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Both Sides of Wii 560

Yesterday Nintendo released the official name for their next console. Formerly the Revolution, and now simply called Wii, reaction has been strong among gaming fans. A Brian Crecente article in the Rocky Mountain News looks at why Wii is bad, from a marketing perspective. Chris Kohler, over at Game|Life, looks at why Wii is good because of its iconoclastic nature. And, always happy to help with the irreverent, Games.net examines why Wii is weird. From that article: "We don't think Nintendo Wii is a truly terrible console name, but it's an uncharacteristically risky choice, even for Nintendo. We admire its simplicity and its playfulness (the two i's represent multiplayer action, you see). But on the flip side, parents will have a hard time pronouncing it ("Nintendo...why?") and hardcore gamers will slam it ..."
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Both Sides of Wii

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  • I missed the first article about this name change but this reminds me of the urban legend of the Chevrolet Nova in Latin America [about.com]. Nova means literally "doesn't go" in Spanish and so my teacher told me in Spanish class that it did horrible in Latin America. This isn't true, as the article points out and I wonder what exactly goes through an executive's head as they pick out a name for a product. From the article:
    A logical analysis of the story would also indicate its unlikelihood: It strains credibility to believe that a company as large as General Motors, with marketing executives and other employees and contacts throughout the world, wouldn't be aware of a negative meaning of a product name. In fact, according to one marketing analyst (Cecelia Bouleau, quoted in Business Mexico magazine), GM marketers discussed the possibility of confusion with the name, but "they kept the name and it sold very well. ... I think that the word is sufficiently incorporated into the language as meaning 'new' as in 'bossa nova' that the criticism isn't valid."
    You have to imagine that the execs at Nintendo saw this as a risqué move and weighed in the possible problems they would have marketing it. Is there a cultural barrier here that is plaguing a dominantly Japanese company?

    Also to note about Wii is that the logo looks very ... Apple-esque in its very light gray on white background way.

    All these jokes have been made about the name but on the manufacturer's site [nintendo.com], you'll find this little blurb:
    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 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 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 gathering to play.
    And Wii, as a name and 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 really not about you or me.
    It's about Wii.
    And together, Wii will change everything.
    So you see, even they are aware of the puns that come with a name like Wii. Personally, I'm glad they chose something other than an old name coupled with a high number (Nintendo 64, Xbox 360, Sega 32, etc.) because that makes it sound like something where bitrate and technical specs are the only things that concern a gamer. And they're not. The thing that concerns me the most is if there's going to be games that I enjoy, Tetris did that with 16 bits so I welcome anything at any bit rate that provides me with entertainment.
    • You have to imagine that the execs at Nintendo saw this as a risqué move and weighed in the possible problems they would have marketing it.

      No. This is a classic example of when no one in the boardroom has the guts to say "Sir, that is a terrible idea."
      • Nintendo's board room isn't made up of marketing folks though. They are made up of video game geniuses... The idea for Brain Age came out of the Nintendo board room (and Iwata is even listed in the credits). The Legend himself, Miyamoto, is also part of the board of directors of Nintendo. These aren't exactly people who are afraid of risk (before Brain Age came out in Japan, the press expect it to fail. And Miyamoto has an obsession with innovation). So I think if the board really thought it was a dumb idea
      • Of course it's impossible to tell without some kind of insider report but I bet you're wrong, it is impossible, the way naming exercises are conducted, that some serious opposition to this idea wasn't raised. Maybe they have some whole different system in Japan.

        I think it's a dog, for what it's worth, but I suspect that among all of the arguments about the reasoning behind it, the one closer to the truth is that it surely does set it apart from the pack. Revolution was a totally generic name, a word utter
      • I remember in 1985 when Nintendo announced their game machine. I believe I said something sarcastic like, "Huh... 'Nintendo'... That just ROLLS off the tongue, doesn't it?" One quick year later and it was all but a household name with Christmas shoppers looking for those 'intendo tapes'. Since then, I haven't doubted the power of Nintendo to change the face of video gaming. They haven't been #1 for some time, but perhaps they don't need to be.

        'Wii' is a strange choice for a name, but I bet you and I won't f
    • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:26AM (#15220223) Homepage
      I wonder why people keep bringing the "nova" example when there are much better ones.

      Mitsubishi Pajero: "Pajero", in Spain means literally "wanker". No need for weird interpretations.

      Mazda Laputa: Will be heard as "Mazda la puta", or "Mazda the whore". "Mazda" also sounds like a female name.
    • Fully agree (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JanneM ( 7445 )
      It is distinctive and easy to recognize again among its rivals even if you've only seen it once or twice before.

      The most horrible example to the opposite is currently among DSLR camera makers. Here are a hew model names:

      d30, d200, 350d 30d, d70, d50, 1d, d1.

      Two manufacturers: Canon and Nikon, with incompatible lens systems.

