But the Wii was a fad, in retrospect.
The Wii pushed Microsoft and Sony into wedging new interaction models into their gaming systems. The Wii still appeals to millions of non-gamers. Just check out your local Craigslist for the Wii. Considering its low-powered hardware, low resistance to wear and poor title choice, the resale value for Wiis (Wii?) and peripherals is rather high.
What’s more is that this story should be familiar. That description one paragraph up describes Apple’s first iPhone — just change the competitors and replace ‘title’ with ‘app’. The problem isn’t the Wii’s viability, its the Wii U’s (apparently, anyway — I’ve not played one). If Nintendo can survive to the next system and innovate the way we can interact with machines, AGAIN — enormous, colossal, massive ’if’s — they’ll more than survive. (Whether or not they invent motion gaming is as relevant as whether Apple invented touchscreens.)
Which is all to say I think Marco Arment is absolutely wrong about the historical Wii. Non-joystick based platform gaming is not only viable, people clamor for it. Maybe just not us nerds. I’m not saying that platform won’t be iOS in the future. I’m not saying iOS doesn’t have inherent advantages. But many people want to move around, get healthy, blast things, etc. without mastering a controller with 8 buttons and two joysticks. And the Wii was killer at performing that task. (And they might see advantages in buying a separate device to perform that task.)
This one sentence really detracts from an otherwise solid position that Mr. Arment takes on Nintendo’s plight.