Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nintendo Wii

The new Nintendo game system name has finally been settled upon, and it feels like a bomb has been dropped on the gaming community. Generally there is quite a bit of protest when a new game system is named for some odd reason, and this "naming" is being met with quite a bit of opposition.

How do I feel about the name? I think it's pretty unique, and odd. Easy to say, easy to remember. Job well done if you ask me.

I remember not being all that fond of the name Gamecube a few years back, but now it's a household word synonymous with the idea of gaming and Nintendo. The same goes for the Xbox and Xbox360.

Players hold their game consoles near and dear to them, so they feel that they have a personal stake in the naming of the next great thing by their favorite companies. Many of us as serious gamers, don't want videogames really portrayed as childish and toy-like, and I think much of the grumblings about the name Wii stem from that in a way. It just sounds innocent and playful... too much so for some.

In terms of logo usability and recognition I think the word "Wii" has quite a few possibilities. The letter i is very similar to the shape of a human being, and pairing them up implies multiple people. The term "we" also further drives that point home. Video games can be a very social affair, especially in this day and age where so many people are into multiplayer gaming.

I think our gaming public should take a real look at how they have recieved console names in the past before freaking out in every forum imaginable. I would have never imagined that product names like itunes/ipod, netflix, myspace, or livejournal would be household names, but here we are. The words these names represent have gone far beyond being just representative of the product's use or intention, they are entities in and of themselves. The Sony Playstation brand name is a great example of this. To many adults who don't normally play games, every game system is a "playstation" regardless of make or model. The term "playstation" represents videogames, very much like the word nintendo did before it, and atari before that. Recently with all of the media coverage, the xb0x360 has become the new default name for gaming, which I find quite interesting.

Wii isn't such a bad name really. Wii like it.

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