      Now, based on names, try to pair which model is for which system - and ficure out which is the high- respectively low-end models for each system. Good luck.
    • by Oscar_Wilde ( 170568 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:55AM (#15220886) Homepage
      All these jokes have been made about the name but on the manufacturer's site, you'll find this
      That wont stop people making fun of it though. People make unfunny jokes about Apple's iNames all the time. The only funny iName joke, and it's only funny given the way people poke fun at the iName branding, was the "iWas assembled in Taiwan" printed on the underside of the original iBooks. Takes the humour out of it, knowing that the people that thought it up realised it was going to happen before anyone else had a chance.

      I'm sure we can all look forward to the BuzzBox 720 Special Chuck Norris Edition Mk. II Xtreme fans making jokes about how stupid the Wii name is for the next decade.
  • Igor international? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:46AM (#15219999) Homepage Journal
    From the first blog:
    It's interesting how bad it is, said Steve Manning, managing director of branding company Igor International, the company behind such names as MTV's Urge and The Signature at MGM Grand. I don't know who's going to love it.[emp mine]
    Right. Someone from 'Igor international' who created 'Urge' shouldn't criticise anything

    Anyway, the only really thoughtful paragraph in any of the articles was from the Gamelife blog - and it was a quote from the comments to an earlier article:
    Talking to people that have worked in games retail, you find that normal people can't/don't/won't keep the names of the systems straight. People ask for PlayStation 360s and PlayCubes and Mario on Xbox even though they actually own a GameCube - to them the system names are confusing and completely interchangeable.

    This is basically Nintendo trying to create a name and brand that is in no way similar to the others, in order to be distinct in the minds of consumers. They see the ad, they actually retain the correct name, and they go and ask for it at the store.

    Also, while it may sound dumb to us, you know that they focus-tested the hell out of it in all three territories and, at the very least, it's not completely repellent to those focus groups.
    That's as good an explanation as any I've heard (in fact all the good speculation I've read about on not just this story, but just about anything recent, has come from random members of the public rather then the pundits)
    • Right. Someone from 'Igor international' who created 'Urge' shouldn't criticise anything

      Alternatively, one might argue that the name is so awful that even the director of "Igor International" thinks it's a bad idea. Perhaps we can convene marketing experts from Mandriva, Ekiga and SplunkBase to discuss this further.

      I think the bottom line, though, is that the Nintendo brand is so much stronger than any of its product names that they might as well just clear away from everyone else. Parents will just ask fo

    • The original name for the NES in the US was the Advanced Video System, and was a top-loading system just like all previous cartridge units. Everyone was afraid of it, because of the Atari crash, so Nintendo redesigned and renamed the system. I think that's what they are trying to do again. Small and sleak versus big and scary. Easy to remember name. It sounds like they are trying to create a new market, just like they did in the 80s. The big questions are whether or not there needs to be a new one (Atari
      • by c_forq ( 924234 )
        The big questions are whether or not there needs to be a new one

        I would just like to point out when Ford started churning out cars there was no need for horseless carriages. For many products (especially technology) it is not about an existing need, it is about creating a market. Once the market has been created a need will be established.
    • As someone on the Gamelife blog pointed out, the very fact that Nintendo had to explain its decision and Chris Kohler had to back it up is proof enough that marketing-wise, the name has failed.
      • by Chosen Reject ( 842143 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:55AM (#15221501)
        Or for another view:

        The very fact that a simple name is generating this much discussion is proof enough that marketing-wise, the name has succeeded in getting everyone to recognize it and ingrained in their minds.

        I would like to see you do some marketing. Apparently, when people are talking a lot about your product, you consider that to be a failure. Everyone was talking about the name so much that they want Nintendo to say more about it. That's marketing genius right there. Nintendo has everyone in the palm of their hands. Usually people might talk about a name and come up with all sorts of rumors on why it is named the way it is. But now people are going directly to Nintendo, who while explaining the name, now also has a chance to throw in another word or two for the system. My bets are that if MS could have people coming to them asking "Why 360?" they would love it too. But no one cares. And we all know why Sony chose PS3. Ooh, it's the PS2+1. That's a name that will have familiarity but nothing more. Nintendo still has familiarity (Nintendo wii) but now they also have something unique but easy to remember (Nintendo wii)

    • by XO ( 250276 ) <blade,eric&gmail,com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:08AM (#15220126) Homepage Journal
      But.. were any of those three territories english speaking? any of them have a gamer population? or for that matter a population of smartasses?

      Every chat channel I've joined in today has spent all day making fun of it. Yes, it's good for advertising, but it looks like the general consensus is that most English speaking people are NOT going to go to a game shop and ask to purchase a WII!

      I know I sure as hell am NOT going to say to the store clerk "Hi, I'd like to buy that Wii you have there."

      What are they going to call the eventual portable version? Mini Wee? Pocket Wii? Wii Wii ??

      Will Apple want to have their own branded version? iWii! A portable Apple brand! iWiiWii!

      Who's going to have a Wii party? "Dude, let's hook up our Wiis".

