back to article Nintendo Wii 'like a virus', games boss sniffs

The President of videogame developer Epic Games has compared Nintendo's Wii console to a “virus”, despite having caught bought one himself. Mike Capps recently told gaming website IGN that the Wii is like a virus: you catch the bug, have it for a couple of weeks then you get over it. After that, you're immune to its charms. …


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  1. Tom Richardson

    Attachment rate...

    Everyone I know with a Wii has at least 5 games for it, usually more.

  2. Robajob

    5.6 is more like it...

    I've bought 5 and I'm a proper tightarse.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeh, Mario Galaxy!

    Yeh, until you go out and buy the next game and play that. What you get over is Wii Sports, then Wii Play, then Mario Party, now it's Mario Galaxy (that damn level with the Ghosts that play peek-a-boo and the moving floor, you can't shoot the ghosts with your Wii mote, you have to turn to see them).

    It's the people who don't buy more games that get over it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all down to interpretation

    Maybe Wii games are better (as in more engaging and with longer-lasting appeal) or more difficult to "finish" than other console games, so the owners of the console are not feeling the need to replace their rubbishy easy games that they've seen a thousand times before, albeit in less sharp resolutions.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I agree

    Mine lasted 6 months, then I got bored and traded it in to buy some games for my PS3 and PC.

    Now all we need is the Wii & Xbox fanboys trying to justify their pitiful existence....

  6. Patrick Seurre
    Gates Horns

    Only 3.5 games compared?

    Maybe that's just a poor indication of the quality of XBox 360 games rather than the playability of the Wii ones? XBox owners need to buy more to keep themselves amused...

  7. Johnny FireBlade
    Gates Horns

    Who do you believe?

    Ninty, in a second. I will never, ever believe anything Microsoft says.

  8. Peter Hawkins
    Thumb Up

    Couln't agree more

    My two kids saved for a Wii after playing one at a friend's house. When they got it - it was used every day for about two weeks. Since then it hasn't been touched, that's two months ago. My son has gone back to his PSP and my daughter is once again engrossed in SIMS2 on the PC.

    I think the Wii is now buried under DVD cases...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Who do you believe?"


    Give me an independent audit body any day.

  10. Dangerous Dave


    Maybe it's because gaming on the wii means that developers show a bit of imagination when it comes to incoroprating the control method. Rather than just releasing the ten billionth installment of the same old FIFA, Medal of Honour, Call Of Duty etc etc

    p.s. - Mario Kart dicks anything that the 360 or PS3 has to offer

    cue flame war!

  11. Richard Tobin

    Nintendo shouldn't worry

    It means Wii owners buy 0.28 consoles per (game per year) instead of the mere 0.14 consoles bought by Xbox owners.

  12. Gordon Matson

    not far from the truth

    I fall into this category. i've had my trusty 360 for 18 months and have played it constantly, purchasing around 20 titles, whilst my six month old wii has barely been on in the last 2 months. Even then it's only if i've got a mate coming round.

    don't get me wrong, i still enjoy the wii sports and now mario kart tremendously, but nothing on the consol really delivers the big gaming hit like some of the titles on the more powerful consoles like Halo 3 or Gears of war, which keeps me stuck to the sofa until the wee hours wondering why i don't have a girlfriend.

  13. Lloyd


    It couldn't possibly be that Epic Games are a one trick pony could it? I mean, they produced 2 good games, both 1st person shooters but lets be honest 1st person shooters aren't what the wii's all about are they? Maybe it's just the way you've written the article but he comes across as a very bitter sad little man and we're all probably a lot better off ignoring him.

  14. Darren


    What a w*nker! Did Nintendo refuse to publish some of his games or something??

  15. Jiminy Krikett

    Don't believe any of the figures!

    I picked up a Wii for er-indoors for xmas last year, bundled with Wii sports and 4 Mario games - guess which game she's only ever played since?!? Mmm, bloody Wii Sports! While she loves the sports game, she has zero interest in getting any other games. That said, I've now purchased my 7th title for my PS3 - a figure soon to increase to 8 with GTA4 coming out v.soon :D

  16. Ash

    FarCry on the Wii

    My brother bought it, and all I can say is... Horrible.

    Controlls are difficult to use (aiming is easy, but changing weapons / throwing a grenade are frequently confused. If you don't concentrate on what you're doing with both hands at any time, you can cause no end of trouble in the middle of a firefight.

    Plus, the graphics are appalling... Looks like the original Tomb Raider on the PlayStation.

    I stopped playing afrer 10 minutes (to make sure I wasn't just being retarded).

