Nintendo Wii’ds out fanboys

Unlike my husband, I’ve always been more of a PC gamer than a hardcore console gamer. You could say that I am attracted to “cute” games (think the original Lemmings for PC, or Commander Keen). Truth be told, growing up I didn’t have very much experience with consoles; my dad bought the family an Atari 7800 when I was very young, on which I spent countless hours mastering Moon Patrol, Vanguard, Crystal Caverns, and E.T. (didn’t everyone have that game?). It wasn’t until I was in middle school that my brother procured a classic (and used) NES from one of his buddies. I then graduated to Mario 1, 2, and 3 (the last being my favorite, of course), Metroid, Zelda, Megaman, and such colorful titles as Little Nemo the Dream Master, Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout, The Adventures of Lolo, and Mappy Land (OH how I LOVE Mappy!).

When I met my husband, he encouraged my game habit by giving me my very own GameBoy. My favorite games were all of the Zelda titles, and probably most especially the original Pokemon which I played for hours at a time. Thus began my love affair with Nintendo.

I really never developed much interest in other consoles – PlayStation seemed boring and replete with sports and racing games (blargh!); the Dreamcast was cool for a while, but was not able to sustain my interest beyond Sea Man and Chu Chu Rocket; I despised the XBox when it made its debut (probably because I can’t stand Halo, and the controller is far too massive for my tiny hands). In the end, even after brief interludes with other systems, I inevitably gravitated back to that warm and familiar sun at the center of my gaming universe.

I realize that Nintendo has garnered for itself a (in my opinion unfair) reputation for producing “kiddy” games, but frankly that is why I find them so appealing. The games, especially the first party titles, are bright, cheerful, exuberant, challenging, and most importantly hella fun. I can hardly describe the joy I have felt whiling away the hours with my trusty Pikmin or enthusiastically pounding on my Donkey Conga bongos in the company of friends. After all, these are games, and Nintendo has always excelled at bringing out a true essence of fun.

Now, I frequent a certain internet forum that is populated largely by twenty-something college students. Of these, the gaming contingent (almost completely composed of college-aged guys) staunchly proclaim that the system to watch this holiday season is the PlayStation 3. Of course, upon hearing (or, rather, reading) this I wrinkle my pixie nose and scoff, “None is better than Wii!” I have been attacked for my statements, and it has even been asserted by some PS3 fanboys that I am not a “real” gamer because hardcore gamers would never put Nintendo on top (I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that I have a vagina, as well).

Not so, says I (about PS3 being better than Wii… not about my having a vagina).

Nintendo has consistently produced the most satisfying, entertaining, and endearing games. No other system has as many well-recognized characters (Mario and company, Link, Samus, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, and others; how many can you name from other systems? The only one I can come up with is Master Chief, made famously popular by the frat contingency of XBox enthusiasts). Not only is Nintendo talented at producing successful franchises such as those mentioned above, it continues to be the most innovative producer of games (think Nintendogs, Warioware, Mario Party) and engineering (GameBoy DS, the Wiimote).

In addition, Nintendo is the only company that even attempts to recruit kids and females by offering consistently outstanding titles rated E for everyone. Even while competing with other next-gen systems, Nintendo understand that its primary function is that of fun, and is not just an expensive hobby. Furthermore, at $250 the Wii is actually affordable to families, while the PS3, selling for around $600, is meant entirely for older, financially capable males and NOT children (and personally, if you are a parent who is planning on buying his/her child a $600 toy, I think you are NUTS).

I’ve heard many who oppose the Wii cite the Wiimote as their primary reason – they would feel “silly” waving the controller around while pretending to fish, golf, box, bowl, bat, or fence. For me, however, this is probably the most exciting aspect of the system! How fun to actually become part of the game, to move your arm and see your movements mirrored on the screen! It’s virtual reality for your living room.

Finally, I’ve heard naysayers complain that the graphics on the Wii are simply not up to the standard that the PS3’s Blu Ray technology can provide. Well, this very well may be true, but frankly (and I am always quite frank) when I play a game I am not engaged by its graphics (with the notable exception of World of Warcraft). I am drawn in by the story, the challenges, and most importantly, the fun – and from what I have seen so far, the graphics on the Wii are more than adequate.

I don’t know why there is such hostility toward Nintendo emanating from the Sony camp. Perhaps they are nervous that their pet system will not be the one to come out on top? Not that I really care. They can play their boring first person shooters and racing games (staples, it seems, for PlayStation and Microsoft) while I am busting baddies in Hyrule and reliving my childhood through the Wii’s Virtual Console… in the end, who do you think will enjoy themselves more?

…and I might just use the money I save by purchasing a Wii on those Very Sexy bras I’ve had my eye on at Victoria’s Secret…

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