The Wii isn’t hurting Xbox? Really?

A Wii showed up at PodTech recently and it flipped me around.

I used to be one of those guys who thought that Xbox or Sony’s Playstation 3 would take over the market due to the much better HD graphics.  But after playing a while on the Wii I get why people think it’s so cool: casual gaming and game play.

I can’t really explain it, but after 10 seconds you forget that the graphics aren’t as good looking as on the Xbox. Who really cares when you’re playing all sorts of games that are somewhere between Zuma and Geometry Wars anyway?

This why I think Robbie Bach is full of it when he disrespected the Wii. This is the kind of stuff that Microsofties are taught to say after they are getting their butts handed to them in the marketplace. I remember Microsoft execs saying similar things about the iPod and iTunes two to three years ago.

Hey, I’m a total Xbox freak. But the Wii has me. I wish Microsoft did more innovation on the controller side of the house too, but that’s not all of why the Wii is getting so much hype (it’s still hard to find one).

I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs about Halo 3 and most of the bloggers aren’t giving it rave reviews. Here’s Blake Snow’s review over on GigaOm.

If I were Robbie I’d worry a little more about controller innovation, gameplay, and coming out with a few more killer games that keeps our attention on the Xbox system.

Another thing? Since I don’t get a lot of exercise I’m looking for some games that’ll encourage me (and my son) to get moving a bit and off of the couch. At least Wii gets you worked up playing tennis and other active games. That’s VERY appealing to not just me but most families I know with kids who tend to spend too much time looking at game screens.

92 thoughts on “The Wii isn’t hurting Xbox? Really?

  1. The Wii is a fun-machine for non-geeks. It is a far bigger market than the geek-market. And, yes, this market will buy fewer software titles. But this we will see with all software in the future.

    As for Scoble’s MS fanboy status. I’d say yes he is a fanboy. Everything revolves around MS. Sometimes he is nice. Sometimes not so nice. But when so much is going on outside (on the net or with technology’s impact on society) it is a pity Scoble is so obsessed with Redmond as some of the other video interviews have been interesting.

  2. The Wii is a fun-machine for non-geeks. It is a far bigger market than the geek-market. And, yes, this market will buy fewer software titles. But this we will see with all software in the future.

    As for Scoble’s MS fanboy status. I’d say yes he is a fanboy. Everything revolves around MS. Sometimes he is nice. Sometimes not so nice. But when so much is going on outside (on the net or with technology’s impact on society) it is a pity Scoble is so obsessed with Redmond as some of the other video interviews have been interesting.

  3. I will agree the Wii is very good socially. But, I have read from places like Joystiq, that the controls on 3rd party games are…not as good as put in. Wii Sports is fun, especially with friends though.

    As for H3, people were expecting too much to come in the form of graphics…simply put, the new game modes and equipment in the game make it ALOT of fun. Hopefully you can hop on with Crackdown starting May 16th.

  4. I will agree the Wii is very good socially. But, I have read from places like Joystiq, that the controls on 3rd party games are…not as good as put in. Wii Sports is fun, especially with friends though.

    As for H3, people were expecting too much to come in the form of graphics…simply put, the new game modes and equipment in the game make it ALOT of fun. Hopefully you can hop on with Crackdown starting May 16th.

  5. BTW, to Scoble and his followers that declare Nintendo to be the kings of “innovation” and that Microsoft has zero innovation, you might want to check out the 2006 DEMMX awards http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    XNA Game Studio Express (which allows small timers and hobbiests to make Xbox360 (and Windows) games) won two DEMMX Awards for Microsoft:
    Best of Show: Innovator of the Year
    and
    Game Innovation of the Year

  6. BTW, to Scoble and his followers that declare Nintendo to be the kings of “innovation” and that Microsoft has zero innovation, you might want to check out the 2006 DEMMX awards http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    XNA Game Studio Express (which allows small timers and hobbiests to make Xbox360 (and Windows) games) won two DEMMX Awards for Microsoft:
    Best of Show: Innovator of the Year
    and
    Game Innovation of the Year

  7. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I have no “next-gen” console. Last gen I had an Xbox and a GameCube.

    But look at any of the monthly software sales charts and you’ll see Xbox360 titles dominate. Wii sells a lot of hardware, but the games don’t sell. People get the Wii, played for a couple of weeks, then only play it at parties. I was reading a thread at GAF (which is full of Nintendo fanboys) a couple weeks ago where multple people are saying that they don’t play their Wii anymore, and are no longer asked to bring it to parties.

