Has Wii Fit Trimmed Microsoft and Sony from the Console Wars?

Dennis Faas's picture

Across the web, the hype surrounding the Nintendo Wii is reaching a fever pitch. To be sure, the console has been popular from the get-go in November, 2006, but with the introduction of 'Wii Fit' -- a game that recently made CNET refer to the Wii as the only 'ethical' purchase -- fanfare is off the charts.

According to reports, Wii Fit -- which promises all the exercise of a workout without -- gasp! -- stepping outdoors, has sold out across the United States within one week of becoming available to the wider public. Like the console for which it was made, the game is becoming very hard to find.

Much of the game's success can be tied to hype in the media. In a blog from Singapore, CNET writer Michael Tan recently wrote, "it would be unethical and lying to recommend any other console other than the Wii to anybody asking for a console for his family." He and his kids just had too much fun leaning back and forth on the game's board, measuring one another and then laughing at the results -- even if Fit referred to them as obese. (Source: cnet.com)

Hearing of this, Tech Blorge writer Dave Parrack was quick to confirm his own belief that the success of Wii Fit is "a sign that gaming really is changing, and going the Nintendo way." Surely, Parrack and Tan, qualified tech writers, must be correct on that assumption. (Source: blorge.com)

They are not. Neither the Microsoft Xbox 360 nor the Sony PlayStation 3 are the console market's HD-DVD. Neither is about to fade into oblivion. Why? Because gamers -- real gamers -- don't play the Nintendo Wii.

I recently had a conversation with two friends on the subject. One owns all three consoles, the other none. The gamer extraordinaire argued that, though he loved his Wii and played it when people came to visit, he referred to it as a 'secondary console.' My other friend agreed, saying that if he was to buy a console -- and it doesn't appear he'll leave the PC universe any day soon -- it would be an Xbox 360.

Why the lack of love for Wii? Because what Nintendo has done with the console is counter to anything done in video games in the past. That's great for the casual player repulsed by the steep learning curve of Halo, Warcraft, or Devil May Cry, but certainly not so for the average gamer -- now referred to as the 'hardcore' gamer -- upon whom the entire gaming industry has been built.

Hardcore gamers are not as lonely as the Wii fans might tend to believe. Though sales of Nintendo's console are strong, surely the most impressive phenomenon of 2008 has been Grand Theft Auto IV, a game that broke sales records its first week in release. (Source: msn.com)

Grand Theft Auto IV is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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