      "Dude, I am so tired.. I was up all night playing with my Wii."

      "John, can I see your Wii?"

      At least there is a bright side.

      It's not "Wii-NES."
      We hopefully won't have a game named "Super Mario Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!"

      You can play with your friends, and you can play with your Wii, but don't play with your Friend's Wii.
    • has come from random members of the public rather then the pundits)

      There is a difference?! How can you tell?

    • Right. Someone from 'Igor international' who created 'Urge' shouldn't criticise anything

      No, it's pronounced "eye-gor"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:23AM (#15220630)
      Honestly, I've been thinking that everything people like/dislike about Wii was (probably) intentional. In english the sylable we is associated with several words that can be used in a marketing campaign:

      Wii as in 'we'
      • Wii play together: the Nintendo Wii can have 4 people playing together

      • Wii Wifi: the Nintendo Wii is Wifi enabled and connects to the Nintendo Wifi service

      • Wii work together: the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS are compatible and work together (in some way)

      Wii as in "Wee"
      • Wii System: The Nintendo Wii is Nintendo's smallest system every produced (and one of the smallest console's ever)

      • Wii Controller: The Nintendo Wii's controller is the smallest controller ever produced

      • Wii price tag: The Nintendo Wii will be the cheapest systems ever

      Wii as in "Whee!"
      • Wii games: The Nintendo Wii was designed with a focus on producing better, more inovative and intuitive, controlls to improve the enjoyment of games

      Wii as in you "pee-pee" you imature fools
      • Bring a woman home to play with your Wii

      The biggest problems people have with the name Wii is that it does not bring up any images of playing games and it does not have a 'Mature' or 'Masculine' name; and I think that is the whole point. Calling a system XBox is about the same as naming your system the "Xtreme-Uber-Leet Box (don't play this you foolish woman or casual gamer)" which was what Microsoft was going for, they were trying to attract the hard-core gaming market. Wii is supposed to be a contrast to the (hard-core sounding) XBox and the (Technical sounding) PS3 by being very feminine sounding and very inviting.
  • by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:47AM (#15220003) Homepage
    Not only is it worse than Xbox 360, it will confuse the French and also everyone will keep making piss-poor jokes about it.

    See what I did there?
    • I don't understand this name. I swear there stealing this idea from the director of "Snakes on a Plane".

      In a matter of minutes, Nintendo turned the revolution into a laughing stock. Look on the net. ytmnd alone has 4 pages of wii jokes and that was within 6 hours. Maybe their thinking it's free publicity or something.

      There was no reason for Nintendo to change this name. Revolution was a good name. someone here suggested Gamecube Revolution and thats ok. even Super Gamecube would have been better than Wii.

      • Ok. I've read down as far as I can. No more. If everyone is freaking over the name rather that what the system can do then you should simply not buy the damn thing. Me, I'm going to check it out when it ships, and if it has games that entertain me I'm going to buy it whether they call it the "Revoloution", the "Wii", the "Snot", or even the "Doesn't suck that bad 3000". If it does suck that bad from a gameplay standpoint, well, then once again, the name won't matter, Nintendo won't get my money.
    • it will confuse the French

      Probably not.
      Marketing will probably pronounce it the english way.
      But people probably not. W in French is pronounced like v.
      I can't think of a word with two consecutive 'i'.
      It could be pronounced like vie (life), or maybe a long i.

      Probably a long i. Be it pronounced the english or the french way.

      Therefore no confusion with yesss or lifffe.

      And there are lots of homonyms in every language anyway, people don't get confused, it's just useful for puns...
      • "W in French is pronounced like v."

        "WC" is the only thing where we pronounce it like v.
        Actually, I can't even think of any french word that wasn't borrowed from english that has a W in it, so whenever we ever use it, we pronounce like in english.
        And indeed, Wii does sound the same as "oui" in french.
    • I agree that it is a terrible name. Now if you'll excuse me, I drank too much soda and need to go take a wicked Nintendo.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:47AM (#15220004)
    Although they'd have to name is Nintendo Shitcock for that to be true.
  • by saboola ( 655522 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:47AM (#15220006)
    They changed the name of the Playstation 3 back to that marketing term from the PS2. The "Playstation Emotion Engine", or PEE.
  • Wheeeeee! (Score:2, Redundant)

    Nintendo should hire Threebrain for their marketing program [threebrain.com].
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by hotdiggitydawg ( 881316 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:50AM (#15220025)
    Obligatory penny arcade [penny-arcade.com] reference...
  • by oskard ( 715652 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:51AM (#15220028)
    I wonder if they'll start calling the new controller a Wii-Wii.

  • by alucinor ( 849600 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:53AM (#15220041) Journal
    This name could either be good or bad, depending on the ads.

    If the ads seem goofy and childish, it will resonate against those qualities already represented by the name itself.

    However, if the ads are sleek and classy, and the logo is clean and simple (which looks to be the case), then the "Wii" thing could be spun off as "it's cool to be a kid again."

