Wii & DS: Fun for all

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Brought to you in conjunction with Argos

It annoys me when people dismiss Nintendo consoles as “for kids”. The obvious high points of series such as Mario, Zelda and Metroid aside, they’ll often carry lovably quirky titles that will never see the light of day on Sony or Microsoft machines. Nonetheless, few would deny that the Wii and DS are the most family & child friendly machines currently on the market.

As I briefly mentioned in the latest podcast, this is something that Sony and Microsoft have recognised and attempted to emulate. While the PlayStation Move and (especially) Microsoft’s Kinect are impressive pieces of kit in and of themselves, dedicated software tends to mimic ideas that have come about naturally in the process of developing for a machine that uses motion controls by default – the Wii. The industry finds itself in the bizarre position of both Sony & Microsoft publicly declaring their belief that Nintendo is not a direct competitor – with Nintendo itself happy to echo that sentiment – while both the Xbox 360 and PS3 offer peripherals with roots that stretch back to the Wii remote.

The reason for this is pretty simple. The Wii sold a staggering number of units very quickly, appealing to a wider range of consumers than any other console available at the time. Sony and Microsoft would like to see similar sales figures, which also explains the Xbox 360’s fully-featured ‘avatars’ and newfound emphasis on non-gaming apps. It sometimes seems that the developers of Kinect and Move games are unsure of who they’re developing for; ‘casual’ gamers, or the so-called ‘hardcore’ audience?

With motion controls a part of the console’s makeup for every Wii owner, developers needn’t be distracted by thoughts of what sort of person is likely to own a console and the peripheral necessary for the ‘special’ controls. This is why the Wii comfortably displays a broad range of games that rely on motion controls; fitness games, dancing games, ‘hardcore’ games, licensed kid’s games… all, of course, ordinarily cheaper than comparable titles on other formats. Visit Argos for Wii games for a good example of this.

Then, of course, you have the all-conquering DS handheld. Unstoppable king of the handheld market ever since the release of the monochrome Game Boy, Nintendo has seen off various competitors – sometimes from industry heavyweights – over the years. There’s no sign of this trend fading, with Nintendo’s latest release the 3DS miles ahead of Sony’s struggling Vita worldwide – in terms of sales if nothing else.

The 3DS is finally getting into its stride in terms of sales and software, but the days of the DS are far from numbered. With many many (many) millions of units sold worldwide and more snapped up all the time, it remains a popular choice for adults and children alike. The gargantuan software library is full of games suitable for every kind of gamer, many of which take advantage of the device’s innovative touchscreen and/or built-in microphone. Best of all, if you do go for a 3DS with its more powerful innards and 3D display (which can be switched off and locked for children under the age of seven), you’ll find that it’s fully compatible with DS software. Click here to buy a Nintendo DS!

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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