Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nintendo Wii: Maybe Not So Dumb

Yes, the jokes started flowing after Nintendo announced that the Revolution was changing its name to Wii. Most jokes pointed to the fact that the name (pronounced "we") can be used as a synonym for urinating or part of the male anatomy. Heck, even I had a few laughs at its expense.

Revolution was a great name, but I think we all knew it was just a codename like Katana (Dreamcast), Dolphin (GameCube), Xenon (Xbox) and many other systems had. I still think a lot of people have a problem with the name, but once you get over the initial craziness of it all it starts to grow on you. Let me throw some names out there for you:


When those four (and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting) came out, what was your first reaction to the name? Yahoo was the first in that group and you had to laugh at it. Now the creators are rich and they can laugh to the bank. Same goes for Google and they have become even bigger than Yahoo.

The iPod is the #1 digital device out there and Apple is always adding functionality to it. I know I snickered the first time I heard iPod and I'm not sad to say I've owned one for over 2 years now.

The last one (GameBoy) was considered a stupid name when it was first announced, it is just that we didn't have the internet at that time like we do now. In the end the GameBoy has become the #1 system of all time, selling over 110 million units. That's crazy, but the name stuck through several iterations and people got used to it.

In the end who is to say that Wii isn't going to catch on like the four above? It is far more innovative than Microsoft (Xbox 360) and Sony (Playstation 3) have been with naming their new systems. It was also smart for Nintendo to announce this before E3 as it gives people time to let it sink in. I still think the Wii is a very interesting wild card going into the holiday season. Chances are there will be more units of the Wii than the PS3 in Japan/North America by the time the end of the year rolls around. Nintendo is still the innovator, they just need the 3rd parties to come along with them and not leave them in the dust like they did with the N64 and GameCube.

So, come back and think about Wii in a few days after the jokes have subsided. I think it may grow on you...or I could be entirely wrong.