Monday, April 15, 2013

My Wii Wii Has Shrunk... Or Something...

With the recent announcement that Nintendo is going to be phasing out the more worthless Wii online services at the tail end of June, it seems like the writing is on the wall before support for Nintendo's miracle machine goes the way of the original Xbox. So... since the eventually will come when Nintendo will drop all support for the console sooner or later to focus their efforts on the Wii U, which apparently isn't doing so well...

Look, let me go off on a bit of a tangent here. I'm not entirely upset by Nintendo's decision to abandon the Wii. They have a new console and they want to focus mostly on that. The Wii isn't going to last forever, I get that. I'm not bothered by that. Even when all the online services are retired on Wii, I'll still be playing my classic Virtual Console stuff, Wiiware stuff, and the few wrestling games I have for the console... and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom. Can't forget about that one. So, I like my Wii. I don't regret buying one since I got it for my needs and it suited that just fine. And it will continue to do so longer after the console is relegated to a retro console thirty years down the line.

Here's the thing that iffs me a bit. Wii has a rather large install base. Whether you like the console or not, you cannot deny that in terms of pure hardware sales and JUST hardware sales, Wii sold more units than its two high-definition competitors. It won that battle. And yet when Wii U comes out, Nintendo decides to drop support for those almost hundred million Wiis they sold. Not outright, but aside from a digital Wiiware game here or an oddball Virtual Console game there, Wii isn't getting any new games any time soon, if at all. Some of the more worthless online services such as the News channel, Weather channel, Card Reading channel... those channels you don't use that often, if at all? Gone and done by the end of June. Probably won't be long before online components for games such as Smash Bros. or Mario Kart Wii go the way of Xbox Live on the original Xbox.

It's not the fact that Nintendo is slowly abandoning the Wii; that much is expected. It's the fact that they're abandoning it already... and with a massive install base who they're hoping will jump over to the Wii U because... because... well, it's that "because" that Nintendo have a hard time trying to sell, isn't it? Not everyone who owns a Wii will immediately jump at a Wii U, not with what little software there is to entice them. I certainly won't be getting a Wii U anytime soon.

Let me put this in another way and use Sony as an example. The Playstation 2 is the undisputed best-selling video game console of all time, having sold well over 150 million units as of 2011. In fact, the only other video game console to come CLOSE to that number is a handheld; specifically, Nintendo's DS handheld system. The second best-selling video game home console of all time, the original Playstation? 100 million units and the Wii is not that far with a little over 99 million units. That's not conjecture nor an opinion. It's the truth. The PS2 has outsold every video game console ever made.

And it's only been discontinued RECENTLY.

Launched in 2000... retired in 2013... that's a long amount of time to support one console. And some people might bitch, but I think it's a smart move. Because there is a large install base with the PS2 and Sony didn't just drop the console. They still supported it with games and releasing hardware revisions at a couple points here and there. PS2 thrived even during a generation ruled by high-definition consoles and motion control fads. Hell, even the original Playstation still had some support during the early years of its successor.

And then there're examples close to home. The original NES was still getting games up until 1994, when the 16-bit video game wars was reaching its peak. The Super NES was still getting games until the turn of the decade when Playstation and N64 and Saturn were the go-to consoles, the in things. I could understand dropping the Gamecube when Wii came out in 2006, because the Gamecube wasn't a big seller... Wii was and is a big seller for Nintendo, almost close to that 100 million mark only the DS and Game Boy handhelds have managed to break. And yet Nintendo decides to abandon that install base so soon?

That's what irks me, perplexes me, and disappoints me... but I'm not upset by this. Not entirely...

Wow... that was some tangent... I forgot what I was going to talk about here... oh well...

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