October 16, 2006 4:03 PM PDT
Hands on the Wii
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Anyway, I do start to notice, as we move into more complex areas of "Zelda," that I begin to get confused as more complicated combinations of buttons and motion-sensitive controller are necessary. That means death at the hands of evil monsters shooting flaming arrows at me.
Not to be deterred, I soldier on, and after a few more fits and starts deep in the guts of a dank dungeon, I begin to get the hang of it, firing off arrows from my bow with deadly accuracy, slaying goblins and feeling like Egan is no longer looking at me like a moron.
I also notice, while playing the "Zelda" demo, that the Wii graphics aren't likely to be mistaken for the higher quality of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. But that's OK, since the Wii's price is going to be just $250, compared with the top-end $399 Xbox 360 and top-end $599 PlayStation 3 when it is released Nov. 17.
And after all, Wii buyers are either going to be more casual gamers or Xbox or PlayStation buyers who want a Wii as well.
Before he leaves, Egan pulls out a second Wii geared just for "Wii Sports"--a software package that will ship with the console--and showed me the baseball, bowling, boxing, golf and tennis games.
And I'll admit it, I like them. These games are simple and fun, and I can see trying to beat the golf game until I can sink putts, the baseball game until I can hit the curveball, and the tennis game until I am Wimbledon (Wiim-bledon?) champion. But I do manage to beat Egan to a pulp in the boxing game. First try.
Of course, "Wii Sports" is really just about getting players going, learning to work the controllers and having a little extra fun before plunking down real money on the sophisticated games from the Electronic Arts and Activisions of the world.
That's good, too, because I think players will probably get bored by "Wii Sports" as soon as they master the games. And that shouldn't take too long.
It's "just making you feel that actions you're seeing on the screen are what you want to be seeing from the remote," Egan tells me about the point of the demos. "So it's seamless."
Anyway, I walk away from my time with the Wii feeling pretty good about the machine. Egan keeps reminding me that what I was playing with wasn't production-ready, and that actually makes me feel even better about it. And more like it's the next-gen console I would most want to own myself.
Of course, later this week, I'll be getting my hands on the PS3, so my mind may very well change by then.
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