E3 Impression

Nintendo Wii




Today, I beheld the Wii in all its glory. To say that I had some anticipation would be an understatement. To look at it seems underwhelming at first. Compared physically to both the 360 and the PS3, the Wii is wee. One has to wonder if something so small can possibly live up to its hype; wonder no more for I have seen a possible future of gaming, and it is good.

I played a total of three titles during my demo period. To start us off with the simplicity of the controller, we played the spiritual successor to the NES Duck Hunt. Upon holding the controller in my hand, my first reaction was that it was incredibly light. Upon actually seeing it in action, my second reaction is that it's incredibly sensitive. It was not necessary at all to engage in arm waving or even serious hand movement. The cursor jumped very responsively to even the tiniest hand movement; it's quite possible that it was a touch too sensitive. Hopefully learning the control of the controller will be much like learning a computer mouse, and continued use will result in precise control.

I used the trigger on the underside of the controller to fire. During the short demo, we shot at ducks, clay targets, bulls-eyes, and UFOs. Each had a variety of movement patterns, and some were worth more than others, adding in a strategy element. This was very much an action game, relying on quick reflexes to win, but learning was as easy as picking up the controller.

I also had the opportunity to sample the Virtual Console. Up for demo were five games: Super Mario Bros (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), Mario 64 (N64), Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis), and Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafix 16). I opted for some old-school NES action. The rendering was fairly close and true to the original, but controls were sticky and nowhere near as tight as an original NES controller. It was bad enough that I had significant trouble jumping from one brick to a brick directly over it (think: C shape). Hopefully this will be ironed out in the final hardware. The controller itself was a SNES style attachment.

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