Nintendo Wii: Plays Weird Games, DVDs?

Since I purchased a DS lite a while back, Nintendo has reinvigorated my interest in videogames. The last time I had any interest in videogames (as in not PC games) was a time when the best console was called “Super Nintendo”.

Enter the Wii. Point the remote control at where you want to go, make flicks of your wrist to reload your gun, and swing it like a sword. Like the name, the concept has a very odd appeal. Add in the ability to play the Nintendo and Sega games backlog using the Virtual Console (Super Metroid, anyone?) and we almost have a winner.

Then there’s the issue of DVDs. Apparently, Wii was initially supposed to be able to play DVDs. Then that feature was removed. Now Nintendo plans to either release a DVD capable Wii in the latter half of 2007, or maybe it’s a software upgrade that’ll work with existing Wiis.

Which is it? I, for one would like to be able to scrap all the stuff that’s currently below my TV with a single sexy black box.

Your thoughts: to Wii or not to Wii?

22 thoughts on “Nintendo Wii: Plays Weird Games, DVDs?”

  1. Daniel P says:

    Personally, I think I’m going to wait a while until I get a new console.. I want something a bit more, homebrew friendly.. Since I hate the locked-in feeling I get from using my 360, also, usually when I’m on a console.. All I want to do is re-play the NES/SNES/MS/Genesis games from back in the day (to which the 360 offers nothing). The Virtual Console of the Wii is, a step in the right direction for me in that regard.. However, on the PC I can have thousands of arcade games without a problem, while the Virtual Console only has a select few. They may add more later, sure, but it still makes me feel a little, ripped off. And I haven’t really seen any Wii game that makes me feel like I have to own it for whatever reason.

    Oh, btw.. From what I can tell, Super Metroid will only be available to North Am. users (atleast for now).. By the looks of it, we’re stuck with Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero and Sim City.

  2. Joen says:

    I want something a bit more, homebrew friendly.

    As in a modded Xbox 1? Part of the appeal of the Wii is that with the Virtual Console and all that stuff, you can finally go legal and get all those thousands of games you mention, legitimately. It’s all a matter of how well it plays though. I’m hoping they build in some sort of save functionality, especially for the old games — Kid Icarus is hard man!

    atleast for now

    Yep, I don’t mind waiting a bit. As long as it eventually gets there. Secret of Mana, I hear, isn’t a launch title either.

  3. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Which is it? I, for one would like to be able to scrap all the stuff that?s currently below my TV with a single sexy black box.

    Uhm… You do know the Wii is white, right?

    I guess it doesn’t really matter to me, I know I’ll end up getting a HD recorder with codefree DVD player also, so if the Wii doesn’t play DVDs I don’t really care.

  4. Joen says:

    Uhm… You do know the Wii is white, right?

    It comes in a few other colors as well, including the only correct color, which is black, as my heart.

    I guess it doesn?t really matter to me, I know I?ll end up getting a HD recorder with codefree DVD player also, so if the Wii doesn?t play DVDs I don?t really care.

    Good point. But at that point you could always bring the Wii to a summer house or something…

  5. The only correct color, which is black, as my heart .

    I knew it, I knew it!

    (But yes, you’re right, except for 2g Nano’s, as it’s red. For 1g’s, black all the way.)

  6. Joen says:

    (But yes, you?re right, except for 2g Nano?s, as it?s red. For 1g?s, black all the way.)

    Sorry, but I think the red nano is horrific looking.

  7. Daniel P says:

    As in a modded Xbox 1?

    I suppose, that was a bit.. insane, though..

    Part of the appeal of the Wii is that with the Virtual Console and all that stuff, you can finally go legal and get all those thousands of games you mention, legitimately.

    Problem is, they’re not going to spend the time porting and testing all those thousands of games Which means you’ll miss out on some of those old classics that you liked, but which may not recieved quite as much attention as they truthfully deserved.

    I did mention that it’s a step in the right direction, and you can call me an immoral software pirate or whatever, I’m just not sure that an officially supported list of allowed games is going to feel like a matchup to the cd’s with all classic console games that I made for the Dreamcast back when it wasn’t.. dead.. I like keeping my options open, and with a half second game loading time and all.. Those cd’s delivered some fast gameplaying, which is perfect when you have some 20 minutes to kill.

