Is Nintendo Wii A Hoax?

Status: Undetermined (though highly unlikely)
image Last week Nintendo announced that it was renaming its soon-to-be-released console. The former name was Revolution. The new name? Wii. Barely had the name passed Nintendo's lips, than the snickering and outrage from the gaming community began. As one person astutely put it, "It means piss. For god's sake, it means PISS!" (It also means little in Scottish, but no one seems as upset about that.)

Does Nintendo hope to generate publicity by gaving the console such an odd name? Or is this a case of a Japanese company not having realized what the name of its product meant in translation? Or is this all an elaborate hoax staged by Nintendo?

Those who think it might be a hoax point out that there are no trademarks registered by Nintendo for Wii. However, Nintendo has responded that it has, in fact, registered the name, but it takes a while for trademark web sites to update.

Nintendo explains that the name is supposed to emphasize the communal, multi-player nature of the console. The two i's in the name are supposed to look like two players. My hunch is that Nintendo is perfectly serious about this and that the name isn't a hoax. But we'll know for sure when the product is officially launched at the upcoming E3 convention.


Posted on Mon May 01, 2006


I'm personally hoping it'll be 'Wii' in Japan, and 'Revolution' everywhere else.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:13 AM
Sorry, but the decision to name it "Wii" was a global decision, not just Japan.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:23 AM
You know, when I first read about how Nintendo was going to call the Revolution "Wii", my first thought was piss, followed by "oh my god, they're going to name it that?". Yes, even in this part of the world little kids go "I want to go wee wee" when they need to use the potty, so it's not just an American thing, even Asians know what "wee" means.

Anyways, I hope that guy in the kotaku link said is true, that it was just a fake name and the real name would be "WiiL" or something. I do intend to buy a Revolution or whatever when it comes out, but then I also don't want to be laughed at by folks who bought a PS3 after that (although I do intend to also get a PS3 after getting the Revolution or whatever it's going to be called).

If the big N is going by "Wii", tho, perhaps the gamers will continue calling it "Revolution" and Nintendo will finally give in.
Posted by RAMChYLD  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:28 AM
That's just being needlessly stubborn. You're going to show them your gratitude for enjoying the games they've given you by being a little brat and throwing a hissy fit over a silly name?
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:31 AM
Will Nintendo be the first one up against the wall when the <strike>Revolution</strike> Wee comes?
Posted by outeast  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:32 AM
Don't you get it? This is a brilliant move! Practically everyone with a keyboard and an internet connection now knows that Nintendo's next console is supposedly being called Wii. People are talking about it everywhere! It's appearing in loads of blogs! Everybody is talking about it and making jokes about playing with Wii! The publicity is astounding.
Posted by Soldant  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:35 AM
That's exactly what they were aiming for, according to an NoA rep. They said they announced the name early because they know it is a unique name, and it'll get everyone buzzing before E3, since if they announced it at E3 everyone would be talking more about the name than the actual games. Brilliant on their behalf.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:37 AM
Actually I agree with you Soldant - if it's just a publicity stunt it's working (shit, I hadn't even registered that Nintendo was coming out with a new gen console till now). On the other hand, if thaey actually use the name I'll be less convinced of their marketing brilliance.
Posted by outeast  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:39 AM
Is it me or is Nintendo going downhill? I have a feeling this console is going to be a bit of a flop, especially with those weird wand/remote game pads they have for it. Looks more like a kiddie gaming machine than one for serious gamers. Xbox 360 may be a brick but that says serious to me... Wii... is just ... well not... (unless youre into Golden showers...)

They really ought to stick to handheld gaming.. which seems to be what they excel in. I cant afford any of this stuff but I think I'd rather have a DS than a PSP (no fanboi flames please!).
Posted by Emidawg  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:52 AM
Nintendo is more concerned with innovation than trying to dish out the best graphics as possible, since as we've seen with XBox, the results produce mediocre cookie-cutter games like Halo. But you must tell me where you found out about Wii's current schedule of upcoming games being released, and how you got a chance to play them since you already know so much about how the games are all going to be kiddie.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:55 AM
I think the biggest mistake people make is to assume that marketers for large companies are automatically geniuses of some sort. They're people and people screw up. A lot.

Anyone remember the Edsel or New Coke? Big money was spent to develop those (and other products which have failed).

