i’m catching up on games since i was stuck for so long on the last game i played, so i’m not backlogged with games to review like usual. i was mulling over what to write about for this week and had my wii on today (mainly to check if gracie was around in AC:CF, it being the last day of the month, and she wasn’t AGAIN. grr!) and, as is my habit, i first checked in on the everybody votes channel. and so i was reminded that i’ve been meaning to write some quick commentary about the various wii channels.
on the whole the wii channels are a pleasant although fairly inessential diversion, with some exceptions. the wikipedia article has a pretty good rundown of the set, as does this page at nintendo-europe.com (and here’s the analogous page on nintendo.com with a slightly less convenient layout for anyone who’s interested). here’s my take on them in rough order of least to most useful, for me anyway.
for people who have access to a computer or even a smartphone every day many of the channels aren’t particularly useful, but i could see how the news, forecast, and internet channels could be more worthwhile for those who don’t have easy access. the mii channel and check mii out channels are good for some occasional time wastage, and i’ve used the photo channel at least once to show off a roll of pictures from a digital camera’s SD card to the whole family during a holiday gathering. the nintendo channel is home to all the gameplay (or “game-play” as they punctuate it) stats that i, being a fan of useless numbers, love, so even though i don’t really spend time watching the videos on it i still consider it to be fairly essential (although when it hosted DS demos more regularly it was much more worthwhile). and of course the shop channel is necessary for downloading wii system updates, wii channels, virtual console and wiiware titles, and although obviously not a priority of nintendo’s these days, wiiware demos.
which brings me back to the channel i’ve spent the most time on, the everybody votes channel. i hadn’t been paying close attention to the launch of the channel since i didn’t have a wii at that time, but apparently it was somewhat of a sudden announcement around valentine’s day of 2007. there was some early discussion about it (none really worth recapping) before it became clearer that it was just a source of entertainment, but since the EVC doesn’t report the total number of people who have voted i have to wonder how many people are still regulars. at first i checked it religiously, even going out of my way to turn on my wii at least once a week to keep up, but the regularity of it is so relentless that i gave that up, although i load it up virtually every time i power on my wii. somewhat surprisingly, according to the nintendo channel my wii reports that i’ve accessed it 210 times (for a total of 11 hours and 6 minutes), which means i really have accessed it pretty much every week since i’ve owned it.
from my estimates the EVC has covered about 700 national surveys and more than 100 global surveys. for geeks into statistics like me the results of the surveys are fascinating enough in and of themselves (especially the global ones), but the questions are quite entertaining, ranging from fairly predictable to completely silly (elephants can purr? huh?); one really has to wonder what the completely mysterious question selection process is like. certainly none of the questions i’ve submitted have been accepted, although i submit one every once in a while just out of the smallest hope it’ll actually get picked. the fun of predicting the outcomes continues to be a draw (even though my personal success at it continues to be completely mediocre), and i have to also make special mention of the interface which features nintendo’s trademark level of polish to the presentation (graphics, sound effects, animations; who knew that pink and green could go so well together?) that have made even seemingly lesser entertainments on first glance, actually be compelling experiences.
as the wii has winded down, the future of the wii channels has become uncertain. more specifically, will my beloved everybody votes channel make the transition to wii u and simultaneously continue to be supported on wii? in any case, i certainly vote a big pink “yes!” vote for that. 😉 hopefully the channel has remained as popular with the general wii-playing public as it has with me.
and a big pink vote for some EVC links:
– i was surprised at how many people have archived various polls that have appeared on the EV channel (although to be honest if i had been in on it from that start i probably would have kept my own log of them). this FAQ at gamefaqs compiles a lot of them. two of his sources were these two blogs: everybodyvotes.blogspot.com and geekewl.com.
– nintendo put up an interview with the EVC developers, part of a series of “iwata asks”-like interviews focused on the wii channels
– official page at nintendo.com and instructions on how to use it
– entry at wikipedia