Retrospect: Was the Wii a success or a fad?

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#1 Edited by MarkAndExecute (398 posts) -

So I ask you Gamespot forumites, was the Wii truly a success or merely a fad? On one hand, it introduced millions of non-gaming folks like grandparents and moms wanting to shed some excess weight into the gaming fold which as a result made it sell very well, not to mention shattering sales records left and right. However, while apparently it was the leading console sales-wise, it seemed as if it was playing second fiddle to the HD twins as far as receiving multiplatform support and that it never really convinced the industry that motion control is the way to go as far as gaming is concerned.

What's your take on this?

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#2 Posted by Namgis (3592 posts) -

Why can't it be both? It was a huge success. It has also proven to be one of the biggest fads in recent gaming history. I know people who would never in their lives own a gaming system who bought one because they wanted to be part of the craze.

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#3 Edited by Bigboi500 (35550 posts) -

Huge success. The highest sales of last generation and it had a lot of high quality exclusive unique games. It brought non-gamers to the table, which in turn helped the industry gain customers, and opened up the door to new ideas for gaming.

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#4 Posted by iamllamapie (288 posts) -

In terms of sales and money making, it was a massive success. But it was a fad also. Lets pit it against another great selling console: The PS2. The attachment rate between the consoles are massive. People were hanging onto their PS2s years after the PS3/360 released, whereas the Wii usually only saw gameplay when it was bought and when a massive exclusive was coming out (Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Galaxy, Xeno Blade etc) and even then they were few and far between. And that's all I'm going to mention - the attachment rate. Because a fad only lasts a little while, but fads are usually successful.

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#5 Edited by barrybarryk (488 posts) -
@iamllamapie said:

In terms of sales and money making, it was a massive success. But it was a fad also. Lets pit it against another great selling console: The PS2. The attachment rate between the consoles are massive. People were hanging onto their PS2s years after the PS3/360 released, whereas the Wii usually only saw gameplay when it was bought and when a massive exclusive was coming out (Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Galaxy, Xeno Blade etc) and even then they were few and far between. And that's all I'm going to mention - the attachment rate. Because a fad only lasts a little while, but fads are usually successful.

The Wii had a high attachment too. All 3 last gen had a 9+ attachment rate. The idea that Wii owners didn't buy games is an internet myth/utter bollocks

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#6 Posted by TTUalumni13 (839 posts) -

Huge Success. Had some great games on it, and it Obviously influenced sony and ms pickin up motion controls, MS is even including it standard in the box for their new console.

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#7 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (633 posts) -

here's my honest opinion when i think of the wii: the casualization of the gaming industry and the dumbing-down of games.

that's what i think of first when i read a topic about the wii. i mean, we use it in the health industry for rehab.

and, the gaming industries rise to mainstream popularity is good, but, there are some obvious and huge negatives, as well, that must be considered.

after buying my cube years ago and quickly realizing it had so few games on it that i wanted to play and disagreeing with nintendo, in general, i quickly went with the original xbox. i never even considered buying the wii.

that's just how i feel about it.

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#8 Edited by osan0 (14143 posts) -

a success but also a huge missed opportunity.

in the end (the very very end) i think the wiimote and nunchuck delivered. it began to deliver with wii sports resort and finally delivered on zelda SS (which has many problems...but controls is not one of them and that combat system is awesome). red steel 2 is also worth a mention for very effective use of the wiimote and nunchuck.

but it just took so long for both nintendo and 3rd parties to really show how good that controller setup could get (also it needed a sensor upgrade). only ubisoft and frontier (lostwinds also uses it well) managed it on the 3rd party front really and nintendo only began to deliver after resort.

but it was a control setup with bundles of potential and it got people excited (compared to the gamepad...where everyone is going meh). it also made nintendo a few bob so, financially, it was certainly a success.

it also makes the shift from the wiimote and nunchuck to the gamepad all the more dissapointing for the wiiu though. the wiimote and nunchuck still had massive room for improvements....it was the nes pad of motion controls. combine that control setup with more horsepower and it could make things even more interesting and it would have given more developers more time to think of new ways to use it. sure the wiiu supports the wiimote but its not standard and its the same wiimote as the wii...so its a dead setup sadly. combine that control setup with more horsepower and an oculus rift.....that could get really interesting.

games wise i loved it. wii and PC backed up by a DS was 90% of my gaming time sorted. although most games didnt make great use of the new control setup it still had many cracking games that were worth playing....certainly worth the enterence fee. the first sword fight in resort also has to be experienced. playing against someone else in a sword fight can also get pretty epic.

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#9 Posted by Demonjoe93 (9869 posts) -

Why are those two terms mutually exclusive here? I'm sure Nintendo thinks it was a success since they made bank on it.

