Wii Sports Hands-On With Bowling

Like to bowl? Nintendo's got you covered in November, right out of the box, when you buy your shiny new Wii.

NEW YORK--One of the two components unveiled today as part of the Wii pack-in title Wii Sports was bowling. The other was boxing, but that looked a little violent for us, so we opted to try out the bowling first. The game has a simplistic graphical look to it, as all the games in Wii Sports do, and you'll be able to import your Mii character into the game when you roll all those strikes. Though only a bare-bones single-player game was on offer today, the final game is said to support up to four players in one game, and some bowling-based minigames may also be available.

As anyone would expect who was at E3 and played Wii Sports' tennis game, the bowling here feels extremely natural. You can slide your character laterally or rotate him on an axis to set up your shot, and a line indicates the basic path of the ball in this phase. Then you simply hit the B trigger to start your character walking toward the lane, and then you, well, you bowl! You simply raise the remote behind you just like you would an actual bowling ball, and then you make the delivery and throw the ball down the lane. Like the tennis game, it feels pretty darn natural, as long as you've done it before and you use similar physical movements to those you use playing the real game. We were already picking up spares during our first few frames, which is a lot more than we can say for our real-life game.

There's a bit more nuance to the gameplay than you'd expect, since the Wii controller can read subtle movements in all directions. You can even put realistic spin on the ball based on the way you twist your wrist while you're throwing, so this is a more skill-based game than you might think at first. It's also a nice addition to the Wii Sports package, since it's so easy to get into and has that appealingly friendly look that Nintendo surely hopes will appeal to those who have perhaps rolled hundreds of bowling balls in their lives but never picked up a video game controller.

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Discussion

129 comments
karahasan
karahasan

If the bowling component is as skill based as GS claims, then yay, I can encourage my mom to play games once in a while

tdaley2002
tdaley2002

lots of sports. wont need a friggan madden.

josephmadde2005
josephmadde2005

I think it is pretty freaking cool to see a launch pack-in. I do believe however it is a sneaky way for Nintendo to get people to buy a second Wiimote though. Look at it this way though you will be able to play with your Wii as soon as you get home from the store with it even if you can't afford a second title.

GodsBusy
GodsBusy

Why complain about it? When was the last time you bought a system at launch and had a game included in the box? Genesis, SNES?

nickneo111
nickneo111

what happened to wii sports:airplane?

16tony16
16tony16

it wont be sooooo good why do you thing they are puting it with the wii!

quecho
quecho

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

You can see exactly why they included Wii Sprots with the console. It is simple to play, has multiplayer and can be played by all ages within the family. From little sister to older grandparent this is a great way to advertise the Wii to the mass market. I can see why some hardcore gamers may have a probelm with it. But it wasn't developed for you. It was developed for those who want to have fun with friends and family. For the upcoming winter season it is ideal. We cannot go and play golf etc in the freezing cold. This is the next best thing though. Does anyone agree?

7640688
7640688

Wow specialed you have some serious anger issues. But I digress. I dont have high hopes for ultimate alliance. But even then, other games are sure to make the wii a rock hard respected game system. Redsteel is one and as we all know, Zelda is going to be fantastic. If youre really doubtful about the wii see if any local stores have one for display and see if you can try it out or something in the store. Then make a judgment. But for now the system isnt even out and most stores havent even started to take reservations for the system. Just be calm eveyone and wait.

specialed
specialed

drxym said, " specialed, just because the wii-mote may be fine for bowling games does not mean it will be fine for more intensive games. Just look at the hands on clip if you don't understand what I mean. The first guy playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance is furiously waving his arm in a circle and side to side to do combos. Try holding a TV remote and performing the same action. Now do it for ten minutes, over and over and over... You might claim that this is just one title, but it's going to be the norm for ported games, simply because the controller has so few buttons that gestures are the only way to provide all the same functionality. It's too bad Nintendo didn't put the "classic" controller in the box since it means that every game now has to deal with the lowest common denominator which is the wii-mote. Some games might provide for a classic controller experience, but many more won't bother because maybe only 25% of console owners will even bother buying one. " You're problem, drxym, is that you are basing this around one guy playing a game, and who knows if he meant to use the controller that way...You are trying to base your claims on ONE guy...Come on....Get real. He might not have gotten use to the controls yet or just iked playing that way. From what others have said that act. played the wii at game show, the wii remote is very sensitive. Again, playing tennis or baseball for two-three hours, bowling for 2 hours. Playing video games for hours on end...I never had a problem after just ten minutes...or an hour....Only when I had played extensively did I start getting tired... Seriously, you can have your opinion and all. Fine. But just dont buy it. Let all your friends buy it, or if they dont. Wait and come back a few weeks after the wii has been released, and then see if your claim is or has been substantiated. I doubt it.

