Nintendo Special | A Wii Bit of Analysis

By Adam Riley 27.04.2006 71

Nintendo Special - A Wii Bit of Analysis
Article by Adam Riley :: Thursday, 27th April, 2006

Nintendo has always had various different project names to describe its forthcoming systems. But have any of them really mattered? Have any of them honestly resulted in the platform being impacted upon negatively in a particular way? All signs would likely point to 'no', and yet people are straight away condemning the new home console because of its name alone. Why is this, and is it justified? Cubed3 discusses...

So here we have it, the announcement we have all been eagerly awaiting. Nintendo has constantly gone on record to say that the name Revolution was merely a codename so that Industry moguls and developers alike could refer to it as 'something' rather than 'Nintendo's next console', or even fan-created names such as the NES5 or NE5. Then once people finally realised that Nintendo was not playing around, like is seemed to have done with the Nintendo DS (DualScreen, Developer's System...), names such as 'Revo' and even 'Nintendo RS' began to crop up. But what exactly is in a name? Have other systems not gone under different work-in-progress titles before?

For instance, the Game Boy Advance was previously known within Industry circles as Project Atlantis; the Nintendo 64 went from 'Project Reality' to 'Ultra 64' before undertaking a final, last minute change; even the GameCube was deemed something completely different, going under 'Project Dolphin' (because of its Flipper device inside, and hinted at in Rare's Banjo Tooie, with a Dolphin on the inside wall of one of the houses); and then there is the Nintendo DS, which was first known as 'Nitro', then 'Nintendo DS' and eventually just kept its final development moniker.

The Nintendo Wii then...Many have already jumped at the fact that 'Wii' is Japanese for 'good', which would definitely work well over in that region, filling gamers (and those ever trusty non-gamers) with much more confidence than Big Black Brick 360 or System of the Break Down 3. Yet on the other hand, that really large, swelled-up hand, is the fact that the way we are supposed to pronounce 'Wii' is 'wee'. Now this would cause, and seems to have already done so, mayhem due to the torrent of puerile toilet jokes. Surely Nintendo's marketing bods must have realised the repercussions to taking this tangent instead of sticking on firmer ground?

They may very well have indeed. They could well have simply weighed up the negatives with the huge potential impact in terms of marketing spin that the name brings. Nintendo has regularly talked about how it is not an 'OR' company, it is an 'AND' one, encompassing all age, nationality and sex groups instead of merely pointing toward one particular large sector of the already founded gaming community and alienating the rest of the world. Many facts and figures are banded around and they all point to the same things: gaming is static in some countries, whilst on the decline in others; and even in the UK there is around 75% of the population that is completely untapped in terms of gaming. Okay, factor in the nursery ages and that open percentage falls slightly, but even the old folk are being drawn in with hand-writing recognition and brain exercising software on the DS. And if Nintendo does live up to its 'kiddie' image, it is without doubt that it could formulate some pre-school software for the DS or Wii in the future. 'Educate your children with Nintendo'; 'Live the Peter Pan dream with Nintendo'. It is more likely to happen with the sleeping giant that is Nintendo than the bold and brash Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo is all about families and always has been, after all...

Anyway, Nintendo Wii, good or bad? 'Wii can play together', 'Wii are all the same in Nintendo's world', Wii will make all your dreams come true'. The potential, can you see it? Weighing up those positives and negatives again comes into play. The name WILL stick in your mind, even if for the wrong reasons, and it WILL have great scope for puns across all markets (France, Japan and English speaking countries in particular, off the top of my head).

Theory time, though. What if Nintendo is stringing us all along? What if Nintendo is proving a point that people are too bothered about an image and or a name? Then it would indeed be making a very strong, valid point. People are too bothered about how a name sounds (despite people accepting the bland XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3), what a system looks like and how many polygons can be shifted even before running a game on the hardware. But what would really be the need for such deviousness and deception? Nintendo would have to have something immensely special waiting in the wings if it did not want to incur the wrath of the gaming world!

Finally, look at what is confirmed by the strange, cryptic message included in today's announcement:

  • Putting people 'in touch' with games (hands-on interaction)
  • Putting people 'in touch' with each other (Wi-Fi Connection gaming)
  • Breaking down barriers around the gaming world (more non-games)
  • The 'ii' represents the controllers (two controllers bundled at launch?)
  • Let us know your thoughts on the name, the speculation and more by giving us your feedback at the bottom of this article. Just remember this:

    The world is no longer just about you or I, it is about 'Wii'...

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    Thank you! I was hopping some one would say something to the system's defence!

    I tried to keep it as unbiased as possible, in all honesty...sorry if I missed anything, folks Smilie Kind of rushed to get something out to you all as quickly as possible... Smilie

    I like the idea of Nintendo bringing people together...

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    I can see the good side of it but...I still can't see my self using the word wii, I think i'll be referring to it as Nintendo from now on with other people.

