Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the grand opening of the Brutlounge’s latest showing. Let me just say as someone who dipped his SNES in a bucket of gold and attempted to send it to the Smithsonian Institution, I do my best to stress the importance of videogame consoles being part of American history. Even though if some of them were made in certain Asian countries, okay, even if most of them are. But that’s not what this is about, this is about going back into the past and examining the Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii, and the Phantom…sorry, it appears that last one didn’t happen.
Believe it or not, each console played an important part into our society. Whether it be Reggie Fils-Aime and his admirable ‘body’ of work that seems to be ready, Kaz Hirai and his splendid surprises, or Peter Moore who seemed to want to tattoo his entire body with nothing but 3rd party content. Each of these figures played an important part in console history, and ultimately shaped the outcome of their cycles. Dismissing these soldiers of console wars, would be like slapping a monkey because he didn’t perform ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ like you expected him to, because he’s a ‘monkey’.
Well I for one would not slap that ‘monkey’, unless it was Friday night and all the bars were closed! However I digress, let us take a look at these marvelous pieces of virtual interactive machinery by starting with a console whose name will forever be ingrained in the minds of 12-year olds.
Truly this is a marvel right here, after plummeting past the supposed mediocrity of the Gamecube, Nintendo finally caught attention as to what was important. That stunning innovation, that sense of awe, that look on Miyamoto that makes every fanboy 1-UP in his pants was all because of…motion controls…Mmm, sorry I got caught up up in the moment.
The Wii was first discussed back in 2004, at E3 and was codenamed ‘Revolution’. It was later fully unveiled at E3 2005, while the controller was shown off at the Tokyo Game Show in the same year. A year later, the console was released around November 19th 2006. Not only was it released a year ahead of it’s competition, but it also sold over $3.19 million by December 31st 2006. Not quite as impressive as the increasing number of dick jokes, but still quite the feat.
When it comes to launch titles, Nintendo had it locked down. Red Steel, Twilight Princess, Call of Duty 3, and Open Season the videogame were among the highly ranked of the launch titles. But the most rich and purest experience had to be Wii Sports. It’s a shining anthology of titles that each represent a fragment of Nintendo’s history.
Baseball, Nintendo dominating the home sales market in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Bowling, the moment Miyamoto said that Donkey Kong Country was not worthy of the Nintendo brand. Tennis, when the N64 was shown in 1994. Golf, when Nintendo made the wavebird controller. Boxing, Billy Hatcher becoming an exclusive for the Gamecube. All of these sports contain a metaphor that represents some part of Nintendo’s history, but in a way that turns a majestic flamingo into a flaming peacock.
Oh, and there’s this one game called ‘Super Mario Galaxy‘ that apparently helped make the Wii successful according to some critics. Sounds like poppycock to me, but when you see a dancing leprechaun in front of you, you can’t simply deny it’s happy existence. Not only did this ‘Super Mario Galaxy‘ gained the Wii some momentum, but it’s success also warranted a sequel, profoundly titled ‘Super Mario Galaxy 2‘. It was a bigger hit than even Excite Truck, it was a game that emphasized on originality and was completely different than the previous installment. Except for the part that made those last two points I said invalid, aside from that minor inconvenience it had an incredibly refreshing mechanic that was…Yoshi.
However like with any demi-god, or in this case ‘god’, there must always be a lull in its lifecycle. And that was very transparent with the Wii for a few years, until in 2010 when Nintendo decided to bring out the true arsenal. This arsenal consisted of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kid Icarus, and Mario Kart for the 3DS. I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but if you heard very closely in the background of that conference you could hear Sony calling Naughty Dog to hurry the production of Uncharted 3. Oh and don’t let me get started on how Microsoft dealt with that major burn (here’s a hint: it involved Peter Molyneux and Kinect).
Nothing could prevent Nintendo from dominating the industry, aside from a lack of third party support and trivial titles such as ‘Ram Racing‘, but still those issues were about as menacing as a fly on the knee of a very obese person. Also there was the incident where Wii sales were a ‘wee’ sluggish during 2011…and so on. Still, fantastic machinery is it not?
Accommodating the Wii was a multitude of accessories that were fit for a king, or maybe a ‘princess’ in this case? One who is reminiscent to that of a Peach – you know what? Never mind.
First up is the Wii balance board, a tool used to describe just how fat and lazy you are by simply stepping on it with your big gross feet, also you can play minigames on it. Second is the Wii wheel, a tool used to show just how ridiculous you look when playing a game where an Italian plumber tosses the shell of a dead koopa toward a dinosaur, how silly. Third is the Wii Zapper, showing just how serious gaming looks when you’re playing with something that looks like an ‘iFirearm’. Fourth is the classic controller pro, it’s a controller, honestly what else do you need to know. And lastly is the Wii MotionPlus, now you too can have semi-decent motion controls!
It’s been splendid seeing the Wii evolve from greatness and evolve into mega-greatness by simply…’being there’. Wii Sports was the best release Nintendo has had since the first concept piece was leaked for Donkey Kong Racing. Even better was the catalog of games for 2010 and how immensely satisfying those titles turned out. Sure there were a few hiccups here and there, but I think Wii has already done enough to solidify it’s spot in the Brutlounge. And from now on whenever visits this museum, it gives me the excuse to say, “Would you like to see my Wii?”
[What will Brutuxan show off next in the ‘Console Retrospective of Historical Proportions’?! And what other cheap jokes can he make? Are they even jokes?! Tune in to find out, or read, whatever’s convenient here.]