The Nintendo Wii Console - Taking Video Games Out Of The Bedroom

Wii Console

The Nintendo Wii Console

There's not a lot of point arguing about which is the best games console. All of the three main ones, the Sony PS3, The XBox 360 and the Nintendo Wii have their merits and demerits as well as their fans.

However, speaking as the father of two teenage sons who have both a Wii and an Xbox (the PS3 got bust and I refused to replace it) I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the Nintendo Wii is - in my opinion at least - a much more sociable console than either the Xbox 360 or the Sony PS3.

The Xbox 360 is good for playing online and you can meet and chat with your friends, collaborating in various online games if you wish. Both of my sons quite regularly get home from school, do their homework and then fire up the Xbox so that they can chat with and play with their fellow pupils who they last saw less than an hour ago.

Another very common scenario however, is that upon receipt of a new Xbox or PS3 game, they disappear into the bedroom for hours emerging only infrequently - red eyed and grumpy more often than not - for toilet breaks and snacks. To be honest, when presented with a really good game like Fallout 3 for example, I suspect that toilet breaks become optional and the only reason for leaving the bedroom is the universal teenage compulsion to eat their own body weight in savoury snacks washed down with liberal draughts of fizzy drinks every 24 hours.

The Nintendo Wii is somewhat different. It does not live in the bedroom. It lives in the living room. I don't know why this is exactly. It could be that that's where the big plasma screen TV is - but I doubt that's the real reason, otherwise the Xbox would be there too - along with the ghost of the PS3 no doubt.

I think it's because the Wii is more fun with a group of people. Real people. People who are not online but who are right there beside you jumping around, waving their hands about, getting out of breath and generally looking somewhat foolish. People who you can reach out and touch - quite possibly with your Wii controller whilst returning a powerful tennis serve. Boy was my face red! Still, at least I didn't have have a two inch gash above my right eyebrow.

I have conducted extensive research - which took the form of asking a few of my mates and work colleagues - and it does seem that our house is far from unique in having a Wii in the living room whereas other consoles lurk in teenage bedrooms. Some of the more devoted acolytes spoke of having "Wii nights" - parties where people visit to play Wii games before collapsing red faced and gasping for breath on the couch. Weirdos.

Anyway, I do believe I've made my point. The Wii is a much more sociable console than the others. Also, I do have an outside chance of beating my sons at Wii tennis or bowling, whereas playing Call of Duty on the Xbox invariably leads to my untimely demise followed by hoots of derision and cat-calls of "use the noob tube Dad!". Obviously, I am letting them win because they are young and it would be cruel to crush their youthful joy. In years to come they will realise that - I am almost certain of it. Anyway, the "noob tube" is beyond my powers of control and co-ordination. Why can't we all just get along?

Wii Games

Okay - this is important. See that bunch of images on the right? That's a whole selection of stuff for the Wii that you can buy from Amazon. It's really vital that you buy something (just click on an image and whip out your plastic - you'll feel so much better afterwards). I may receive a tiny amount of money or it may go to Hubpages. Either way, you will be encouraging economic growth by injecting cash into the economy which, I'm sure you will agree, is important as we emerge from the recent recession.

It's practically your duty. Don't read any further. Buy something right now. Even if you don't have a Wii everybody needs Nunchuks at some point in their life right? Of course, Nintendo wouldn't do anything so irresponsible as to ship real nunchuks. Try fighting off a squad of poorly voice synched ninjas with a small plastic banana and let me know how you get on. Even so, you'll feel better with your pretend Nintendo nunchuks for security. Buy them. You know you want to. Well done!

Right. Now that you've bought something - congratulations by the way, your purchase, whatever it was, not only displays your truly excellent taste but makes you look taller, slimmer, younger/older, appear smarter. You're now more attractive to women/men and, although you may not realise it at this time, you have quite possibly learned to speak at least two foreign languages. And now I'm going to tell you a terrible secret.

The games that ship with the Wii are really pretty good.You probably wouldn't need to buy anything else. Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort are a lot of fun. Be careful at first, the unaccustomed gamer could strain something bopping about. It is more strenuous than playing other console games. A night of bowling, tennis, baseball and golf left me somewhat tender the next day. My youngest son seemed okay - despite his, quite frankly, humiliating and crushing defeat.

After only a few days in bed I was ready to play again. My son had been cheating, or as he puts it, "practising", and roundly thumped me at whatever game I chose. Apparently he "rules" (although since he spells this with a z, two o's and no u I think the very suggestion is ludicrous). Nevertheless, I claim a moral victory for adults everywhere. I beat him that one time - fair and square. Apart from a little shove when he was putting for a birdie. I hardly touched him.

Despite having spent lots of money on Wii games, it is the Wii Sports and Sports Resort that we generally return to. They are good fun and, quite possibly, all you would need game-wise. Were it not for the economy that is, check out the column on the right. Even if you already bought something, a further purchase would only serve to confirm your general superiority.

However, once you have ground your offspring underfoot in a first night frenzy of tennis, bowling and baseball, you might want to consider Wii Fit. This is less of a game and more of a thinly veiled subterfuge to get your wife bopping about the living room in skimpy, tight fitting outfits. Thinly veiled? Practically nude would be nearer the mark! Worth every penny. If they force you to personally step onto the "board" then take my advice and just lie about your height ("I thought it was metric Sweetie!"). Works like a charm.

Nintendo Go To The Dark Side

I think the fact that so many people have their Wii consoles in their living rooms has been a major factor in the success of the black Wii - which Nintendo released in Japan during the summer of 2009 and which went on sale in Europe just before Christmas 2009. 

It was a big hit. Presumably the black Nintendo goes better with the other devices - the big plasma screen TV, the DVD player, the cable box etc. - already in most people's living room.

Curiously, at the time of writing at least, Nintendo haven't launched the black Wii in the States. However, it can only be a matter of time.

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Do You Have A Wii In Your Living Room?

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