This is interesting stuff to think about. I never really considered those non-game channels the way you did @saddleblasters, and it’s and interesting framing for it. At the time I started even thinking about those channels I was already playing games online on my Xbox 360 with friends - so then this weather channel comes out and I think - this is all they’ve got as far as connectivity?
But thinking about it how you’ve framed it just makes me think about that overarching emotion game-likers seemed to have with the Wii in genral: disappointment. I do think more could’ve been done with those kinds of limited-interaction online experiences, but nintendo never really went further with it, and none of that character is in the Switch.
As for the main input device, you can really see how developers got excited by the perceived possibility space, and then dragged back down to earth by the reality of it. Elebits is a good example. What a delightful-looking game and concept! Sucks to play though! And as developers realized the limitations, that’s when it really became the “tacked-on waggle” era. And then you had game-likers just hoping for a PS2 port because even if it was visually worse, they wouldn’t have to touch a wiimote (and that often happened).
It does in many ways feel like a forgotten console. It’s pretty far outside of the conversation unless we’re talking mario or zelda.
At the same time, there’s a huge library of interesting titles on there. Titles I wish I could play on a switch or any other console. RPGs that never came out anywhere else, fragile dreams, even a sandlot medieval earth defense force-like. But even looking at one gameplay video you can see how the waggle was tacked on. that could’ve been a dang button!
It was like devs were making the game for nintendo in order to be on the wii, rather than for players. It felt like nobody, not even the people making the game, wanted that waggle in there. There are tons of games that are “trapped” on the wii, and will never get a remaster or a remake, because it’s too much effort and many of the games are at this point too old to hold up visually.
At the same time, the wii is still the only console my nephew has. he’s been playing wii games, almost exclusively, since birth, and now he’s like… 8? 9? So for him, that’s what a game console is.
So was it every worth it? I dunno, the wii motion plus is apparently pretty good, and could’ve done more of what developers were actually thinking of earlier on. but it didn’t get a lot of support.
As shane said it was probably the best marketed console of all time. And as you said, I think the “less interactive” channels were actually a neat idea to go further with. And as nintendo relaxed the wiimote requirements, allowing games to just use traditional controls, things opened up a bit. But I think if that’d been true from the start, and the wiimote was good for taking on the Ellen show and whatnot, but you could still play most games traditionally, they’d have occupied a greater portion of people’s memories. I think your traditional game-liker was happy to leave that era behind.
But Nintendo could’ve pushed it all further and supported it more from a developer standpoint. If they had, I wonder where we’d be now?