  8. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I have no “next-gen” console. Last gen I had an Xbox and a GameCube.

    But look at any of the monthly software sales charts and you’ll see Xbox360 titles dominate. Wii sells a lot of hardware, but the games don’t sell. People get the Wii, played for a couple of weeks, then only play it at parties. I was reading a thread at GAF (which is full of Nintendo fanboys) a couple weeks ago where multple people are saying that they don’t play their Wii anymore, and are no longer asked to bring it to parties.

  9. “and folding which will ultimately cure cancer”

    What a lie! Mathematics and its calculations will not cure cancer, be sure.

  10. “and folding which will ultimately cure cancer”

    What a lie! Mathematics and its calculations will not cure cancer, be sure.

  11. Right now the Wii is a 1 trick pony. Wii sports is what people are raving about….friends come over and you pop in Wii sports and you have a ball. Its a Wii Sports machine.

    Yea its a lot more fun than a group of people taking turns watching one person play, which is what you would get when you play most of the games on 360 or PS3 (which the PS3 isn’t gaining on Microsoft as of yet)

    mix that with it being cheap and you got a winner, but for how long?

  12. Right now the Wii is a 1 trick pony. Wii sports is what people are raving about….friends come over and you pop in Wii sports and you have a ball. Its a Wii Sports machine.

    Yea its a lot more fun than a group of people taking turns watching one person play, which is what you would get when you play most of the games on 360 or PS3 (which the PS3 isn’t gaining on Microsoft as of yet)

    mix that with it being cheap and you got a winner, but for how long?

  13. Xbox360 and PS3 are handing over marketshare to the Wii — they have almost 0 “living room multiplayer” games [1]. Everything is multiplayer over Xbox Live.

    It’s bad when a friend considers buying a second Xbox just so that he can play games with his roommate.

    Wii is the only console that gets that playing video games can be a social activity.

    1: I own Small Arms, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Lego Star Wars 2, Rockstar Pingpong… but what other good games are there for playing with a friend sitting beside you?

  14. Xbox360 and PS3 are handing over marketshare to the Wii — they have almost 0 “living room multiplayer” games [1]. Everything is multiplayer over Xbox Live.

    It’s bad when a friend considers buying a second Xbox just so that he can play games with his roommate.

    Wii is the only console that gets that playing video games can be a social activity.

    1: I own Small Arms, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Lego Star Wars 2, Rockstar Pingpong… but what other good games are there for playing with a friend sitting beside you?

  15. Umm, you do realise that Halo 3 has just broken 4 million pre-orders right?

    If you can name me a Wii game that puts up numbers like that, I’ll shut up.

    Bottom line, the 360 is geared towards the more hardcore gamer. The Wii is not. We can argue over whether that is good or bad, but that misses the point. The 360 is in competition with the PS3 and is so far doing better than expected.

    Also, if you want to guage the publics feelings towards Halo 3, go to actual gaming forums (like neogaf) where people are actually playing the Beta right now and where game devs frequently pop in to have a direct chat with gamers. You won’t get that from “bloggers”.

    Lastly, you picked a piss poor example with Halo 3 (not only for the reasons I gave above) but because if you’d done your homework, you’d realise that Halo 3 sacrifices graphics for gameplay. So what was it that you said was innovative about the Wii again? Gameplay. Right?

  16. Umm, you do realise that Halo 3 has just broken 4 million pre-orders right?

    If you can name me a Wii game that puts up numbers like that, I’ll shut up.

    Bottom line, the 360 is geared towards the more hardcore gamer. The Wii is not. We can argue over whether that is good or bad, but that misses the point. The 360 is in competition with the PS3 and is so far doing better than expected.

    Also, if you want to guage the publics feelings towards Halo 3, go to actual gaming forums (like neogaf) where people are actually playing the Beta right now and where game devs frequently pop in to have a direct chat with gamers. You won’t get that from “bloggers”.

    Lastly, you picked a piss poor example with Halo 3 (not only for the reasons I gave above) but because if you’d done your homework, you’d realise that Halo 3 sacrifices graphics for gameplay. So what was it that you said was innovative about the Wii again? Gameplay. Right?

  17. Robert,

    You do a great job with your blog. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, but who cares. Your passion for what you do shows through and that’s what matters. THe people that attack you are simply jealous in one way or another.

    A request, if I may…

    I’d really like to see you interview Guy Kawasaki. I think you would really find him interesting.

  18. Robert,

    You do a great job with your blog. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, but who cares. Your passion for what you do shows through and that’s what matters. THe people that attack you are simply jealous in one way or another.