    I expect the latter case, of course, and I imagine an ad campaign similar to the DS. At the end of each commericial, if a child's voice whispered "wee" in sort of a mystical way, it would do wonders in changing the perception of the name.
  • attention whoring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Odiumjunkie ( 926074 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:58AM (#15220056) Journal
    I think that the second slashdot story in two days on the name of an unreleased console is evidence enough that the marketing folks over at Nintendo have made a sensible decision.

    Why oh why do people care? Hardcore /. nerds won't give a damn what it's called, they'll just want the specs and the reviews. Casual consumers won't remember what it's called, they'll just want to look at the pretty colours.
    • It's certainly true that many slashdotters are diehard nintento fans, and of course they'll buy the console and enjoy good games and support their alma mater... but that doesn't mean naming the newest iteration in the Nintendo legacy something tremendously stupid like "Wii" doesn't really, really get to us.

      For example, imagine the feeling you get when you get the latest in a great RPG series or other gaming franchise that you've watched grow for years and years (like Final Fantasy). Now imagine getting your
  • by aapold ( 753705 ) * on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:59AM (#15220069) Homepage Journal
    this just opens the door to soooo many bad puns.

    Although Michelle Wie [wikipedia.org] would be a natural celebrity endorser.

    Wonder if they'll have a normal version and a deluxe version. You know, the "royal" Wii.
  • Back in the day... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaztik ( 917859 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:04AM (#15220095)
    I seem to remember another device [apple.com] that had a name which everyone chastised in the begnning. Give it time people.
  • Is it Why like "Why the heck did they name it that?" ... or is it "weeeeeeeeee" like the Gonads and Strife [albinoblacksheep.com] squirrel flash thing?

    Either way, someone is cracking some smoke.
  • by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:04AM (#15220098)
    New names for Nintendo fanboys:

    • Wii-ners
    • Wii-nies

    Feel free to add your own

  • Petition! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trevelyan ( 535381 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:05AM (#15220105)
  • Hard time.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tansey ( 238786 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:05AM (#15220106) Journal
    "parents will have a hard time pronouncing it ("Nintendo...why?") ...""

    That didn't seem to stop Pokemon.
  • by Gazunta ( 710101 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:10AM (#15220133) Homepage
    All good points, especially from Kohler's Wired article. We're kind of irrelevant to Nintendo's thinking here. I caught an interesting article called No, Seriously, It's Called wii [ausfootballreview.com] thet deals with the 5 stages of grief and how it relates to this situation. From the article: ''Acceptance: Guess what, no amount of protesting at E3 will do the trick. It's not going to change. The people who sign online petitions are exactly the people Nintendo are avoiding with all this. Tomorrow you're going to wake up and it being called wii won't be so bad. Maybe it'll start to grow on you, like mixing medication and bourbon. It's not so bad once you get used to it..." Hmm, Bourbon. I think I'm still in stage 3, Depression.
  • Hold on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z0mb1eman ( 629653 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:15AM (#15220159) Homepage
    So, because of the name everyone's talking about Nintendo's console.

    Two stories in two days on Slashdot about the name alone - first one got almost 1000 replies.

    Blog articles are popping up left and right about it.

    Even months from now, when you hear the name you'll smile or chuckle - because you think the name is funny, because you think it's refreshing, because you think it's colossally stupid and find it amusing that a company can make a mistake this big. In the meanwhile, the names "PlayStation" or "XBox" will just elicit a shrug.

    Already - in one single day - Nintendo has managed to set itself apart from its competitors, and generate a huge amount of buzz about its console - without a massive ad campaign or billions in R&D. Just by releasing three letters to the public.

    So, remind me again... why is this name bad?
    • Re:Hold on. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DjLizard ( 951040 )
      I think you're one of the only people in here who gets the point. Bravo!
    • Re:Hold on. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Psychotext ( 262644 )
      As others have already said this is a bad name for the following reasons:

      1: If you need to explain a name; it's bad.
      2: If your name can be easily insulted; it's bad (ask parents how careful they are with kids names).
      3: If your name is hard to pronounce, or can be confusing to work out how to pronounce on sight; it's bad.
      4: If your name doesn't convey what the product is, and it's going to be used on its own; it's bad.
      5: Finally, if you know it's going to be bad, yet you still release it then defend it; it's
    • I've seen this argument posted before about other things in the news, and it doesn't fly. "There's no such thing as bad press" is totally wrong.

      SCO sometimes had two articles a day on the Slashdot front page, and that didn't help them. I fail to see how discussing Nintendo's horrible marketing decisions somehow translate to positive buzz.

      So, remind me again... why is this name bad?