  17. Liam

    i have to agree...

    the wii was great for a bit - now its just an ugly little white cube next to the ps3... maybe im too old for it - or just have enough people over these days!

  18. Neil Hoskins

    3.5 sounds about right

    The people who are buying them (me) aren't the usual demographic and are probably more careful with their money than the kids with lots of disposable income and nothing better to do with it. The titles are BLOODY expensive.

  19. John Bayly

    Very true

    My housemate got one, and it was used continuously for the first while. I've given up using it now because I thought it was going to wreck my wrists (it's the only way I could get speed and spin in tennis).

    It's now getting dusty.

  20. Mycho Silver badge

    We have a name for that.

    It's called a Fad.

  21. Paul Talbot
    Thumb Down


    "Right, Zelda I really didn't enjoy on it. They back-fitted the control scheme on it, it was better on the GameCube"

    That's all I need to know. He's played a few titles and because he didn't like the way control schemes were mapped on one of the earliest games (that was designed for the GC), he thinks it's no good.

    Did he try games that were designed from the ground up for the Wii or just PS2/GC conversions? Doesn't say. Did he try more recent or more innovative control examples like Madden, Elebits, No More Heroes or Okami, where the motion controls really add to the game? Doesn't say. How exactly would Trauma Center or Zack & Wiki work on a standard controller without becoming extremely frustrating? Who knows...

  22. Grant

    profit point

    From what i understand the Wii's profit point is immediate on selling the Wii so at either 3.5 or 5.6 Nintendo is doing well. When does Xbox start turning a profit? Though it was sold under the loose on the box make money on the licenses.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I believe Microsoft.


    Because I'm a Wii and 360 owner and have bought and enjoyed around 50 360 games yet only 7 Wii games.

    The Wii is fun for some games but the guy is right, it doesn't have much long term appeal after the initial wow factor, it's just good for a quick blast now and then.

    Things like Wii sports rock but you aint gonna want to be flinging your arms around for marathon 16hr gaming sessions until 2am in the morning with a Wii like you can with PC/360/PS3 games.

    An hour or two of the Wii a week is plenty for me thanks and I don't need much software to fill that kind of time span. I'd much rather get lost in an RPG you can play without having to do anything particularly physical - I do enough of that at work and just want to relax when I get home.

  24. Paul Talbot

    re: FarCry on the Wii


    Tell him to check Metacritic or at least some reviews before buying a game. Far Cry was a rushed launch game (Metacritic average score 38%), and is well known as one of the worst games for the Wii. UbiSoft have even publicly apologised for making such a poor game.

    If you want a decent FPS for the Wii, try Medal Of Honor Heroes 2 or Metroid Prime 3.

  25. It'sa Mea... Mario
    Paris Hilton

    As a Wii owner...

    ..I can honestly say that I have around 20 Wii games. None of which I would trade for something else (I know this because I checked just before Mario Kart came out last week)

    I doesn't matter which console you own, if you have friends and a life outside your living room, then you are likely to have phases of playing with it lots and phases of doing other stuff and not using it much.

    If of course you are one of the people with three or less games then no wonder you are not still playing them every day!

    Paris becuase she has also said some dumb stuff in the past!

  26. El G

    Maybe Epic want to become Rare...

    ... another nice little games purchase by M$, what with thier penchant for splashing out silly money for aquisitions.

    Will give the dude a nice bonus for the year!

  27. randomtask
    Dead Vulture

    @ Anonymous Coward

    'Now all we need is the Wii & Xbox "fanboys" trying to justify their pitiful existence....'

    Pot Kettle Black.

  28. Pete Slater

    Poor Epic

    I don't see why he has to whine so much, its not like it is really affecting him.

    Like a lot of games industry people and gamers in general, he is annoyed that people who, until this point, had no interest in video games are now suddenly buying the Wii to play Wii Sports or Fit or whatever pseudo game is the flavour of the month.

    He also seems to be really concerned about the capabilities of the system. Like a lot of game nerds, he has fallen for the graphics > gameplay way of thinking. And with Epic fully bought into that premise, they really have nothing to offer the Wii because the hardware is not good enough for the games the company makes.

    As for the attach rate, I can't speak for anybody else but I have bought all the AAA games out for the system. Paper Mario, Mario Galaxy, Metroid 3, Trauma Center, Battalion Wars, Mario Kart, Zack and Wiki and a few others. All very enjoyable and well worth playing. As long as they keep coming up with good games for the system, I will be buying them.

    Its true that I haven't played it for a couple of weeks, but that is down to GT5 on the PS3 and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles on the DS. But as soon as I tire of those games, I will be back to finish my Wii games :)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: i have to agree...

