E3 06: Revolution renamed Wii

[UPDATE 6] Nintendo announces the console formerly known as the Revolution has a new--and surprising--moniker. Analysts' reactions are mixed.

In a surprise announcement this morning, Nintendo revealed the new name of its forthcoming game system: Wii. "As in 'we'," the official statement adds. For the official announcement, visit the Revolution...err...Wii Web site.

After a brief Flash introduction, the site explains Nintendo's move. "While the code-name 'Revolution' expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that separates game players from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games...and each other."

The site goes on to say that Wii should be easy to remember for people around the world, no matter their language, and that it will avoid abbreviation. The "ii" spelling is intended to represent "both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play." It may also be worth noting that "ii" means "good" in Japanese.

Nintendo sums up the name change with the following comments. "So that's Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because, it's really not about you or me. It's about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything."

Game-industry analysts were swift with their responses. "Looks like a good solid name for Nintendo," said an optimistic Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director of Jupiter Research. "The key is making sure they follow up with a strong launch campaign to evangelize the new brand and help drive the message forward."

Michael Goodman, senior analyst of media and entertainment strategies at The Yankee Group, believes the name change is a mistake. "I thought Revolution had much more meaning," he told GameSpot. "It was an apt description for the console. It was a revolutionary design ... the controller is pretty revolutionary. Wii just doesn’t do it for me. How do we even pronounce this? WEEE? I'm not sure this is technically a word. What is a WEE, W-I-I?"

But it's more than the name that bothers Goodman, who went on to state that Nintendo has made it tougher than it had to for itself with the new name: "You're building everything from scratch in terms of awareness and in terms of building a brand. Verses Xbox 360--you're taking the core Xbox brand and leveraging it to a new product. With PlayStation 3, it still has all those great attributes of the PlayStation."

Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter was more mixed in his assessment. "My initial reaction, of course, is that the name is dumb," he bluntly stated. "However, upon reflection, I thought that the name Game Boy was dumb, REALLY thought that the name Xbox was dumb, and can't even recall my reaction to PlayStation. Let's face it, devices with cool names like Dreamcast and Gizmondo fail, and the lame names seem to do well."

Colin Sebastian, Lazard Capital Markets' senior research analyst for Internet and interactive entertainment, displayed Vulcan-like logic responding to the Wii revelation. "The success of the console will have much more to do with the quality of the games and the gameplay," he said. "Nintendo probably believes they've found a name that can stick with consumers. Revolution was catchy, but given similarities with the Xbox 360 name, perhaps Nintendo felt they had to make a change."

One industry analyst who spoke in the condition of anonymity said flat out the choice was wrong, for a number of reasons. "It's a sound that doesn't exist in Japanese, so Japanese people will struggle to pronounce it."

Acknowledging that Nintendo has had code names for their consoles before--Dolphin became the GameCube, for instance. But this time, the analyst said, "Nintendo let the code name gain a little too much currency: people were used to it, and it was widely accepted as the console's name."

"Now they have a stupid-sounding manufactured name that probably wouldn't have tested well with English speakers if they'd bothered doing any market research," the analyst said. "And they're going to try to use it to replace an evocative, well-accepted name that people have been using for well over a year. Bad, stupid move."

However, Nintendo is confident that, after the initial shock wears off, people will take to the Wii name. "The other systems have an extension of their current names--ours is a new leap to something different," Nintendo of America vice president Perrin Kaplan told CNN/Money. A rep for the company echoed similar sentiments, assuring GameSpot that "the name will grow on you."

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Discussion

4181 comments
Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

During this dawn of a new console generation, let us look here to remember how useful these "analysts" really are.

athenian29
athenian29

Actually, rusty_13, you were the first person to comment in '08.

rusty_13
rusty_13

people commenting on this on 2008 lol

coolasj19
coolasj19

what if someone in a third world country doesnt know it??

TehFuneral
TehFuneral

lol, this news was announced before i even joined GS and everybody knows it...

coolasj19
coolasj19

still last i just accidentaly licked on it and thought id post

coolasj19
coolasj19

still people havent got used to it i have no sa y nintedo's wii im last ahahahahahahahah

coolasj19
coolasj19

ill constantly check to make sure im last hahahahah

tdf64
tdf64

i think its a good idea, so the next system nintendo makes can be the revolution

Markman219
Markman219

nope, now im last. im one of the people that hated the name "Wii" and now i own one (I got mine on the launch day!).

Mastertikiman
Mastertikiman

heh, i wonder how many of these people now own a wii after blasting the new name.