      Because nobody will know how to pronounce it. Because soccer moms will be trying to spit out this weird combination of letter
  • Thats it Nintendo
    You Win the Prize!!! [gwally.com]
  • by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:18AM (#15220175) Homepage
    I just had a thought. Nintendo could have had this name released at E3 with all their other stuff, but they didn't. We should probably suppose that

    1) having Revolution plastered all over their booth and then changing the name mid-show would be a bit of a marketing idiocy/expensive gesture

    2) it would completely overshadow EVERYTHING else they had to announce even though it is a fairly minor thing compared to real games, new controller quirks, playable systems

    3) they know it sounds stupid, but they want you to get it out of your system before E3 so that you concentrate on the above (real games, new controller quirks)

    This is smart. I like the name but I think it works as a logo, and as a product name, and a trademark, but it's just not something I am going to vocalise. I am going to pronounce it wrong.. Why Wi Way whatever. Or just say Nintendo like I always did for every other Nintendo console.


    4) regarding 2, this could mean that besides Zelda and some spurious announcements and a playable system they have sweet FA to show at E3 besides officially confirming a lot of stuff we already read on rumor sites.

    They secreted a mentioning the DVD attachment, I wonder if they will show it.. E3 should be the place where, now that we know the name, and we have gotten bored of how Zelda looks (and plays with the Wii controller maybe) we see exactly all the crap that is going to be launched this holiday season..

    Oh! It just came to me. This console is gonna fucking ROLL off the shelves in Scotland. It's small, it's cute, it's Wii like a bairn :D
  • Lots of people are talking about it, and we should not forget that there's no such thing as "bad publicity"
  • Okay, maybe kids will get a kick out of it.


  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:22AM (#15220200) Homepage
    I love the way the Slashdot blurb used ellipsis in this quote:

    and hardcore gamers will slam it ...

    whereas the full quote from TFA reads as:

    and hardcore gamers will slam it because, well, they're jerk asses.

    That's quote some selective ellipsing/ellipsissing/ellipsiation going on there.
  • "Wii... not-so-Wii... and FRIGGIN HUGE!"

    (Old SNL reference for those who didn't get it)
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <<jhummel> <at> <johnhummel.net>> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:27AM (#15220228) Homepage
    (Recycled from a blog post of mine. Cause I'm lazy. But it fit.)

    There was an interesting idea brought up in a forum post somewhere else, and I don't recall where, yet the headline went like this:

    "Hard core gamers: Do we matter anymore?"

    And the second I saw it, I knew the answer:


    Gaming, to use an idea that would make Mr. Rogers cringe, is becoming more and more like the movie industry every day. Not in scale or stars, yet in history. The industry was first introduced with small players, making games out of their basement - like initial movie makers with their "moving cameras". Then came an era of competition and explosion - then the conglomerates came into being, and they started to get movie making down to a science.

    People complain that movies are all "the same", yet the fact is this: movies sell. Yes, they're going into a slight downslide right now, yet I'd argue that's an issue with technology (home theaters more comfortable and convienient than movie theaters - look at how studios make more money from DVD rental sales than blockbuster sales). yet movies, as bland as they are, make money. They make a shitload of money. They make so much fracking money it's not funny, because they have the formula down.

    Was "Momento" a better movie than "The Matrix"? I'd argue it was - yet it didn't follow the rules. It was harder to think through. It didn't challenge. People could watch the Matrix with it's biblical allusions and get the surface story - kick ass people in leather, yeah! Or get the subtext. In "Momento", you had to think the whole fracking movie, and work to understand it.

    Nintendo gets this. Look at the games they've been releasing. Is "Pikmen" a good game? I liked it. yet it's not selling nearly as well as "Tetris" or "Brain Age" or "Nintendogs" - the latter are games that you don't have to think about (insert irony about "Brain Age" here). yet these are games that a) did not cost a lot to make, and b) could be played by anybody with more than 5 brain cells. Are they fun? Sure - Nintendo gets it: the hardcore gamers don't make them money. Armies of teenage schoolgirls and their parents do.

    What does this have to do with Wii? I think Nintendo, in a way, is making a statement. To hard core gamers, they're saying "This is not your world. There will be things for you, for those who look past the name. yet we are establishing here and now - this system is not for the 'hard core'. This is for all of the girls and grown ups out there who don't get 40 button controls, who will look at the word 'Wii' and go 'Oh, that's interesting.'"

    Look at their plans for porting: almost none. EA had an interview where they said they were all yet forced to rewrite games from scratch for the Revolution/Wii because of the difference of power and controller. Which is what Nintendo wants. Let Sony and Microsoft fight over almost exactly the same games and who's cock is bigger in the "HD-DVD versus Blue-Ray" fight. Nintendo will do what Sony did - offer a DVD player that also plays a ton of games that people can pick up and go "Oh, Mario. OK - I move this way and jump. I can do that", while the "hard core" will either look at the name and say "Wii is lame", or will look at the game lineup and go "Turbo Graphix? Sweet - hey, Phoenix Wright Wii version! Neat!"

