Why Wii?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Wii name

The console was known by the codename of "Revolution" until immediately prior to E3 2006. Nintendo spells "Wii" with two "i"s to imply an image of players gathering together, as well as to represent the console's controllers. Nintendo has given many reasons for its choice of name since its announcement; however, the most well known is:

Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

According to the Nintendo Style Guide: A Guide to the Proper Usage of Some of Nintendo's Products:

It is simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii. It is pronounced "we", indicating its all-inclusive nature. The name works best at the beginning of declarative statements. For clarity, it is best to avoid passive verbs and prepositions.

Despite Nintendo's justification for the name, many members of the press, online communities and even game developers reacted negatively to the name change. Some have expressed "fear that the name would convey a continued sense of 'kidiness' to the console", "wish Nintendo had stuck with 'Revolution'", or even made fun of the name for its phonetic similarities to words in English and French. Still, Nintendo defends its choice of Wii over Revolution, and suggests to that those who dislike the name to "live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it".