thebigc123
thebigc123

All the games are cool, expecially Wii Tennis & Wii Golf

walkerctranger
walkerctranger

I want to hear more about the golf, I think that will be the best game.

jmac777
jmac777

I dont care about bowling...all I wanna play is Wii Tennis and Boxing xD

Razorpunkk
Razorpunkk

The gameplay in all Wiisports games are gonna be good, one of which especially the bowling!!!

rooksley
rooksley

Drxym, your comments are based on your personal opinion which is fine...if you base your opinions on your imagination and not facts. I few of my colleagues had the pleasure of trying out Wii at the Leipzig games expo. Lets just say this, they were interested in the Wii but thought it looked a little bit too much of a novelty. Well it turns out seeing and feeling is believing. They said it BLEW THEM AWAY!!! It crushed their expectations completely. The real time response and completely immersive control was amazing! They got an adrenaline rush from just wiggling the controller a little before batting in Wii Baseball. The characters mimic your hand movements beautifully. Please, open your mind a little and you won't be disappointed.

dangermouseuk78
dangermouseuk78

I dunno how drxym can say the lowest common denominator is the wii-mote as the bog standard controler is an optional extra the wii-remote is the main controller. You may not like so don't buy simple or wait and play for self i think if it works as well as they say it'll be great for gaming as were running out of fingers for the old style controller. I been playing games since the old Atari day where you had a stick and a button and the present day controls put me off. the games should be a challage not the controls. People crying out for more realistic looking games but they don't like controlling a game in a realistic kind of way which is odd surly its a natural progression as in real life its not often controling what ur using that makes the game its the game its self so kudos to ninty for not being sheep and following the flock. But you when your honest you know the Brand junkies will go PS3 and also the people who are afriad of change will stick to what they know what more of the same go Nextgen with PS3/360 want something truely different go NewGen with Ninty would'nt be a supprise if a few years time there all doing it as they always follow nintendo in the end.

Strategy-knight
Strategy-knight

I agree with meedak, drxym lay off Nintendo their awesome and the wii rocks. end of.

meedak
meedak

drxym seriously stop commenting this crap. You're acting like you know so much but you haven't even touched a Wii controller. You're evidence is "look how that guy does this." If you want to base your decsion on something like that then go ahead, but I'm going to buy the system regardless. There are so many points you are just overlooking with your Nintendo bashing. You didn't engineer the Wiimote, nor have you used it at all, so I would stop bashing something you know virtually nothing about.

firehawk110
firehawk110

To the souless one: They say at the loz: ttp that the way you use link's sword is by simpling flicking the wii remote, so that shouldn't be a problem. As for SSBB, i think they said that people use the gamecube remote for it on the wii, and not the wii remote.

The_Souless_One
The_Souless_One

Is anyone going to be complaining about wrist pain when your gutting ganondorf with link's sword or when you beat all your friends at SSBB

drxym
drxym

specialed, just because the wii-mote may be fine for bowling games does not mean it will be fine for more intensive games. Just look at the hands on clip if you don't understand what I mean. The first guy playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance is furiously waving his arm in a circle and side to side to do combos. Try holding a TV remote and performing the same action. Now do it for ten minutes, over and over and over... You might claim that this is just one title, but it's going to be the norm for ported games, simply because the controller has so few buttons that gestures are the only way to provide all the same functionality. It's too bad Nintendo didn't put the "classic" controller in the box since it means that every game now has to deal with the lowest common denominator which is the wii-mote. Some games might provide for a classic controller experience, but many more won't bother because maybe only 25% of console owners will even bother buying one.

treeroot
treeroot

This game gonna be great for a few days I think... doesn;t look like it has enough too it for long last appeal. But then the sports collection looks like its there for the odd day of fun, when your not on Zelda or something else.. I can;t wait to try it though :)

markcorbyn
markcorbyn

Does anyone know if the UK version is going to include Baseball? I for one dont have a clue how to play baseball as im indeed sure many other in the UK don't.

