4 years late. If you were 4 years late for something, you might as well not turn up at all. Imagine turning up for someone's 18th 4 years late. They'd be 22. Yet that's what I've done. Spurred on by a combination of my girlfriend gently nagging and the beautiful limited edition Mario Red console, I decided that I would reward myself. The first Paycheck from my new job, I rushed down to my local Gamestation after work, and picked it up. I had just bought a console that Grandmas and JLS are currently promoting.
Look at these Douchebags.
And I really like it. I reckon you've heard enough from absolutely EVERYONE on the subject, but it's a really enjoyable experience. I'm completely sold on the idea, and have been frankly blown away by the level of innovation the console sometimes comes up with.
I'm sure it'll gradually get less appealing over time, and it'll gather dust until the next Nintendo-developed title is released, but I'm ready for that, and fine with it. For the moment, however, I'm fully enjoying it. I was having a couple of beers and playing it with my girlfriend at the weekend when I figured it out. I had a moment of clarity, a breakthrough!
The Wii is a snack. a Peanut. No, a Wii-Nut!
If gaming is food, then the Wii is the snack element of it. It's a light bite, a bit of what you fancy in a small portion, that perfectly fills a hole with frivolity and brazen-ness. It's not classy, and it's not particularly well thought-out a lot of the time, but it's just what you need.
And I don't mean this in any derogatory way whatsoever. Of course I don't, I just told you how I'm absolutely loving it.
But imagine the Xbox or PS3 is like a meal. Depending on the game, it could be a steak dinner or a plate of crap. But it's aim is to fill you up, give you a full experience and be 'everything you need'. Most of the time, this is what I want. The DS and especially the PSP is a lunchbox. It's trying to fit the meal into a smaller form, but trying to give you it all still.
But the Wii, the Wii is a pub snack, and it's absolutely brilliant for it. When I'm having a few beers with my mates, or my missus, I don't want a meal. I want a bowl of peanuts there, for grazing and to allow the fun to flow, without anyone being bogged down. Same with my gaming. Wii-Nuts. Get it! Yeah I know, it's terrible, but it makes some kind of sense. The snack can be shitty, but it can also be brilliant. It could be a stick of celery, or it could be organic handmade honey-roast cashew nuts. See, you're now hungry from just reading that.
It's so good for it, too. I'll fire up Boom Blox and play it for 30 mins, get another beer, and then plug into Wii Sports resort and play a bit of Table Tennis, before deciding it's time for New Super Mario Bros Co-Op. All 2 player, all the time. It's an experience that demands human interaction, and demands company. It's a console that strips back to it's roots in the days of playing with others for the fun of it. No achievements, no online lag, no collectible gun camo. Just straight-up playability. Miyamoto made a bold move by dismissing all these things and more, but I finally get it. He's made the NES again. He's made games about family, and about friends, and about beers. He stripped it down, and to great effect.
And what a fantastic addition to my gaming, and to gaming in general. As time has indeed proved for the Wii, the market can accommodate both casual and hardcore audiences, and thrive. And those of us who sit in the middle? Well, we're getting spoilt.