Nintendo Wii frags rivals Microsoft, Sony

Sunday, 14 May 2006 - 9:44pm IST | Agency: AFP

Gamers gave Nintendo’s new video game console a hands-down victory over PlayStation3 and Xbox360 at the video games trade show.

The revolutionary new console was the most popular at the Electronic Entertainment Expo


LOS ANGELES: Gamers gave Nintendo’s new “Wii” video game console a hands-down victory over Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 at the premier video games trade show that ended in Los Angeles.


The innovative motion-sensing Wii controller and games that shied away from blood-and-guts action won praise, while the latest


PlayStation met with unenthused satisfaction.


Hard-core and novice video game players crammed into Nintendo’s warehouse-sized Wii pavilion and waited in a perpetual line outside.


At the nearby PlayStation 3 exhibit at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), there was little wait to play on Sony’s yet-to-be-released console. “If that line would ever go down, I sure would want to try it,” Teresa Holt, 28, of Texas said, nodding toward the Wii pavilion after finishing a PlayStation game.


A random survey of PlayStation 3 gamers revealed that most thought the scenes were more realistic and the machine faster than its predecessor, but not worth the wait or the whopping price Sony planned to charge.


Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is already on sale in the United States for 299 dollars or 399 dollars with a hard drive. The tricked-out PlayStation 3 “wasn’t that big of a jump over the Xbox 360” made by US-based Microsoft, said Jeff Sobol, an independent game publisher from Canada.


In the Wii pavilion, players blurted superlatives with giddy delight.


“Sweet,” one fellow chimed as he and a friend ogled motion-sensitive Wii controllers that came in “Zapper (gun), Nunchuk, Classic” styles.


“Awesome,” Matt Callaway said after he and Jaap Tuinman finished playing video tennis by swinging Wii controllers like rackets. “I’m psyched; it's exciting,” Tuinman said. “It’s something I could play with my wife.”


Nintendo heralded the system as “disruptive” technology intended to revolutionise video game playing and lure new players to games by making the controls less intimidating. Kappei Morishita said, “I like it, and I’m in my forties. The current games get too complicated. This is back to basics. I could play with friends at a party.”


Nintendo was coupling Wii with game software it hoped would appeal to “casual players” such as Morishita. Among the video game offerings will be “Brain Age” mind-tests, orchestra conducting, and hospital surgery.


Nintendo will also roll-out a version of its popular cult game, The Legend of Zelda, made for Wii. Zelda was among the games people got to try. Ubisoft of France designed an action game, “Red Steel,” to arrive at market alongside Wii.


Nintendo had yet to reveal the Wii's price, but it was rumoured it would cost less than PlayStation 3 and be on par with XBox 360.


“It is very unlikely Sony will take the lead going forward,” said Hiroshi Kamide, an industry analyst with KBC Securities in Japan. “The logical choice is to buy Nintendo, and the price point is good. Microsoft and Sony will tie.”


The awesome Wii console


Nintendo designed the Wii (pronounced 'Wee') to be the most multifaceted console ever.


The Wii console is as thin as three DVDs stacked together. The Wii boasts 512 MB of internal flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. 


The revolutionary aspects of the Wii is its controllers, which has two parts: The Wii remote and the Nunchuk controller.


The remote plays the conventional motions you make everyday. It can be a sword in one game and then a steering wheel for racing games. In Tennis, you'll grab the controller like a racket and swing.


The Nunchuk controller can be connected to the Wii remote. They'll act as the sword and shield in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. They'll be the weapons to blast your way through the world of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and the gritty underworld of Red Steel.


In first-person shooters, the Nunchuk carries the burden of movement, freeing you to aim and fire using a more natural motion with the Wii Remote.


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