Wii Speak, you listen says Nintendo

Mic for the Wii

Leave it to Nintendo to take technology as old as dirt and tease it into a brand new "groundbreaking" peripheral. Put the hammer down and step away from the furnace: It's called the "Wii Speak," and it's -- wait for it -- a microphone for your Wii! Surprise from Nintendo's E3 2008 press conference! And cool in that kind of I-shouldn't-care-but-I'm-compelled-to-in-spite-of-myself way. Oh, and not a headset, but something that claps onto your TV set, so you can get more than one person in on the conversation (whether you want to or not, I guess).

The Wii Speak is going to be doubly intriguing if you're an Animal Crossing fan, because Nintendo just revealed it's bringing that storied franchise to the Wii this year courtesy Animal Crossing: City Folk. Sit around, do whatever you like, and talk 'n stuff. Visualize a bunch of unruly Miis fishing and goofing around and, you know, laying it on like the kids on South Park. What, you think a bunch of unsupervised kids are going to just gab about roses and flowers and puppy dog tails? I guess the "no privacy" TV-mounted angle for the microphone is supposed to cover Nintendo's safety-first angle.

So Animal Crossing: City Folk, i.e. World-of-Animal-Crossing-Craft without the grinding and emphasis instead on the goofing around. Alternatively known as PlayStation Home, aka The Sims PlayStation, aka Third or Fourth Life. Sheesh. Keeping up with all the overlap these days is as hard as remembering whether Deep Impact or Armageddon came first.

What else.

You've got your new Zelda and Mario titles on the way, because that's really a surprise. No word on the who, what, when, where, and since this is the Wii we're talking about, how. Any bets on whether we'll see a MarioZelda crossover that's not Super Smash Brothers Free-For-All?

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime says the DS is kicking butt and taking names, which of course it is. The company expects sales to surpass 100 million, something I've been saying for over a year now (and again I say, is anyone surprised?). Now if they'd just fix those cheap plastic hinges on the Lite and figure out how keep human finger-dirt from browning up the buttons. Same problem on my wife's white plastic Macbook, incidentally.

You read about the Wii MotionPlus, right?

The finger-sweat's hardly cooled on Guitar Hero: On Tour's multi-color note-nubs and already Nintendo's announcing Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades, which inexplicably lets you share songs over the network. Huh? Oh, and with that 100 million sales number looming, it's a no-brainer to see Rockstar finally showing some DS love with Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Rockstar's claiming the game "brings a new level of interactivity to [the series'] sprawling open envirionments." Sprawling? Open? On the DS? Now this I have to see.

Most unsurprising surprise? Nintendo's own version of GuitarRockHeroBand, called Wii Music, which lets you combine the Wii remote (and optionally, the Wii Balance Board) to play along with various songs and try to hit the correct notes. Think sax, piano, guitar, violin, drums, and more.

All in all, a trifle underwhelming in that I'm-overwhelmed-in-spite-of-myself-because-it's-Nintendo kind of way.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?