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Topic: Was Wii the peak 'casual gamer' console?

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Tendo64

Was watching a recent Nintendo Life video on why the Metroid series hadn't sold well through the ages, and they broached the topic of the Wii's ownership (old women I think they said), which got me thinking and realising...

A lot of people I know of, I think, only bought the Wii for Wii Sports, and that was it.

It's like they either didn't know or care that it was a Nintendo console with a full library of first and third party games, and were basically sucked in by the pack-in Wii Sports novelty.... then never bought any actual games for it.

Not sure how it was in your part of the world but on a broad spectrum, more people I knew had a Wii than I reckon any other console that had come before it. Young girls, boys, teenagers that never really picked up a video game otherwise, older crowds and anything in between.

I get that Nintendo probably achieved what they set out to do here which was capture a wider spectrum of customers, but to me it just seems a tremendous waste and a shame that a console could be defined by a glorified demo game. And that once the novelty of that wore off, the console probably never saw the light of day for a lot of these people.

Thoughts?

Switch Friend Code: SW-7976-6692-0199

TheFrenchiestFry

Wii was casual in the sense that it was literally aimed directly at people who never so much as picked up a game controller in their lives, they'd play with Wii Sports for a bit and then more than likely the console would collect dust after the fact because they wouldn't play anything else. Wii U aiming for that same audience actually made it more niche since the Wii was a very "lightning in a bottle" sort of thing that was never going to be captured again to the extent it was

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

Anti-Matter

@Tendo64
Wii is absolutely one of my favorite Nintendo console.
It has White color as default bundle, White game box, motion gameplay, tons of casual games (with a lot of them are shovelwares but I like some of them), wide variety of game genres I can choose.
Casual games are actually not as bad as you thought since not everyone have interest to play games like Zelda or Mario or F-Zero or Metroid, etc.
Also, I pick up other consoles after I have Wii while other peoples goes to mobile games after they got bored by Wii games. There are some peoples who still stick on consoles no matter what.

Edited on by Anti-Matter

Top 8 Konami's Rhythm games:
1. Dance Dance Revolution
2. Para Para Paradise
3. DrumMania
4. Beatmania IIDX
5. Pop'n Music
6. KeyboardMania
7. Martial Beat
8. DANCE EVOLUTION

Switch Friend Code: SW-8364-7166-5608 | 3DS Friend Code: 2638-4872-0879 | Nintendo Network ID: TAGunderground

Balta666

Basically the answer is yes. I don't know anyone that had a wii and played more than Wii sports, rabbids mini games and other sorts

Balta666

Anti-Matter

Balta666 wrote:

Basically the answer is yes. I don't know anyone that had a wii and played more than Wii sports, rabbids mini games and other sorts

That's me. 😀
I played Mii games, Rabbids games, Imagine Party Babyz, Cooking Mama, Super Mario Galaxy, My Sims games, etc.
But I have no interest at all with Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, F-Zero, Pikmin, Smash Bros, etc as I prefer something more casual and obscure than very famous things.

Top 8 Konami's Rhythm games:
1. Dance Dance Revolution
2. Para Para Paradise
3. DrumMania
4. Beatmania IIDX
5. Pop'n Music
6. KeyboardMania
7. Martial Beat
8. DANCE EVOLUTION

Switch Friend Code: SW-8364-7166-5608 | 3DS Friend Code: 2638-4872-0879 | Nintendo Network ID: TAGunderground

Matt_Barber

Lots of people seem to have this picture of the Wii being a console that everyone bought, played Wii Sports for a month or two and then confined to a cupboard.

However, the software sales figures tell a very different story. Over 900 million games were sold, which is still the greatest for any Nintendo console. It's also a larger number than either the 360 and PS3 saw, although they're probably a bit higher when you work out the number of games per console.

So yes, Wii Sports was that foot in the door that got it into the homes of people who wouldn't normally have bought a console. However, they kept using it and kept buying games.

That only makes the failure of the Wii U to capitalize on its success seem even more stark though.

Matt_Barber

CactusMan

There was a point in time where you got a free WII with a mobile phone subscription, changing utility company or with your car insurance. Those people were not gamers to begin with. A few exclusives aside it just was just not a good console at that time.
I mean now are some people screaming about a Nintendo handheld not having 4K, the WII was the same generation as PS3 and XBOX360 and only supported only standard definition output.
Sure there are some fine games out there but I honestly think one could argue that the WII U had more great games than the WII.
The WII was not for casual nor for hardcore gamers, it just was there. Sometimes providing some bowling pleasure.

Bamm!

Switch Friend Code: SW-6657-1971-4787

Euler

I don't think that's the case. Let's look at Nintendo's E ticket franchises:

Mainline Mario (2D): New Super Mario Bros. Wii sold 30.3 million. That makes it the third best-selling 2D Mario game, behind the original game (40.2 million) and NSMB (30.8 million).

Mainline Mario (3D): Galaxy 1 sold 12.8 million. That makes it the third-best selling 3D Mario, behind 3D Land (12.81 million) and Odyssey (20.8 million). Galaxy 2 sold 7.41 million - not fantastic numbers, but still nothing to sneeze at.

