I gave up on the Wii


I love Nintendo, and at one point I really loved my Wii... but after over a year of owning it I've finally decided to go back to the XBox 360 for my video gaming enjoyment. (Yes, the same platform that I fire-saled last summer to help pay rent rather than my Wii.) It was a big decision (relatively speaking), but I just wiped the Wii Store account, reformatted the data and packed everything up in bags, ready to be sold to the highest bidder or (more likely) traded in at Gamestop.

The main reason is that I just don't really play video games alone.

I like playing with other people - mostly in person, but also online. The Wii just doesn't make this either possible in most games, or easy in others. The friend codes are a nightmare, and there's no sort of online community at all. Even if I waited a month to play Mario Kart Wii which does have online play... who would I play with anyways? No one I know has a Wii, whereas three of my friends have an XBox 360. This lack of online play really sucks - everything from being able to easily add friends, to having an actual username, to being able to use voice chat in games. From Uno to Halo, all that stuff is missing from the Wii.

But beyond that core reason there's other littler ones that have finally added up to make me want to cash the Wii in and get a 360 again.

The Wiimote - I like to lean back on the couch with a controller and enjoy myself. Sometimes it was fun to have a "lean forward" or a "stand up" experience, but eventually you just get sick of it when you want to relax and play a game. Nintendo has tacitly admitted that the Wiimote isn't always optimal in that both Smash Bros Brawl and the upcoming Mario Kart Wii both allow the use of other controllers such as the WaveBird or the Classic Controller, but it's too late. Most games out there already force you to use the Wiimote in one way or another, like waving it around to make Mario spin for example. Using it to control driving games in particular just sucks - it seemed like a good idea at first, but it's just *horrible* in reality, with really wishy-washy turns like you're driving a boat more than a car.

The Nunchuck - I really never got used to having the joystick in my left hand just "floating" and yet having to also use two other fingers to use the C and Z buttons. Trying to get Mario to move where I wanted him to in Galaxy was simply more work than fun. Plus managing the cable between the remote and the nunchuck is just a pain. I have a box of attachments and with four Wiimotes and matching nunchucks (and a couple classic controllers) it's a damn mess.

The Classic Controller - It's just a really uncomfortable controller (and again, with the cables). The buttons on the right aren't even in a normal diamond box, but are stretched out, which was stupid. Why Nintendo hasn't released a nicely made generic controller as a replacement for the Wavebird, I have no idea.

The graphics - They really do suck. Every time I play a game on an XBox 360, I am astounded by the difference, and though for something like Geometry Wars, it really doesn't matter, in other games it actually does make a big difference. My son always wants to go to Diego's house because he once played a driving game there for a few minutes that had such cool, good looking cars - oh and the Pixar Cars graphics on the Wii are horrible compared to the 360, which looks like they popped right out of the movie screen. Come on, this stuff counts.

The dashboard - it takes forever to start a game. You have to click through Nintendo's constant warning messages, wait for the dashboard to load up, and then the game, and then navigate and wait again... it's ridiculous. God help you if you want to play a Gamecube game or a virtual console game that uses the classic controller... you'll spend 5 minutes finding controllers, swapping wires, pointing, plugging, etc.

The dashboard extras - after an initial bit of enthusiasm, I never used the weather, news, web browser, or photo channel again. I was always annoyed you couldn't play regular DVDs either, or play .mpg videos, etc. No reason for it, really.

The "virtual console" - There's only so much nostalgia that one can possibly have for old school games. And there's also a bit of bitterness in that I can play all the NES and SNES games on a normal computer with the emulators and ROMs that are in abundant supply on the Internet... Paying $5 and $8 for a game I've had sitting on my hard drive for years felt "right" at first, but you know, I'm broke, and the whole concept wears thin after a while.

No Game Demos - this is the last, but probably the biggest reason (maybe even more than the lack of network/community). On the 360 (and even the PS3) there's tons and tons of demos you can download and try. When games cost $50 to $60 apiece, this is a big deal, you want to know that you like the game before you go drop cash on it. The Wii is still living in the console past... I go online to read reviews, and I go wander down at Gamestop or something and I *still* have no idea if a game is going to be fun or not.

Okay, after all that, I will say that for the games that really take advantage of the Wiimote control - such as the included Wii Sports, or something like Marble Madness which uses the hyper-accurate accelerometer - there's no competition. The Wii is super fun, and instantly accessible to anyone who picks up a controller. But I want something more adult for me to use, with lots of options to find exactly the right game for my kid as well through demos, etc.

The 360 though is so LOUD and still pretty expensive. The first part is just about me learning to deal with it. The second one is tricky... I bet trading in all the stuff I've collected in the past 16 months for the Wii will get me barely the console and a single game (Halo 3!), still, I haven't used the Wii at all for months, so it'll be worth it.

Anyone interested in buying a Wii and extras? :-)


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