back to article EA dubs Nintendo Wii a 'legacy platform'

EA has described Nintendo Wii as a "legacy platform", a console that picks up dust on the shelf along with the likes of the PS2 and the original Xbox, while HD consoles rule the show. The Wii has seen a decline in sales over the last year, and with Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PS Move taking motion-controlled gaming into the …


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  1. Jess

    isn't it just -

    - a slightly faster gamecube with a clever controller?

    1. Mike Richards

      Maybe, but... got Nintendo back into the living room console market and got people talking about the company and its products. They forced Sony and Microsoft to innovate, but unlike PS3 and 360, the Wii was profitable from day one. Whilst Nintendo was banking money, the other two were being forced to spend big money to catch up.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      But if Nintendo got it so wrong why do the Kinect and Playstation Go controllers exist?

      It's no coincidence they appeared after the Wii. Without the Wii I doubt either would have been conceived and the future of gaming would still be joypad which have been around since the first generation of 8-bit consoles like the Master system and NES.

      1. Maxson

        I imagine it's because....

        The Wii sold well because of it's quirky bullshit, as sales began to slow, the two competitors needed their own quirky bullshit, it just happens that theirs is better tech.

    3. Maxson

      In terms of pure hardware...

      ....It should be slightly more powerful than the original xbox, but Wii developers are incredulously lazy.

    4. asdf


      Alot of the homebrew piracy tricks from the gamecube work on the WII. Lol who would ever actually buy a WII game except perhaps for an included controller. Arrrgggghhh matey.

  2. MinionZero

    EA's lack of interest in the Wii says more about EA than it does about the Wii.

    EA's target market is massively marketed titles. They are not interested in smaller innovative game play titles, that's nitch market to EA. What EA wants is that next big blockbuster marketing slogan. Their true focus isn't on the game, its on the marketing potential that can be associated with the game. If the game is good as well then great, but EA are primarily looking at its marketing potential not its game play.

    Nintendo and Wii however are interested in innovative game play and so are their fans.

    1. Avatar of They
      Thumb Down


      No EA's target market is to buy up the game companies that do good games, cripple them and produce utter sh1te as a sequel (Dice games, anything from Westwood, the likes of dead space) they then produce badly ported and really cruddy games but you already have their money and can't get it back, OR more likely they just charge vast prices for very short games, like MOH and MOH airborne etc.

      And lately they turn away from markets like PC in the name of piracy, when really they want to only run for a cornered market where their DLC can be sold at a premium and there is nothing anyone can do, with the likes of the M$ money making machine that is the XBOX 360. it has all the same bugs as the PC versions, only there is less patching and more reliance on the whims of mega corps instead of community hacks.

      1. MinionZero

        EA's focus is on marketing and not on games design

        The shite sequels EA publish are very much a part of EA's core problem of being far more focused on the marketing potential and not on the game play design. EA are very much focused on the marketing image and how to sell that image, so you can't just say no to that simply on the grounds you don't like what they publish. Also from time to time some of the games they publish are good games (but its becoming less all the time), but even then, the good games are far more due to the developers of the game and not EA who are just their publishers.

        I agree with you about the bad way they treat developers they buy up, but even that is another aspect of how EA don't really care about the game play. (EA keep showing they don't even care about the whole games companies), all because EA just want more software to put in another box ready to sell more of it. They don't care how they get it, they have a box to fill to put on a shop shelf, so how they fill it, they don't care, all due to it being one of their current top selling brands.

        EA are very much focused on the marketing and not the games design, so if its a good game that due to the developers efforts and not due to EA and when EA are in complete control of the developer they just want to fill that box on a shop shelf and they don't care how its filled, they care how its marketed. :(

  3. Mark 125

    Errrr.... Title?

    Was this a case of "What rubbish can I say to get EA in the press?" Currently the best selling console is "legacy"... Or could this be sour grapes that EA have failed to produce a decent Wii game yet (though to be fair no 3rd party, with a few odd exceptions, Capcom? have produced any decent Wii games).

    1. bobbles31

      sorry you mistyped something there let me correct if for you.....

      could this be sour grapes that EA have failed to produce a decent Wii game yet

      should read

      could this be sour grapes that EA have failed to produce a decent game yet

      there, now its accurate.

      1. Mark 125

        sorry your right!

        Must try harder.

        1. lpopman

          titular nonsense

          "sorry your (sic) right!" - Yes, you must ;)

          What was the grammar nazi corralry again?

  4. CD001

    To be fair...

    Technologically, apart from the user interface, the Wii was a legacy console when it was first released.

    The problem for EA is that because of the limited hardware specs on the Wii, games can't rely on "Shiny Shiny!" to be sure-fire sellers; they actually need something like, oooh, I dunno, content and replayability. Whereas EA are basically games manufacturers; the John Smiths (beer) of the games world - perfectly drinkable but totally safe, mass-produced and generally uninspiring.