Mario Kart: Mario Kart Wii sold 37.4 million, still the best-selling Mario Kart game to date.

Animal Crossing: City Folk sold 4.3 million, a pathetic figure to be sure but Animal Crossing typically does a lot better on portable consoles than home consoles.

Mainline Pokemon: n/a

Super Smash Bros: Brawl sold 13.3 million, the highest out of any Smash game until Ultimate stole its crown (23.8 million).

3D Zelda: Twilight Princess sold 7.53 million, making it the second best-selling Zelda (narrowly edged by Ocarina of Time) until Breath of the Wild (in a league of its own at 22.3 million). Skyward Sword (3.7 million) didn't do as well, though it came out late in the Wii's lifespan when many had already moved on to other consoles. We'll see how the Switch rehash does.

So as far as Nintendo's main series go, the Wii instalments are consistently at or near the top. Only the Switch tends to do better.

Edited on by Euler

Euler

TheFrenchiestFry

@Euler I honestly don't think Mario and Zelda are good parameters for judging a console's attach rate or casual appeal most of the time because the mainstay Nintendo franchises are always bound to do well in terms of main big entries and their profits, even if the console doesn't sell super well. Mario and Zelda, and especially stuff like AC and Smash are practically console sellers to even the people who aren't hardcore into Nintendo

The only real exception to this was Breath of the Wild on Wii U since it also came out day and date on a newer and eventually significantly more successful platform. Even Smash on Wii U sold pretty well for the console it was tied to even if the 3DS version ended up pushing more units to my knowledge

Edited on by TheFrenchiestFry

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

Euler

@TheFrenchiestFry The Wii U shows the series have a pretty high floor, but they still sold considerably better on the Wii. I don't know what other metric we are to use other than that. If people were just buying Wiis for one game and nothing else, we wouldn't see the Wii dominating all categories. Also, as pointed out, the total software sales for Wii exceeded all other Nintendo consoles (except the DS) by a wide margin.

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/index.html

Euler

Dogorilla

Even completely casual gamers must have bought games other than Wii Sports given that Just Dance was still releasing on the Wii until very recently.

Currently Playing:
Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure (Switch), The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii), Pokémon Platinum (DS)

Gamecuber

I think also the shear number of Wii games still floating around second hand stores and charity shops goes some way to suggest that people bought a lot more than just Wii Sports.

Furthermore, this idea of ‘casual’ did not exist prior to the Wii. All systems were seen as fairly equal, though Nintendo did suffer from a ‘kiddy’ image for most of the 90s. It’s not like someone playing GameBoy was a ‘casual’ compared to those of us with the more capable Game Gear. Gaming was far from mainstream still so we all just played whatever we happened to have (plus the idea of ‘PC Master Race’ didn’t exist; we nearly all had a family PC for work which we could take on if we were allowed/ could get the games to actually run.)

Personally I was living abroad during the Wii’s first three years and honestly didn’t know about it at all (I didn’t use the internet in the same way and was content with my PS2 which was still being supported and it was easy to find PS2 games where I was living). I first saw the Wii at a friend’s flat in 2009 and wasn’t impressed with motion controls (which I thought was a gimmick) but Virtual Console blew me away (remember I didn’t have an Xbox or PS3 so didn’t really know about buying downloadable games. I know, it was a pretty big rock I’d been living under!). The fact that you could pause the games, turn off the machine and just pick up where you had left off was huge for me; in the past most games didn’t save so you had to start over when you switched off the machine.

I bought a Wii a few months later and both myself and my wife loved it, especially Wii Play but I soon got into using it as my main system for the next 3 years. I couldn’t afford a new HD tv so standard definition was fine (my crt tv was only 5 years old anyway) and soon I was hooked on Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, Force Unleashed, House of the Dead etc). Even when I eventually moved onto the Xbox 360 I still played on the Wii frequently, especially when friends came over. It’s still set up with all my other consoles, loaded with virtual console titles.

The know most people think of the Wii as purely casual but I can’t have been the only one for whom it was a proper games machine?

‘You swapped 3 games for Pokemon Stadium? Where’s your pride? Your dignity?!?

‘I traded it for a Pikachu...’

Gamecuber

Just an addendum; a lot of people seem to attribute the Wii’s vast sales to purely it’s casual appeal (which was significant) but no one seems to apply the same logic to the PlayStation 2…

The PS2 was heavily marketed in some regions as a DVD player that also played games (rather than a games console that happened to play DVDs). It was by far the cheapest DVD player on the market (and it is strange to think these days that dvd players which now cost £15-£20 were £200+ at one stage). As such many of the hundreds on millions of consoles sold were never used to game on at all or very little. If that is not a casual audience then I don’t know what is. In fact, this is the reason I got one in 2002. I had no interest in Sony for games (as I was N64/PC in the 90s and the PS1 did nothing that those couldn’t really do between them, baring exclusives of course). I only got the PS2 as a new Argos store was opening and they were offering PS2s for £150 to the first 50 customers who bought one. I got it as I’d only just started buying DVDs the previous year (and aside from special offers they were still expensive for the next 2/3 years)

‘You swapped 3 games for Pokemon Stadium? Where’s your pride? Your dignity?!?

‘I traded it for a Pikachu...’

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