I will be straight and to the point. I like the name Wii. I think it's refreshing, weird, and somehow fits in the universe that Nintendo has created for themselves. Wii, which is pronounced "we", is the new name for the new Nintendo console, once dubbed by the codename Revolution. The codename definitley explains what the system was all about with its new angle on gameplay. With the unveiling of the remote/controller hybrid, Nintendo is showing the world how to play games again.
But then came a rather shocking announcement from the big N. It has become custom for Nintendo to reveal some of their projects before E3( Nintendo DS, GBA SP), and so this year Nintendo dropped the bomb by announcing that their new console will henceforth be called Wii. This has got the whole gaming world off gaurd and has garnered mixed reactions. Most of which has been in the negeative. Here are some examples of what a couple of editors over at 1up.com said.
"What the holy hell are they smoking over there in Nintendoland? This is a classic cross-culture blunder; it may not be "bite the wax tadpole" but lord, it ain't good. Although, I do appreciate that it opens the door to some awesomely bad urine jokes."
- Joe Rybicki
"Actually, it's probably smart. It will never be a good name for a videogame console, but it's so unbelievably weird that it's bound to have people talking."
Despite the reactions however, the vast majority seem to either dislike the name or abuse it for toilet jokes. I have been guilty of the later, but I seriously like Wii. Wii just seems to have enough weirdness to it that it just seems to fit. Anyway, the choice of the name Wii was rahter intersting. Game Informer held an interview with a NOA rep who said that the name "Wii" symbolized playing together and allowing people to interact with their games in a new way.
However, with a name like Wii for Ninendo's next big console, one must take a look back at the other consoles with usual names that didn't sit well with the public. For instance our good buddy the Dreamcast is a prime example. A console that had a good and unfortunately short run. Dreamcast seemed like a name that might be associated with those deamcatcher rings. While it is still an odd name for a console the Dreamcast has managed to not only become a staple in gaming history but years after its life, to be known as one of the best console names ever.
Of course this might also go to show that a console's name when first announced can in fact hurt sales of a console. Why buy a system as weird as a Dreamcast when you can buy the cool sounding system like a playstation 2. A poll over at Gamefaqs has shown that over 37,000 people won't buy the system or say that sales will hurt Nintendo because the name is just weird. That 37,000 that aren't getting a sysem because of a silly name. Its probably really silly of them to do that, but its their choice and in the end it's Nintendo who get's hurt.
Nintendo lately seems to be taking huge risks with what they have been doing. The DS was a big risk and in the end has become profitable. The name DS has also become a staple in the view of the public. Weither it meant Dual Screen or Developer System, it didn't matter since the name was well recieved by the public. Nintendo wanted to change the way people played games and the DS is proof that people will want new experiences when playing games. Eventually this might be the case with Wii once everyone is able to fully realize what the system is capable of. And for that we must wait until E3.
E3 is the ultimate test for Nintendo. Once they win people over with their games and virtual System service I gaurentee that you'll still hear the toilet jokes but the name will have a more positive impact on gaming. Revolution by description, Wii by name, a gaming expereince Wii will soon enjoy.