Ocram_Zepol
Ocram_Zepol

This looks pretty kool... I wonder how it will work out? Nintendo always seems to have something up their sleeve when it comes to video game systems (but I think that they skipped a generation with the GC), and time well tell whether the Wii will be successful or not.

A-TEX
A-TEX

All this talk about porting games, I thought I'd add my two cents. Let's not forget that your old GameCube controllers will work with the Wii. Nintendo has been saying for a long time to not throw away your old Cube controllers. So maybe those of us with a Cube won't have to spend the extra cash for the Classic. As for the difficulty of designers making ports, I don't think anyone here can make that judement call. For all we know, it's extremely easy. Let's not forget that developers have expressed how easy it is to develop for. Let's not forget that Activision and Ubisoft are releasing ports on launch day or soon after. I never heard them complain. In fact, they mentioned how much they love it. How else do you explain the huge launch lineup from 3rd parties?

Willini
Willini

i hope that they can keep the creativity up

frankeyser
frankeyser

some people leave comments about the wii that make it seem as if they know nothing about it or the techknowlegy behind it... i think most of the haters and doubters should read about it more... and most of the people who love it so much should also read about it some more so they can actaully back up their arguments better. i for one am excited about it though. all the wii sport titles look fun.

MilesIIBruce
MilesIIBruce

MasterAsh wrote: "I was thinking about the whole issue of difficulty of porting titles to the Wii, and then something hit me. . . Why couldn't third-parties simply design games to use the Wii Classic controller if the Wiimote proves difficult for them to implement?" I've been telling friends of mine for a while that this is probably going to end up happening, especially for ports, and Nintendo has already stated that Wii games will utilized the "Classic" controller. I still believe that most developers will have separate teams to make ported games specifically for the Wii, but don't be surprised if you see ports that don't utilze the Wii-mote.

specialed
specialed

Drxym, you said, "The point of all this is that people are getting way too hyped about the controller without considering some likely downsides." And you honestly think N didnt think of this at all when they made the wiimote? I would honestly think that that would all have been ironed out while making the wiimote for the wii. And for wriststrain, just like a computer makes you hold your hands in position for a long period of time, the wii might make you use your wrist alot, but is there anyway around that fact that yeah, your hands might get alittle tired if you play a game for more than a couple of hours? I assume N did their research and we as the consumer, are responsible for making sure we dont hold the wiimote too tight, or play a game(s) too long to cause wrist aches...

drxym
drxym

MasterAsh42, because the Wii classic controller is not bundled with the Wii. If you start requiring that people buy another controller before they can play your game you may as well have chopped your sales in half. The wii-mote is the lowest common denominator and games are stuck with it. They could offer to support both control schemes, but getting them both right could be a lot of bother.

drxym
drxym

I would think the movements were exageratted too if not for the event floor coverage (see Nintendo Wii Event - Hands On). Look at the guy playing that Marvel Alliance game. How long could you wave your hand around like that without it really, really hurting? Even if there were sensitivity controls, I doubt that rapidly twirling smaller circles is going to be any major improvement.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

I'm already psyched about getting four-player Wii bowling games going in my room this November....

MasterAsh42
MasterAsh42

I was thinking about the whole issue of difficulty of porting titles to the Wii, and then something hit me. . . Why couldn't third-parties simply design games to use the Wii Classic controller if the Wiimote proves difficult for them to implement?

