The Wii Revolution Fades?

It was almost six years ago now that I first mentioned the Nintendo “Revolution” game console. It promised such amazing things as wireless connections straight out of the box and a wireless controller.

The die-hard gamers started complaining right away, but even IGN knew why a gaming console that promised easy playability was so important.

And there was the first look at the controller.

The hype built quickly, the “Wii” name change was a point of major initial controversy (I admit that I hated the change from “Revolution,” too), and the rumor mill suggested — in 2006, no less — that perhaps the Wii would be a 3D projector. Or a built-in camera to put your face on a Mii.

When it finally came time to buy one, Amazon’s sale was not unlike a lottery. I didn’t win that, either. I missed it the first day. But then I took advantage of the Blue Laws, went into work late one Monday, and grabbed one for myself. And had some initial happy impressions. (I never got used to Super Monkey Ball and sold it off later. It wasn’t my kind of game. “Rayman Raving Rabbids” was a big hit for me, though.)

That all was four and a half years ago. Things have changed since then. Wireless internet is everywhere, and everything in the house will be wireless soon, including your toaster. High Def TV is the new standard. And the Wii controls have finally been copied by Microsoft with the Kinect and Sony with something so embarrassing that I can’t even remember its name right now.

Lately, the 360 has pulled ahead, leaving the Wii as a strong second best seller from month to month. And, seriously, the difference between #1 and #2 isn’t that great here. Furthermore, the Wii will go down as the top selling video game console of all time. That’s pointed out by Chris Kohler in this article that explains why the Wii’s days may finally be numbered. With a rumored price drop coming next month, it looks like Nintendo is ready to set the old girl out to sea and move on to the next console for next year sometime. Such is life.

More from Kohler:

But if Nintendo’s plan to woo third-party gamemakers does revolve around a new machine, that leaves only Nintendo to keep Wii interesting. And even Nintendo seems to be washing its hands of Wii these days. The company is largely focusing on games for its recently launched Nintendo 3DS. To be fair, this is the more important task at hand, but the effort seems to be coming at the expense of Wii.

Yes, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be released for Wii at the end of the year. I do believe that the excellent Japanese role-playing games Xenoblade and The Last Story will make it to America. And Square Enix says we’ll hear about Dragon Quest X for Wii later this year, which will be a very big deal … in Japan. Not in the United States.

The Wii was a great console for its time, and it did great things. It expanded the video game industry in a way much of the industry still doesn’t want to acknowledge, even as it’s spent the last five years trying to copy its every move, from wireless motion controllers to the stripped down family-friendly game console package. And it’s still very playable, with many years’ worth of addictive and group-friendly games. I’m not tired of my Wii; I just wish I had more time to do gaming. I still pick it up for the occasional game of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, and I wish I had the time to get back into both Wii Sports games.

But, yeah, at the same rate I really do with it was in HD, as I’ve become a complete snob about that. Other than that, no complaints here. I’m not giving mine up anytime soon, but maybe it’s time to acknowledge the passing of the torch to — of all people — Microsoft.