What Were They Thinking: Wii Play

Welcome everybody to another installment of our ongoing series entitled What Were They Thinking. If anybody out there is unsure about what’s going on here, please check out our previous article for more information. Today we are going to take a look at something that was without a doubt a commercial success, but not a critical one. What am I talking about you might ask? Read on to find out.

The fourth item that we are going to talk about came out during the early days of the Wii era, sometime around the year 2007 to be exact. With Wii Sports already showcasing what the system could do, and a new Mario franchise on the horizon, Nintendo decided to try to find a way in between that time to make some money, and thus came up with a game called Wii Play. The idea was to suck people in by bundling a remote with something to showcase what that particular item could do. Not a bad idea really, but when every single aspect of the title feels more like a set of tech demos than anything substantial, this once great concept ends up feeling like a missed opportunity.

So where did everything go wrong? Well first of all, the entire package as a whole just feels incomplete. Almost every game in here lasts for only a minute or two, which means the amount of fun you are going to have will boil down to how often you want to come back to play any of these titles, and when none of them have lasting appeal, that can become a serious problem very quickly. Another major issue was that the controls for some of these games were unresponsive, making them next to impossible to play. Finally, and this is the most crucial point anyone can make here, saving money, and just appearing to do so are two very different things, so when something like this happens, it’s the consumer who gets screwed over in the end.

The reason why I brought this to your attention was because I was once a victim of making this poor decision without doing any research before hand. At the time of purchasing my Wii, I wanted to get another controller for it so my girlfriend could play games on the system too, and without hesitation, Wii Play became a part of my collection. It was one of those why not moments that most people wish they could take back, but unless time travel becomes a possibility, that’s never going to happen.

Wii Play will always feel like a double edged sword to me. Where the idea may have been successful money wise, the lasting appeal to make things work just wasn’t there for me.

If you have any stories about this device, or have any other suggestions for this series, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Marc Villa
the authorMarc Villa
What's up guys. My name is Marc and I am the Editor-in-Chief here @ PlayStation Insider. I have been writing about video games and tech since 2010. I have a strong passion for video game trends and all things buzzing in the gaming industry. Add me on Playstation Network "illmaticcrook"
  • Armstrs

    The tank game was pretty awesome. Definitely the best game on there. Lots of time was spent on that one. I really liked the controls. And wasn’t there a pong like game on there? Wife and I had fun and got an extra controller out of the deal. No regrets.

  • Gatts

    Boo! Totally disagree. Wii Play (or Hajimete no Wii) was a tech demo that surpassed that purpose. Yes, the controls were a tad touchy in games like fishing and pool since we didn’t Wii Motion Plus yet, but it was an amazing party game pack. I could play Find Mii, Bubble, and Fishing with my wife and Shooting, Hockey, and Pool with my gamer friends. I easily put over 50 hours into that game and I can’t say that about many others. Hella good deal for almost free.