    The success of EA games is largely down to their marketing budget I suspect - take Dragon Age 2 for instance. It's alright, a somewhat dumbed-down version of the original with even less character depth (especially the companions) and a shallower story (so far - I've not completed it yet but I'm most of the way through "Act 2" I would guess, level 16). It's still an enjoyable game but compared to Dragon Age: Origins it's a little bland and I thought DA:O was a little bland and dumbed-down compared to Neverwinter Nights 2.

  5. David Gosnell

    Will be quite tricky

    With the Wii, Nintendo have attracted a different species of gamer, mostly not Register readers (as most of any other comments deigned to be posted here will undoubtedly reflect), and they must be careful not to alienate them. Wii gamers are more casual, and will not shell out another £200 just because of a few extra pixels or whatever.

    Nintendo must assure that there is an upgrade path for save-game and paid content, or they may as well not figure the current player base into their future sales equations. And while the (increasingly thin on the ground, alas) good games are still such downright fun despite the relatively primitive graphics, the promise of HD, 3D or whatever will not be a compelling argument.

    If they get it right, they will create a new version that is forward and backward compatible with all Wii games past present and future, so that investment in titles (yes, people do actually buy Wii games, contrary to the nay-sayers) will not have been wasted. Perfectly technically possible - just look at the PC platform to see that it only takes a bit of foresight and cooperation from game developers to devise flexible graphics to suit all reasonable CPU and GPU performances.

    1. Leona A


      So what you are saying is, Wii owners are bored housewives?

      From Wii Owner and Reg reader!

      1. Miek


        Probably more like "Entertained Housewives" ;)

  6. mrzap

    EA never really got the Wii

    I worked at EA on the Harry Potter franchise a few years back. When the Wii came out, we immediately jumped on it as the controller was the perfect wand. When we told other parts of EA that Wii was our lead platform, we were just laughed at. Most people, especially in North America, just refused to accept that a console that wasn't 'the most powerful' could possibly the lead platform for a game. They only started taking notice when they saw what Nintendo and other publishers were doing with the gameplay, rather than just making games that looked nice.

    1. Mark 125
      Thumb Up

      Bah 3 posts I must look like a fan boy

      I agree, I worked with a bunch of game developers a few years back (not long after the PS3 came out,) and as far as they were concerned if it didn't have 7.1 surround sound HD output a controller that no one but a real games geek could use, they weren’t interested. The idea a game should be "fun" seemed a long, long way down the requirements list.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Code Monkey

      It's aimed at a different market

      We're not all hardcore gamers though. Those are the sorts of games I like* :something I can pick up for 20 minutes, dick about with, then go and do something else.

      * a shame as I own a PS3 that does nothing more than regular iPlayer and the very occassional Tetris.

    2. A. Coatsworth

      To be fair...

      "rehashes of tired old franchises" sounds very much like EA's marketing strategy...

  8. Martin Owens


    I own a Wii and not a PS2 or XBox. I figured the Wii was more like two game cubes zapped together by magic.

    And the Wii really is magic, I'm amazed at what it can do... once you've rooted it. Although it does struggle with HD, can't even decode HD video, let alone display it. I'll be waiting to see if the WiiII has rootability before I buy one though.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Frankly, I regard EA as a 'legacy company'.

    Them, along with Activision.

    You'd think there'd be a better alternative by now, wouldn't you?

  10. Miek

    Good Games few and far between

    A couple of my friends own a Wii, they tried to convince me to buy one and the reason I didn't buy one (I opted for a PS3) was as follows:

    * Although there are many games available that are fun, most of these are produced by Nintendo and consist of Mario clones.

    * Poor graphics capabilities

    * No DVD Player

    * No Blu Ray Player

    * Games never drop in price, all Mario titles are still virtually the original release price (also applies to the DS) regardless of whether they are new or second hand.

    * Crappy controllers (I rather liked the PS3 controller when I gave it a whirl). WTF is with the nunchuck crap? Why would I want a controller in each hand ?

    My main impression of the Wii is that it was designed for families rather than the more-than-casual gamers.

    I look forward to what the Wii2 may offer, but I suspect it may be too-little-to-late for those who own an XBox, PS3 or some form of PC Games Beast.

    1. Hayden Clark Silver badge

      You don't have children, I can tell.

      The whole point of the Wii is the family/party gaming. My kids have a couple of the Rayman Rabbids series - you've never heard so much hooting and laughing as when they play with their friends. MarioKarts is another game which is just dull on your own, but fun to play with others. Trips round to friends' houses usually mean taking their controllers round to enable 3 or 4 players.

