22 July 2007

Wii = Whee!

Ever since it came out, I mocked Nintendo’s lame name. Since I don’t watch TV, and get all my news from print in some form, to me the console’s name was obviously pronounced “why.”

But I finally got one yesterday, so I guess I have to say it the way Nintendo does. As I’m sure most of you know by now, it’s a lot of fun.

I think much of this is because of the attention they paid to usability. Some of the Wii Sports tutorials get a bit annoying (as do the tennis replays), but by and large they’ve done a good job making things simple and obvious. All the plugs on the back of the machine obviously fit one way only (except for USB — they’re stuck with that). The controllers let you know when it’s your turn to play. Multiple on-screen pointers are handled well (a hand with your controller number; frequently one is transparent if it’s not active). The “alert cat” during a slow operation was a nice way to draw your attention without being obtrusive (and it had force feedback as you patted it).

I’m also pleased that I could get it into my secure wireless network (which took longer than it should have only because I forgot that I limited access to specific MAC addresses).

I had to go back out today and buy a second nunchuk controller, but at least those are easy to find (unlike the Wii itself — I had to go to two stores before I found one).

The biggest problem is probably with our living room — it’s not well configured for two people who need to leave room to swing while watching the screen. And when Elise is playing, I worry that her dog Tristan will get clonked, since he follows her around and wants to stand in front of her.

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