Nintendo Wii – simplicity – casual gaming

The Nintendo Wii has now been presented and a few game demos were shown.
I am not in the gaming industry and I was not at any of those expo’s, but I have to say that I’m really excited about the new controller. I can’t wait to see it.
I have been a hardcore player, I started when I was a kid and have been playing almost every possible game for many years.
A few years ago I kinda got bored. Most games were all the same. I bought a Dreamcast and never really used it. I bought a PS2 with the gun and played about 2 weekends. I sold both.

I played a lot MAME, lots of retrogaming such as Tetris, Puzzle Bubble and Money Puzzle Exchanger.

Then I quit playing games again. I did try some “modern” games but I am not really attracted and I don’t have the time to play a couple of hours a day… I might find that time, but probably I don’t want to.

Here comes casual gaming. My girlfriend is a hardcore-casualgamer. Is this possible? Isn’t a casual gamer someone who plays occasionaly? Yes and no, in my opinion. Casual gaming is about playing occasionally, but also about playing simple games, that you pick up very quickly and can play for a good amount of hours without getting bored. They must be simple in concept, but must have a good development.
At that time the concept did not exist, but Tetris is a GREAT example. Think about it. Rules are DAMN simple. How long does it take to learn how it works? 5 minutes? How long does it take to be a good player? Maybe a week or two of intense playing. How long does it take to become a master? An entire life!
Well, my girlfriend plays a bunch of casual games often… How would you call that?

Now back to the Nintendo Wii.
The new joystick really breaks that barrier that kept a lot of possible players from playing. It takes a while to get used to the joypad and I still haven’t been able to use all the keys on a PS2 joystick easily. On the other side EVERYONE can use a stick, point it, click 1 or 2 buttons, swing it and so on. How long would it take to learn to play a Tennis game? 1 minute? 5 minutes?
Ok, so we made games simple to pick up. Do we need great graphics? Not really, IMHO. Gaming is about playing. Playability must be GREAT. The stick is a way to make higher playability.

I just hope the Wii will not be limited to Mario Bros and Pokemons. I DO like Mario bros games such as mario kart, I like shooting games such as Time Crisis (they don’t really need great graphics!!), but I can’t buy a console for 2 games…. and, NO, I don’t like pokemons.

I can’t wait to get one and I hope they will get in the stores with a few games ready. I’ll be there to get one and I’m sure that this could be a good chance for me to play with my girlfriend. And guess what? I think this could be a winning move for Nintendo. I can play with my girlfriend, I can play with my niece who’s 6 and all thanks to a very innovative controller.

Think of Wario Ware on the Wii. It just demonstrates that if playability is good, you will play it.
Does Brain Age have good graphics? Wasn’t it a blockbuster?
Innovation – playability – simplicity.

PS: If you like Puzzle Bobble you should try this