      Oh, and the Nunchuk? How else do you do boxing, or pretending to fly (arms outstretched) or playing drums?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Can't beat it's retrogaming potential either

        I have all three consoles, but I use the Wii the most when it comes to retrogaming. Sony's classic lineup consists of only PSOne and TurboGrafx 16 games (there's supposed to be Arcade, Neo Geo and Dreamcast games, but they're not showing up on the Malaysian PS store). The 360? Only original XBox and arcade games. The Wii, however, has games I fondly remembered playing as a child and would still be playing if technology permitted it (my megadrive, for some reason, could not output color through it's video connector, and my NES' cartridge slot broke and my attempt at replacing it failed).

        So yeah, it's not only appealing to children and housewives, but retrogamers and those who get regular cravings to pull their old consoles out from the attic/store every now and then. I do enjoy a bit of Super Mario Bros 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog between the Final Fantasy XIII and Gran Turismo V runs.

        Legacy? Yes. But there are tons of sentimental fools like me out there who love legacy.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        With the Wii controller

        The two-part thing gives you an analogue controller in one hand, and a point-and-click controller in the other, which is, to be honest, what makes the difference in more Wii games than any wobbly motion control interpreter. A point that Microsoft has missed _spectacularly_ with Kinect.

    2. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Down

      Methinks you don't get it, sir

      The short form of my response is to ask whether you played the damn thing (you can't have tried it for any amount of time if you're complaining about the nunchuk), but anyway:

      We've got about 15 'Cube games (which still see some intermittent action), and 20-odd Wii games at home. Most of these are not kiddy-oriented guff - Blazing Angels, Mad World, No More Heroes 1 & 2, Red Steel 2, House Of The Dead: Overkill, Dead Space: Extraction, Dead Rising. Even the kiddie stuff includes the likes of Punch Out!!, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, and Link's Crossbow Training, most of which are pretty damn good. And that's before you get to the downloadable games - finally, a legit, supported and easy-to-get-running way of playing old games. (Yes, I had most of the games I wanted running via MAME or some other emulator, but frankly being able to pay a few quid and get them on the Wii is worth it, especially if it means that people who can't be arsed getting MAME to work can also play those games in an equivalently simple way).

      I don't get the hate for the Wii from "dedicated" gamers. Yes, there's a lot of cruft out there. I seem to remember that always having been the case though, and in a funny return to the article's topic it's stunning just how many of the crufty games have been published by EA ("Challenge everything" - except convention).

    3. Carol Orlowski

      The PS3 has the casual market too.

      If you have a Move, download the demo of Start The Party and show it to a Wii owner, their Wii will be up for sale down the newsagent noticeboard before you can say "gamecube with a new controller".

      Still Nintendo had a good run, they managed to sell the same old crap again and again, and have more money than they know how to spend it.

      Microsoft seem to have learnt the most from Nintendo recently, they discovered you can channel stuff Kinect, make the headlines and then drive sales as a result. You don't even need good games, you can distract morons easily by talking about PC connectivity and other gimmicks.

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Nunchuck - sensible idea when needed.

      Would you play with PS Move & Navigation controller? Wii nunchuck is similar but it is wire connected.

      The worst problem with Wii remotes is their battery consumption. I have to keep buying the things. I would prefer to charge via USB.

      Games - Nintendo are best on Wii but they all seem similar to each other to me.

      I have seen some of the shovelware - we have bought some - almost as bad as the old PS2 shovelware.

      I think the main thing about the HD consoles until recently has been a lack of shovelware.

  11. Luke McCarthy

    "Wii 2"

    I doubt we'll see a new home console from Nintendo for a few years yet. They will not make their move until Sony announces the PS4... which could be quite a few years yet. It would be a big mistake for them to release a new console at this time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think again

      Company I work for has been doing prototype work for Nintendo that may or may not be incorporated in to the Wii2 for the last 2 years. Quite interesting stuff it is too, certainly state of the art, and not currently used by any of the current gen consoles.

  12. Carol Orlowski

    They have only just realised this?

    Both the Wii and the Xbox 360 are now end of life.

    Games stopped getting any better years ago and the console shave been treading water since. Microsoft tried to sex up the Xbox with Kinect, but that's pretty much failed, most people talk about Kinect and how you can hook it upto your PC and do nerdy things. Nobody talks about Xbox and Kinect anymore...

    1. Derboy

      Wii and xbox360 end of life??? Tripe.

      I notice you don't mention the PS3 which suggests you pitch your tent firmly in the camp. I own all three consoles. Wii has been a paperweight since around a month after I got it. Not interested in jumping around my living room watching sub-standard graphics when I can play something on a better machine.