    XBL Gamertag: James2t3

    'The New Nintendo'...yes, I might be sticking with that, to be honest.

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    Good article, Adam. Smilie If it is 'Wii', I will end up referring to it as the new Nintendo or, indeed, 'Revolution'.

    I think the name sounds a bit ridiculous to be honest.

    I find it interesting how Nintendo change their console name every generation, of oppose to the PS1,2 and 3. Somewhere along the line a crap name was always going to crop up.

    It is a clever name, no doubt, but the fanboy jokes will just be terrible.

    And, as you pointed out Raz, it may well be a trick by Nintendo. Perhaps turning a few heads, and making them realise it's not all about the name/graphics etc.
    A sort of publicity stunt.

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 22:06 by Monkeyman )

    King of the 'League of Kings'||My deviantART|| My Photography

    I also will continue to call it Revolution

    I suppose it's like a revolution of the 'Nintendo Thumb'...'Nintendo Wii - games so good they will make you want to!'

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    I doubt it is a publicity stunt. It's not very nintendo. My only hope is that so much bd feedback reaches noe and noa that we get a western name change because I am not going to ask for a wii for christmas; the name completely alienates the image conscious western markets in my view.

    It's very true in that sense. Try marketing the 'Wee Machine' to the casual gamers of Britain, for example. Unless Nintendo grabs all the Animal Crossing / Brain Training / nintendogs crowd, it's dead in the water.

    Can you imagine some 'trendy' casual gamer wanting to buy GTA on the Wii? Hmm...

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    Nintendo have been pretty 'non-Nintendo' in some instances recently though, they know they need to change to captivate audiences...

    Great! They've made a name that no-one wants to use!

    Nintendo rulz cuzz

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 22:35 by Brenda )

    It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

    ^^^That about sums up how I feel about the name. Nintendo will change it if they have brains.

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 22:43 by TAG )

    TAG: That American Guy

    "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

    A machine cant be judged on its name, and I completely understand the theory behind the logic, but Nintendo could be making their life unnecessarily harder on the western front.

    I agree completely Tag. I was going to do a tasteless joke involving Kamizazi planes, but thought better of it.

    It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

    TAG said:
    *clicky*^^^That about sums up how I feel about the name. Nintendo will change it if they have brains.

    History has told us that Nintendo lack this "brain" thing Smilie

    Its certainly an interesting move, as for the 'they are lying' speculation, I can't see any reason why they would. The logic is there, so I don't see why not. It certainly makes for good visual marketing, there is loads you can do with the word in moving images and magazine adverts, but I'm not so sure how it will go down when dropped into casual conversation. Mind you, to quote Perin Kaplan:

    "I think people have to look back and let it settle in. I'm sure people felt the same way when Google was named

    Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

    the difference is that noe of those name relate to piss Smilie

    I simply cannot read through the updated wikipedia entry on the "Wii" without laughing.....

    Editing has actually been disabled temperailiy from that page due to people trying to edit in piss taking comments!

    Wikipeida Wii

    "As a result of recent vandalism, or to stop banned editors from editing, editing of this page by new or unregistered users is temporarily disabled. Changes can be discussed on the talk page, or you can request unprotection."

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 23:04 by f | j | D )

    From what I've seen, the name's announcement has stimulated, among gamers, near unanimous disdain, coupled with hilarity. It's certainly kept me laughing all evening; it just gets funnier and more ridiculous and gormless the more you say it out loud. I wouldn't dream of so much as whispering it in public, though...
    ...It does seem to suggest that it's a joke of some kind. If not, you can only assume that Nintendo did no preliminary research whatsoever; someone will surely be losing their job over this one. You would hope.

    ...In the meantime, amuse yourself by considering the possible names for some of Nintendo's franchises (Super Mario Wee and so on).

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 23:18 by Raindog )


    And yet, a part of me feels soooo sad and disappointed...

    Raindog said:In the meantime, amuse yourself by considering the possible names for some of Nintendos franchises (Super Mario Wee and so on)

    Can't wait to use the FLUDD again Smilie

    Who remembers the old Pink Panther cartoons?

    "Don't say 'si,' say 'oui.'"

    Well that could be nintendo's answer to MS and sony.

    Dont say "see," say "Wii."

    knighty said:
    the difference is that noe of those name relate to piss Smilie

    PS3 sounds like "Piss 3" to me.

    ( Edited on 27.04.2006 23:22 by SetupWeasel )

    The only reason I can think for them playing this as a 'joke' would be to make us all hate the name 'Wii' so much that we will be fine when Nintendo say something bad at E3 or anything along those lines. It all seems very elaborate though, if there is a point to it (if it turns out to be a joke...) it better be a good one.

    Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

    I am trying to get people in the UK to call it

    Nintendo Wise
    Nintendo W+ii's

    So it makes sense :p <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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