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Wii goes where no video game has gone before - Image courtesy Chicago Tribune
Nintendo console has officially gone geriatric

Nintendo is off to an incredible start with the Wii. With continued demand and leading sales even after the holiday season, Nintendo couldn’t be happier with the system’s early success. The Wii’s innovative controller design has opened up video gaming to a previously untapped market—non-gamers.

The marketing minds behind Nintendo looked beyond the traditional gamer mediums and advertised its innovations at targets as far from gaming as you can imagine, such as retirees. Nintendo even went against the current and took the Wii to an AARP convention. “The AARP thing was a little bit tough at first. They were like, ‘We don't really want to talk to you because we're all grandparents and we already buy stuff for our kids,’ and so we said, ‘No we want to talk to you about you,’” said Perrin Kaplan, VP Marketing & Corporate Affairs for Nintendo of America. “It took several attempts for them to finally say, ‘So why do you want to talk to us?’ And it's because we have products for them as well now.”

Nintendo’s efforts seemed to have paid off. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Wii is now the latest rage at the Sedgebrook retirement community in Lincolnshire, where the average age is 77. In particular, the Wii Bowling component of Wii Sports has members of the retirement community hooked on playing the Wii installed inside the Sedgebrooks’s clubhouse lounge.

“I've never been into video games, but this is addictive,” said 72-year-old Flora Dierbach. “They come in after dinner and play. Sometimes, on Saturday afternoons, their grandkids come play with them … A lot of grandparents are being taught by their grandkids. But, now, some grandparents are instead teaching their grandkids.”

Wii Bowling has become so well received that more than 20 residents signed up to participate in a virtual bowling tournament without the need to leave the clubhouse lounge. Sedgebrook's entertainment committee said that they even have a fan for people to dry their hands before they bowl, just like at a real bowling alley.

Although Wii Sports features cartoon-like graphics and characters—imagery normally aimed at children—the retirees are absolutely taken with the realism offered by the Wii Remote.

“This is pretty realistic. You can even put English on the ball,” said Don Hahn, 76, a veteran of numerous real-life bowling competitions. “I used to play Pac-Man a little bit, but with this you're actually moving around and doing something. You're not just sitting there pushing buttons and getting carpal tunnel.”

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I dont think so PS3
By DangerIsGo on 2/22/2007 11:44:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, lets see the PS3 do this...go in retirement homes...Wont even get past the front door.

In all seriousness though, I believe nintendo has revolutionized the gaming industry with this. 3d mice have not been new but to implement them in a gaming way is. Good job nintendo! Keep up the good work!

RE: I dont think so PS3
By deeznuts on 2/22/07, Rating: -1
RE: I dont think so PS3
By mircea on 2/23/2007 3:19:47 AM , Rating: 4
Let me get this translated for everyone else. You say that:
old people playing Wii make's it uncool vs. you playing PS3 & Xbox 360 make's it cool

WOW, please buy and play Wii cuz it seems everything you play becomes cool. I'll keep away old people from PS3 and Xbox 360 (can I still let my aunt though?? she can kick your but in some games)

I agree with the first part of why not the Xbox there too. But that is true about the Wii as well. Take any PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii but only with the clasic controller and you'll have the same result. But the Wiimote changes everything.

Every system has (as it should) games that appeal to specific age groups. Both Playstations before 3 had plenty of stupid and bad games that you can't find on any Nintendo system (and viceversa), but the system didn't become uncool. You choose what games you play on what system, that doesn't change anything of it's adjectives :)). It should affect only the games itself. Nintendo just had the least bite of the developers pie, and got stuck.

So stop lying to yourself and try to convice that Zelda, Metroid, and most exclusive Wii titles, along most multiplatform titles will suddenly become dumb cuz some old people piked up Wii.

I think most people that complain about the simplicity of Wii haven't played NES and SNES games (when gaming was really fun and less stats) and are scared that because so many people buy Wii it's natural for developers to migrate and will force them to play cool games on low graphics. See they would have no problem playing them, but ah... the shame of boasting on graphics for 5 years and now the humility of having fun without them.

RE: I dont think so PS3
By deeznuts on 2/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: I dont think so PS3
By afkrotch on 2/22/2007 8:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
umm...motion devices have been in gaming for years. Never go to an arcade?

They've had games where you have a sword you swing around and block. They've had games where you shoot a gun and you had to actually duck to hide behind objects.

Nintendo hasn't done anything revolutionary. They simply took other ppl's work and brought it to home users. I don't see the Wii lasting all that long. Wait until the end of the year and tell me how they enjoy playing another Wii Sports or another random sword fighting game.

Me...the Wii was fun for about 15 mins. I got bored of it pretty quickly and went back to playing my PC and PS3 games. Will be picking up an Xbox360 soon. I don't buy consoles to play kid's games.

RE: I dont think so PS3
By zeroslugfm on 2/22/2007 11:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
well the Wii is more or less an "arcade" experience. Like the above poster's not revolutionary in the sense of mechanics but it is the first time this has been successfully launched on a home console.

As far as "difficulty" is concerned, deeznuts is obviously not the target audience for the Wii, but there is something "retro" about having the instant-action gameplay that everyone can jump into. Anyone else remember getting drunk with friends while playing Ms Pacman?

I'm not getting any younger anyways~ ;)

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