    Liam "the wii was great for a bit - now its just an ugly little white cube next to the ps3."

    Hang on, you are saying that the Wii is "ugly" in comparison to something that looks like a comically oversized George Foreman grill?

    Sorry, but the PS3 is an absolute fcuking monstrosity. No debate!

  30. dervheid

    Wii've had ours...

    for just over a year. It's fair to say that it DOESN'T get the same amount of usage as the other systems in out hosehold (1xPSP, 2xNDS, 2x PS2, PC & Laptop).

    The reason for this is fairly simple. PSP & NDS = Portable, used anywhere, anytime.

    PS2 = One in main living room, almost never used except by our son (10) occasionally, One in his room, almost never off. PC, in bedroom, used 'whenever'. Now, the Wii is in the main living room, and has to compete for 'attention' with the Mrs and the SOAPS!

    She DOES enjoy some of the stuff we have for the Wii, or we'd probably not have gotten it.

    BTW we have 7 games, and eagerly await the release of Wii Fit.

    Currently ADDICTED to Mariokart...

  31. jason

    Yep Wii's do trickle off.

    Of the three mates of mine who bought one, all of them played them like mad for a few weeks but have sold them on (mainly over xmas) and used the cash to put towards 360s. COD4 on Live was the big draw. They just got bored with the Wii.

    Great idea but a bit of a fad. Casual gamers will never gain you as many sales as rabid gamers that would buy a PS3 or 360.

    Anyone noticed though how quiet MS have been on the 360 front lately? I reckon they are winding it down already. Not only will we see a premature OS release but also maybe a new console too?

  32. Brian Wright


    Well I have 16 games for my 360, my mate has a Wii and has around a dozen, the majority of mine are excellent, half of his are complete twaddle, the cooking one for example. I would mention the PS3 but that only has about games.

  33. Simon Ball


    I believe Microsoft. The point is that their figures don’t mean anything because the Wii isn’t, nor ever was a competitor to the 360 or the PS3, and therefore cannot be judged by the same standards.

    A quick blast now and then is all that the Wii was ever designed for. It isn’t meant to be a jaw-dropping, spend-every-last-moment playing uber-console aimed at hardcore gamers. It’s an amusing occasional play for people who don’t game very much, and for families together. And it does that very well.

    Having said that, there is an awful lot of crap floating around, rushed out by third-party developers anxious to jump on the bandwagon when the Wii proved itself so popular. Most, if not all, of the best games so far have been produced by Nintendo themselves.

    But as long as Nintendo continues to make a nice profit on the hardware, the fact that has a low attachment rate is pretty irrelevant.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    I've got about 10 Wii games and 50 Xbox 360 games.

    I don't buy lots of 360 games because they're boring/seen it all before, I buy them because they're a lot of fun. When I'm not enjoying games on a console I tend to buy less games not more (which is why my DS has 50 games and my PSP has about 6).

    Aside from Wii Sports, Trauma Center, RE4 and Mario Galaxy, I've not enjoyed many Wii games, they're either too simple or the motion controls are too inaccurate. Mario Kart is OK, but it's got the same problems as Double Dash!! on the 'Cube.

    Personally I believe the reason for such high attach rates on the 360 is down to all the downloadable demos. There's been lots of games I've bought that I wouldn't have given a second look if not for the strength of the demo. I'm sure I can't be the only one who is doing this, and if that's the case I'm not surprised the attach rate is high.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Dusty cube

    I'm afraid I'm with a lot of folk on this one. I bought one just before Christmas, along with 4 or 5 games. Wii Sports bowling has really been the only game that's had more than an hours play (if that).

    It's probably only been on once or twice in the past 4 months. I can see it hitting eBay in the near future....

    Something else to dust....

  36. James Whale
    Thumb Down

    Owned a Wii for about 3 months...

    ..and already have around 5 games for it, with my sights set on two more within the month. This guy's just expressing his opinion and he's entitled to it, but he's just wrong.

    Wii doesn't take itself too seriously and by that token is less cynical than its competitors' consoles; people appreciate that. It's for people who like to play, who like to laugh whilst gaming with friends or family, and who understand that cutting-edge graphics aren't what makes games playable, or fun. Gameplay is timeless - graphics are not. In that sense, Wii arguably has more longevity than the 360 or PS3, because its primary raison d'être isn't the delivery of photorealistic games.

    Microsoft's agreement means nothing - sour grapes anyone? They're already trying to emulate Wii's success with their own motion-sensitive controller - bloody cheek!