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#10 Edited by MarkAndExecute (398 posts) -

@Demonjoe93: What I don't understand is why Nintendo decided to forgo the Wiimote + Nunchuck control scheme in favor of the tablet when they would've just simply carried it over to the next console. Instead, they decided to chase after another market, which needless to say, backfired on them. It would have been simple right? All they needed to do was simply utilize the same Wii control setup, bump the power up enough to match the PS4 and Xbox One for their next console, make it really cheap, and boom, they would've outsold them both. A no-brainer right? But they didn't, which perplexes me. If tapping into a certain market is making you a lot of money, why abandon it just for the sake of change?

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#11 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (633 posts) -

@Demonjoe93:

lol, no doubt about that!

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#12 Posted by DarthGumballs (209 posts) -

A fad. I think if it were truly a success the Wii U would've been also. But considering how the Wii U is practically already the Dreamcast 2, I think it shows the Wii sold on gimmick alone and not because of a particularly strong brand or anything.

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#13 Edited by Bigboi500 (35550 posts) -

@MarkAndExecute said:

@Demonjoe93: What I don't understand is why Nintendo decided to forgo the Wiimote + Nunchuck control scheme in favor of the tablet when they would've just simply carried it over to the next console. Instead, they decided to chase after another market, which needless to say, backfired on them. It would have been simple right? All they needed to do was simply utilize the same Wii control setup, bump the power up enough to match the PS4 and Xbox One for their next console, make it really cheap, and boom, they would've outsold them both. A no-brainer right? But they didn't, which perplexes me. If tapping into a certain market is making you a lot of money, why abandon it just for the sake of change?

They didn't forgo the Wiimote and Nunchuck. It's still used in many Wii U games today.

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#14 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

In the Wii era casuals impacted the Wii and every other console in a huge way (nods towards Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which made hundreds of millions of dollars largely due to the sales of pricey accessories). Now casuals have drifted away from dedicated game hardware (they are almost completely absent from the modern console market and the portable market's sales are down 80% in no small part due to their absence) towards smartphones and tablets.

I think people looking for minigames are going to continue to buy them for a couple bucks on the hardware they carry around with them everywhere rather than spend hundreds on dedicated hardware which gives them the opportunity to spend $60 bucks on a minigame collection.

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#15 Posted by MarkAndExecute (398 posts) -

@Bigboi500: Oops, what I actually meant was implement it as the main standard for the Wii U They took the focus away from the motion control functionality, which is why much of the Wii's userbase never bothered upgrading to a Wii U, since they still think of it as an optional add-on rather than a true successor.

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#16 Posted by MarkAndExecute (398 posts) -

@CarnageHeart: That's the thing, Once the Wii took off, Nintendo got too complacent with their business strategy, and didn't really do enough to maintain their focus on the casual market, and the moment when they pulled the plug on the Wii, that's when the casuals stopped caring and moved on to other platforms. Its this laziness that's costed them their flagship position. What they don't seem to realize is that the market is constantly evolving, and they got themselves wrapped up in the mindset that we don't need HD, and now they're trying to play catch-up.

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#17 Posted by DJ-Lafleur (34959 posts) -

The Wii was obviously a success.

As for if it was a fad, kind of. motion controls weren't entirely temporary, in that we still see some Wiimote and Kinect functionality with the Wii U and Xbox One, respectively (I really do not remember what Sony is doing or has done with PS Move or if the PS4 even has any functionality with it). That being said motion controls certainly aren't sending shockwaves throughout the industry like they initially did during the Wii's early years. There's also the fact that really only a small handful of games really made any meaningful/good use of motion controls between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.

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#18 Posted by MirkoS77 (10836 posts) -

Both.

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#19 Posted by Shmiity (5835 posts) -

That shit was a fad. A fad that sold 160 million units but didn't sell any software. It's pretty obvious... Everyone bought one, but then no one supported it with further purchases. Thank god it was a fad. I hate this motion gaming stuff.

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#20 Edited by Ballroompirate (25331 posts) -

Have to go with a fad, it took awhile for people and developers to catch on but by then the Wii was in the 40+ millions of units sold. There's a reason why the Wii did pretty poorly the last few years of it's life and it wasn't cause of it's "success". The Wii's fad is also the reason why people are hesitant to buy the Wii-U.

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#21 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (20254 posts) -

It sold like crack, but in the end, the games it had would have been better on more powerful hardware. We could have had the Zelda equivalent of Skyrim by now, instead we got Skyward Sword, which is great, but has a tiny world because that's all the Wii could handle.

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#22 Posted by GreySeal9 (28086 posts) -

Oh boy. Another thread in which people are going to act like their personal opinions of the Wii have anything to do with whether it was a success or not.

The Wii was a commercial success any way you slice it.

Also, it's downright absurd to act like something can't be both a fad and a success.

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#23 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (633 posts) -

@GreySeal9:

the majority of the comments have obviously stated that the opinion is that it was both. and, I don't see anybody thinking their opinion has anything to do with it.

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#24 Posted by TTUalumni13 (839 posts) -

@darthgumballs: by that logic the ps2 wasn't successful because the ps3 had a really slow start.

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#25 Posted by Starshine_M2A2 (4471 posts) -

It absolutely a success. And it still would be if Nintendo hadn't made all these silly design choices that shifted the Wii U away from it.

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#26 Posted by bezza2011 (2729 posts) -

For me the Wii was a fad but at the same time a huge success, I mean the one reason you had a Wii was for parties and group games, I honestly do not know what happened at nintendo to go right the Wii will not try and be one of the big guns of the graphics to, the Wii U, we want back in, because for me the right step would of took the time the Wii had and invest in another Wii controller console, I would of bought it in an instant, a console with Wii games at 1080p 60fps, now that would of worked wonders, all the adopters of the Wii would of seen and be like I need the next big thing for the party, but instead, most went what's the Wii U??? is it not just a add on to the Wii, which most thought outside of the gaming community, honestly god knows what goes through there heads. as much games as the Wii U gets the only people who are going to invest are hardcore nintendo fans, why because there isn't anything there for the casuals, and we find this with the gamecube some great games, but just for the nintendo fans. they missed a trick here, I think they thought it was a fad and moved away from it.

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#27 Posted by Jacanuk (7233 posts) -

@MarkAndExecute said:

So I ask you Gamespot forumites, was the Wii truly a success or merely a fad? On one hand, it introduced millions of non-gaming folks like grandparents and moms wanting to shed some excess weight into the gaming fold which as a result made it sell very well, not to mention shattering sales records left and right. However, while apparently it was the leading console sales-wise, it seemed as if it was playing second fiddle to the HD twins as far as receiving multiplatform support and that it never really convinced the industry that motion control is the way to go as far as gaming is concerned.

What's your take on this?

Who cares?`but calling a console that sold as much as the Wii a fad might be a stretch.

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#28 Edited by MarkAndExecute (398 posts) -

For a console that was once codenamed Revolution, it really seems that its influence was less than impactful. I mean, look...the majority of games are still based on traditional input methods, people still place a heavy emphasis on graphics, not to mention that ironically grandparents and moms gravitated towards cheap smartphone games once the novelty of the Wii wore off. For a console that was supposed to be leading the industry, the funny thing was that in a way Nintendo ended up following MS and Sony lol. Think about it, people said before that HD didn't matter, but when you look at the sales combined for both PS3 and X360, you'll realize that its bigger than Wii sales.

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#29 Posted by superclocked (5864 posts) -

It was both...

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#30 Posted by CTR360 (7874 posts) -

both for me i like wii

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#31 Posted by MirkoS77 (10836 posts) -

In a large sense, I really resent the Wii and its success. I believe it has made Nintendo very complacent, has blinded and allowed them to ignore/delay a variety of factors that many find important in the industry that will ultimately help them survive in the long-term, and has given them that first heroin-like high that was so amazing they'll forever be chasing that unreachable golden dragon the rest of their days, at no matter what the cost.

In the end, it showed them they could get insanely rich with the most minimal of efforts put in and reinforced philosophies that I find to be detrimental to gaming's enjoyment. It told them cheap works. It made them arrogant, and strengthened their belief that blinding themselves to the outside world is a good way to run a business. That they DON'T have to compete. That they only need to find that one little idea that will be so monumentally successful as to allow them to do everything else half-assed.

The Wii made them into the company they are today: one that is insanely out of touch, that makes it a point to ignore everything around them, that has them intent on recapturing that casual $$$ no matter what. And I fear the lure of that success may ultimately have Nintendo completely change its direction.

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#32 Posted by garfield360uk (20381 posts) -

Define what you mean by success. It made Nintendo a lot of cash and brought new players into the market. On the other hand those people have not bought into the new Nintendo system (well not as many, obviously some may have done) and they are in a awkward position due to how they have placed their current hardware (under powered it seems and also it has features such as a second screen that I believe are not being fully pushed by those making games on the system).

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#33 Posted by lostn (4454 posts) -

Fad. Nintendo themselves abandoned it in its last 3 years of life, and it's been removed from store shelves already. Online is being turned off. The only 'core' games supporting the system were Nintendo's own with very few third party titles that aren't shovelware. The shovelware is what made it a fad, and it died pretty quick.
It sold well at 100 million units, but that's only 20 million more than its competitors. The PS2 did 125 million units more than its competitors, to put that into perspective.