    I don't know if it will work. Or, it will probably work in Japan the way the DS all yet killed PSP sales. (As Tim once said, every time someone finds out how to do something fun with the PSP, Sony releases a patch to break it. Or, something like that.) It probably won't hurt the Xbox 360 sales, since for all the money it's losing it's supported by a monopoly that hopes for more, and PS3 sales probably won't matter because of the Wii.

    Yet I think that Nintendo did the name on purpose, knowing it would piss off the "hard core". I'll probably get one, because I've got 3 kids and a wife who only plays "Tetris" and "Brain Age" (I leave the DS at home for her to play while I'm out working - which will be my excuse for why we need to buy a DS Lite when it comes out ;) ), and I just don't have the time to play every really cool game I want to.

    (Shrug.) Guess we'll see more at E3.
    • by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:31AM (#15220674) Journal
      Couple of points..

      Devil may cry is very much a hardcore game. It's not an easy game to pick up and play for newbies, and it only gets worse as you go on. DMC sells extremely well, hence there is a market.

      Ninja Gaiden - same deal.

      Mario kart - It's the complete and utter opposit. It's easy to play, it's fun for everyone and most of us hardcore players have grown up with it and love it. This is where I think Nintendo will go, because that's exactly where they have always been. They make fun games for everyone, not just the "ZOMG WE'RE HARDCORE" (like Microsoft failed to do) or the jack of all trades (which the PS2 tried to do).

      Nintendo will honestly just sit down and go "Okay, how do we make people enjoy playing our games?" and then they'll probably use Mario in there some where. I'm a very elitest guy (Hey it's Slashdot), but I adore Nintendo and have since I first got my gameboy (all those years ago). Nintendo want people to have fun and enjoy themselvs, if these "hardcore" people don't get that, then I refuse to call them gamers. They're fashion whores with a game fetish.

      Nintendo's current UK marketing compaign has 2 sides. One side is more or less a happy woman playing animal crossing and just enjoying herself. Being very careful and such. The other is basicly a guy going "PSST FONDLE MY DS BITCH!". So they really do have both fronts covered and I doubt it'd change any time soon.

      Don't think Nintendo are shutting out the "real gamers" or that we don't matter. Nintendo are making fun games for everyone to enjoy, the "hardcore" has decided that being "cool" is more important than fun. The hardcore turned their back on Nintendo when they decided that having fun with Mario was too childish. Nintendo just kept making excellent games with the same characters they always have.
  • by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jason AT jasonlefkowitz DOT com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:30AM (#15220246) Homepage

    It's a little old (circa 1999), but Salon's article "The name game [salon.com]" -- a look inside the "identity firms" that come up with so many of the weird names that are floating around these days -- is worth bringing up because it's just so freaking funny.

    It seems that when Altman and Manning presented the name Jamcracker to a client recently, the reception was not everything they had hoped for. "I put the name up in front of their creative people," Manning says. "There were a couple of women sitting in. One of them got up and said, 'Oh, that's disgusting.' Another said, 'This is really sick.' I said, 'Excuse me, what are you talking about?' They said, 'We can't explain it, but that name is just creeping us out. We don't know what it is, but could you take it off the wall, please?'" Manning remains mystified by the incident. "There's apparently some strange, uncomfortable meaning attached to it in the minds of some women," he says. "God knows what that could be."

    Read the whole thing, it's worth it.

  • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:31AM (#15220250) Homepage Journal
    After my initial fanboy seething hatred subsided yesterday (I was probably more pissed then I should have been, but the name change was contrary to everything I was expecting, I suppose) I thought a bit more about the name.

    Despite the penis and urination jokes and the inevitable puns, the name could work. I would still prefer that Nintendo choose something else (or just switch back to "Revolution"), but something that others stated yesterday made sense: Nintendo could call it "ShitInABox" and it would still have great games, which is the entire reason you buy any console.

    I'm still worried about public reaction, though. The foreign-sounding name, combined with the various jokes and sound-alike meanings, could be enough to throw off the non-gaming public, the parents and adults and girls that Nintendo is supposedly trying to reach with this console.

    The overall reaction to this will likely turn out just like Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. People will initially hate, hate, hate it. ("This isn't what they gave us at E3 2000!" "Revolution was so much cooler!") Then we'll look at some screens and play reviews in magazines and soften up a bit. ("Well, the art does look good..." "Well, it does have some awesome looking games...") Then we'll actually get one and wonder why we ever doubted Nintendo. Of course, there will be those who will refuse to accept it, but that's common to everything (just look at the Amish).

    I still plan to buy one, but I don't think I can go on calling it "Wii". Talking to friends about your "Wii" is just too unnerving. I'll do my own little personal arrogant "refuse to change" thing and continue to call it "Revolution", because that's frankly what it is, in my opinion.

    Wii mean nothing. But, at the very least, I can say "A WIINER IS YOU" at the end of matches on this console.
  • by Digital Vomit ( 891734 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:32AM (#15220259) Homepage Journal
    It's going to end up being called a "Nintendo". "Did you buy an XBox or a Nintendo?" 'Wii' is such a ridiculously bad choice for a name. No self-respecting teen/young-adult is going to walk into a store and ask for a 'Wii'.

