Having read a few things on-line about it, now, though, it sounds like it's even more entertaining. Ars Technica says that Wii concentrates on being fun rather than the ultimate best in high-tech gaming, and that Wii manages to be fun quite nicely.
The immersive quality of the "Wiimote" control system appeals to me, as mentioned in a prior entry, and the discussion of its "real world" use in the above article seems to indicate that Nintendo has done its homework on the development of this system.
Even better, the low retail price of $250--especially for a system which is backwards-compatible with the Gamecube!--puts it within the grasp of the relatively impecunious and non-hardcore gamer types, like me, who just want to have fun playing video games once in a while.
I have thought about buying a GameCube and I have thought about buying a PS2. The PS2's MSRP of $130 seems steep for a system that's been superseded, and there are no seriously compelling games for the PS2 that make me care enough about owning a PS2. The GameCube, at least, has the "Zelda" franchise going for it; I've played "Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" on my SNES for hours and hours and really enjoyed it. I'd like to play the more modern iterations of it, too....
The GameCube runs $100, and I have been mulling such a purchase for over a year. (I got my SNES when it was $100.) But I just might be tempted into saving a few pennies here and there in order to buy a Wii, especially since it's like getting two systems for the price of one.
I would not buy a PS3 or an Xbox 360--not with MSRPs well over $400 for any configuration which is likely to be well-supported in the future. (You don't buy a car without options; and you don't buy the basic configuration of a game machine. Either way you can expect disappointment down the road.) The idea of spending $650 for a video game system--even one with a Blu-Ray player in it!--just makes my brain ache. I am hoping against spending more than $500 for my next computer for crying out loud. $650 is more than I paid for my car.
Overall I think this is probably why Nintendo is kicking ass in terms of "installed base". Their system is relatively inexpensive; $250 is a good price for a "toy". It lacks the super-high-end graphics and processing power of its rivals, but it does not lack fun, and that's the entire point behind a video game in the first place. Nintendo made sure there were plenty of them available for sale, too; on their respective launch dates, our store had twelve PS3s but 90 Wiis. And so, after a week on the market, there are more installed Wiis out there than Xbox 360s, which have been on the market over a year.
But then I think about it: I have a SNES and a PSOne--and several games for each--sitting in a box in the living room, untouched for at least eight months. How long would it be before a Wii ended up collecting dust?
When I was 11 I wanted an Atari game console. My mother told me I would get tired of it pretty quickly, and I believed her; and these days I know that the fact is that I don't tend to stick with games too long. I get frustrated and quit playing; I just lose interest; or else I beat the game--either legally or via cheat codes--and never return to it. (There was a motorcycle racing game that I beat the first time I played it. Oh well.) Diablo II is an exception; I've run through it countless times and still return to it time and again.
Good role-playing games are few and far between for any system, let alone video game consoles, and I utterly suck at "twitch" games which require fast reflexes. I have no idea what games for the Wii cost, but would I want to risk, say, $50 on a game I might not like?
...so it'll probably be quite some time before I buy a Wii. Oh well.