The Nintendo Wii has been incredibly hyped since release. Almost two years later, it’s still pretty difficult to get the console, and there is still buzz all around about it, whether it be positive or negative.This console started out with huge sales that it still holds today to a lesser extent, and the hype about the console made the countdown to the release unbearable (and made the time after release when you couldn’t get a hold of one even worse), and there’s still debate as to whether it’s fully lived up to all of this hype. In this console review, I’ll touch down on both sides and give you the serious scoop on what this console is all about, and I’m confident that by the end of it you will have a solid opinion on the Nintendo Wii.Back when it was called the Revolution, the Wii was just beginning to build up hype. Rumours were spread, fans were anxious, and developers were curious. As time went on and we got more photographs of a more final console and peripherals, we all sat by in awe awaiting the release of the One Console to Rule Them All. Not only was the console aesthetically beautiful, but the peripherals were revolutionary, and the console, in size, was incredibly compact (small enough to fit into some large pockets for easy transportation). All of these incredibly helped boost the console in hype, and by the time the console was finally released there were Nintendo fanboys and video game strangers all lined up to get a chance to try out this new form of intuitive, interactive gaming.A lot of them were subsequently disappointed (by “subsequently,” I don’t mean right after… Took a while) by the lack of good third party support. It was just astounding how Nintendo released console after console without a good amount of developers lined up and ready to create games for it. Of course, we saw so many titles… Mario, Zelda, and Metriod, to name a few. Sound familiar? All Nintendo.Don’t get me wrong – They’re all great games. But, the lack of variety not only brings the inevitable lack of a wide genre of games, but it also made the console seem pretty useless after a while. I mean, Wii Sports was a great game to release along with the console, but after 2 weeks or so of sore arms, broken lamps, and battery usage… It just tends to get old.As the console grew, as did it’s functionality. We got the news, the map, the weather, even the internet. And let’s not forget the voting channel. It held its own in the “game consoles do things other than gaming” department… Until the consumers realized that DVD compatibility was nonexistent. We could do so many things with our newfangled gaming console, except for watch movies. It was a large letdown – an all-around disappointment. But, we couldn’t forget the blessings that we received – Backwards-compatibility with Gamecube games, WiiWare giving us downloadable old-school games, and SD card support to save games and view pictures. But – Wait. None of this is new! Downloadable content? Not too revolutionary. Backwards-compatibility has been out ever since console sequels began, and an SD card to save games is just like a memory card or hard drive – Except that with the other consoles, their memory is more versatile.The Nintendo Wii was also lacking in one major, major area that really gave a low- blow to hardcore gamers – Decent graphics. The Wii has graphics fairly reminiscent to the last-gen PlayStation 2, and that’s just unacceptable in today’s world of HD-Everything. One game looks spectacular on the other consoles and PC, and yet falls short of par on the Nintendo Wii.That’s not to say that it’s incapable of decent graphics – Super Smash Brothers Brawl was aesthetically pleasing. But they had to put that on a dual-layer disc to fit all the data, and many of them (like my own) didn’t work because of dust build-up on the Wii’s disc laser, so you had to send in your Nintendo Wii for repair. It’s accomplishable, but at what cost?One thing that it does have is a built-in wireless adapter. While the Sony PlayStation 3 does have this, the Xbox 360, sadly, does not, and it is a very nice convenience (especially with such a tiny console ? It’s nice to not have to lug anything extra around). Again, not revolutionary, but a positive.One thing I cannot get over is the built-in storage… They supply us with 512MB of memory and expect us to be able to buy all their games from WiiWare? We need to spend even more money to get an SD card to hold all of that stuff, and it’s just tedious. It would be nice without the extra effort is all I’m saying… I mean, that amount of storage space is incredibly minuscule in today’s computing world, and I just find it horrendous.All these horrible things aside, it does have very intuitive gameplay. It fully immerses you into the game, and makes you a part of it. Of course, it would be MORE immersive with better graphics, but what can you do?The amount of lost potential on this console astounds me. They could have done so much here, especially with decent third party support, but they didn’t. I feel that a project like this would have been better left in the hands of Sony or Microsoft.VERDICT:The Nintendo Wii is great for families and parties, but it falls (incredibly) short for the hardcore gamer. It tucks its tail between its legs at the first sight of a decent first-person shooter, and the online play is… Well, there’s not much to talk about. It’s just like playing online with the DS… No chat, laggy, and not too great of a choice of games to play. Keep in mind, it IS free, so it’s not much of a penalty if you were planning on playing online just occasionally, but definitely not fit for the hardcore, every-day online gamer who wants to build a friends list and chat with buds. Basically, the console is good; not great. I’d wait for a dramatic price reduction.
Console Power & Functionality: 8/10
Console Game Variety, Game Quality & Game Prices: 6/10
Console Additional Features: 3/10
Console Aesthetics: 9/10
Console Price/Value: 6/10
Total Score: 64%