A Blog of Very Little Brain

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Turns out the next Nintendo console will not be named Revolution, but Wii.
I believe my first reaction what “Wha?”™
OK, the concept is just feels too much like a marketing department jerking off each other (disturbing metaphor, to say the least). It’s Wii, like “we” with the ‘ii’ which supposed to look like two people standing together. This, of course, immediately brings to mind the concept of people interacting, and the multiplayer/communal experience the new console promotes.

Only it doesn’t.

It never does, actually. All those “clever” names are just wasted efforts. Sony’s Playstation didn’t succeed because the name conveyed immediate playable station-ness. Nintendo’s Nintendo Entertainment System didn’t create a feeling of systematically entertainment, and besides, most people refer to those as “PS” and “NES”. What the hell does “xbox” even supposed to convey? (it’s a continuation of the “x” branding Microsoft has given to it’s games/multimedia driver/API, like DirectX, nothing more).

For example, Gamers.net have created a 10 worst Console names articles, toting Sega’s Dreamcast at number 9, claiming that “Sega’s got a history of creating inspired console names: Sega Master System, Sega Saturn, and particularly, Sega Genesis sounded effortlessly sleek and powerful.
No they didn’t. The writing is projecting his opinion of the console over the name. Same with Nintendo: “Usually, simplicity is the best course — “Game Boy” and “Nintendo 64” were smart, smart choices.” Were they? What so smart about “Game boy” exactly?

Bottom line: Consoles are only as good as their names. Good games on a system give it better consumer appreciation, create a “cool” image, and infuse the name with more positive connotation than any marketing group might ever achieve. People don’t care if it’s PlayStation II, PS2, or “the machine that plays GTA”™. They didn’t care when it was called Atari 2600, Famicom/super Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System/NES/SNES/Super Nintendo Entertainment System/etc. Sega’s Gamegear failed miserably despite having a superior technology AND a cooler name than Nintendo’s Gameboy. And besides, people have grown accustomed to calling Nintendo’s consoles “the Nintendo”. It’s even more obvious in the new handhelds, both Nintendo and Sony released their products under the names of “DS” and “PSP” (Dual Screen and PlayStation Portable), predicting that everyone will already abbreviate it, so if you can’t beat them…

I can easily predict that, in the very fortunate (and sadly, tragically, unlikely) case that Nintendo Wii’s games will rule the next years, that kids growing up with cherish the name wii like other’s cherish the name NES, or like Gamers.net writer cherish the name “Master System”. Other than that, it’s a cute name, with a cute logo.

(Just as a side note, whoever came up with the “two lowercase i’s that appear like two people” concept knows his stuff. It doesn’t “do” anything, but it’s well designed).

Written by Erez

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 8:10

Posted in Uncategorized

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