The festive season has seen me neglect my site to some extent but now that I have begun to work off the excess body weight created by trifle, dumpling and far too many three course meals I thought that I had better get back to this!
To that end I would like to tell you all about my recent experiences with the new Nintendo Wii console that I managed to acquire. How did I get one I hear you ask? Contacts, that's what you need (and an imploring and pleading face...that usually does the trick!)
Anyways, I manged to get my hands on one and set it up at home last week. Really easy to set up and and it includes a motion sensor strip that you need to place above or below your TV. The first thing you need to do is to create your Mii. This is a Wii avatar that you create to represent you in some of the games that are available. This was really cute and when you connect online to the Wii community your Mii can migrate to other consoles and meet in the Mii plaza!
I now have it set up in the Consolarium and the game play is hugely enhanced by the 72" Promethean board that I have. My friend and trusted technican friend James is proving to be an excellent sacrifical lamb on which I can hone my skills!
Thanks James ;-)
Next, I was in to Wii Sports with my Mii in full effect, and boy was it fun:
- Wii Tennis: Superb. A single press of the button on the handset tosses the ball in the air and then you must do the serve action to hit the ball across court. I was hugely impressed with this as when the ball is returned it appears the the controller is so sensitive that it can detect whether you put slice on the ball or topspin. This allows you to really flummox the opponent. This game was so charming and energetic that I played a full 5 set game! There are hidden depths to this game though because there is an amazingly fast serve that you can dish out but I haven't quite worked out how to completely control this yet. All in all a great start.
- Wii Bowling: This was good although I think the equivalent with Sony's Eye Toy game is equally if not slightly better. Maybe I need to play this a bit more...
- Wii Baseball: Great fun. You have the opportunity to be the batter and the pitcher and yes it is a case if three strikes and you're out. Again the controller is really sensitive here and you can control the speed of the pitch by moderating the speed at which you make the throwing action.
- Wii Golf: This was another example of the amazing nature of this new console's controller. It provides an on-screen gauge that indicates the strength of your swing. If your swing is too fast then it goes way off the scale but an appropriately swung club means you either hit an amazing drive down the fairway or loft a beautiful wedge on to the green. Putting is especially good fun too.
- Wii Boxing: The nunchuk needs to be attached to the controller here so that you can lead and jab with one hand and leave the heavy blows to the big hand! Some beautiful body punches were landed on my opponent and he crumbled in the face of my virtual onslaught. Don't push me!!!
All in all I was rather impressed with the Nintendo Wii and looking very much forward to giving detailed consideration into how this can be used in educational contexts. The Wii Play game that I also have looks as though it has some excellent games that can be used in pre-school early years contexts, particularly in relation to matching and sequencing exercises. ASN contexts are also crying to be introduced to the Wii.
I'll post more about once I return from BETT.