Average review scores across two generations  (Source: Next-Gen)
Wii games rate significantly lower than Xbox 360, PS3 games

There is no argument that the Wii is winning the console hardware race. Even with its relatively unremarkable technology, aside from its controller technology, the Wii has won the hearts of the general public with its hardware innovation. The games available on the system, however, seem to paint a different picture.

Using aggregate game scores from GameRankings, Next-Generation compared the average rating of all reviews across the current consoles. The overall average rating across all Xbox 360 games was almost 70 percent, with the PlayStation 3 up slightly with 73 percent. Wii games collectively average a significantly lower 64 percent.

While some may argue that a six to nine point difference between the current platforms is unappreciable, the Wii’s apparent lack of quality software shows even when plotted against game consoles from the previous generation. GameCube, Xbox and PS2 all share lifetime review scores around the 70 percent mark, still well above the Wii’s current average.

There may be several explanations for why Wii games are performing poorly in reviews. For one, the instant success of the Wii has encouraged developers to rush out either basic, shallow software – most of which are mini-game-based – or shoehorn Wii motion controls into a title originally designed for the PS2.

On the reception side, game reviewers all of which are hardcore gamers, have been accustomed to traditional control schemes, consistently advancing presentation (graphics, sound) quality – things that the Xbox 360 and PS3 have, but the Wii does not.

Review scores for the Wii don’t seem to correlate strongly with sales. Wii Play earned an average of 61 percent, yet sold almost as well as Halo 3 (of course, coming with a Wii Remote probably helped at least half of those sales).

Super Mario Galaxy with its 97.2 percent average sold quite well throughout the holiday season, but it had instant street cred being a Mario title. (Sadly, it didn’t sell as well in Japan.)

Right now, it seems the Wii is two different things. Casual or new gamers see the Wii as a Wii Sports party machine, while hardcore gamers see it as a Nintendo player – strictly for playing first-party titles. The latter are currently salivating at the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Lost in the shuffle are great games such as Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, which sold dismally to Wii owners, yet earned nearly an 86 percent average. Sadly, the gutsy No More Heroes may suffer the same fate, despite its 83 percent average.

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