Almost since news about Nintendo’s plans to replace its GameCube console have hit the wire, industry vets and interested gamers have talked about the Revolution. Revolution was Nintendo’s code-name for the new system, which will hit store shelves later this year. Now Nintendo has introduced the console’s real name and brand: Wii, pronounced like the word “We.”
Since first unveiling a prototype of the new console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in May, 2005, Nintendo has spun a heady marketing message: Video games are too exclusive, they’ve said, and systems have become too complicated for the average person to use and enjoy.
While “Revolution” expressed Nintendo’s direction with the new console, “Wii” is the answer, the company said. “Wii” emphasizes that this is a console for everyone, according to Nintendo — it translates well across different languages, is unambiguous and not confusing.
Wii will feature wireless controllers that look more like a television remote control than a console controller. In fact, the logo for Wii is designed to evoke the design of the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo has said that the new controller design will help game makers create new, original titles that don’t look or play like the games that have come before them. Besides backward compatibility with GameCube discs, the Wii will also offer a “virtual console” download service that will let you play games originally developed for Nintendo’s classic cartridge-based consoles and other systems.
Nintendo still hasn’t revealed a firm price for Wii, nor have they defined what date the new console will be released, although it’s widely expected to be found in stores in time for this year’s holiday sales season, at a lower price that either Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 3.
More details about Nintendo’s plans for Wii are expected to be revealed at next week’s E3 in Los Angeles.