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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Played with a Wii!

Nintendo Wii
A senior colleague bought a Nintendo Wii for his kids today. But thanks to his supreme goodness, we got to play with it first!

Another colleague set it up, while I fiddled with plugging it into the TV set. Another colleague noticed me and remarked that I'd never been as excited about a game console before. Sure, there's already an XBox 360 in the office, but this is the Wii we're talking about!

We only played Wii Sports, preferring to leave Wii Play in its virgin condition. But even the games in Wii Sports were sufficiently entertaining. We started with golf, then moved on to tennis and baseball so that two could play at the same time.

As expected, handling the Wii remote (or 'Wiimote') was a no-brainer. For a moment, I was confused about how to play tennis with it, expecting to press buttons. Then, in a forehead-slapping moment, another colleague told me to just swing the Wiimote like a racquet. Of course! Before long, the few of us were swinging our Wiimotes wildly. I even banged myself against the wall a few times! And one colleague hit another -- with a loud slap!

Soon, everyone who was playing was used to the Wiimote. It's just so easy to take to it. There were no complicated button combinations to remember. Whether it was tennis or baseball, it took us less than a minute to figure out how to play them moderately well.

But there was one thing that irritated me. It was difficult to control the pointer, for example, when pressing a button to quit the game. Perhaps it was how the sensor bar had been positioned, because it was very easy for the pointer to disappear off the screen. It took a lot of wild swinging and wrist flicking to get the pointer back where it should be.

Fortunately, there's a small but very useful feature for managing the pointer. When it moves over a button, the Wiimote vibrates a little, prompting you to stop moving. Nonetheless, it was extremely frustrating. I suspect that there's a way to customise the speed and sensitivity of the Wiimote, but we didn't want to fiddle with those settings.

So, I'd consider my first hands-on experience with the Wii to be a resounding success. And it makes me even more sure that this would be the game console for me. But I'm not going to run out and buy it immediately, tempting as it is. I'll wait for the next electronics fair, which should be in September, to see if I can score any good deals. Yeah, I may like the Wii, but I can be patient too.

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