    "Hello. Do you have any Wiis..." (trails off)

    "Any what, sir?

    "Wiis" (quietly)

    "I'm sorry, sir, I can't hear you."

    "Wiis! I wanna Wii" (loudly)

    "Washroom's at the back of the store."

  • Does anybody else think this is very Japanese? LIke they are going with a very Hello-Kitty cutesy little name - and its weird like those little robot toys you get in a Japanese toy store. This sounds like a name straight out of a Katamari game.
  • Pee Ess Pee?

    Pee Ess Three?

    No problem.


    Piss! HAHA OMFG you said P!SS, ROFLMAO?

    Strange, isn't it?
  • I cannot believe there is anybody out there nay-saying this move. Nintendo, by changing the name to something “controversial” has just drummed up more buzz than the “coolest-name-evar” could possibly generate. Every so-called analyst and commentator who is weighing in on this misses the point: it has nothing to do with being a good or bad name but everything to do with forcing it into our collective consciousness. Wii will always be with you now.

  • by doctor_no ( 214917 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:39AM (#15220316)
    "We don't think Nintendo Wii is a truly terrible console name, but it's an uncharacteristically risky choice, even for Nintendo. We admire its simplicity and its playfulness (the two i's represent multiplayer action, you see). But on the flip side, parents will have a hard time pronouncing it ("Nintendo...why?") and hardcore gamers will slam it ..."

    I think the biggest issue is that the name is not easily read or pronounced; many will likely read it out as "why". The fact that they have to tell you that its pronoucned "We" is a bad sign, product names should be straight-forward and to the point.

    I agree the two "i"s and people playing together, as in "we" is clever, but that gimmik is quickly going to fade. The concept is very akin to Intel's Viiv (which I'm still not exactly sure how its pronounced), however good solid names that are easy to remember are far better then gimmicky names that are hard to read.

    Also, "we" has too many conotations in different languages that are going to be much stronger than a game console, "we" as "oui/yes" in French, "we" as in pee, "we" as in small, etc. By far one of the worst product names in recent history, but they sure have gotten quite a bit of press from it.
  • Now we're going to confuse people using poor grammar! Let's lake a plural, first person pronoun, "we," and make it into a singular, proper noun for an object! Sentences such as "Wii is good" or "Wii is bad" would make anyone saying them sound like an utter moron.

    What will companies do next to destroy our already fragile grammar? The Sony Yu? Microsoft's next venture, the Ai (Pronounced as "I")? The Mi?
  • by Potor ( 658520 ) <farker1.gmail@com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:43AM (#15220336) Journal
    it's a great name. monosyllabic, pronouncable for everyone - how can they go wrong?
    also, that graphic will scale well, and could be shortened to just the w anyway.
    i'm sold.
  • how many of the people bitching here will be standing in line like good little consumer sheep when the system hits the streets.

    Because even if I think the name is kinda awkward, I KNOW I want one.
  • Marketing GENIUS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mikeisme77 ( 938209 )
    I've been thinking about this since yesterday (and my initial reaction of hatred of the name/thinking it was a stupid move, etc.) Now that I've had time to contemplate the issue though, I think it's an ingenious move. Here's why:

    1) The name is simple, easy to remember, and sticks out like a sore thumb (which for marketing is good).

    2) The fact that it's as weird as it is/initial reaction is "wtf" means LOTS of FREE publicity for Nintendo. Before this, NOBODY was talking about the system--there were a few

  • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:46AM (#15220356)
    "(the two i's represent multiplayer action, you see)."

    You can see what Nintendo's thinking, anyway: "We" recast with a double-whammy of the "i" thing -- iMac, iPod -- on the other end of the name. This is a name Nintendo would have chosen in order to play up the networked, multiplayer side of the new console.

    If they had thought the controller needed to be emphasized, you'd maybe have something about "motion" or "kinetic" in the name. Seems like they didn't need to accomplish that, though, because basically anyone who's at all interested in consoles knows that about their new machine. So, use the name to play up the thing that's not gotten so much attention yet.

    (Compare it with Microsoft's leaden touch: "X-Box Live." Implying that when you're not in multiplayer, the games are, what, dead? Nice.)

    The other thing to say is that this industry is one of the few that could stand to run ads laughing at itself -- and the other consoles don't do that good a job of that. Both the XBox and the Playstation go with pretty macho adverts. I think of the 360 release and all the reviews were about how awe-inspiring King Kong's graphics supposedly were. Roar! If Nintendo makes some fun with its own name, suddenly people are laughing with them instead of at them. Don't believe me? Think of beer commercials. If any industry can do that, it would be one that makes games, right?

  • You would think a Japanese company would want to avoid any connection to WWII.
  • I think we can now say that hardcore gamers really aren't that importat, based on the "hardcore"-only adoption of the 360, and its simultaneous, spectacular flop.
  • >>Introducing ... Wii.
    >>As in "we."