    A request, if I may…

    I’d really like to see you interview Guy Kawasaki. I think you would really find him interesting.

  19. Robert your thoughts are shared by many. As we all know the Wii is not meant to replace an Xbox or Playstation. It pioneers in family fun. I don’t have one but I have heard stories of people’s grandma’s enjoying the Wii. A demographic that has never been capitalized on until now.

  20. Robert your thoughts are shared by many. As we all know the Wii is not meant to replace an Xbox or Playstation. It pioneers in family fun. I don’t have one but I have heard stories of people’s grandma’s enjoying the Wii. A demographic that has never been capitalized on until now.

  21. “Who judges relevancy anyway in this game?”

    To be relevant is to break the news weeks if not months before that happens. To be relevant is to see trends *before* they emerge.

    Michael Arrington and his bunnies are not relevant. Even techmeme is able to show everyday this guy is a linkbaiter. That’s all he is.

    Don’t be that. Be relevant.

    As for selling out, just take a look at techmeme. 1) Big Microsoft ads, meaning that Microsoft is helping techmeme run the business, as much as Microsoft huge sponsor bills runs a news site such that those you know. 2) Daily links to Microsoft people totally irrelevant (i.e. marketing people) who create no discussion and only come up with closed ideas about this industry.
    I can give you more examples, but don’t forget that Podtech is also sponsoring techmeme.

    In short, by seeing evidences of the huge gap of what matters in this industry, versus what matters to this industry according to techmeme, you get an idea of who are sell-outs (answer : those guys often appear in techmeme, such as you headline slut), and who are relevant (not).

  22. “Who judges relevancy anyway in this game?”

    To be relevant is to break the news weeks if not months before that happens. To be relevant is to see trends *before* they emerge.

    Michael Arrington and his bunnies are not relevant. Even techmeme is able to show everyday this guy is a linkbaiter. That’s all he is.

    Don’t be that. Be relevant.

    As for selling out, just take a look at techmeme. 1) Big Microsoft ads, meaning that Microsoft is helping techmeme run the business, as much as Microsoft huge sponsor bills runs a news site such that those you know. 2) Daily links to Microsoft people totally irrelevant (i.e. marketing people) who create no discussion and only come up with closed ideas about this industry.
    I can give you more examples, but don’t forget that Podtech is also sponsoring techmeme.

    In short, by seeing evidences of the huge gap of what matters in this industry, versus what matters to this industry according to techmeme, you get an idea of who are sell-outs (answer : those guys often appear in techmeme, such as you headline slut), and who are relevant (not).

  23. Thurrott has been slamming the Wii incessantly on his sites as well. You’re right–every time Microsoft gets their collective hind end handed to them, they start this kind of crap. The Wii is fun–something “gaming” hasn’t been for a long time.

  24. Thurrott has been slamming the Wii incessantly on his sites as well. You’re right–every time Microsoft gets their collective hind end handed to them, they start this kind of crap. The Wii is fun–something “gaming” hasn’t been for a long time.

  25. I have a gamecube still. I may upgrade to the Wii, but that definately does not replace my Playstation 3. Not by a long shot.

    Mario Party is ok, but you can only take so much of simple games.

    Wanna know why PS3 and the Wii are gaining on MIcrosoft?
    http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/repairs/xbox360-tells-customer-i-am-laughing-at-you-and-hangs-up-259890.php
    “Xbox360 Tells Customer “I Am Laughing At You” And Hangs Up 65,840″
    This is so typical. Back when I had a regular Xbox 1, I got so much sh*t when I tried to cancel live. I got nearly the same when I tried to cancel MSN. They are as bad as AOL or worse.

    Sony never gives me crap like this and lets me manage my account without calling. Plus PS3 has @home, the 2nd life killer now in beta, and folding which will ultimately cure cancer.

    I still need to see if my gamecube games will work on the Wii because I have a ton of them still, but if so I’ll probably end up getting one too.

  26. I have a gamecube still. I may upgrade to the Wii, but that definately does not replace my Playstation 3. Not by a long shot.

    Mario Party is ok, but you can only take so much of simple games.

    Wanna know why PS3 and the Wii are gaining on MIcrosoft?
    http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/repairs/xbox360-tells-customer-i-am-laughing-at-you-and-hangs-up-259890.php
    “Xbox360 Tells Customer “I Am Laughing At You” And Hangs Up 65,840″
    This is so typical. Back when I had a regular Xbox 1, I got so much sh*t when I tried to cancel live. I got nearly the same when I tried to cancel MSN. They are as bad as AOL or worse.

