Ruminations – Wii Had Fun

Wii iconI bought a Wii U recently. Waiting a year after its release made it an overall better value, with its slightly cheaper price tag and more compelling library of games. This is one area that the PS4 and Xbox One will be lagging behind on for the next year until they have their own price cuts and some time for their game catalogs to fill out a bit. But I digress.

What I really wanted to talk about was a strangely wistful feeling I had when I began thinking about doing a system transfer from my Wii to the Wii U. The process will port all of my settings, save data, and digital downloads to the new console, but here’s the catch: it can only go in one direction. Once the transfer is made, it can’t go back to the Wii, nor can the data exists on both consoles simultaneously.

No, this is not actually a complaint about Nintendo’s digital policies, or how they need a universal account system like Sony and Microsoft’s platforms have. Rather, it’s the jarring realization that once the transfer is made, my original Wii will be mostly obsolete. I won’t be using it for playing regular Wii games unless I start completely new save files, and after the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on them, I’d rather not.

But what’s the big deal? I can still play them on my shiny new console, and some people even claim they look better. Well, it’s strange, because this is a situation I’ve never had to deal with before on any previous game console. Usually a new system sits side-by-side with my old system for, perhaps, years to come. I’ve never had a new console so completely replace the old one so quickly that there was no point in keeping the old one set up. Nor will there be much point in ever setting it back up in the future.

Say what you will about the Wii, but mine has been perennially hooked up to my TV for nearly seven years, and I’ve never had to “dust it off” as people seem to be so fond of saying. I’ve played tons of great games on it over the years, and I’ve got plenty of fond memories. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, The House of the Dead: Overkill, Sonic Colors, Xenoblade Chronicles… the list goes on and on. Not to mention the Virtual Console and WiiWare.

And again, none of that’s going away. But the console, itself, is. I guess that’s what it ultimately comes down to. I’m feeling sentimental about that little white box, and I’m not ready to let it go just yet. I can’t help but think of how sad it’ll be to switch it on only to see an almost completely empty menu. No Virtual Console games, no active services, just a bunch of blank channels. All it will really be useful for at that point is playing GameCube games in 480p. (Although, I suppose all I use my actual GameCube for is playing Game Boy games on TV, but if I ever want to plug in a memory card for old time’s sake, the option is there. Not so with the Wii.)

So, I think I’ll hold off on the transfer for a while, and let my Wii and Wii U sit side-by-side. My Wii had a great run, and it deserves some dignity before I put it away, possibly for good.

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