Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: Wii. Are Nintendo taking the piss?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Wii. Are Nintendo taking the piss?

Nintendo have just officially announced the actual name of their next-gen console, that has until now been known as Revolution.
Wii (pronounced "we"). You heard me. You can certainly count on Nintendo to be different.

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Here's what they have to say about it [from]:
"While the codename "Revolution" expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down the wall that separates video game 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 this console is for everyone. Wii can be easily 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 the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play.
And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of video games that sets it apart from the crowd.
So that's Wii. But now Nintendo needs you.
Because it's not really about me or you.
It's about Wii.
And together, Wii will change everything.

Marketing disaster or not? No doubt the name sounds better if you're Japanese or French. Whether the western gaming world can suppress it's tendency toward toilet humour enough for the new name to be taken seriously is anyone's guess. The Playstation and XBox fanboys who constantly referred to Nintendo's last home console as "Gaycube" are going to have a field-day with Wii. I have no doubt that the console itself will be excellent, but for a product designed to "break down the wall" and attract the biggest possible audience, I think the name has put up a barrier that some potential customers will have trouble getting past.

Nintendo are going to have to proceed carefully and watch their wording at E3 next month. Satoru Iwata should probably avoid talking about "waving his Wii wand" and let Reggie Fils-Aime lead the crowd in a chorus of "Wii will rock you" instead. While the launch date has not yet been announced, there's sure to be some pant-wetting excitement when Wii is released later this year.


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