Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nintendo's 2008 E3 press conference

I missed most of the conference, but here are my thoughts on the parts I caught.

Wii Speak? Finally.

Wii Sports Resort. If it has more games like that sword-fighting game, it will sell like hotcakes and be Nintendo's next big game. Many Wii owners play Wii Sports and little else. When people think about buying the Wii, it's always for Wii Sports. This is the sort of gaming that defines the Wii. These are the sort of games Nintendo should focus on.

Wii Music is both intriguing and disappointing. I expect this will sell alright, but not especially well. There are two reasons this one won't also sell like hotcakes. First, it's a toy, rather than a game. Games involve goals and rules. Second, the designers seem to have forgotten that the beginning of all play is agency. Children first discover the concept of play when they realize that they can cause things to happen. In Wii Music, the correlation between between player actions and on-screen events seems weak. It will be enough to entrance toddlers, but not adults. It will be fun initially, but the shine will wear off within days, which makes this an impulse purchase for non-parents.

I like how the developer paused to laugh after it was said that the drummer is "already quite good".

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