Thursday, April 27, 2006

Come play with my Wii! (Pronounced We)

If you are living under a rock and haven't heard people screaming WTF, then you might not know that Nintendo's official name for Revolution is Wii. More like Wtf? Seriously, WTF was Nintendo thinking? I'll tell you what they were thinking. Some marketing team put a ton of thought into that one, and they came up with a ridiculous story that explains why they think it's good. Here's a quote from their website:
Introducing... Wii. As in "we." While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that separates videogame players from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games... and each other. But you're probably asking: What does the name mean? Wii sounds like "we," which emphasizes the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii. Wii has a distinctive "ii" spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people playing it. And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of videogames that sets it apart from the crowd. So that's Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because it's really not about you or me. It's about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything.

Let me tell you something. If you need to explain WHY it's named Wii, then that's a bad name. No one gives a crap if the distinctive spelling symbolizes the unique controllers! If you have to explain it, then it’s not a very good symbol. Good symbolism invokes the intended image in average Joe Consumer’s head. Bad symbolism requires a complicated explanation like what appears above and still doesn’t leave an impact. I guarantee you the only reason marketers actually thought up that crap is because they spent hundreds of hours trying to justify such a stupid name.

The Xbox 360 suffered from the same problem. Marketing people went on and on about how 360 is like 360 degrees, which means total immersion, or an all encompassing circle, but pretty much everyone else thought it was silly to skip 359 numbers. People don't want something that has deep symbolism that you'd never figure out unless they told you. People want a name that sounds cool. I'll tell you something, “playing with my wii” does not sound cool. Maybe Nintendo isn't familiar that “Wii” sounds like “Wee”, which is slang for the male genitalia, urinating and small. None of which seem to be a good thing to associate with your console. Let me give you some example dialog and they should conclusively prove what a horrible name it is:
“Hey Bobby! Do you want to come over after school and play with my Wii?”
“My Wii is more fun if two people play with it!”
“Hey Walmart! Do you have any Wii in stock?”
“I like playing with my own Wii.”
“I would like more games to play on my Wii”
“My parents told me to go to bed, but instead, I stayed up late playing with my Wii.”
“I was shaking my Wii to play with my Monkey Balls!” (Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is confirmed for Wii)
“I was waving my Wii back and forth, and a bunch of white particles appeared on the screen.”

Honestly, I don’t know how developers for “the Wii” can’t be ashamed. If someone asks you what you’re working on, you’re only response is “I’m creating a new game that you play with your Wii.” I’m glad I’m not working on one because I’d die of embarrassment.

I was unnecessarily hard on “the Revolution” before, but I don’t know how anyone can take it seriously with a stupid name like “Wii”. Some of my friends have told me this name actually makes them want to buy it less. That CAN’T be good for business. In response to criticism Perrin Kaplan on IGN said, “Live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it and hopefully they'll arrive at the same place.” That translates to tough crap! If you don’t like our name TOO BAD! Honestly, that’s a pretty terrible message to send to consumers. If you don’t like our product, DEAL WITH IT! WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Now with 30% more achievement points!

I actually had time to turn on my Xbox 360 for about 20 minutes last Sunday, and on the live page, it said FREE DOWNLOAD WIK: FABLE OF SOULS GAME OF THE CENTURY SUPER PLATNUM AWESOME EDITION or something to that affect. I thought it might have something to do with the Verizon free Xbox Live Weekend, so I downloaded the file in the hopes that I could get something free. As it turns out, it was only the demo, which was quite disappointing. I wanted to quit the demo, and it had a big long movie supposedly showing me all the reasons I should buy it. Nothing looked appealing until I saw one of the bullet points: “Earn 200 Achievement Points”
Now this idea has me intrigued... Long gone are the days where “good gameplay”, “well written story”, and “fun multiplayer” are bullet points... 200 achievement points?!?! Maybe the developers of Wik aren't familiar with Xbox Live, but all Xbox Live Arcade games can give out (maybe they must?) 200 achievement points, so that's not much of a feature specific to Wik. But, this got me thinking. If 200 achievement points are enough to make people buy a game, maybe games should make all the achievement points easy to get. I heard that was one good thing about “King Kong” for 360: it was easy and quick to get quite a few achievement points. How long before Microsoft gives into gamers achievement point cravings and starts selling them? If that won't happen, how long before we have “Achieve: The Achievements” released on Xbox Live Arcade, that gives out its 200 achievement points really easily and for a low, low price! I hope this happens soon because I'm lagging in achievement points behind my friend who got his Xbox 360 at launch. Gamespot has already recognized what a hot commodity achievement points are and created a guide to get an easy 1000 points.