    Sony never gives me crap like this and lets me manage my account without calling. Plus PS3 has @home, the 2nd life killer now in beta, and folding which will ultimately cure cancer.

    I still need to see if my gamecube games will work on the Wii because I have a ton of them still, but if so I’ll probably end up getting one too.

  27. He’s not a truly videogames fan. Maybe it won’t win any awars, specially on the graphics part, but it will win something much better: the hearts of millions of gamers. And half a billion dollars.

  28. He’s not a truly videogames fan. Maybe it won’t win any awars, specially on the graphics part, but it will win something much better: the hearts of millions of gamers. And half a billion dollars.

  29. I agree with most of the comments. The Wii is a fantastic piece of machinery, but they need to get the ball rolling with the online aspect of it. I hope they don’t take the online thing for granted because alot of people want them to succeed with this one. they learned their lesson from the GC. Right now, they are striking gold with the Wii, but they need to continue the course and stick with what they do best….innovate! It’s your time.

  30. I agree with most of the comments. The Wii is a fantastic piece of machinery, but they need to get the ball rolling with the online aspect of it. I hope they don’t take the online thing for granted because alot of people want them to succeed with this one. they learned their lesson from the GC. Right now, they are striking gold with the Wii, but they need to continue the course and stick with what they do best….innovate! It’s your time.

  31. Yeah, very true. Innovation wise, Wii is right up there (and I think the success has caught MS and Sony totally off guard). But having said that, MS have done a good job pulling all their services into Xbox for this generation (Messenger is now in there too) and the Media Center/Media Streaming and HD downloads are fantastic.

    If you fancy some fun Wii-type games, the Xbox Live Vision camera is pretty neat. Tottemball is fun, the new Pinball game is ok, but the new Rayman game is amazing with it, and good exercise. Ok, so it’s been done before with eye-toy, but it’s still a blast.

    The thing with the Wii is that the games aren’t all that deep. In our house, most of the games I sit down and play are on the 360. However, whenever we have friends down, it’s the Wii that comes out. I sort of agree with the comments that it’s a party machine, but that’s far from a bad thing to be.

  32. Yeah, very true. Innovation wise, Wii is right up there (and I think the success has caught MS and Sony totally off guard). But having said that, MS have done a good job pulling all their services into Xbox for this generation (Messenger is now in there too) and the Media Center/Media Streaming and HD downloads are fantastic.

    If you fancy some fun Wii-type games, the Xbox Live Vision camera is pretty neat. Tottemball is fun, the new Pinball game is ok, but the new Rayman game is amazing with it, and good exercise. Ok, so it’s been done before with eye-toy, but it’s still a blast.

    The thing with the Wii is that the games aren’t all that deep. In our house, most of the games I sit down and play are on the 360. However, whenever we have friends down, it’s the Wii that comes out. I sort of agree with the comments that it’s a party machine, but that’s far from a bad thing to be.

  33. Hehe, a few months ago I asked for your opinion on the Wii in a random thread.

    Glad to finally see your thoughts :)

  34. Hehe, a few months ago I asked for your opinion on the Wii in a random thread.

    Glad to finally see your thoughts :)

  35. Aaron: yeah, keep in mind I’m just going off of the hype that other people at PodTech were giving it and also a few minutes playing it. Not that I’m a big gamer, though. For that you’d have to see my son. He’s totally engrossed in World of Warcraft right now, though.

    I’m not giving away my Xbox, though. We love it for sure!

  36. Aaron: yeah, keep in mind I’m just going off of the hype that other people at PodTech were giving it and also a few minutes playing it. Not that I’m a big gamer, though. For that you’d have to see my son. He’s totally engrossed in World of Warcraft right now, though.

    I’m not giving away my Xbox, though. We love it for sure!

  37. I’ve had a Wii since December, and I haven’t turned it on for more than 20 minutes since January. My Xbox 360, on the other hand, sees action 4-5 times a week. The big difference between the two for me is the overall quality of the casual games available on each platform. Xbox Live Arcade appears to be making a point of de-emphasizing retro games in favor of new, sweet casual games (Small Arms, e.g.). The Wii doesn’t have a library of casual games on its download service. It only has ports from older game systems. I downloaded Donkey Kong Country, which I remember loving when I was Patrick’s age. It sucks. A lot. Apparently I had really bad taste in the early 1990s.

    The Wii controller is neat, but the downloadable games available on the 360 are of a much higher calibre. I’m looking forward to Paper Mario dropping in price, but until that happens, meh.