Wii is a stupid name invented by people who thought it was clever or memorable or whatever.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  02:02 AM
I'm personally hoping it'll be 'Revolution' in Japan, and 'Wii' everywhere else.
Posted by Bobin Robcat  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  02:20 AM
All one has to do is look at the unappealing line up of games on the Nintendo Game Cube and past track records (abysmal N64 titles...) to assume that the games will be unappealing to hardcore gamers.

Im not much into games like Animal Crossing, Mario Party, Starfox Adventures, etc etc... they are what I call "kiddie".

Metroid Prime and its sequel may have been the only real action oriented games I enjoyed on that system. They have also released very few RPG style games for the GC console another genre which I enjoy.

As for N64.. Perfect Dark was the only game that was worth it on that system (maybe... just maybe Conker's Bad Fur Day or some of the ULTRA buggy 007 games...)

If Im going to buy a game system (which I wont be anymore since they're now rediculously priced in both consoles and software) I would want a system in which at least 50% of the games appealed to me. Nintendo has not released enough games that Ive wanted to play on their consoles.

The only Nintendo console I liked was the SNES. *shrug*

No more Fanboi flames please.. this is my opinion, Nintendo's track record has not been all to great and I only see the Wii as another step downwards (I HAVE seen some demo video for the new Zelda stuff.. diddling with the remote control thingy to play just looks stupid)

PS Im old... Im allowed to think things are kiddie looking... Im currently playing Elder Scrolls Oblivion on PC as well as World of Warcraft ... I have yet to have seen any egg spitting transvestite pink dinosaurs in either of them 😛 (Good old Super Mario 2)
Posted by Emidawg  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  04:43 AM
I'm very sure the name will stay WII- Nintendo never makes jokes...
Maybe it's still considered as a working title(as ultra64 for N64..)
Posted by frank  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  04:51 AM
Reminds me of the story I once heard about (though I don't know if it's true) of when Wang Computers had to cancel their new advertising slogan because of how it would sound in Australia.

The slogan was "Wang Cares"

For those of you who aren't Australian, it rhymes with "Wankers" (a "wanker" is the Australian term for a male who excercises in a certain form of self gratification of a physical nature i.e. to "wank" oneself). "Wanker" is also a euphmism for a person who is being a "show off".
Posted by Peter  in  Melbourne, Australia  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  05:25 AM
What happens when Mario gets a mushroom on Wii?
Maybe they could add a z and make it Wiiz.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  06:26 AM
Yes, it
Posted by t.kurione  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  06:50 AM
the whole nintendo marketing stuff accompanying the announcement has been pretty pretentious. IT PLAYS GAMES. Nothing more.
Posted by Timmy O'Toole  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  08:52 AM
Sony's Piss and Piss2 have done well, and everyone's excited about the release of the Piss3.
Posted by rich  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  10:56 AM
I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer, Emidawg. I've been playing video games since I could hold a controller. Just because certain games are unappealing to you doesn't mean they'll be unappealing to ALL hardcore gamers. Plus you're forgetting that Nintendo has more old school gamers who are fans of games that have been established already, like Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, ect.

But yeah, the name Wii sucks. They should change it back to Revolution. There was nothing wrong with that name.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  11:40 AM
This tragic pissing contest is so dumb. FIRST off, English would dictate that the extended, or dupled, "i" sound would be the LONG vowel. I.e. pronounced "WHY", not "WE". Possibly, like in "oocyte" it could be pronounced "Eye Eye" for a word pronounced "WHY-EYE". Especially considering the already assimilated "WiFi" or "WHY FIE")

Now then, if the Engrish majors at Nintendo were averse to calling it "WEI" or "WE-I" (which, in English COULD be "We-IH" but most probably render as "WAY") because of the Chinese word, who can blame them?

There is no wei thei should name it 'Revolution' as that is a Beatles song.
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  11:46 AM
What exactly is your definition of "hardcore gamer" anyway, Emidawg? Because you just seem to be making up your own definition as you go along. A "hardcore gamer" is a gamer who enjoys playing video games more than most, not someone who plays a specific genre.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:31 PM
OriginalSim, "Wii" is how "We" would be spelled in Katakana.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:36 PM
Dan: but is that phonetic transliteration? And does it have a translation in Japanese? I know it's probably down here somewhere or on the website, but I am at work & too lazy - er - I mean busy - to seek it out ;o)
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:45 PM
It means nothing in Japanese, since words in kana are usually names, places, or english/foreign terms. "Wii" is just essentially how Japanese speakers would spell "We", because spelling it "We" or "Wei" in kana would sound completely different ("weh" and "way").
Posted by Dan  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:54 PM
As far as I'm concerned, Nintendo has fallen behind since they hold onto the "kiddie" market. The xbox is simply a platform for cookie cutter games, since it takes after its PC parent culture and follows it to the letter. That means generic FPS games with few variations in gameplay.

