What is it with console names?
April 28, 2006 Leave a comment
One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "04-28-2006, 8:38PM":
I thought it might be nice to have some more general gaming topic here once in a while, so here we go:
Console names used to be simple and obvious but this is changing in modern days. We all remember the simplicity of Playstation (1) and Playstation 2, and after some time even the second-generation Xbox name "Xbox 360" was fine.
The upcoming next-generation Nintendo console was codenamed "Revolution" and that would also have made a nice permanent name. But do you guess its final name?
Pronounced like "we" (or "whee," I suppose), the name is meant to emphasize that "this console is for everyone," Nintendo said in a flash video which introduced the name change.
"The other systems have an extension of their current names; ours is a new leap to something different," Perrin Kaplan, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs for Nintendo of America, told me. "A lot of thought went into the name."
"Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak," the company said in its flash presentation of the name. "No confusion. No need to abbreviate."
The core gaming community is already making its opinion known – and it’s a resounding thumbs down.
"Here, I’ll do it: Worst console name ever," wrote Chris Remo, an editor at Shacknews.com, whose sentiments were immediately echoed by dozens of users. Forum members on Gamespot.com, IGN.com and other gaming sites expressed similar thoughts.
Kaplan said the criticism was not unexpected, given Wii’s uniqueness.
"I think people have to look back and let it settle in," she said. "I’m sure people felt the same way when Google was named – or the iPod. Napster. Yahoo. There’s a whole host of unusual names that have become a part of everyday conversation and I think they’re viewed now as unique."