    Hopefully they’ll be able to deliver on the promise of adding online multiplayer capabilities to some of the games they’re bringing in.. It might be able to give enough allure to it that I’d consider getting one, of course I wouldn’t have anyone to play it with.. But it’s not like I play my 360 games online either. (Actually my 360’s been sitting in a corner gathering dust since a couple weeks after I got it)

    It?s all a matter of how well it plays though. I?m hoping they build in some sort of save functionality, especially for the old games — Kid Icarus is hard man!

    Oh yeah, but it’s not the same if you beat it with saves! I sure hope they atleast pin you as the cheater that you are if you use any kind of saves in the classics! How much fun would Tetris be with saves?

    I mean, I’d do it if it was offered, but doesn’t it kinda ruin the pleasure of having beaten the game?

  8. Jonas Rabbe says:

    It comes in a few other colors as well, including the only correct color, which is black, as my heart.

    Not to rain on your parade or anything, but an update from Wii colors:

    UPDATE September 2006: Nintendo has now said they are releasing the console in white! Which is a blow to all of us color lovers. Hopefully they will still launch the colors as they said they would. All we can do is wait and see…

  9. Joen says:

    I suppose, that was a bit.. insane, though..

    Not really. It’s really cheap, and if you slap on Xbox Media Center you’ll be able to play any media.

    Which means you?ll miss out on some of those old classics that you liked, but which may not recieved quite as much attention as they truthfully deserved.

    Well, as opposed to what’s happening at Xbox Live Arcade, it’s my impression that Nintendo won’t be doing much to the games themselves (other than wrapping them with DRM), as the Virtual Console is actually an emulator. So essentially, (in my impression), they could “just” take a Nintendo ROM dump, wrap it in DRM and serve it up. The big question is how much work they’ve put into the actual emulator, like savestates and such.

    I did mention that it?s a step in the right direction, and you can call me an immoral software pirate or whatever, I?m just not sure that an officially supported list of allowed games is going to feel like a matchup to the cd?s with all classic console games that I made for the Dreamcast back when it wasn?t.. dead.

    I won’t call you an immoral pirate. I’ve played a few MAME games as well (for reference, I swear!). I guess, what I’m saying is that only a small percentage of ALL those thousands of games are actually worth re-playing, and if Nintendo can come up with a delicious wrapper for those select few, it has the potential for retro greatness.

    Hopefully they?ll be able to deliver on the promise of adding online multiplayer capabilities to some of the games they?re bringing in.

    Wow, impressive. That said, they could still do this without changing the ROM… the game just has to feature 2 player — then they could probably emulate Player 2 as an online buddy.

    I mean, I?d do it if it was offered, but doesn?t it kinda ruin the pleasure of having beaten the game?

    No. No it doesn’t.

    Oh but seriously, some of those age old games were just so difficult to either keep you pumping in coins, or to add “replayability”. Also, the password functions for both Kid Icarus and Metroid (same engine) worked but were really annoying. So savestates would just alleviate this pain.

  10. Joen says:

    Hopefully they will still launch the colors as they said they would. All we can do is wait and see…

    Hmm, I think that’s the case. I actually did read somewhere that Nintendo wouldn’t initially launch the black Wii. They postponed the black DS lite as well, so… Plus I won’t be able to afford anything until at least february next year anyway.

  11. Sorry, but I think the red nano is horrific looking.

    You’ve seen it in person then? (I’ve only seen it online, but it looks good to me…)

  12. Joen says:

    You?ve seen it in person then? (I?ve only seen it online, but it looks good to me…)

    I’ve only seen it online. Hmm… I also thought the other nanos were horriffic looking with their metal & non-rounded top/bottom, but I was proven wrong when I saw the black one in person.

  13. Daniel P says:

    Not really. It?s really cheap, and if you slap on Xbox Media Center you?ll be able to play any media.