      As for the Xbox360 being end of life. Rubbish. It is consistently the better experience and has slightly (though mostly imperceptible) better graphics performance the PS3. If it had a Bluray player it would hands down be the better machine.

  13. sabroni Silver badge

    if the most popular platform is "legacy"...

    ...doesn't that indicate that the mass market don't give a toss about "power" when it comes to consoles?

    It's strange 'cos Sony bragged about power for both PS1 and PS2 and sold loads. But they didn't have the most powerful consoles for either of those generations. So, Sony succeeded when they said they had the most power, but maybe that's not what actually shifted units.

    Those who can remember back 10 years or so will remember that the N64 was far more powerful than the ps1 but didn't sell nearly as well.

    So, it seems that "power" can be an important part of marketing, but it's not actually that relevant to most consumers.

    On a side note, power is not enough if developers code badly. I can't believe how jerky the frame rate is on the boys 360 when he plays Mass Effect. Low polygon count running silky smooth > high polygon count at 6fps,

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Good games = good profits

    Looking over the scores on, other than Rock Band and sports games, EA has put out a grand total of TWO games for Wii that scored at least an 80: Boom Blox and Dead Space Extraction.

    Who knows, EA, maybe if you actually released more games people want to play instead of the same old rehashes, you just might make some money!

    EA = Effort Absent

    1. Mike VandeVelde

      boom blox


  15. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    lumber with Wii with the PS2

    My favorite game is still RoadRash-3D on my old N64. It's just fun. And older than either the Wii or the PS2. "Legacy" is a marketing term used by those whose income is based on selling new shiny to folks who feel the need to be "cool".

    A good game never dies, but eventually your controllers do...

  16. asdf

    legacy is right

    Don't get me wrong love my WII because it so easy to pirate games for the kids (saves some serious $$$ in this bad recession). Still if you really want to get a good feel for how legacy it is play Black Ops on the 360 or PS3 for about an hour and then go play it on the WII. Jarring really and so much laaaaggg.

  17. [Yamthief]

    I don't understand...

    Why would a "legacy" console STILL cost the same as it did 2 Christmases ago? Surely it's legacy when people stop buying it?

  18. Captain DaFt

    My two cents

    In my household there's two Wiis, a PS3, and I'd swear the DSis are reproducing.

    The PS3? New title about four times a year, played a week, then forgotten. If it won't for it's blu ray capability, it'd almost never be used.

    The family Wii gets about as much love to tell the truth, and the DSis fare little better.

    Me? I play my Wii almost daily, only bought four boxed Wii titles, and a couple of Gamecube titles to play on it, the rest from the online store, but then, I just like to kick back and relax when I game, and Nintendos dirty little secret is that the Wii controller with nunchuck needs almost no physical activity. (Great for when your arse is dragging after a long day!)

    The Big Game machine?

    If I were to tour the house right now, or any time, It's almost dead certain I'd find a Razor or Android phone being used to play video games on by someone in the house. That's what the future of gaming looks like. And EA ain't part of it!

    1. Carol Orlowski

      buying the wrong games.

      May I suggest you are buying the wrong games from your PS3.

      PS3 does everything the Wii does and a whole lot more besides.

      It does the casual games, dancing, singing quiz etc etc.

      It does the hardcore games too.

      I bet you have never explored the gems on PSN? Did you play Stacking? I bet not....

  19. Lottie

    I played on a Wii for the first time about a month ago

    ... and I REALLY feel like I've been missing out.

    It may be legacy, but it has something that the likes of Sony and Microsoft and their developers have forgotten: Simplicity.

    Back in the day, you could hook up your NES/ Mastersystem/ Megadrive to a telly, grab a controller and play for a bit, then die and hand the controller to a mate and say "your turn" and you'd all sit around hooting at the mistakes/ daft stories and whatnot. The controls were simple and the games were more social in a way. That's what the WII has over the others.

    IMHO, it may be legacy, but you don't NEED fancy graphics, 7.1 HD surroundsound and the like to make a good game. You need a good story, an element of fun and something to make you care about what you're doing.

    EA has kind of failed in all those departments for many, many rears.

    1. asdf

      and best of all

      its still trivial to pirate the game on the WII.

  20. P. Lee


    Wii not fast enough to play EA cut-scenes which leaves nothing left of their games.

    Wii was never about realistic graphics, it was always marketed for family-oriented communal gameplay. For that market, it's fine. HD would be nice, but upscaling probably works well for the cartoon graphics.

    Does anyone else smell a bit of self-interest from a company denigrating a system which doesn't play it's latest games well? Hmm, no really, Swap your wii for a ps3 which can play blackops really well...

    That said, it's a console so the games are overpriced. I'd rather see the wii controllers used for pc versions games with a pc/mac under the telly. Steam under the TV is what we're after.

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