    Really, Robert, Wii Sports should not be the end all and be all of the system. It’s a handful of minigames. No one in their right mind will pay $250 for a handful of minigames. Nintendo (and their 3rd party developers) really need to get more content (and high quality content, at that) in the channel asap. I want to see them do well. I have very fond memories of Nintendo, and I love my DS. Also, if you want to get moving, go pick up a PS2 and Dance Dance Revolution.

  38. I’ve had a Wii since December, and I haven’t turned it on for more than 20 minutes since January. My Xbox 360, on the other hand, sees action 4-5 times a week. The big difference between the two for me is the overall quality of the casual games available on each platform. Xbox Live Arcade appears to be making a point of de-emphasizing retro games in favor of new, sweet casual games (Small Arms, e.g.). The Wii doesn’t have a library of casual games on its download service. It only has ports from older game systems. I downloaded Donkey Kong Country, which I remember loving when I was Patrick’s age. It sucks. A lot. Apparently I had really bad taste in the early 1990s.

    The Wii controller is neat, but the downloadable games available on the 360 are of a much higher calibre. I’m looking forward to Paper Mario dropping in price, but until that happens, meh.

    Really, Robert, Wii Sports should not be the end all and be all of the system. It’s a handful of minigames. No one in their right mind will pay $250 for a handful of minigames. Nintendo (and their 3rd party developers) really need to get more content (and high quality content, at that) in the channel asap. I want to see them do well. I have very fond memories of Nintendo, and I love my DS. Also, if you want to get moving, go pick up a PS2 and Dance Dance Revolution.

  39. I was outside the US in February (visited Europe and did a ton of videos). I was again outside the US last weekend (visited Mexico). I’ll be back in Mexico next month.

    Funny. Tons of people at Microsoft think I’ve been doing nothing but attacking them lately. I really don’t care whether you think I’m a sell out or not. Go read Digg.com if you think I am.

    And boring? I was always boring. I’m a geek, remember. Not Paris Hilton naked.

    Irrelevant? I don’t even know what that means. But my traffic is higher than when I was supposedly relevant. So, who knows what that means? Who judges relevancy anyway in this game? You? Who gave you the “relevancy rating sheet?”

  40. I was outside the US in February (visited Europe and did a ton of videos). I was again outside the US last weekend (visited Mexico). I’ll be back in Mexico next month.

    Funny. Tons of people at Microsoft think I’ve been doing nothing but attacking them lately. I really don’t care whether you think I’m a sell out or not. Go read Digg.com if you think I am.

    And boring? I was always boring. I’m a geek, remember. Not Paris Hilton naked.

    Irrelevant? I don’t even know what that means. But my traffic is higher than when I was supposedly relevant. So, who knows what that means? Who judges relevancy anyway in this game? You? Who gave you the “relevancy rating sheet?”

  41. This is a case-book example of one of the ways technologists misread customers.

    More pixels, more polygons, and higher frame rates aren’t game-changing. They’ll get you more love from the customers you already appeal to, but they won’t bring new customers into the game. You’re just dressing up the old games with better scenery, costumes, lighting, and atmospherics.

    When I was at Apple we characterized this style of innovation as “better sameness.” (I wish I could remember who coined that. Jean-Louis Gassée? Randy Battat?)

    XBox Live was game-changing. Wii is game-changing. XBox 360 and PS3 are merely game-enhancing.

  42. This is a case-book example of one of the ways technologists misread customers.

    More pixels, more polygons, and higher frame rates aren’t game-changing. They’ll get you more love from the customers you already appeal to, but they won’t bring new customers into the game. You’re just dressing up the old games with better scenery, costumes, lighting, and atmospherics.

    When I was at Apple we characterized this style of innovation as “better sameness.” (I wish I could remember who coined that. Jean-Louis Gassée? Randy Battat?)

    XBox Live was game-changing. Wii is game-changing. XBox 360 and PS3 are merely game-enhancing.

  43. I don’t know if praises like that will get you to interview interesting people such as those who built the WII, or interesting people.

    But you have to do something about it. Because you have become boring, irrelevant.

    Go outside the US for freaking sake. And stop talking about Microsoft, whatever money it brings you. Prove you are not a sell out.

  44. I don’t know if praises like that will get you to interview interesting people such as those who built the WII, or interesting people.

    But you have to do something about it. Because you have become boring, irrelevant.

    Go outside the US for freaking sake. And stop talking about Microsoft, whatever money it brings you. Prove you are not a sell out.

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