With the Nintendo Wii making its last gasps in the shadow of the Wii U, I felt that it would be appropriate to look back on the things that could have been. I came up with a list of 7 things that the Wii still needs to do before it rolls over and dies.
1. Wireless Nunchuck and Classic Controller
This should have been a no brainer. Here we are in 2011 with a 6 year old console and Nintendo is the only console that comes packaged with controller with a cord. The other consoles only use a cord if you want to play and charge the batteries for the controller at the same time; which brings up another question. Why didn’t Nintendo make their own proprietary batteries and charge station for all 3 of their controllers? Nintendo could have made a killing on another accessory rather than having me flush dollars down the drain for Duracells. And don’t give me the “we don’t have the technology” excuse. If the system can detect four Wiimotes at one time, there should be no issue with grabbing a Nunchuck or a Classic Controller.
2. That Blue Glowing Light
What a mistake not to leave this beautiful blue glow on all the time. Or even just when the system was powered on at the very least. I love going down to my pitch black living room and seeing that light surging on and off when Nintendo has pushed out an update or a message to the Wii. I imagine this is what it will look like during the alien invasion. And all it would take is a simple firmware update to make this happen. And it wouldn’t even need to be forced to stay on. How about another option in the Wii system settings and let players decide for themselves?
3. Forecast and News Channel
When I first fired up my Wii back in November of 2005, I felt like Sylvester Stalone waking up after being frozen for 30 years in Demolition Man. The capabilities of this new console seemed so foreign at the time coming off the Playstation 2 and GameCube which merely played video games. Now I can make a digital copy of myself, check the weather, read the news, and vote on whether I like rainy days better than sunny days. I thought that I would be turning on my Wii ever single day to have it read me the days headlines and weather predictions. That didn’t happen. There was so much potential for the Wii to be an every day appliance but it just didn’t work. I guess I’ll go back to trying to figure out these three shells.
4. Social Media Integration
So you want people to spend more time on the Wii? How about some Facebook/Twitter integration. I know that I would have been a lot more motivated to my ass on the Wii Fit if I new my results were going to be posted for the world to see. And while we are at it, how about some Mario Kart fastest lap times? Maybe some stats from Super Smash Bros? High scores and Leaderboards from Link’s Crossbow Training? Its all free advertising for the Big N; and talk about motivation to get existing players back in the game and new players playing so they can get their friends to shut up. Come on Nintendo, you put an app on the DSi to load pictures I took with a super crappy camera. Where is the connectivity for the Wii?
5. DS Connectivity
Speaking of the DS, what happened here? When the Wii launched, I had all kinds of hope for cool things to do by connecting my DS to the Wii. I was sure that at some point I would be able to use my DS as a controller or add on for a Wii game. I guess they are sort of making this happen with the Wii U touch screen tablet but why didn’t it happen with the Wii. You have to remember in 2005, we were coming off the GameCube with games like Four Sword Adventure and Wind Waker. These games damn near required you to have a Gameboy Advance and GameCube connection cable to play. All we ended up with was a DS download channel buried somewhere in the Nintendo Channel. Forgot it was there didn’t you? Nintendo had the biggest console and handheld for at least the last 6 years which would have almost guaranteed cross ownership of both the Wii and DS. And there is nothing to show for it. Here’s to hoping that the Wii U and 3DS can get something going here.
6. Wiimote Speaker
One of the first things I noticed when I put in Wii Sports and Twilight Princess was that there was sound coming from the Wiimote. This was an unexpected surprise for me and I immediately thought “I can’t wait to see what the developers do with this thing.” All I got was more disappointment though. It turns out the speaker was a cheap piece of junk that distorted on almost all volume levels. That volume level ended up on mute for the duration of my Wii ownership as it became more of an annoyance than an added bonus. This could have been cool if they would have spent 25 cents more per Wiimote to put a decent speaker in all the controllers.
7. Good Games
We all knew that Nintendo was going to make their own titles properly to make the Wii a success but what about 3rd party support? We were once again promised it would be there but it never happened. Besides a couple of Capcom PS2 ports (Resident Evil 4 and Okami), some good efforts from Sega (Conduit, Madworld), the Wii had nothing but de-tuned versions of Xbox360 and PS3 games (Call of Duty, Madden). Sure Nintendo is sending out the Wii the same way that it came in with a solid Zelda title Skyward Sword but thats not going to leave the Wii with the legacy it deserves. These games are collecting dust ready to be shipped to America. The fans are asking for them, but only time will tell if we ever see Xenoblade, The Last Story, or Pandora’s Tower here in the US of A.