Thursday, April 27, 2006

Get used to Wii because its not going anywhere

So you all see that Nintendo has changed the name of the Revolution to Wii, is it the end of the world? Some think so, while really its not. Here is the press release from Nintendo today:

While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that seperates videogame players from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games… and each other. But you’re probably asking: What does the name mean?

Wii sounds like “we,” which emphasizes the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Wii has a distinctive “ii” spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people playing it. And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of videogames that sets it apart from the crowd.

So that’s Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because it’s really not about you or me. It’s about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything.
Link to Nintendo

When I first saw this name via e-mail, I didn't believe it was true. I thought it was just another one of those fakes floating around on the internet. Well it sure was and is real. I thought that this was the worst name for a console in videogame history. I'm being honest.

Now that I've had the whole day to get my mind straight and just ya know "calm down", I've been able to start to "get" why Nintendo went with this new name and especially the new logo.

Here is a new interview with IGN talking to Perrin Kaplan concering what on earth happened today, it will shed more light on this:

IGN Wii: We’re now called IGN Wii. How could you do this to us?

Perrin Kaplan: Say that again.
IGN Wii: It is pronounced like “we,” right?

Perrin Kaplan: Yes, as in inclusive, you and me. So how could I do it to you?

IGN Wii: Yes. Don’t you guys think about us when you do these things?

Perrin Kaplan: I think about you pretty much 24/7.

IGN: Well, of course you do.

Perrin Kaplan: Let me just tell you that if you’re disrupted by it today, it’s obviously caught your attention. And at the show, you’re going to get to try out a lot of products that will make you happy.

IGN Wii: Revolution seemed to be a pretty cool code-name that a lot of our readers liked. Why abandon it?

Perrin Kaplan: You know, I thought it was a neat name, too, but it’s not as fitting for what we’re trying to do. You think about Google being an unusual name. You think about Virgin Airlines. Amazon. Napster. All those. I think it’s as unique as those. They aren’t just unique, but loved names for places that we all know. And I think this is more fitting and the two Is work on a bunch of different levels. It looks like two people with heads who can play, which is the inclusive nature of everybody. It looks like the controllers. So for us it looked like a couple of different levels.

IGN Wii: You have said that you’re going for a name that’s unique, like Google. But Wii is also used as “we” every day and therefore only unique in spelling. Do you think there is a risk of confusing potential buyers with a title like this?

Perrin Kaplan: I think it’s really fun to look at, the logo. I think people are going to see that on the box and our package art. I think people will get it straight after a while - it’s just something they’re going to have to get used to.

IGN Wii: Was the name decided on out of Japan or was it a global decision by Nintendo?

Perrin Kaplan: It’s a global name. As most things at Nintendo are done, it was not done by any individual. It was really a team effort.

IGN Wii: How long have you known about the new name?
Perrin Kaplan: Well, let me see. We’ve been working on a name for a good year and have had this one in mind for some time.

IGN Wii: Simplicity seems to be part of the reasoning behind the new name. Why not just spell it “We” then?

Perrin Kaplan: I think that there’s a really strong visual to it by having it symbolize the controllers and symbolize people. And, as you pronounce it, the Wii does stand for that whole worldwide inclusion of players. So you get both out of it.

IGN Wii: The logo and the video teaser you put out seem to stress the plurality of the name. What message can we take away from that?

Perrin Kaplan: I think it’s just a reminder that the system can be played individually or be played by a lot of people. It is for people of all sized and shapes. It’s really a system for everybody. It’s a system for the core gamers. It’s a system for the people who are just going to be re-entering gaming. I think that’s what people can get from it.

IGN Wii: Why announce the final name now and not at E3 2006?

Perrin Kaplan: Why are we doing it now? Well, let me just say that if you look at how much time people have spent online talking about it today and paying attention to it today, it really, I think, required that kind of attention and seeping in for people to let it settle a little bit. It would be really, really easy to lose that at the show. Also, I think it’s important for us to go into the show with people knowing what we’re talking about.

IGN Wii: Some overzealous readers have created some truly phallic Wii designs. We e-mailed you several of them, as you saw. Any plans to use any of these brilliant materials in your official marketing plans?

Perrin Kaplan: What a nice way of asking that question! We actually have had a day of a lot of smiles around here with a variety of things that fans have created, let me just say that. It shows you that people are big fans of Nintendo.

IGN Wii: Do you think it will come as a shock to some of the Nintendo leaders back in Japan to see some of these fan-created Wii graphics?

Perrin Kaplan: Well, they might have to find those themselves.

IGN Wii: Some fans have already started petitions in hopes of somehow convincing Nintendo to change the name. Any message for these people?

Perrin Kaplan: Live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it and hopefully they’ll arrive at the same place.

IGN: So will Wii be your focus at E3, or will DS have its place, too?

Perrin Kaplan: We’re going to be focusing on both, as you probably know. We know people are really interested in hearing about the new system so we will obviously be having a big portion of our focus on it.

Link to IGN

By me saying that I "get it" means that I see that Nintendo is really trying to show that the Revolution/Wii is for everyone to play. The two "i's" represent two controllers and also two people together. I really didn't get this at first, I was just focusing on the "weee" sounding of the name and how much I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not the happiest camper today because of it but at least I can understand a little better now. Maybe after a good night's sleep all of us will feel better about this name or "illustration" if you will. The name is a play on words and its just like Nintendo to think of something like that.

Let me know what you think


Anonymous said...


yesterday i was shocked by the name,and had all evening to think about it,slept on it and then it hit me. when spiderman was in producation and they asked about the web. They answer by saying that he will organicly make the web. people where noooooo!!! thats not how spiderman is he makes the web,but anyway what im trying to say more is.people liked it and it didnt bother them when the movie was showed they pretty much got used to it.and look at where it is today. today im ok with it and because of the name doesnt mean im not buying it,im buying it because of the games and im a loyal fan of nintendo. does who dont buy it because of the name need to grow up,sorry for some spelling or gramer.

Metaldave said...

I agree with you. The name is not the reason we are getting this system. When we all see these games and even PLAY them, everything else won't matter. It will just be about the great games we are playing.

I was angry yesterday too(I think 90 percent were) Like you I slept on it and now have come to terms with the name. Do I like it now? No. Can I still buy the system and enjoy its games? Yes and thats what matters.

The name will take time to get used to, but it will make people do a double take when they see it and then they might want to try it even more.

Marketing has all kinds of potential too.

I can see a sexy commercial for adults with a woman holding the controller saying that she wants to touch your Wii. Hey, it would work!

Its not all bad people. Like Kaplan said: Live with it.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the few that never got angry (really, angry about the name of a console?) and though it was unexpected, just watching the video told me all I wanted to know.

I would not be surprised if part of the name choice was to turn off "hardcore gamers". Nintendo has said that they're not going for the market segment that thinks XBOX 360 and PS3 are cool names. They're going outside that market and a name like Revolution, while it would make certain hardcore fans happy, just isn't as friendly and fun a name as Wii. Creating a new word (even one that sounds like another) draws more brand recognition than using a common word.