Just as we were starting to think that Nintendo’s next-gen console could be the surprise winner in the forthcoming gaming wars, the Japanese company has gone and thrown another curveball. It’s rebranded the machine from its manly codename Revolution to the altogether more twee ‘Wii’ – pronounced ‘wee’.
Here’s why, according to those zany folk at Nintendo:
‘While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer… Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasises this console is for everyone… Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else. Wii has a distinctive 'ii' spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play. ... And together Wii will change everything.'
What they forget to say is that Wii also sounds like ‘wee’, which is, well, a euphemism for micturition in English and tiny in Scottish. The potential for playground humour is endless, and won’t be helped by the fact that the wireless, motion sensitive controllers are called Wii Wands.
Despite the name-calling and endless joking, the Wii could still be a success. After all, Pong was the first successful arcade game regardless of its stinking name, and PacMan was minutes away from being called, more literally, PuckMan until someone noticed that a tiny bit of judicious scratching could turn it into an altogether more offensive name.
Despite internet rumours, Sony has not responded by ‘doing an Apple’ and dropping an ‘i’ in between the Play and the Station of it’s PS3.
We can confirm, however, that the majority of Xbox 360 games are still pretty yawnsome. That should all change next month with the launch of Rockstar’s brilliant Table Tennis [story here], which the Stuff team enjoyed a preview of earlier this week – it’s fiercely engaging, requires lightning-quick arcade reflexes and looks gorgeous.