Wii Sports Resort has been out just mere weeks and has already sold over half a million copies in North America alone. This not only amounts to a lot of people getting their Wii MotionPlus on, but also means the game’s probably enjoying a positive reception which will only grow as more people experience it for the first time with friends and family members, much like Wii Sports did nearly three years ago.
The first time I played Wii Sports Resort, any cynicism I might have had for it faded away as I held the Wii Remote and nunchuck in place to simulate pulling back on a bow to fire an arrow at a far-off target. Matt Ryan, Senior Supervisor of Communications and Advertising for Nintendo of Canada, not surprisingly happens to be a huge fan of the game and was happy to share his thoughts with us. What is surprising, however, is that his sentiments for the archery game echo our own Adam Russell’s so much that it’s somewhat uncanny.
“Before I even got my hands on it, I honestly was the most interested in archery. I think it was because when it was demonstrated to me for the first time, the whole action that you go through with archery is so real and close to what you actually do in archery — which is something I used to do as a kid — that I’ve always narrowed in on that and it’s still my favourite,” Ryan said enthusiastically. “I’m playing on Expert and I’m getting pretty good. So I like it for those reasons but there’s just the little nuances and cool little things like the fact that you can hear the string tightening from the speaker in the Wii Remote – it makes it feel very real. And the compensating for wind and distance makes it feel very real. I was never an archery professional, but I used to love it as a kid and it just feels awesome.”
Another reason archery (and the rest of the sports in Wii Sports Resort for that matter) is so compelling is the addition of the Wii MotionPlus accessory. The game includes one of the Wii Remote add-ons with additional ones available for around $25 a pop. The tiny size of the tech in the Wii MotionPlus add-on has lead to some speculation regarding whether or not it will be included in future versions of the Wii Remote, or even as a pack-in replacing Wii Sports.
“The long-term plan is difficult to say, but I can tell you that there are no plans to make Wii Sports Resort what is packed in with the Wii purchase. What is in the Wii box will remain the same. Wii Sports Resort will not replace Wii Sports. The intention with Wii Sports was to provide an out of the box experience for consumers and we want new consumers and non-owners to experience that just as everybody else has.
“Wii Sports Resort is a different experience because while Wii Sports was designed to show off what the Wii Remote can do – the funny thing is it’s intended to be a demonstration but that is some peoples’ favourite game for Wii and that’s great – Wii Sports Resort is a more robust experience. There’s way more activities, there’s way more to do, and it’s more full-on software that you’re used to purchasing at retail at that price point.”
For those wondering what tricks Nintendo might have up its sleeves regarding future games utilizing Wii MotionPlus, Ryan stated there’s nothing announced for the remainder of this calendar year but that “the whole point of bringing Wii MotionPlus into play now is that Mr. Miyamoto and the development team in Japan wanted to provide more precise controls. It won’t become the standard for all games because not all games need Wii MotionPlus or benefit from it for that matter. But in the future, yes, definitely Nintendo will be putting out a lot more games that use Wii MotionPlus, especially when it’s a game that warrants that type of experience and that type of precision.”
So there you have it. With third-party developers already embracing Wii MotionPlus, and with Nintendo’s commitment to supporting it as well, Wii could very well enjoy a resurgence in many households in the coming year.