The highs and lows of Wii’s 2008

The Highs

Software sales

It’s no secret the Wii is still selling out everywhere, but that really is good news for Nintendo rather than gamers. What is more encouraging is the sales success that even new third party IP’s and niche titles are having on the Wii. No More heroes is getting a much deserved sequel, Boom Blox has topped half a million in sales, Shaun White Snowboarding has posted strong early numbers and de Blob is also quickly closing in on the 500,000 mark. Nintendo’s positioning of the Wii as the home for new IPs and ideas is quickly gaining strength, and this can only encourage publishers to green-light more innovative software.

Strengthening commitment from Japan

While software support from the west is still sketchy at best, Japanese companies are increasingly throwing their support behind the console. Traditional games like a proper big budget Tales of game from Namco and Monster Hunter 3 from Capcom are on their way. Even more importantly, new IP’s like Mad World, Fragile and Little King’s Story are also coming to the console. There has been much talk of the decline of Japanese developers compared to the West; but even if they are losing the technological battle, they may be poised to take the advantage in the battle of ideas with the Wii.

WiiWare

For a platform that’s only been up and running for 8 months, WiiWare has already amassed a very strong lineup of software. Kick-started by the excellent Lost Winds, whose innovative use of the Wii Pointer showed up many retail games, it even managed to draw some innovation from Square-Enix with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals: My Life as a King. Art Style: Orbient also impressed, as did the more traditional Mega Man 9, Toki Tori and Bomberman Blast. But the award for best WiiWare game has to go to World of Goo. Along with Braid on the Xbox 360, it’s not just a must-have downloadable game, it’s a must-have game period.

Tokyo Game Show

It seems Nintendo isn’t completely deaf to the criticism and complaints of hardcore gamers. Aware of their underwhelming performance at E3, the company set about rectifying matters at the Tokyo Game Show. Before the show even began, Punch-Out!!! and Sin and Punishment 2 were announced for the Wii – a good start as both games carry significant weight among Nintendo’s more dedicated followers. The good news continued with the news that No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle was also in development, as well as a sequel to the cult hit Endless Ocean. In addition to new game announcements, gamers also got more information on Monster Hunter 3, Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Fragile: Farewell Ruin of the Moon.

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