Friday, 28 April 2006

Wii Want

Nintendo has announced that its next generation console (code-name Revolution) is officially known as Wii. The company explains:

"While the code-name 'Revolution' expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else."

"Wii will put people more in touch with their games … and each other. But you’re probably asking: What does the name mean? Wii sounds like 'we,' which emphasizes this console is for everyone."

"Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii. Wii has a distinctive 'ii' spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play."

"And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of video games that sets it apart from the crowd. So that’s Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because, it’s really not about you or me. It’s about Wii."

In addition, Nintendo hit on a number of Wii-related points. Nintendo stated that "A number of Wi-Fi-enabled launch titles are in development that will employ Nintendo's newly announced wireless gaming service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection."

Also mentioned was an SD memory card expansion bay that will allow users to complement the 512 megabytes of internal flash memory.

The company also touted Wii's two-format disc drive. "Instead of a tray, a single, innovative, self-loading media bay will play both 12-centimeter optical discs used for the new system as well as Nintendo GameCube discs. Owners will have the option of equipping a small, self-contained attachment to play movies and other DVD content."

At first I scoffed at Nintendo's nomenclature! However, who would have thought that TiVo and iPod would become part of our consumer lexicon? And controversy sales.

Wii, like the original iMac, will be available in an assortment of candy colors. To paraphrase Steve Jobs. Wii is gaming for the rest of us. Nintendo may have struck marketing gold by mining Apple Computer's rich lifestyle brand ethos.