    So the first thing you have to do is explain how your new product name is pronounced? Dud.

    >>While the code-name "Revolution" expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer.

    Um, you "answer" a question. You don't "answer" a "direction". This doesn't make sense.

    >>Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else.

    No it won't. Humans are tribal. The thing that separates gamers from others is GAMERS. We like it that w
  • by Punto ( 100573 ) <puntob AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:02AM (#15220478) Homepage
    called "Why do Wii care?". Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of nintendo, and I'm looking forward to this.. But really, who cares? what's in a name anyway?

    But maybe it's just me.. a lot of people seem to think that 'hard core gamers' will respond better to a name like "TEH SUPAR XTREME GAMING FRAMEWORK" or something.. I find that annoying, maybe I'm out of touch..

  • I, for one, appreciate the carte blanche for making childish pee jokes. It's fun to be immature sometimes... and isn't that what most video games are about? Being childish and carefree?

    Even in games like Halo 2, you can kneel down and keep punching your dead opponent. Heck, the entire concept of GTA is like this. How many people play GTA for more than an hour before just going on virtual rampages, trying to get as many stars as possible? Your masculinity may hide it, but deep inside, you're crying out "Wiii
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:35AM (#15220702) Homepage Journal
    This is just something bizarre from another game....

    The Wi Flag was a peculiar problem in the early Asheron's Call codebase that seemingly afflicted one paticular player, named Wi. Basically mobs zeroed in on him no matter when he showed up in an area and no matter who else was there.

    A little history about the flag is here,
    http://www.vitaerising.com/modules.php?op=modload& name=News&file=article&sid=58 [vitaerising.com]

    and then the fix for it came along here..

    http://www.vitaerising.com/modules.php?op=modload& name=News&file=article&sid=40&mode=thread&order=0& thold=0 [vitaerising.com]

    So I guess Nintendo is not worried about turning off all of Asheron's Call current and former players :)

  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @10:40AM (#15220741) Homepage
    Nintendo Wii continues a strong tradition of incredibly moronic brand names out of Nintendo -- which is a shame because their games are incredible.

    * Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Ok, I understand the need to maintain "a strong brand identity". But this is really just a copout versus coming up with a more creative name. Their ads were even worse: "Now you're playing with power... super power." Was it any wonder that the Sega Genesis (which had some great games of it own and I consider the best console name ever) had more "cool factor" going into the early 90s?

    * Super Scope 6 - If you're wondering, this was the software that came with the bazooka-version of the lightgun for the SNES. Never mind the fact the gun itself was completely unwieldly -- the decision to make the name of the software roll off the tongue (Super Scope 6) made everyone forget that the Super Scope was supossed to support a bunch of games. Since everyone associated the gun with the 6 relatively crappy minigames it came with, no one thought to look for 3rd-party software that supported it. I think a total of 3 "full games" supported the thing.

    * Game Boy - Immediately shot down as being "sexist", Nintendo Power held a contest to design your own and half the entries used the words "Game Girl". To this day they're still trying to get Game Boy moniker out of peoples' heads (to your non-gaming buddies, do you call your DS a "Nintendo DS" or "like a Gameboy")?

    * Virtual Boy - Ditto. And add the fact it wasn't really virtual. All it was doing was drawing red lines a few inches in front of your eyes and giving headaches.

    * Nintendo 64 - This began a line of consoles with relatively good codenames but terrible console names. Ultra 64, while derivative of Super Nes, at least had a "cool" element to it. Killer Insinct for the arcades even touted "Coming soon to the Ultra 64!" Nintendo instead decided to go with the incredibly bland Nintendo 64 and a gave it a suitably stupid Escher-like logo (which Rare's Conker amusing destroyed in Conker's Bad Fur Day). Again, wonderful games -- terrible name.

    * Gamecube - Original codename: Dolphin. Exudes intelligence, the ability to swiftly get around competitors. Final name: a plastic block. The ads picture a bunch of gang-like teenagers walking the streets and then cut to a cartoon Advance Wars-like game. Huh? Although it could've been worse -- one of the final designs called for a star-shaped plastic fins and the name "Starcube". Picture the Disney PC for 4-year olds but in your living room. Again, incredible games -- dumb system name.

    * Nintendo Wii - Original codename: Revolution. Gives off the vibes of doing completely new things (the controller) and harkens nostalgia for when Nintendo turned a hobby into a multibillion dollar industry in the 80s (NES, SNES, etc. emulation). Final name mirrors a number of terrible Japanese names. In particular, I'm reminded if Vaio and Wega from Sony. Wega, in particular, is actually supposed to be pronounced "vega". Why they didn't just stick the V in there is anyone's guess. Revolution would've been a brutally cool name but instead they decided to wreck it.

    Again, I'm not saying anything against the games themselves -- they're incredible. Bottom line is Nintendo should fire their marketing department and hire the guys from Sega, Microsoft or even Sony.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.