Ten five things I hate about Wii

So in just a few hours, the first of you lowly Internet peoples will finally be getting your very own Wii. Me, too, actually, since I’m not a freelancer — Nintendo sends the freebies to 1UP, and we are required to share. But there’s no way I’m establishing a Virtual Console account on someone else’s machine, so it’s off to wallow in midnight idiocy with my fellow frothing idiots. Oh, geek genes, the lengths you force me to go through to keep you satisfied.

Wii is a fine little system, and Zelda is a gosh-darned fine game to get with it, but my week with Wii has already introduced me to a handful of things that really hork me off about it. So please allow me to harsh your pre-launch buzz by enumerating my grievances:

  1. No component cables: No, I haven’t griped about this enough yet. The fact that Wii only includes composite video cables isn’t just dumb, it’s one of the most boneheaded things Nintendo has ever done. The company is taking a big chance by refusing to play the horsepower game and try to outmuscle the PS3 and 360, but this isn’t going to do the system any favors. Sure, Wii can’t output high-definition video, but it does run in extended definition — and looks really good. But you need the component cables for that, and those are an extra thirty bucks. Including them in the package would have done a great deal to advance the system’s cause for HD owners (and everyone else who knows anything about signal quality, even on standard definition sets) since it would have meant graphics that look good right out of the box. And it’s not like it would have hurt the bottom line; Wii was reportedly going to retail for $200 until retailers pressured Nintendo to bump up the price to create the perception of value. This is known as “a crock.”
  2. Wiimote button layout: The Wii remote is a really great idea for a controller, and it works shockingly well for traditional games like Zelda… mostly. But anytime you have to make frequent use of the “+” or “-” or “1” or “2” buttons, you’re going to hate how inconveniently they’re placed. Also, the B trigger on the underside is perhaps a little too sensitive — I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve paused the game and placed the controller on the couch for a break… only to find myself suddenly under attack because I had brushed B when I set down the remote, exiting out of the pause screen.
  3. Hungry hungry Wiimote: Something you don’t see in previews is mention of the fact that the Wii remote guzzles batteries. No joke — I started into Zelda with a fresh pair and had to change them out twice. Roughly every 20 hours, in other words. This is known as “another crock” — the WaveBird, the 360 controller, even the third-party wireless job I’m using for PS2 can go for months without a charge. (I’ve had the same pair of double-As in my PS2 controller for nearly three years.) I get that the motion-sensitive stuff is more demanding than your standard analog controller, but damn. As much as the controllers cost, you’d think they’d have a high-capacity NiMH inside, but no. Add rechargeable batteries to your “hidden costs” list. Otherwise you can expect each playthrough of Zelda to cost you about five bucks.
  4. Virtual Console stupidity: Kohler says yes (maybe?) to Virtual Console output in 480p… but no to Virtual Console having enough sense not to auto-stretch your NES games to fit your widescreen display. Barf. Hello future system update.
  5. No Mario Galaxy at launch: Seriously, guys, not awesome. Zelda isn’t enough! I’m spoiled and demand Mario Galaxy, too. Don’t listen to the detractors — the E3 demo was brilliant.

24 thoughts on “Ten five things I hate about Wii

  1. Shoot, I forgot that I’m going to have to buy some NiMeHd batteries for the Wiimote. Oh well. I guess I can rip the batteries out of my Wiimote Remote Control that I got from Club Nintendo after the first set dies, but it’s still a pain.

  2. Since I don’t own a fancy High Definition TV, I can work my way around a weird button layout, and I’m patient enough to wait for Super Mario Galaxy, the only thing that really concerns me is the battery thing. I guess I’ll have to pick up a set of AAs with my Wii and Zelda tonight until Santa Clause drops some rechargeable batteries in my stocking on Christmas Day.

  3. It is a shame to hear about the batteries and odd button placement on the Wiimote. But it is even MORE of a shame to hear that the Wii was going to be $200 until retailers pressured NoA, and then NoA packed-in Wii sports instead of component cables.
    I just hope they don’t make them ridiculously hard-to-find this time.

