Thursday, February 01, 2007
Soon, we'll see the latest Nintendo video gaming platform on the market: the Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii- pronounced Wii- may be Nintendo's answer to the Play Station 3 and the Xbox 360, but from what the Wii's website says, it looks like it's designed for a very different market than the competing systems.
While all of the Xbox 360 and the Play Station 3 both give their users more control over the gaming experience than other video gaming systems of the past did, the Nintendo Wii seems to take interactive features to a whole new level. In fact the Wii is organized into a series of "channels" that allow users to access different features. For example, one channel allows users to play games off of discs in a similar way to how users of the Microsoft's Windows operating systems would use My Computer to access the contents of a CD-ROM or DVD. There are also a variety of other channels. For example one channel allows users to create their own avatars- called Miis- which they can then superimpose over the features of characters on a variety of Wii games. Another channel allows users to load digital photos onto the Wii from an SD memory card. Once loaded, the photos can be manipulated in a variety of ways and turned into slide shows complete with an MP3 soundtrack. The Wii also features channels devoted to local weather and news from around the world both of which are updated over the Internet by the WiiConnect24 service. Another channel is used to access an on line store from which users can download a variety of older games which can be played on the Wii. After they're downloaded, these games can be accessed for play through yet another channel. There's also a channel that allows users to surf the Internet using the Opera browser while watching television. The final channel featured on the Wii serves a as a bulletin board that will allow family members to communicate with each other in a way thats similar to posting note on the refrigerator door.
As far as hardware goes, the Wii has the capability to connect with the Internet or other devices using wireless and LAN technology. It's also backward compatible with all other Nintendo games of the past including Nintendo GameCube discs which can be read on the Wii's optical disc drive.
In all, while the Nintendo Wii does have a lot of features packed into it that will be very attractive to a lot of gamers, it is a very different system from the others appearing on the market this year and for that reason will probably attract a very different audience.