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Will Wright: The Wii is great and all, but it belongs in the "toy market"


Will Wright knows casual gaming. After all, we're talking about the brain behind The Sims here. He was - in a sense - casual before casual was cool.

So when Nintendo cast its net wide and started reeling in mothers, grandparents, and the occasional fitness buff, you can bet that Wright took notice. But even after selling millions upon millions, Wright's still not sold on Nintendo's little white videogame console. At least, insofar as the "videogame console" part goes.

"I think the Wii is a very unique platform, and that's kind of its core value. That's why it's been so successful – because it's pretty clearly different than the Xbox or the PlayStation. I think the Wii provides very fun experiences for the most part, but it's kind of a different level of experience; it's not like these 40-hour involved RPG games as much as it is like these fun toys to pick up and start playing in five minutes," he told Industry Gamers.

"And it's really fun with a group of people sitting around... It really is more into what I would call the toy market, because most of the Wii games I've enjoyed felt more like toys than like games," he added.

That, in Wright's opinion, goes a long way towards explaining why many publishers sail into Wii development with the best of intentions, only to wreck against it and sink like a sack of bricks.

"I think the fact that people are struggling on the Wii in a business sense isn't necessarily indicative of the Wii," he noted. "What we'll be seeing going forward is that the console businesses will each have a very specifically defined niche. And Nintendo is just about the only manufacturer that invests in much as software as they do in hardware – or probably even more in software than hardware actually. So it's always been a very unique platform in that sense because the biggest competitor as soon as you go into that market is always going to be Nintendo."

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