    Congrats Nintendo - may your runaway success of a console and its refreshing approach to gaming continue to piss all over the big boys. =)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 game to rule them all

    Pro Evo on Wii.

    lets see either MS or Sony match the best control system ever for a football game. Graphics may not be as pretty, but the gameplay kicks their arse.

    Nuff said

  38. MikeC


    Actually, the shiny black goes nicely with my TV. If I wanted to have what looks like an ancient external CD-Drive, I'd buy one off E-bay and sod paying all that money for a white GameCube! Oh sorry, i forgot how "intuitive" the control system is for the Wii. My arse, if waving you arms around like a moron is intuitive then hey, I missed something. Wii fit? I'll go to the gym. Can't half tell I've had a crap day at work! ;-)

    Now that I feel MUCH better, I will admit - I may have a PS3, but at the minute its PC games all the way!

  39. Mike Groombridge

    I'd believe nintendo

    aren't you all missing the point when nintendo launched the WII it was about more physical and group gaming for casual gamers like me. ihave a ps1 but was at university when the ps2 rolled around i couldn't afford it or the latest pc hardware and as such lost touch with gaming. now i afford ican afford it but apart from the odd blast of halo or playing some co-op i many play V-rally2 (ps1) on multitape or Buzz.

    as there are fun multiplayers. and all my free time i spend with my friends. so i'm thinking of a WII mario kart smash bros and tiger woods maybe fifa or pes if they stump up some cash. four wiimotes and chucks and lots of beer for are end of month no more money till pay day weekends instead of rolling out the juratic ps1 or having levels and lives (proable showing my age pretty sure no one does that any more) on a ps3 platformer.

    Actually i'll be fair me and my friends have discovered these lots of fun to be had from playing pradice city with one steering and the rest all talking to a bluetooth headset . so i apolgise if you've been on the end of that.

  40. Lee Dowling Silver badge


    And there are a lot of difference between the two consoles.

    Wii - Sold for profit

    360 - Sold at a loss to sell games which make profit

    Wii - Sold to everyday joes (my mum has one)

    360 - Sold to gamers (even if young gamers)

    Wii - Games are quick, fun, zero-learning, party-style

    360 - Games are like bog-standard videogames for PC

    Wii - Intuitive, revolutionary, backwards-compatible, reliable.

    360 - Not so much.

    The Wii isn't INTENDED to be a console for serious gamers - I expect them to hate it. By the same token, the 360 isn't intended to be a console for causal, "I like Flash games" audience - I would expect them to hate it.

    I get people who I would never thought would ever TOUCH a console coming up to me in work and asking me my Wii fitness age. Some of these people were too old to play Pacman when it first came out and haven't touched a console in all that time, but they go out and buy a Wii!

    The fact is that the Wii is new - new look, new way of working, new styles of controller, new types of games (fun and quick, not intense), family-oriented (I often get dragged in Wii Sports rallies).

    Not every game for Wii is brilliant, not even one will keep you enthralled for hours, but they are good fun.

    Personally speaking:

    Wii Sports - great fun

    Rampage - great fun and a bit of nostalgia

    Mercury Meltdown Revolution - Great fun

    Super Paper Mario - oh my god, kill me now, how poor an idea for a game, 100 levels of same-old-same-old

    Wii Kart - great fun

    Carnival Games - great fun

    (Although I have to say, anything more than about £10 and I don't want to buy the game - the most expensive games I play on Wii tend to be the worst).

    And when we get bored, we slap in a Gamecube game and carry on playing. For my mother's birthday this year, she'll be getting a Wii network connection and a few thousand Wii points because she loves the older SNES Mario games (specifically, the battle game out of Mario 3). She'll love it because she's probably completed every Mario game ever made. But if you show her anything mildly complicated, she'll never play it. The Wii gets turned on EVERY day, though.

  41. TimM
    Paris Hilton

    Attachment rates

    Ah, the old argument used in the pointless HD format war :-)

    Fact is though, crap games or not, Microsoft and Sony will never win over the crowd of gamers that the Wii has won that just never before would have played console games. The part-time gamer, the wife, the OAPs, etc.

    That is why the Wii is successful. It's simple and attractive enough for anyone to play. The Xbox 360 and PS3 appeal to only a small percentage of the population (mostly young and mostly male).

    I love it and I don't care if the games are old-hat and 6th generation instead of 7th. It's simple, cheap and fun and mostly it's because I don't have the time or care to invest in "serious" gaming on the Xbox 360 and PS3 (or even the PC).

    Though I don't see what the problem is. These are gaming platforms for different audiences. For a games developer to bitch about the Wii because of its simplicity and dumb games is just jealousy as they're never going to get their 7th generation spanking HD quality first-person shooter to appeal to the majority of Joe Public. If they want that, make dumb games and bring out a simple to use controller for "their" console, and whilst they're at it slash the price massively.

