Nintendo was always going to be the rank outsider in the next-gen console wars, simply because its Game Cube is running at number three behind the PS2 and Xbox. But on the strength of the showing at the E3 show in Las Vegas, there’s a distinct possibility that this stalking horse console will end up taking the crown.
First things first: unlike its rivals, the Wii is not high-definition. It’s not designed as an all-singing multimedia hub. And, although pricing has yet to be announced, it’s not going to break the bank – we think it’ll ship (hopefully this side of Christmas) for less than £200.
But neither is the Wii a just a kids’ toy. Its killer feature is the motion-sensitivity of its ‘Remote’ controller, which is central to its gaming experience rather than a last-minute addition like the PS3’s newly motion-sensitive handset. Unlike the PS3, the Remote also features a rumble pack. And, having used it, we can confirm that the Remote really does redefine the gaming landscape.
Not only does it monitor your left, right, up, down, forward and backward movements, but also your velocity. When used with the Tennis game that will form part of the Wii Sports pack, it provides the most naturalistic gaming experience we’ve ever come across – we were serving imaginary balls and lunging into fellow journalists as we stretched to make tricky backhands. Even someone who’s never played a computer game can pick it up and start hitting tennis balls or flying aircraft by holding the controller like it’s a paper plane.