Nintendo Wii is two, hardcore losing faith

Nintendo Wii is two this week. Happy birthday, Wii!
Nintendo Wii is two this week. Happy birthday, Wii!

The Nintendo Wii celebrates its second birthday over in the US today, leading us to remember back to its late 2006 launch, when it was greeted by a world full of cynics that said the name was too silly and the concept would never work.

Two years on, the name is still silly (in a sniggering, Beavis and Butthead type way), yet Nintendo has proven beyond a shadow of any doubt that the concept works.

Hardcore losing faith

However, while Wii sales continue to go through the roof, with a third Christmas holiday season of stock shortages predicted (or 'planned' if you believe the conspiracists) there is a definite, widespread loss of faith in the format amongst the hardcore gaming community.

Aside from a number of excellent first party games, such as Mario Kart Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy, many gamers are concerned that Nintendo is in danger of leaving them behind, with its rush to embrace its new-found casual markets.

Shovelware mountain

This Christmas' two major first party releases – Wii Music and Animal Crossing – (along with a mountain of third party shovelware) have also done little to appease the hardcore faithful.

Despite this, Nintendo's US Sales and Marketing VP, Cammie Dunaway recently told MTV Multiplayer that she thinks: "next year you're going to see the tide turn a little bit, in terms of people realizing that the Wii can have something of interest for everybody. I feel there are titles that should make [the core] stand up and pay attention next year.

"If you look at something like The Conduit, that's really pushing the edge of graphic capabilities on the Wii and doing things that people didn't think were possible. And I think, one, that makes other developers stand up and take notice. And two, that makes consumers say, 'maybe there's something to this'."

Cupboard under stairs

TechRadar can only offer a two word response to that statement, Ms Dunaway. Mario? Zelda?

Happy birthday Wii, its been a blast. We hope (and fervently pray) that we don't shove you under the stairs in 2009 next to the Dreamcast and the big, fat ol' Xbox 1.

Adam Hartley