    Paris because she loves attachments.

  42. Les Matthew


    "It couldn't possibly be that Epic Games are a one trick pony could it?"

    How many other developers use the Unreal Engine?

  43. Keiran
    Thumb Down

    Bit of fun and cheapest way to play Guitar hero 3

    I got the Wii as it was a way to get a console the wife may play on (hence I was allowed). In addtion I knew I wanted Guitar Hero 3 and don't have huge amouts of time to play games. Wii was the perfect one for me, relatively cheap and a few games I wanted.

    p.s. (Under) thumb as had to get wifes permission to by one (but hey at least I've got a wife)

  44. Trevor Watt


    I think the reason many Wii owners have 3 or more games is because the only way they could get one before Christmas was if they bought a 'bundle' containing up to four games, put together by retailers intent on using the short supply to make a bundle....

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The main reason for owning a Wii, is to play games together with yer m8s. I would imagine that most of the people who have wii fad are those that dont appreciate this. I have a PC for playing games solo, or online. Immersive FPS are pretty common on it, some good solid driving games etc.

    However, crack out the beers with yer mates, and the wii comes into its own. Silly fun to play games are where its at, things like Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, Wario Ware, Mario Kart & eventually super smash bros... These are the games I -no We!- keep coming back to the Wii to play.

  46. Jamie

    I have a WII

    I own one which I purchased last year and I love it, sold my XBOX to get it. Don't play that often as I only have one tv and the computer is in the living room so I spend more time on the pc as that way the wife does not wine about not being able to watch anything.

  47. Kev Beeley


    I doubt I'll ever really fit into what this gentleman at Epic thinks is a standard gamer. I've had my Wii since launch night, and it's still regularly played. A lot of this I would put down to simply NOT liking the kind of games that I'm supposed to like 'in my demographic'

    I'm still only at around the 10-ish games stage, but this was primarily due to the fact a lot of pap was released on the console during its first full year; many 3rd-party games developers dismissed the console out of hand, found themselves scrambling to play catch-up, and consequently had little experience programming for its control scheme efficiently.

    Rather like the latency in decent 3rd-party DS games, it seems they're now beginning to get used to using the controls as an enhancement and not a handicap.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    It gets old fast

    My roommate bought a Wii on launch day and I even bought an extra remove+nunchuk for it. Out of the 7 or so games purchased over the last year and a half, the only ones we play are Wii Sports and Mario Party and that's only when friends come over and there's absolutely nothing else to do. The other 29 days a month it just sits there, usually with the damn blue drive light pulsing to alert me that yet another useless Shopping channel update has been released.

    I can understand the wide appeal of the console based on the variety of games and unique control scheme. Nintendo bet big on a console that appealed to the 8 to 80 demographic and they scored there, but I can't understand why after a year and a half this thing is STILL sold out at every store around here. Are the people buying it for that quick fix and they just don't care that in 3 to 6 months they'll be bored with it?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Wii == FAD

    I, along with many others bought a wii, as a spur of the moment purchase. I got bored with it within days, and sold it on ebay, it offered nothing that my PS2 already did. In the end, I sold that too, and bought a 60GB PS3, which did my PS2 games and PS3 games (and Blu, and media streaming), and never looked back.

    I agree with the Epic guy, most people recommend the Wii, whilst they are still in the hype phase, they get bored, but their mate has already bought his. The cycle then repeats.

    Nintendo have been smart too, they have intentionally restricted stocks, to keep demand at a high level, and played the markets well (send a shipment to the US, and let Europe go Crazy for them, then swap the situation around...). Ever wondered why stocks of Wii go up and down like a whores drawers? there is your answer...

    Consumers are stupid.

  50. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    Wii - the view from here

    We have a Wii and we have about 20 or so games for it. Surprisingly, there's a good selection of $20 games available for the Wii - some of which are even not bad. But we've also got some big name games ($50 each) too. Kids love Smash Bros for no apparent reason.

    Our Wii's graphics output developed some nasty video noise (vertical scratch-like video noise). We sent it back and they replaced it. The replacement Wii has also developed the same video noise (vertical scratch-like video noise). I did some Googling and discovered it is not an uncommon problem ("Wii video noise" or "Wii GPU overheating"). It'll be going back too. Sigh...

    My sons both have DS systems. They have about 40 game... (Daddy I lost three), about 37 game... (Daddy I lost two), about 35 game... (Daddy I lost five more), about 30 game cartridges for their DSes. It would be cheaper to own a camel.


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