    Yeah I loved the whole original xbox thing for all its homebrew goodness.. But all the games I liked on it have already been played to death, so having one sitting around just for its media center wasn’t as useful (or quiet) as just hooking up the laptop to the tv and running Media Center for watching whatever i was currently in the mood for.

    That said, the 360 wasn’t a worthwhile replacement, and if i’d been more patient.. i probably would’ve vouched for the Wii as well.

    Well, as opposed to what?s happening at Xbox Live Arcade, it?s my impression that Nintendo won?t be doing much to the games themselves (other than wrapping them with DRM), as the Virtual Console is actually an emulator. So essentially, (in my impression), they could ?just? take a Nintendo ROM dump, wrap it in DRM and serve it up. The big question is how much work they?ve put into the actual emulator, like savestates and such.

    Well, the only reason they’d have against savestates is if they think it’d make the games too cheap. A lot of old classics took advantage of their no savegame ‘thing’ to set the difficulty. There are alot of games that take a long while, simply because you have to do the same areas over several times. That factor gets lost if you have a quick and handy save/load function. And Zelda 3 (to name examples) has a death counter in the scores.. If you can just reload any time you die, it’ll kindof bastardize the value of that a little.

    Agreed that the Live Arcade.. sucks.. They managed to take a good idea and ruin it, I guess that’s why Nintendo’s stepping in to do it right. I am a little interested to see what effect XNA will have on hobbyist development for the 360, if it’s not too restricted, it could open up for a real emulator (albeit shady on the legal front) for the classics on the 360 too.. Not these terrible ‘almost like the original’ games on live arcade.

    But this is Microsoft, so of course it’ll be too restricted.

    I won?t call you an immoral pirate. I?ve played a few MAME games as well (for reference, I swear!). I guess, what I?m saying is that only a small percentage of ALL those thousands of games are actually worth re-playing, and if Nintendo can come up with a delicious wrapper for those select few, it has the potential for retro greatness.

    Yeah sure they aren’t all worth replaying. But it’s alot of fun to drift through all the games created for these outdated consoles and see if you’ve missed a few gems. For Nintendo of course it wouldn’t be a particularly lightweighted task to get licenses for all those games though, so it’s understandable that they’re not releasing all that many.

    Personally I didn’t see any games on that initial list that I felt any particular desire to re-play, so it doesn’t exactly allure me.

    Wow, impressive. That said, they could still do this without changing the ROM… the game just has to feature 2 player — then they could probably emulate Player 2 as an online buddy.

    Of course, that’s how MAME went about their online multiplayer. It’s probably the way they plan on doing it.. Since well, it’s the easy way to go. Also, probably the only way. So long as they can make it nice and easy to use though, I think it’ll get them a few more buys just off of that.

    No. No it doesn?t.

    Oh but seriously, some of those age old games were just so difficult to either keep you pumping in coins, or to add ?replayability?. Also, the password functions for both Kid Icarus and Metroid (same engine) worked but were really annoying. So savestates would just alleviate this pain.

    You’re just not masochistic enough for retro arcade games.

    In some games, yeah, I can understand wanting to save and load. But, from playing in MAME.. I think that it ruins the fun in alot of those games where the whole game is simply based on that it’s difficult to get back to where you were, such as the first Super Mario game.. If you could save and load throughout it, it would likely take you 30 minutes from start til end. The whole trick to making the game last a while was that you’d have to start over from the beginning of the zone / game.

    I’d rather that Nintendo would in that case only allow save games for certain select games.. Where playing through the whole things is just too painful of an experience, or perhaps where it doesn’t feel like it can ruin gameplay. (Which I still think it does, in alot of the games that I used to play). Or at the very least allow for saving to be disabled easily.. I don’t want it readily available to me, cause I know I’d use it if it were!

  14. Joen says:

    Well, the only reason they?d have against savestates is if they think it?d make the games too cheap.

    Apparently, there is some sort of savestate functionality, “Suspend” states:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/precurser/300504198/

    A lot of old classics took advantage of their no savegame ?thing? to set the difficulty. There are alot of games that take a long while, simply because you have to do the same areas over several times. That factor gets lost if you have a quick and handy save/load function. And Zelda 3 (to name examples) has a death counter in the scores.. If you can just reload any time you die, it?ll kindof bastardize the value of that a little.

