Hyper - - TECH -

The Wii is the most successful home con­sole Nin­tendo has ever pro­duced, sell­ing over 100 mil­lion units in its life­time and ig­nit­ing an im­mer­sive tech­nol­ogy arms race that is only now reach­ing its zenith.

It’s chief in­no­va­tion was of course the Wii Re­mote, or Wi­imote: the wand-like mo­tion con­troller that uses light sen­sors and in­er­tial sen­sors to trans­late movement into in­put. But what re­ally sold the Wii was Wii Sports: a small col­lec­tion of ad­dic­tive sports-based mini-games de­signed to get peo­ple used to us­ing the Wi­imote.

Who didn’t love Wii Bowl­ing – if only for a lit­tle while? Who didn’t make lit­tle Mii ver­sions of a hated boss or col­league and then beat the shit out of them in Wii Boxing? The ap­peal of Wii Sports was that it re­quired al­most no ex­pla­na­tion: you don’t need to know any­thing about videogames to know how to roll a ball or throw a punch. Sure, the Wi­imote wasn't su­per ac­cu­rate, but it was close enough for broad, repet­i­tive ges­tures like a golf- or ten­nis-swing.

There's a les­son here for Sony and Mi­crosoft (and Ocu­lus and Valve and etc.): tech­nol­ogy by it­self is never enough. With­out a killer app to demon­strate their strengths to the main­stream, PlayS­ta­tion VR and Hololens will be dead in the wa­ter.

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