ChucklesMginty
ChucklesMginty

mwuahahha I'll be the last person ever to comment on this. So does that mean no one will bother to moderate my language in this comment. you mutha*******

TryMe01
TryMe01

man, people are still commenting on this article. People, DEAL!

choffy
choffy

Well the name isn't all half bad. The other two consoles aren't big "WOW!"'s in the naming category. Wtf is an Xbox? Sure the original had an "X" design on the top but the 360 has no "X" on it at all. And all Sony is doing is showing off their counting skills (1.....2 ...... 3...... 4......). And the announcement was made 3 months ago and I've warmed up to it. At first I was shocked, concerened and even a little sad. But like Nintendo said, "The name will grow on you," and it has

bob_da_killah
bob_da_killah

everyone probally knew this already but by wii they mean we as in for everyone just thought the people that didnt know should

jman141
jman141

Nintendo is getting worse and worse. I mean come on, wii that's the dumbest name ever. Stick with REV!!

cole33
cole33

i like it, its fits Nintendo

lukasz01234
lukasz01234

wii is such a wacky name i mean how would you come up with such a name.That name is crazy stuid. he he. i mean it.

Jason697
Jason697

(I was listening to If You want Blood You've Got It(AC/DC song) while posting this) Wee on the streets, wee on the rocks, wee in the gutter......

joelacevedo
joelacevedo

Actually... I like the name, I like it very much....

Yoshua-X
Yoshua-X

Interesting! It's not that bad if you think about it.

3leMenT
3leMenT

when you here some one say "WE" do you go "ahahhaha im 8" you just said pee, god just grow up its a name, have use herd the show Avatar Air Bender, well Bender in england means "f@gg0t" so who cares

skeetoids
skeetoids

Wii is a bad name. Wii is phonetically the same as wee and wee where I come from means pee-pees basically. The thought of buying a console that shares it's semantic with urine does not appeal!!!

Lanik
Lanik

If you don't like the name wii then don't buy it. It's just a name it doesn't matter what it is called. I'm going to buy one so I can play SSBB.

iball
iball

Yet again Nintendo caters to the younglings, & fux0r5 their mature players, when will they learn? It's a puzzle really, if we all go out and buy a rev/wii nintendo will go on thinking it was a good idea, but if we don't nintendo won't be around to continue making their great games. Grrrrrr, me hate puzzles. ;-)

Dungeon_Ace
Dungeon_Ace

First off, the Nintendo Wii is a weird name indeed, but in its defense it is unique. I'll say that I've been a follower of Nintendo since preschool, but I don't plan on calling it a 'Wii'. Now, I'm not saying start a rally against Nintendo to get the name changed back. If the name 'Revolution' was as proactively accepted as was previously stated, then just call it a 'Nintendo Revolution'. If the theories on the name 'Revolution' are true, then people would know what you are talking about. Call it a Wii or call it a Revolution, it doesn't really matter since all we all really plan on doing with it is beating Pikachu with some good ol' Master Sword in Super Smash Bros: Brawl anyway. :)

coaten
coaten

i like nintendo, they try to be different. i respect that... They could of picked a worse name than Wii the only one i like better the revolution. you are right shasty963 it created lots of publisity at E3 for sure! i hated the name at first but i kinda like it now and it is easy to remember.

coaten
coaten

Wii is not all that bad. I liked revolution better but i am still going to buy it and call it the Wii.

Cloud310
Cloud310

nintendo is always striving to be different.

Maslowo
Maslowo

Haha, Nintendo will be going the way of the Sega .Real stupid, not that anyone really cares about Nintendo anymore. & If your going to change a name pick something decent, I mean Wii, come on lets get reallistic if you want some customers.

bengino
bengino

this can only be described by saying this... what a stupid name.... and what a stupid motto

shasty963
shasty963

Well, if u think about it, wii has created a lot more publicity at E3 than sony's or micro's consoles. Arent we talking about it now? I think its a good move. Still prefer the rev, though.

wizardmasterZ
wizardmasterZ

the name grew on me, imused to it, and actually kinda prefer it over revolution, kinda a cliche name it is, wii seems to be out there and its easy to remember

god_yggdrasil
god_yggdrasil

wii?!!!!! wtf? that is more retarded than "nintendo go." cmon nintendo, get ur heads straight. keep it as the revolution!!!!! if it comes out and stays as the name wii i'm still gonna go around and refer to it as the revo when im talking about it.

anyjabroni
anyjabroni

It's almost like nintendo WANTS to be destroyed, I bet sony and microsoft are lovin' this!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

its been a while since i heard the name..... now i'm used to it. well i'll be darned, Perrin Kaplan was right!

gaellienia
gaellienia

I have two little words for Nintendo that could help them in the future: MARKETING RESEARCH.