October 16, 2006 4:03 PM PDT

Hands on the Wii

(continued from previous page)

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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17 comments

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Good review, one inaccuracy to correct.
I enjoyed the review. Sounds like a great gaming console, even if
the graphics aren't Xbox 360 or PS3 worthy. The author did,
however, give some incorrect information. The top of the line Xbox
360 costs $399 -- not $499. That's for the basic PS3.
Posted by mettle1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
seems like a slam-dunk
Practically every scrap of information released about this system has been alarmingly positive. Seems that Nintendo really nailed it, which is all the more relevant when you consider the company's philosophy of quality over quantity.

Plus, it's almost an important fact when you consider a 'casual gamer' machine that costs less provides a more fun environment than the grossly overpriced PlayStation or middling XBOX 360's software.

It'll be nice to have Nintendo be # 1 again. They deserve it.
Posted by kuguy3000 (21 comments )
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Doesn't sound very interesting for experienced gamers
The descriptions of the Wii controller is exactly what I was afraid of. Seems overly simplified and something that will entertain well for a short while...but get old real quick. The simplicity also only seems to apply to very simple games...but the controler is not good for more "complex" combinations.
Posted by deitiphobia (16 comments )
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Seems more like a failure to analysts
Practically every scrap of information released about this system has been alarmingly positive because it's a Nintendo console. If it would be from Microsoft or Sony, the controller would be considered ridiculous and its power underwhelming. As simple as that. No console wins the war just with positive impressions before the console is even released. If it would be like that Xbox would've sold more than PS2, which everybody knows it didn't by far.
Regarding your biased comment about Microsoft Xbox 360's software, what "software" among Gears of War, Halo 3, Project Gotham Racing 3, Splinter Cell, Fable 2, Forza MotorSports 2, Dead or Alive 4 you consider middling? Maybe it would be nice to have Nintendo be #1 again, as you say, but I doubt they even come in 3rd, and that's exactly what analysts are predicting, with the last forecast predicting 30 million PS3's, 27 million 360's and only 13 million Wii's by 2009. I agree that Nintendo deserves to be #1, but so does Microsoft, IMHO, given the amount of money and resources they spent to build a good powerful console with good exclusive games and good services like Xbox Live.
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
Link Flag
PREMIUM XBOX 360 is 399 NOT 499 as stated above
just wanted to correct the article. The premium XBOX360 is $399.99 and the premium PS3 is $599.99. yes thats a 200 dollar difference! and no you wont see much of any difference except PS3 has one of the two High Definition DVD formats(Blu-Ray and HD-DVD). PS3 has Blu-Ray built into every PS3 and XBOX HD-DVD will be out this November(2006) for 199.99 as an add on, if you would like it...
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
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its 500 dollers in canada
just to tell it is 500 dollers in canada for the premium one and 400 dollers for the core pack xbox 360
Posted by superman9956 (15 comments )
Link Flag
Since I'm boycotting both Microsoft & Sony this is great news
And it's cheaper.
Posted by slim-1 (229 comments )
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did the reporter forget his photographer?
cause game pics would be nice. as would pics of someone actually PLAYING a wii.

ive not been actively searching for them, but i cant recall seeing either.
Posted by Yukimi Konomi (48 comments )
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Going to get one
As a 40 year old who has avoided the Play station and X-box I am looking forward to getting one of these, sounds like fun and not-so hard core.
Posted by johnhaggard (10 comments )
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Getting one
I'm also 40 years old and haven't owned a game console since the Super Nintendo. I'm not a gamer, but this seems like something my kids and I could enjoy together. Though I'll probably wait until next year to get one.
Posted by kgforce (2 comments )
Link Flag
Price corrected
The story has been fixed to give the top-end Xbox 360 price as $399. Thanks to the TalkBackers who pointed out the error.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
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can't wait
I'm a father of two and haven't been a gamer since PS1. I'm looking forward to this, cause it seems tailored to us casual gamers and I bet I could get my wife to take a swing at it.
Posted by alaaji (7 comments )
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before there was the wii...
...nintendo actually made regular old cardboard and plastic toys, some of which are really cool. check this collection of <a href="http://squirl.info/collection/show/465">pre-1980 nintendo toys</a>.
Posted by jmcgrath35 (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To Ninten-do or Ninten-don't
I like what nintendo's doing with their consoles especially in regards to controlling the game.

Still I don't see the killer application that will make me open my wallet...

Zeldas and Marios are good franchises but I've had enough of those since I bought the SNES.

They should really consider something new, like what they did with the DS and Nintendogs. That was a welcomed gust of fresh air.
Posted by georgemark (7 comments )
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