name can get.
Sincerely,
xxxx xxxxx
Texas State University
CIS – 2006

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 16:15.
 
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87. Knights that say Wii. Apr 28, 2006, 12:57 Of Rock Star Fame
 
First off I am a 25 year old gamer with a life, I have no embarrassment/peer pressure issues, and I don’t think playing a Wii in your parents basement is any less cool then playing a Xbox 360 or PS3. The console is innovative enough I will buy it no matter what they call it. Look for “Go on a date, Fatboy” in stores now.

That said it is a terrible name, one I hope is changed for the American market, even sadder is they spent years and millions and millions of dollars to marketing experts to come up with Wii. However, consider their competitor’s products: PS1/2/3, got it, like the original but better,
Xbox 360, a complete circle, so we are right back where we started, this is the original Xbox but white … I don’t get it.

Don't get me wrong, tilt sensors are cool but it just seems they were trying too hard to make it different without realising that most games are best played the original way - this is another sign that there will be few games released and there'll be a reliance on 1st party games, something that has hurt their past consoles.

I don’t suppose you are related to a Charles H. Duell are you?

And as long as handhelds exist Nintendo isn’t going anywhere, and, besides, they make a crap-ton of money, nobody is going to get fired over any loses to off-set that profit.


 
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86. Re: William says: Apr 28, 2006, 12:08 Ligur
 
Even if called stenchblossom, I suspect it would smell just as sweet. Albeit to very puzzeled sniffers.

 
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85. Re: William says: Apr 28, 2006, 11:16 aldo_14
 
Not if you called it a stenchblossom.

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84. William says: Apr 28, 2006, 11:12 Ligur
 
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

So there!

 
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83. No subject Apr 28, 2006, 11:02 aldo_14
 
Last quarter actually if you can believe it. Also, the bit about the GameCube X2 specs is highly suspect to say the least. If you are basing that information off an IGN article that came out recently, there were a number of factors such as architecture in that article that the author chose to ignore. He based his comparisons purely off Mhz numbers which as we all know from Intel/AMD, is no longer a relevant way to measure it.

I've read from a seperate source that the archicture is logically the same as the GC, but in saying that there's no way to be sure that the IGN articles was right anyways, nor that the architectural stuff was strictly accurate. It does strike me in any case that 'Gamecube x2' is rather a meaningless measurement; you could possibly make the arguement the SNES was NESx2, but would that really mean you could anticipate what it (SNES) would be like based on the NES?

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82. Re: I think instead Apr 28, 2006, 10:18 Parallax Abstraction
 
but Nintendo turned something like $800 million in pure profit last year

Last quarter actually if you can believe it. Also, the bit about the GameCube X2 specs is highly suspect to say the least. If you are basing that information off an IGN article that came out recently, there were a number of factors such as architecture in that article that the author chose to ignore. He based his comparisons purely off Mhz numbers which as we all know from Intel/AMD, is no longer a relevant way to measure it. Will the system be nearly as powerful as Xbox 360 or PS3? I highly doubt it, but that's not what they're going for. Personally, I've always been a "graphics don't make the game" person and while I still like eye candy, if the games are superior on this system, I don't really care much if they look as good as GRAW on the 360. And I can tell you that the casual gamers/non-gamers that Nintendo is targeting with this system probably don't even know what "next-gen" system look like anyway, nor do they really care if this system has HD or not. A lot of people laughed at the Nintendo DS as well which went for changing the way people play games and it's destroying right now. This one (inspite of the stupid name) may still surprise people. I'm still half-convinced that this "Wii" thing is just a viral marketing thing to get people talking about it and that another name will be anounced at E3. Remember how Nintendo DS was also just a code-name? Then there were rumours about it changing to Nintendo Nitro and then Nintendo said they were just keeping DS. That might happena gain.

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81. Re: ... Apr 28, 2006, 09:31 aldo_14
 

If that's the case then they can just choose not to use all its power but still develop for the X360/PS3 because of the advantage of the larger install base. The advantage of a more powerful console is that you can be quite sloppy with the coding and still end up with something that performs well and looks good.

Although the converse advantage of the Revolution (no, i'm not calling it the Wheeeeeeeee) is that is reportedly uses the same (single CPU, GPU) architecture as the Gamecube, so that means it's a lot easier, quicker and cheaper to avoid sloppy coding than, for example, when you have to balance loads and parallelize across 3-8 processing units.

I think the lack of HD will be a big issue as no-one likes buying outdated technology - at least with a PS3 or X360 you can buy it for a regular TV and upgrade at a later point. The HD userbase isn't that large at the moment but it will be increasing very quickly as awareness rises and prices drop.

