Recently on the 1up FM podcast in the 9/1/08 episode, guest Jonathan Blow, co-creator of Braid, had this to say about Wii Sports/Nintendo. (skip to approx. 1hour 20min)
"Nintendo proved it if the Sims didn't. Right? They certainly didn't work very hard on their games. And yet they've got the biggest audience as everybody. I'm going to get assassinated for saying that, but it's true. From a craftsman's standpoint Wii Sports is very poorly created. Everything about is like lackluster and clumsy and weird. But it's good enough for the people who wanted to play that kind of game and nobody else was making that kind of game for them. You know and so it sold tons and tons and tons of copies. "
Though I'm currently working on my Braid review as well as responses to several emails, I'll say this...
Dear Mr. Blow,
You're claims about Wii Sports are completely false. I'm not sure what comprises the craftsman's point of view, but I do understand Wii Sports from a game design point of view. If you think the mechanics in Wii Sports are sub par, let me assure you they're of the highest rank. The graphical style and presentation are straight forward and accessible. Surely clicking on an icon in a menu isn't clumsy or weird. If you think the different sports are shallow, then you should know that the core design of each game is very next-gen especially Sports Boxing. The people who want to play "that kind of game" are made up in part of gamers who are tired of the RPG grind, static space, clumsy controls, clutter games, and the pathetic story telling that have saturated the market. Wii Sports is focused, clean, assessible, and next-gen which is more than the vast majority of games can claim. If you wish to debate Wii Sports or Braid feel free to contact me via email.
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid)