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Why Is Nintendo Killing the Wii?

When rumors regarding a next-generation console began to circulate, Nintendo executives felt obligated to officially announce that they will display the gadget at E3 in Los Angeles. With the incredible success that the Wii has enjoyed over the years, it is difficult to believe that the Japanese company would part from its beloved hardware in such an abrupt manner. Why is Nintendo so willing to part from its motion-control monolith?

Initially, the Nintendo Wii saw massive consumer success, launching with a few iconic titles complemented by an innovative way to interact with games. Set at a relatively low starting price, the casual market embraced the console, making it one of the premier pieces of hardware in 2006. The worldwide success and universal appeal of Nintendo’s motion-gaming console surprised many third-party developers, leading to some noticeably unbearable titles.

Though Wii owners were given exclusive access to some critically-acclaimed titles, notably Super Mario Galaxy, the vast majority of games suffered from a lack of focus and execution. The disparity between amazing games and garbage titles became increasingly evident as the market was saturated by third-party titles. In fact, shelves eventually became riddled with unsold copies of horrible games that attempted to cash in on the Wii’s technology.

The novelty of motion-controlled gaming was lost almost immediately, forcing many to tuck their Wii consoles away indefinitely. There was little incentive to use the devices for any reason other than casual gaming with friends. The lack of intuitive online connectivity crippled the device’s uses. As competitors began to overshadow the Wii in terms of graphics, the system began to feel antiquated. The dying interest in the Wii manifested itself in NPD Group’s monthly assessment of the gaming industry. After reigning supreme for years, the Wii has yet to lead the hardware sector in sales in 2011.

Originally the Wii was meant to be an accessory. With a new console on the horizon, one should expect that Nintendo will support Wii titles, ensuring that the motion technology the Japanese company worked so hard to create lives on. Many, myself included, feel as if its time for Nintendo to bring forth a legitimate competitor to consoles of Sony and Microsoft, bringing back aspects of hardcore gaming that have been associated with Nintendo throughout history.

Reportedly, Nintendo’s next console, codenamed Project Cafe, will feature an AMD R700 GPU architecture, which will provide users with better graphics than anything out there. It will support stereoscopic 3D, a technology that has been showcased in Nintendo’s handheld, the 3DS. It is also rumored to stream content to the 4-inch touchscreens on its controllers.

If Nintendo can bridge the gap between hardcore and casual gamers by offering Wii-powered gaming as an accessory, the Japanese company’s next piece of hardware might see incredible success. But until the console is officially revealed at E3, we can only speculate.

What do you, fellow gamers, believe? Did Nintendo kill off its pride and joy too abruptly or is it time for the Wii to go? Sound off in the comments below.


Jack McGrath

Rooted in his childhood obsession with dismantling and reassembling gizmos and gadgets around the house, Jack McGrath's knowledge of programming,...

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