Monday, August 13, 2007

Where can Wii go from here?

This is usually how it goes whenever I can't think up a blog idea: I go somewhere else to watch TV or do some gaming, and that's when the idea hits me! Tonight, I glanced at my Wii next to the living room television, and I got the idea. Oh, and sorry for the minor pun in the title, but it was just too good to ignore.

The Wii is certainly a great system. Motion-sensitive controls, intuitive navigation, downloadable classics and more. But, what can be done to improve on this formula for the next generation? Obviously, the Wii can't stick around forever; it will need a successor in a few years. What are some improvements that could be made to this new system of tomorrow? Here are a few upgrades I've thought up for Nintendo's next home console.

DVD playback

The total lack of DVD movie support on the Wii is quite possibly the biggest problem considering the day and age it was released. DVDs players are nearly a dime a dozen, so I know it wouldn't have been all that expensive to outfit the Wii with the ability to watch movies. The only thing Nintendo would have had to do is add one more chunk of data to the operating system and the Wii would be able to play DVDs. After all, the games are written on the same format of disc, so the physical requirements are present in the console's structure. Also, while they're at it, why not add audio CD support? Implementing CD playback should be even cheaper than DVD movie support! Then again, a new Wii Channel could probably make both of these things a reality on the current console, but if the rumours of a DVD-enabled Wii launching soon come true, why would they bother? Either way, this is a must-have in the next system.

Improved motion sensing

The Wii remote's motion sensing capabilities, while impressive, are in no way perfect. Don't believe me? Then give this a try: While on the main menu, point your Wii remote at the screen. Then, twist the Wii remote (Like a doorknob) without moving it otherwise. Notice the cursor on-screen going wild? If that's not an aspect in need of improvement, I'm not sure what is. Also, a way to determine the Wii remote being turned like a steering wheel is a must. In the case of Excite Truck and other so-far released racing games, players turn their vehicles by tilting (Not turning) the Wii remote. Not exactly life-like, as I'm pretty sure steering wheels only spin in real cars, not tilt all over the place (If yours does, however, I advise you see a mechanic ASAP).

Graphics at least on par with the XBox 360

First of all, let me say that I'm usually the last person to be called a graphics whore. Even so, I still feel that the Wii's graphics need to be improved drastically for the next generation. I've seen Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. They both look great, but they sure as heck don't resemble Halo 3. The Wii's successor needs to be at least as powerful as the XBox 360. By 2011 (Estimated start of the next generation), the technology in Microsoft's current gaming machine will be cheap and readily available, perfectly fitting Nintendo's requirements for appropriate hardware. But for now, I'm perfectly happy with how Wii games looks (At least when the developers put some effort into them, that is).

More substantial internal memory

I don't care who you ask, 512MB is way to little memory for a console to have. There are DS cards with more storage space than that! Heck, my $30 MP3 player has 512MB or memory! I don't think there's any excuse for the puny amount of internal memory the Wii has. After all, what with Wii Channels, game saves and Virtual Console games piling up quicker than empty beer cans at a frat party, there will come a time very soon when most every Wii owner is finding less and less space available in their little white box. The next Wii needs to have at least 10GB of storage space. You'd be very hard-pressed to fill up all that space with Virtual Console games, Wii Channels and game saves. And think what could be done with all that extra space! Demos, wallpapers, music, game add-ons and more! But as of now, there's too many possibilities and too little space to put it all.

Better online capabilities

Anybody who's played Mario Strikers Charged online knows that the Wii wasn't built for the internet. It's hardly worldwide, as the game advises you that playing with people living on other continents could possibly make the game unplayable due to lag. And ever if you are playing under the suggested guidelines, lag still rears it's ugly head far too often. I'm no tech-wizard, so all I'm suggesting is whatever makes online gaming possible needs to be beefed up. Whatever it takes to all but eliminate lag needs to be done.

No more AA batteries in the controllers

Anybody who owns a Wii knows that even the best batteries only last so long in a Wii Remote. Many people have turned to accessories such as rechargeable batteries or Wii-specific charging docks. But I don't think any of this should be necessary. Nintendo should have made the Wii remotes rely on internal, rechargeable batteries, similar in concept to the batteries in DS Lites and Game Boy Advance SPs. The charging dock would be packaged in with the console with an extra battery (Both of which would be available in stores), thus eliminating the copious amounts of Energizer and Duracell batteries lying around many of our gaming areas.

So those are some ideas I have to improve upon the already excellent Wii design. What do you think of my ideas? What are some ideas you've come up with?

The Duck Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

i really want Nintendo to release a hard drive soon so we can do so much more aka demos,more bigger games, and other things also i havnt bought a wii online game yet but is it that bad and if it is i hope they try to fix it before SSBB comes out because if it has online i want it to be perfect

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing complaints about the wii's small internal memory, and I have to say I don't understand them. I have 25 VC games (mostly SNES and TG16), save data for all of them; save data for 8 wii games including elebits (which takes up almost as much space as F-zero X), and the Everybody Votes channel. I still have a little less than half of the internal memory free. I probably won't need to worry about this for another year, at least. What are people putting into their systems that takes up so much space?

In addition, Nintendo already has a solution to that: the SD card slot. I've backed up everything I have on my 2GB card and have more free space on it than I think I'll ever need.

Channels and save data can be freely swapped in a very short time. Yes, I know it is not as convenient as a large hard drive, but SD cards are a lot cheaper and often faster.

I think the rest of your concerns are valid, except for the battery complaint. I've been using rechargeable batteries in everything I own for over 10 years. They are a cheap, proven technology. Developing a proprietary battery for the remote would only make it more expensive, and doesn't make much sense when there is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

alexanderpas said...

64 savegames... internet channel and voting channel... and only 1500 blocks left...
while on my 2GB SD card there are 45 VC games, and 12000 blocks left...

Meaning, within a year i need to hussle with savegames when i want to play a game :(