  4. Man, I’d much rather have Wii Sports than component cables for $50. Components are what, $30? Of course, I work at best buy, so cables = cheap. Also, I’m not even getting a Wii (Booo! to being broke, I blame FFXII & NWN2), but I”m camping out for one with a friend. Seeing as how there’s a free new Castlevania in it for me…

  5. Hey, you know how some people say “I heart something”, and then type it out with a greater-than symbol and a 3? Yeah, html will parse that right out of you comments if you’re not careful.

    I <3 Futurama.

  6. This nex gen seems to be a disaster so far. I think Wii will do fine. But PS3 is a pathetic little disaster. Who knew Microsoft and Nintendo were going to be the winners?

  7. Were you using regular alkaline batteries? Or the better-for-electronics kind? Curious if those’ll last longer.

  8. It might just be the Guitar Hero 2 fatigue setting in again, but after an hour of Zelda I’m getting pretty sore from flipping my wrist around to hit guys. Oh, and Trauma Center is actually kind of fun now that I’m not required to control it with a stylus anymore.

  9. As little sense as the “retailers pressuring Nintendo” makes, the Wii’s price makes less sense to me any other way, so…

    What wireless PS2 controller are you using? Now I want one.

    and not having packed-in component cables may suck (for people with HDTVs unlike myself) but packing them in doesn’t entirely make sense with Nintendo’s whole strategy either. *shrugs*

  10. Yep, and a little switch to determine standard or HD modes, too. I was going to mention that, but I don’t know if it also comes in the low-cost ‘tard pack. Microsoft, I feel, has really made a serious effort to do the 360 right, despite some missteps, and this is one of those little details that makes Nintendo and Sony look comparatively sloppy.
    The PS2 controller is by Intec. It’s an ugly clear thing, but it controls well and feels good — slightly smaller than the Dual Shock, but just as heavy for a nice sensation of density. And it has legendary battery life.

  11. “Never thought you would be one to quote Futurama.”

    You haven’t been around this site long enough. My favorite one was the remark about how owls will someday replace pigeons. It was funny since, as long as I had been watching the show, I never realized that yeah, owls are apparently the predominant pest of the future.

  12. …You mean you haven’t noticed how often Parish opens a post with “Good news everyone!” Did you think that was coincidence?

  13. You forgot to mention that the component cables seem to be nigh unaquirable at this point. I don’t know about anyone else, but having an HDTV and all, I’m holding off to play Zelda until then.

    That said, most everything else is gravy. I got to Best Buy about 5:15 this morning and was 46th in line for an avalible sixty units. I’ve only booted up Wii Sports and Exitetruck so far (both very fun, except Wii Golf which is nearly unplayable); Meatier aqusitions like Trauma Center will wait until I can get some quality uninterrupted time. And for having to shoehorn SD on HD, once again, I have to say that so far it looks far better then the horror stories have led me to believe. Still need to get those composite cables though.

  14. I have to say that, while I am loving Zelda, I really want those component cables. There are moments (especially in Twighlight World) where I think, “Wow, these graphics are almost amazing.” I say almost, of course, because of aliasing problems and general bluriness. Unfortunately, as Torgo said, the cables are pretty much impossible to find. I really wish Nintendo would have packed them with the console.

    As for the Futurama reference: any and all Futurama references make my day 126.345892% better. That show is made of win.

  15. “Were you using regular alkaline batteries? Or the better-for-electronics kind?”

    …what do you put batteries in other than electronics?

  16. No Futurama references? It’s well-known that one of JP’s favorite animated characters is a saucy transgendered robot with a Puerto Rican accent — so why you so stupid, stupid?

  17. “Virtual Console stupidity: Kohler says yes (maybe?) to Virtual Console output in 480p… but no to Virtual Console having enough sense not to auto-stretch your NES games to fit your widescreen display. Barf. Hello future system update.”
    Ah, this is disappointing. I’m pretty pleased with the VC itself – or, at least, the NES emulation, which seems to be the same as that in the Zelda bonus discs for the cube’, WHICH keeps the games in their original rez if you’ve got a TV that supports it. It’s much appreciated.

  18. The true-rez thing is awesome — one of the best features of VC, in my opinion. Between that and the rock-solid controls, it really feels like playing Zelda or whatever on an NES that’s somehow been modded to output a high-quality video signal.

  19. Hey, do you know if it outputs 480p in GameCube mode even when the game isn’t set to? Because it’d be great to get progressive scan in the few games that don’t support it, like Killer7.

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