Friday, January 26, 2007

A Wii bit of fun and games... Or what does milk have to do with a Wii??

My wife sometimes actually reads my blog.  Of course I get a some of grief about it and a few chuckles at home.  I also get the random threat when I do something bone-headed at home where she tells me that “I should post a comment on your blog and tell people what you're really like!”  I'm sure many of you can relate :-).  My wife likes to tell her friends things like, “he deals with all kinds of high tech stuff and helps lead a team of equally, if not more, talented engineers... yet he can't even remember what night is trash night!”  Suffice it to say, my wife is not at all impressed with what I do here at CodeGear, which is actually something I like.  It helps keep me a little humble (yeah, right! ;-) and a little more grounded.

Last year I made this post talking about how CodeGear needs to take a page from the Nintendo playbook surrounding their brand new gaming console called the Wii.  Ever since then, I've been keeping and eye on the Wii and it's availablity over the weeks following it's introduction.  Sales are still going strong for the Wii, and Nintendo is reporting strong sales and equally strong profits.  While the PS3 and XBox360 are getting more press coverage about how they're not doing as well as the Wii.  The more I read reviews about it and then talked with our very own David Lock who actually acquired his Wii console by paying a premium on eBay, the more I thought that this is actually a game console I'd by for myself.  Of course there are several PS2s, a GameCube, an XBox, PSP, NintendoDS at home, but they've all been purchased by and/or for my kids.  I've never really cared to have my own gaming console.  The Wii actually changed my mind.

So last weekend, I'd heard that some of the local purveyors of video game consoles were to get a fresh shipment of Wii consoles on Sunday morning.  So I got up and headed out to score my very own Wii console.  Didn't work out.  I was a little too late and the vouchers had all been handed out an hour before the store even opened!  Oh well...

So I come home a couple of days ago to find a couple of brown paper wrapped packages sitting on the counter. My wife and some of my children were in the kitchen when I came in.  Apparently these were some belated Christmas presents (since we ended up returning my main present due to it being defective had not replaced it).  So I opened them.  One was a huge bottle of Tums (an antacid)... gee thanks, I guess I could use those for all the stress here at CodeGear ;-).  The next package was a huge box of instant oatmeal packets that I keep in my office that I eat for breakfast when I get into work in the mornings.  Thanks, I can certainly use that too.  As you can imagine, I figured something was up...  So my wife then drags out another even larger package with the same brown-paper wrapping.  By this time, I was figuring it was another goofy gift as I've become used to being the butt of many jokes at home... I shaked it... nothing rattled too much.  I squeezed it... it was firm... must be another box.  Then I opened it.  I was shocked!  It was a Wii!  Apparently it was a very serendipidous event that she was even able to locate someplace that wasn't sold out.  We do a lot of shopping at the local warehouse club/big box/bulk store Costco, which is similar to the Sam's Club stores that dominate the mid-west US.  Anyway, she was grabbing some various items like food and other consumables, when as they were loading up to head back home, one of my sons who was helping noticed that the box of milk was leaking (only in America can you go to a store that sells milk and 60” HD plasma TVs!).  So they headed back into the exchange the milk, when they noticed one of the workers rolling out a brand new palette of Wii consoles!  SCORE!!

So it's been a couple of days that I've been able to play with this new toy, and so far it is everything and more.  I'm not one to sit down an play a game for hours, especially some Action Adventure, FPS, or MMORPGs since they really require a lot of time and investment.  However the Wii, with it's motion sensing wireless controllers, has enabled a new generation of “get off the couch and move” games.  So now I can go in and play a game of bowling, or tennis, baseball, golf or even boxing.  And that's the only investment I've made.  The whole family can get together and play a game.  They've even suggested that with this new generation of motion sensing controllers and more immersive and interactive gameplay, video games no longer have to be the pudge-inducing, lazy couch potato creating, bane of modern society.  Hm... maybe I can use the excuse that I need to shed a few pounds to wrestle control of the TV away from the kids and play some  games.