If you listen to Casting from the Server Room then you know I’m a huge fan of the Nintendo Wii. Can you really blame me, the console is seven consoles in one, and is about to add an eighth. If you are not familiar with the Wii you may be thinking what are the seven consoles? If you are familiar with the seven consoles then you might want to skip ahead. If so then goto 70.
The first, of course, is the ability to play Wii games, and these games are the ones that use the new Wii controller that senses motion for the input. This has opened the door to knew types of games that are fun and easy for all ages to play.
The next game type is GameCube games. If you have a GameCube already you can use all your old games on the Wii. If you are like me and haven’t owned anything from Nintendo since the Super Nintendo then it’s nice to purchase cheaper games that you can play on your Wii. Their is a catch to using GameCube games on the Wii. As soon as you put the GameCube game in and hit start, all the Wii controllers turn off. You have to use GameCube controllers to play game cube games. I recommend the Wavebird from Nintendo for you game controller needs. You can save a little money purchasing after market controllers but they break easily. It is worth the extra cost for the higher quality and wireless. Once you’re in GameCube mode you can’t use the Wii controllers to turn the Wii off or go back to the Wii menu. Your Wii is a GameCube at that point. The other catch is you also need to purchase a GameCube memory card to save your games. All that said, I still enjoy playing GameCube games on the Wii and more importantly it has enabled us to purchase more games giving both me and my son more games to choose from.
Now on to the really cool part of the Wii, the Virtual Console. The Virtual Console allows you to play games from multiple old consoles. Currently it supports the following systems.
* Nintendo – 500
* Super Nintendo – 800
* Nintendo 64 – 1000
* Sega Genisis – 800
* Turbo Grafix 16 – 600
This doesn’t mean you can take your old Nintendo cartridge and plug it into the Wii. They have an online store you can go to and purchase games. The store uses a point system with each point costing a penny, 2000 points is $20. I have included the average point required for the games from each system above. I say average because they recently released a Nintendo game for 600 points instead of 500.
The reason I think this part is really cool is because I can get all the old games that I loved playing as a kid, and find new ones that I missed while growing up. I didn’t have a Nintendo 64, but now I can play the games from it. Also my 4 year old son can enjoy the older games as well. The other bonus is they are cheap. You can get quite a few games for the price of one Wii game. Some complain that you have to purchase games that you have already purchased once, but that doesn’t bother me. The price point is right and the games are still fun. Others say I can just play the ROMS on my computer. Sure thing, you are correct and I have done that before, but there is something to be said about playing the games on your TV with a controller in hand. The keyboard isn’t the same. What about putting the ROMS on a modified XBox? That works and I have played them that way and liked it a lot. The only downside is they sometimes seemed to lag and the response wasn’t perfect.
That is seven consoles in one. Wii, GameCube, and 5 systems in the Virtual Console. The eighth console is rumored to be added this month. Yes, that’s right, this month we are supposed to start seeing Commodore 64 games on the Virtual Console. The first game is supposed to be Impossible Mission from Epyx. This will probably not be a big deal for most younger users of the Wii, but for those of use who gamed on a Commadore64 this will really bring back some fond memories. I know I am looking forward to the release of Jumpman. I just hope my son can look past what to him are sure to be lousy graphics, and enjoy it for the awesome game play. I haven’t heard what the price will be on them, but I would guess under $5. So the Wii is really more then just a console for gamers, it is a console for everyone. What are your thoughts?