Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Video Game Wars: Gen-Y's Non-Choice

Finally...a subject so dear to my heart.  Honestly, I don't know why society rejects video games.  Desensitizing violence some claim; others say your eyes go bad.  Let's look at things in a positive light; aside from the in-car DVD player, very few devices in the history of mankind that can entertain a child (or husband) for extended periods of time.  I think we own Atari and the people who invented the first game systems a huge thanks.

There's a lot going out in the press about the game wars between Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox360, and the Sony PlayStation3.  So far, Nintendo Wii has overcome weak graphics and a limited game selection with original games and unique controller.  A darling of the Nintendo line, the Wii is a supposed statement of the resurgence of Nintendo as a brand and the ability of a lower-performing system with original controls and game play to win over game systems with better graphics and more diverse game selections.

Alas, I fear Wii's day in the sun is near done, particularly for Gen Y.  The success of Wii comes from a few key factors; it's downfall will come from a few more.  I highlight a few key points below:
  1. Wii is a party system...not a true game system: Wii is a novelty for parties and group hangouts.  I know few people in Gen Y who have logged the countless hours gaming on the Wii compared to the weeks they spent playing Halo, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Las Vegas, or Grand Theft Auto on traditional gaming systems.  Personally, I just think they just get tired waving around the controller; however, there is a reality that eventually you will run out of people looking for a party system because, well...there just aren't enough parties.
  2. Wii supplements traditional gaming systems...not replaces them: The one great benefit of the Wii is I see many of my friends own a Xbox360 or PlayStation3 and a Wii.  However, you see very few people in Gen Y owning just a Wii because it does not meet their needs as a gaming system.  The inability to stand alone as a gaming system will lead to inadequacy and eventual loss of market share as people upgrade or replace the Wii with other systems.
  3.  Wii is designed for families...not for Gen Y: I know some of you may disagree with this point, but I like to think of the Wii like Shrek or Finding Nemo.  They have plenty of sophisticated humor to keep adults entertained, but I can't remember the last time an animated movie where adults left their children at home to go watch the movie.  It's the same way for Wii; we all like it, but in reality, it's not for us.  The games don't have the violence, complexity, or speed that Gen Y and serious gamers need in a gaming platform.
  4. Wii's experience is in the control of the game...not in the game itself:  Although Wii's control is revolutionary, it's uniqueness is in the control of the game itself and not in the game.  People get all giggly over waving their arms around and balancing on boards.  However, Wii's fundamental failure is the lack of advanced and original games.  The graphics lack the necessary pop to keep up with the Xbox360 or PlayStation3, the games lack the addictive nature of games on other systems, and the controls (to their failure) lack the crispness and control of a dual-joystick controller.  Aside from Wii Fit, you see very few titles that are exclusively associated with the Wii or that can drive people to purchase the system for that game (or games).
As a final note, I remember when I told my Dad I wanted to buy a Xbox360 and a violent video game, this was his counter; "Why don't you buy one of those Wii things?  I'd help out with that."  With that statement in mind, Nintendo is obviously pointed towards someone other than Gen Y...and I'm off to buy an Xbox360.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Phil, not a personal fan of video games so I'm not sure how to comment on this...

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