Zoidberg54
Zoidberg54

Drxym I understand your points about porting games onto the Wii, and unfortunately 3rd party manufacturers haven't opened their lips about how its done or if it can easily be done, which hurt the GameCube and hopefully doesn't kill the Wii. What bothers me is that you are talking about wrist strain from lightly flicking (See Zelda Article) a 8oz controller in very realistic ways. I just can't see many injured wrists. The people in all of these Nintendo produced Wii "demos" are exaggerating for fun's sake.

drxym
drxym

robbo_the_hood, you didn't read what I wrote. I said games that "not specifically designed for it". That includes any game ported from other consoles. It's simple mathematics - those other consoles have more buttons, they have more analogue controllers, they were designed for conventional control pads. The Wii will have all the problems the PSP has with shoehorning PS2 games into reduced controls. And then some. I expect that many games will cause wrist strain by all the silly gestures you perform while simultaneously pushing buttons. It is also worth noting that exclusive titles like Metroid & Red Steel still feature on-screen cross-hairs and autolock because the remote is not accurate enough for point and shoot. Watch the footage from E3 or the launch event and you will see. And of course calibration will still be required or it won't be accurate AT ALL. How does the Wii know how wide your TV is for example? Most likely the thing must be calibrated during the set up process and if you move the strip. As for the "field" surroundingthe strip - the thing uses infrared so of you need direct line of sight. Which may require moving the coffee table out of the way, or putting the strip on top of the TV - assuming your TV is not wallmounted. The point of all this is that people are getting way too hyped about the controller without considering some likely downsides.

glinz
glinz

As long as I can't drop the ball on my virtual feet I'll be happy, altough if you should happen to screw up on a shot royally that might be a pretty funny thing to see happen.

robbo_the_hood
robbo_the_hood

drxym, who are you? Are you a hands-on E3 correspondent? Sorry if you are, but judging by your assertions that go beyond what Nintendo's even shown, I see no reason to belive that these comments are based on anything, mine aren't very concrete either, but they are wholly based on reports from Gamespot, IGN, Kotaku, Joystiq, and 1up. Nintendo themselves said th controller was ideal for FPS, and IGN's reported that MP3 has gained a new control scheme in expert mode, that apparently works wonderfully. Super Mario Galaxy is a platformer, one that looks incredible and seems to be getting a lot of positive feedback. Sideways scrollers? I suppose the Wii-mote's special functions won't come into play as much, unless it's a game along the lines of Halo Zero, but those don't necessarily require a slew of buttons anyway. Metal Slug will be an indication of whether the Wii-mote can cut it with less buttons. RPGs? The menu based ones? Even a fast-paced RPG like Kingdom Hearts can benefit from the functionality by making the quick menu more accessible. Sports games, yes I see exactly where you're coming from there, especially since EA, the company that openly voiced support in the Wii very early, is only testing the waters with Madden. The controller seems to offer high accuracy when I see it in action, even when the controller is lost for no apparent reason, it is found again and no recalibration is said to be required. The strip doesn't have a line of sight, it has a field in which it operates. The DS doesn't lag when I play Metroid Prime Hunters online, and since Nintendo hasn't opened up for any large number multiplayer games like Resistance, the service has no reason not to hold for something like Smash Bros. Now that I think about it, I saw what was apparently an online match of Battalion Wars for Wii, which has a lot of units acting all at once, and there weren't any hiccups during the video.

drxym
drxym

I think people will realise that the controller is not all its cracked up to be once they try playing any game that was not specifically designed for it in the first place. And that includes platformers, sideways scrollers, RPGs, first person shooters, sports games like FIFA. and just about any ported game which relies on controllers with more buttons. The controller can't and won't offer pixel perfect pointing, it will require recalibration if you move, your controller have to be line of sight with the strip, and any games that lag (e.g. online play) or don't mirror your movements exactly will be extremely frustrating to as you frantically wave around and nothing happens. Even games designed specifically for it such as Ubisoft's Red Steel have to track your movements with a crosshair since it can't accurately tell where you are pointing.

xraystar
xraystar

"dont let go of the controller ..." HAHAHA oh god ... some people

-LilCoop-
-LilCoop-

perfect_chao "just dont let go of your controller while pretending to let go of your ball." -lmao!!!

perfect_chao
perfect_chao

just dont let go of your controller while pretending to let go of your ball.

maxchou2003
maxchou2003

boxing is ok but bowling is awesome its simple but a awesome idea

fingerpaint
fingerpaint

I agree with puablo, this is pure genius. I think this will be really fun, especially bowling and boxing.