Nobody cares about the Playstation. End of story.

There is no true definition of a "hardcore" gamer. It will change depending on who you talk to. My definition of a "hardcore" gamer is one who not only plays games but gets involved in the culture of games, and then goes that extra step further so they understand how all the hardware and such works, as well as a basic understanding of how the game's engine works. I consider console gamers to be "casual" gamers, since they don't have to worry about spending ages getting the game to run in the first place or the 3 month upgrade cycle PC gamers are familar with.

But I choose the PC. Why? Snaps the consoles and mods. Console gaming (at least to me) feels very disposable. After you've played the game, you could play it again, or... not play it. WIth PC games there are usually mods released for games that aren't locked down tight, extending their lifespan.
Posted by Soldant  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  01:46 AM
Look I dont hate Nintendo.. to me it just seems that they're going down the same road that Sega went with their Dreamcast system. Dreamcast was a good system and had some great games... their marketing was terrible and they were a little hard to take Seriously. Phantasy Star Online, Shenmue, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Soul Calibur, Skies of Arcadia, etc...

Quirky titles and peripherals dont do so well in the US from what I have seen. Who here bought Samba De Amigos and the Maraccas that went with it? The Seaman game with the microphone? Or the Sony Eye Toy? (I have owned them all at one point in time). It seems to me that the only Quirky title with peripherals that has flourished here was Dance Dance Revolution.

When I saw the Zelda game's little plastic sword controller complete with little plastic shield peripheral... I though 8 year old. Sure it might be fun to play with but its a little hard to take seriously. Unless Nintendo pulls a marketing miracle this may be their last console. Sales for Gamecube werent all that great when it was released. (Im taking all of this from having worked at an Electronics Botique store BTW.. doesnt make me an expert but I saw what was moving off the shelves).

I consider myself hardcore because I play ALL sorts of games but I really prefer certain Genre when it comes down to it. My console purchases are based upon whether or not said system has more or less of that particular favored genre... being short on money makes it difficult. I Enjoy fighting games that are more than button mashers, RTS games (Starcraft, Warcraft, Advance Wars), the occasional FPS when its more than just a fragfest (Farcry was good for that), Action/Adventure (just not Tombraider...), RPG (Squaresoft makes me cry anymore though.. save for maybe Kingdom Hearts), Sim games.. the list just goes on and on...

Ive heard that the Wii is going to have cheaper game titles... maybe that will make it a buy... but as Ive said titles ultimately make the decision for me. Nintendo franchises other than maybe Pokemon, Metroid and Zelda (If they put out a handheld type title
for Pokemon on one of their consoles... instead of the stupid Snap and Stadium type games... ) just dont interest me. I dont like to blindly follow franchise either... some people just accept terrible games because "Insertgamecompanyhere" made it...
Posted by Emidawg  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  02:38 AM
So your definition of a "hardcore gamer" is someone who plays all sorts of games. I totally disagree with that, as that could easily incorporate even casual gamers who may play games frm all genres but care little about gaming culture, how they actually fit together, the hardware behind the games, etc.

However that illustrates me point: it is not possible to define a hardcore gamer. There is no comittie that says "You are hardcore." If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, then okay, you can be hardcore.

I consider myself hardcore because I keep up with games and technology. I know what the next releases are, I know the major advancements in hardware (and why SM4.0 is going to force me to shell out another $600 for a new video card) and I even keep up with news in the console world. I even started modding with Doom 3 before uni decided it would be fun to burry me in work.

The point is, hardcore is impossible to define. So there's no point debating about who is hardcore and who isn't. You can't say that a Nintendo gamer isn't hardcore, because by Nintendo community standards hardcore might be someone who's great with the controller, or plays a specified game to a specified standard. However Nintendo (in my eyes) lately have been more about kids than about the older gamers. Maybe it's the whole Pokemon connection.
Posted by Soldant  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  04:45 AM
I actually thought the sword was cool..if not a little bit geeky. 😉 I don't see what's wrong with it. It's meant to be fun. I'm sure most people weren't planning on taking it seriously.

