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This week, my fiance' and I got a Wii. I say that wii both got one, but in truth, we got it because (I am not making this up) she wanted one. We played one at a friend's house, and on the way home, within minutes of getting in the car said "Can we get one of those, do you think?"

I almost wrecked the car.

Sheri is definitely one of the most understanding people in the world about my fascination with geeky stuff, and thinks it's part of my "charm" (her word, not mine). However, I wouldn't  have evar expected her to suggest we actually get a gaming console. Needless to say, wii got one the next day (as I found out, I was darn lucky to do so).

I started thinking about why the Wii interested her so much, and I asked her. If you've played the Wii, you probably know what I am about to say. She said that it is much unlike any game she's ever played, and has a level of interactivity never before really achieved with a console. Playing tennis, pool, whatever...many of the games require a lot of action and motion from the player. After a couple of hours, my arms were a little sore. Boxing actually made me breathe a little hard.  Oh, and be sure to heed the warning that you should use the lanyards; there have been reports of people actually throwing the controllers through their TV screen.

The Wii also feels a lot like a community portal, and I suppose it should. You create your own little "mii" customized to be your face, etc. You can find other friends online, play games with them, interact with their mii, get/send email (to any e-mail address), etc. The game portion of the Wii, while important, is really only one facet of the abilities it has. I see many opportunities for this to be a family portal to all kinds of things, and a core element to building an online community. I know the XBox 360 can do a lot of this, too, but there is a very personal, comfortable feel with the Wii that you don't get with the 360. The 360 seems to still be primarily a game machine, whereas the Wii plays games very well, but does others things perhaps even better. We played this game at my buddy's house. All 4 adults and the 4 year old played, and everyone had a good time.

Now, this next part is important: the Wii's graphics do not even remotely compare to the 360 or PS3. Not even close by a country mile. If you want almost photo-realistic graphics (like the 360 can do), the Wii is not for you. If that isn't very important, then the Wii does a great job.

So, ultimately, this is one very cool, very slick machine. Nintendo seems to have figured out how to reach their audience, and delight them. And even manage to get some new fans, fans who, like Sheri, would have never been so before.

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 7:01 AM | Back to top


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