    I agree, but I am not buying the games again to get that “feature”. If I get it a little easier this time around, I won’t mind.

    But this is Microsoft, so of course it?ll be too restricted.

    Yes, I’m also interested in seeing what will be possible with XNA, but I’m more interested in Wii homebrew / indie games development. I hear they’ll be offering people opportunities like XNA, but hopefully with fewer restrictions than those of MS.

    For Nintendo of course it wouldn?t be a particularly lightweighted task to get licenses for all those games though, so it?s understandable that they?re not releasing all that many.

    Personally I didn?t see any games on that initial list that I felt any particular desire to re-play, so it doesn?t exactly allure me.

    Well of course “many” is relative, but it’s my impression that the Wii VC has a humonginormous 3rd party support. Games from the Sega, the Turbo GFX, not to mention Nintendos own archive, that’s a lot of games right there. Sure there’ll only be 30 VC games at launch, but they’ll be releasing new games on a weekly schedule (I don’t know how many). But give it a month or two and you’ll probably have 40-50 games. Give it six months and there’s going to be more than enough. Sure it’s not “thousands”, but it’s more than enough to satisfy me.

    That, and of course the fact that I’m positive even more 3rd parties will support the Wii once it becomes successful.

    The whole trick to making the game last a while was that you?d have to start over from the beginning of the zone / game.

    Yes, but that feels like a cop-out, doesn’t it? Of course we have technical prowess today that enables us to create a better longevity for games, which I’m sure they didn’t have back then, but for re playing those oldies I’d expect a save functionality. I’ll leave it to the masochists to play through “Golden Axe” without using savestates, just to notice that the bosses past level 3 are just the same bosses as level 1, but with different color palettes and sometimes two at a time.

    Or at the very least allow for saving to be disabled easily.. I don?t want it readily available to me, cause I know I?d use it if it were!

    There’s a fine balance between giving too much freedom, thereby ruining the immersion, and giving too little freedom. It’ll be interesting to see what they do, that’s for sure.

  15. Daniel P says:

    Apparently, there is some sort of savestate functionality, ?Suspend? states

    It seems you’ve found the Suspend states.. Was just about to drop by to mention it!

    It doesn’t seem to be quite like a saved game.. It looks like you can only keep one of them per game (perhaps not), so it’s probably meant to avoid the problem of having to keep the console on when you go to work/school as to not lose your progress. And since it removes the suspend state after you load them (red text on the screenie), it doesn’t really serve as too much of a save.. I guess we’ll have to see how it works.

    I?m more interested in Wii homebrew / indie games development. I hear they?ll be offering people opportunities like XNA, but hopefully with fewer restrictions than those of MS.

    I haven’t really looked into Wii indie development.. any at all. If it is less restricted than what Microsoft goes for then I’ll be all for it.. Just a pain to switch over to something completely different, since I’m used to DirectX and C#.. moving to a completely different platform doesn’t seem that exhillirating..

    If the independant scene ‘takes off’ with the Wii though, I could consider moving over to it.. The independant developers usually make the more worthwhile things. (Often times since they aren’t quite as hampered by petty legal issues)

    Well of course ?many? is relative, but it?s my impression that the Wii VC has a humonginormous 3rd party support. Games from the Sega, the Turbo GFX, not to mention Nintendos own archive, that?s a lot of games right there.

    The only sega platform that I’ve seen them mention is the Genesis.. I sure hope they can bring some Master System, Saturn and possibly Dreamcast (long shot) titles along.. Cause there are a lot of my old time favourite games in there.. Especially on the Master System, of course.

    Give it six months and there?s going to be more than enough.

    You see, I think you’re more patient than me. I can’t think in terms of 6 months.

    Yes, but that feels like a cop-out, doesn?t it? Of course we have technical prowess today that enables us to create a better longevity for games,

    I don’t know, have you tried new games? I can’t play them as long as I played the old arcade classics.

    I?ll leave it to the masochists to play through ?Golden Axe? without using savestates, just to notice that the bosses past level 3 are just the same bosses as level 1, but with different color palettes and sometimes two at a time.

