Thursday, 6 October 2011

Opinion: Is the Wii Already Dead?

There was a time when the Wii was king of the console world, now though, it's struggling. And while it has got a bit of a Christmas ahead of it with the likes of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Kirby's Return to Dreamland, we have to ask - Is the Wii already dead?

Sales of the Wii console have been going down recently - no question. Even with the price drops the Wii struggles to hit 200,000 units a month. The last batch of NPD figures tell us it struggled to 190,000. And while this may not seem too bad, compared to the X360's 308,000 and the PS3's 218,000 it isn't great. So, it's competitors are leading in terms of console sales, but maybe everyone already bought a Wii! At least the Wii gets great games right? Wrong.

Sure, the Wii has had good games: Mario Galaxy, Resi 4 etc. But so far this year the only big/good exclusive the Wii has had was Xenoblade, and North America didn't even get that!
Look up 2011 on the Wii's metacritic page, and you'll find only 8 games that have managed to receive good reviews for the whole of this year! I know not everyone always goes by reviews - but that has to mean something.

Remember when the Wii had good games? Those were the days...
The thing that hasn't helped is that the Wii ports of games always seem to be poor too. For example, FIFA 12, good on 360/PS3, not so good on Wii. Driver: San Francisco, surprisingly decent on 360/PS3, poor on Wii. This means not only is the Wii lacking in first party support, but the majority of third party titles are bad as well.
Publisher's seem to have struggled taking the Wii seriously recently, with it's SD graphics, and lack of memory. And this seems to have been a big problem throughout the Wii's 5 years on Earth.

And so here we are. We're now only 3 months away from Christmas - arguably the most important time of the year for games. And the Wii has little over 3 games to look forward to. Sure, kids and mums might still love it thanks to the continued success of games like Zumba Fitness and Just Dance, but the gamers are the people who are really going to be faithful to their systems - and I'm not sure if they care about Wii anymore. I'm not saying there's never been hardcore on Wii. There's been Madworld, Resident Evil, House of the Dead, No More Heroes etc. But there was just too much shovelware crap like Carnival Games for anyone to care.

Had there been more hardcore, maybe Wii would still be relevant...

Even with Skyward Sword, (which has had a slight lukewarm reception from some), and games like Pandora's Tower/Last Story which have potential to be great - I'm not sure it's enough.
Right now, I would say the Wii is in the same position the PS2 was around 2-3 years ago. It's still selling, but nowhere near as much as it's competition and with a lack of support from publishers. Plus, with some shops selling it for as little as $99 new, it's basically just become a budget console for families with small kids who love minigame collections.
I think the Wii might not be dead yet, but probably may as well be. With the Wii U already announced, and few games on the horizon they may as well just focus on the 3DS and turn games like Last Story into Wii U launch games.
But what do you think? Comment and let us know!


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