That's the problem with some game creators these days. They try too hard to be serious, and to have a deep meaning...and that's great. I love games like that, but those shouldn't be the only kind of games. I also like the good old-fashioned fun games, like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. That's why I mostly prefer Nintendo, though PS2 has some games like that (Katamari Demacy, for example!) Light-hearted games (mostly platformers) don't automatically equal "kiddy." To me a kiddy game would be things like Barbie's Fairyland Adventure or Barney's Safety School.

And lest I be labelled something less than a "hardcore gamer" I like video games so much that I've decided to make a career out of it. I'm learning to be a video game programmer. It's pretty challenging, but it's also a lot of fun!
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  10:38 AM
I used to be able to buy every system and at least 5 titles a week. Now that I live on my own and dont get the store discount Im lucky if I buy one title every month or so.

Soldant - I was "hardcore" by your definition a long time ago... but I cant afford it now.

I still play games every day of the week (all night If I happen to be off... yay for nightshift), but now its MAME ROMs and hand me downs from friends. Does it still count since I dont have the money to play "keep up with the Joneses?" (I make about 38K a year... but paying rent/car/food and saving for my Batchelors degree make it nigh imposible to buy any fun stuff :( )

I think my definition of hardcore suits me (and perhaps only me), a true appreciation of WELL MADE games, no matter what the genre (or age for that matter... there were some GOOD SNES/Sega games.. that kick the crap outta some of the newer stuff)... not fanboism.. not the console kiddie/pc geek wars... not the my gear is better n' yours...

But thats just me.. I guess Im just too old to be Leet anymore...
Posted by Emidawg  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  10:40 PM
Actually hardcore, IMO, isn't about having the latest hardware. That's just fueling the video card wars. Knowing ABOUT the latest hardware is okay, but actually buying it is the peak of insanity. In three months it'll be out of date, and by that time the product is usually much cheaper. Being hardcore for PC users I think isn't about the latest hardware, because anybody can go and buy the most expensive video card. But only the skillfull can take an old bit of equipment and make it scream for mercy as it runs the latest games.

I don't have a lot of money either, so I make do with what I have. Which is why my hardware probably fails quicker than it should (but we'll gloss over that). But I agree that games lately are running dry on innovation. Today people only care about which game uses pixel shaders in ways never before thought possible, or applies bumpmaps to everything or has polycounts that are so large we don't even bother reading them. Underneath that, it's still the same crap.

Blame the publishers. Innovation is seen as dangerous because nobody's sure if the next Elite will do well in the market, but they know that an FPS where you shoot nazi soldiers in WW2 will be bought. What's a developed to do? Take Armed Assault: realistic warfare game, but having trouble finding a publisher. Why? The question: do mainstream gamers really want realism like this, where you really can die from a random direction like in real warfare, or do they want a more arcade experience? Are we only going to sell this to fans of Operation Flashpoint? Is that going to cost us too much?

Take a risk, publishers! Let the developers bring back innovation!
Posted by Soldant  on  Thu May 04, 2006  at  05:47 AM
Speaking of Innovation... have you seen this yet?

I watched a Dev conference video about it... the concept is absolutely amazing (from my point of view...).

The fact that a lot of the game mechanics are procedural ... it just blows my mind how they program stuff like that...
Posted by Emidawg  on  Thu May 04, 2006  at  08:29 AM
I saw that too! The entire 30 or so minutes the dev confrence was running I was going "Wow... wow... wow". Initially I found out about it through a Gamespy preview and remember thinking "He zoomed out to a solar system? Wow, that's pretty cool, I guess." But when I actually saw him keep zoming out until he showed the galaxy, that made me really smile.

I have sooooo many questions about this game. But also about the technology: if it takes off, they could probably just downsize their staff (specifically art departments) and let programmers generatre models and textures for in-game characters. Or at the very least, the animators would be totally out of a job.
Posted by Soldant  on  Thu May 04, 2006  at  07:03 PM
Well, it's March 2008 and we all know now the the Nintendo Wii is no hoax. I own a Wii and it's great!!!
Posted by Dante  on  Sun Mar 16, 2008  at  09:24 PM
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