    Isn’t it pretty much the same in games now, anyways? I know that on the 360, games are generally fun for about 15 minutes, until you notice how repetitive they are…

    But I guess yeah, now we have saving and loading, so it’s better somehow.

  16. gareth says:

    Interesting (and somewhat funny) video on how to develop for wii:

    Wii LiveMove

  17. Joen says:

    it doesn?t really serve as too much of a save

    Sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for, eh?

    You see, I think you?re more patient than me. I can?t think in terms of 6 months.

    Patience comes to those who wait for it.

    I don?t know, have you tried new games? I can?t play them as long as I played the old arcade classics

    … as you played old arcade classics. Have you tried those arcade classics now? Sure, some of them are pure gameplay and hence have longevity compared to maybe Gears of War which I hear is quickly done, but really, some of the old classics are just dumb.

    Isn?t it pretty much the same in games now, anyways? I know that on the 360, games are generally fun for about 15 minutes, until you notice how repetitive they are…

    I just think you’ve become more picky. But seriously, I think the repetitivenes of the old games is due mainly to the fact that people weren’t expected to come so far, and why spend precious man hours working on an end of level boss that people won’t see 2% of the time?

    Interesting (and somewhat funny) video on how to develop for wii:

    I heard about that! Very interesting.

  18. Daniel P says:

    Sounds like it?s exactly what you?re looking for, eh?

    Yep, unless I’m missing something. 🙂 But it’s not exactly what you’re after, eh?

    Have you tried those arcade classics now? […] Some of the old classics are just dumb.

    Actually, quite a few of the classics that i replay I enjoy a lot.. That’s probably because I remember enjoying them when I was younger. But yeah, alot of them are dumb.. As are alot of new games.

    I think the repetitivenes of the old games is due mainly to the fact that people weren?t expected to come so far

    The way I see it, they’re just better at covering up just how repetitive a game is now. There’s alot of flashy graphics going on everywhere, and it seems enjoyable. You try the game at the store, and there’s enough to it to where it still feels like a good game.

    But once you’ve bought it, atleast I personally find that the amount of gameplay that I got in the little demonstration game, was exactly as much as the games offer. Of course, that doesn’t neccessarily mean that it’s a bad game, it’s just that there’s not much as much depth as I would enjoy myself.

    I just think you?ve become more picky.

    Yeah, I’m very certaintly pickier about games now than I when both the games industry and i were younger. But I also don’t see what the point is of all these “amazing revolutions in the world of gaming” that are supposed to blow me away is, if they don’t offer anything more (and sometimes they offer considerably less) then what was offered 10-15 years ago.. aside from graphics?

    Of course, they’re still selling, so until that stops being true there’s no argument for why it should be done any other way.. Unless it’s cheaper.

  19. Joen says:

    But it?s not exactly what you?re after, eh?

    It’s close enough. I expected no save feature.

    Of course, that doesn?t neccessarily mean that it?s a bad game, it?s just that there?s not much as much depth as I would enjoy myself.

    Still, compare that to Pong.

    if they don?t offer anything more (and sometimes they offer considerably less) then what was offered 10-15 years ago.. aside from graphics?

    Sure, I see your point. I’m a champ in Bomb Jack myself, a game from 1984. My high score is 1.45 million, which is really pretty good. Quite a few newer games do not compare to the gameplay and replayability of Bomb Jack, even though Bomb Jack is only a few kilobytes.

  20. ZMAN says:

    Look, I didn’t buy a WII sunday to avoid the rush. But I figure the new zelda game for the cube sounds good. Just one question though. What’s with the widescreen format on the WII, I’m not madd or anything but I have a 16″ tv set and widescreen really sucks on it!

  21. ZMAN says:

    Oh I forgot I’m just talking about the New zelda game on the wii for that widescreen format. I might even by the game on both systems just to see how the interactive feels. Also I love the fact that it’s a lot smaller than my gamecube!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. ZMAN says:

    Oh yeah, The Wii is DAVID and PS3 is Goliath ps3 is going DOOOWWWWNNNN!!!!

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