In terms of HD, I don't think it's consequential (it's certainly not in my - UK - terms because there is very little worth getting HDTV for). Nintendo is actively positioning the Revo/Wii towards people who don't play games (the opposite of me, you, everyone here really), and thus the kind of people who don't care about looks so much or who'd worry about the resolution of their TV. If you look at the aforementioned brain training game on the DS, or the likes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire DVD games - people who don't care about looks - that's a huge potential market with a lot of money available.

It's not too different in my mind to how the DS is beating the PSP by using quirkier, 'different' types of titles and trying to appeal to new areas. Nintendo know they can't afford to compete with the 360 or PS3 because the sort of 16-30 adult male market itself is probably too small to sustain 3 consoles each with a level of good success, but if (a big if, of course) they can hit new niches & demographics they can make a vast amount of cash.

I'm sure Nintendo could just do a high-power, 360 or PS3 type console with a nice boring joypad and HD-DVD or something. But they'd be likely to be constrained to a small market share, even if they did better than the profitable GC, and IMO they've been both brave and sensible in trying to open up a new sector for themselves.


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This comment was edited on Apr 28, 09:35.
 
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80. ... Apr 28, 2006, 06:16 theyarecomingforyou
 
Counter-strike HL1 is still vastly more popular than Counter-Strike Source, despite being something like 6 years older!
That's a completely different situation... that's because people bought it years ago and just haven't upgraded, not because all those people went out and bought an outdated game for the sake of it.

Really, the graphical technology of the xbox360 and PS3 are probably way ahead of what most game studios can afford to develop for. Or they simply don't see a reason to use all that power.
If that's the case then they can just choose not to use all its power but still develop for the X360/PS3 because of the advantage of the larger install base. The advantage of a more powerful console is that you can be quite sloppy with the coding and still end up with something that performs well and looks good.

I think the lack of HD will be a big issue as no-one likes buying outdated technology - at least with a PS3 or X360 you can buy it for a regular TV and upgrade at a later point. The HD userbase isn't that large at the moment but it will be increasing very quickly as awareness rises and prices drop.

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79. Re: I think instead Apr 28, 2006, 03:15 Charlie_Six
 
I'm really rooting for Nintendo, and had high hopes for the Revolution. But now that it's named "Wii", I'm not as optimistic.

I don't think the lack of ultra high tech graphical power is going to be a big deal for Nintendo. Some of the best selling games of today are still running on very old hardware and with very low-key graphics. The Sims run on what... 4 year old computers, and sold like hotcakes, right? Counter-strike HL1 is still vastly more popular than Counter-Strike Source, despite being something like 6 years older!

Really, the graphical technology of the xbox360 and PS3 are probably way ahead of what most game studios can afford to develop for. Or they simply don't see a reason to use all that power. Think of puzzle games like Lumines or Meteos, or that DS brain training game that is selling really well. Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero.. these games are fun and don't need awesome graphics to do what they do.
 
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78. Names Apr 28, 2006, 01:03 Kxmode
 
Okay from now on all Nintendo franchises will henceforce be known as...

The Legend of Ziilda
Super Mawiio Brothers
Miitroid
Donkii Kong
Starfiix
Tetriis
Contrii
Kung Fii
Miike Tyson's Piinch-Out!!
Yiishi

All pronouced with "ee" sounds.

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77. Re: I think instead Apr 28, 2006, 00:26 SquirrelZero
 
Capcom, Ubi, Atlus. Already that's a decent lineup. Nintendo cracks me up, I mean, this is the worst name I've ever heard, the hardware is equivalent to a Gamecube X2 (with no new shaders), they're skipping out on HD, the controller is freakishly weird, and yet somehow I bet you they'll turn a profit with the thing. And not only turn a profit, but be successful. I have a feeling I'll end up owning one. Sure, they won't win any generation wars, but Nintendo turned something like $800 million in pure profit last year. How the hell?

 
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76. Re: I think instead Apr 27, 2006, 23:56 Enahs
 
Is ANY third party developer now actually signed up to make some games for the thing? Or is it going to be Yet Another Generation of Mario Kart, Starfox, Super Mario and Zelda?

http://revolution.ign.com/articles/692/692479p1.html

And that is a fair number considering how quiet Nintendo is being about the console (and that is from Feb mind you).

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75. Re: I think instead Apr 27, 2006, 23:48 Icewind
 
Creston: Other then Ubisoft's "Red Steel", I haven't heard of anything.

Really though, no matter how much you want to like Nintendo, they are headed for a huge let down with the Wii console. They forget that the casual gamers they want to target are more interested in those little pacman/atari classic joystick machines you plug into your TV and play for a few minutes at a time. (My dad plays them, believe it or not) So really, this system is going to go nowhere.

Very few of us old schoolers want to admit it, but you've got to sooner or later.

Nintendo will do what Sega did...namely, drop the hardware biz and focus on software. The only difference will be that the big "N" has a stranglehold on the handheld market, which will keep it in the black for years to come.

Even though I (And nearly everyone I know) prefer my PSP over my DS.

 
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