All Articles: Wii Sports

Insert Quarter: Is Uber’s CEO the Second-Best Wii Sports: Tennis Player in the World?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Whether they’re disrupting the marketplace or reinventing the workflow, Silicon Valley executives love to brag. And Uber CEO Travis Kalanick might be the biggest braggart of them all. Kalanick loves to say that his glorified taxi company is changing the way we think about transportation, but did you know that he also dominates the competition on the tennis court in Wii Sports? To hear him tell it, he even holds the second-best ranking on the game’s worldwide leaderboard.

But wait a minute, you say, I don’t think there is a worldwide leaderboard in Wii Sports. And you would be correct. Such a ranking is completely fictional. So what is Kalanick talking about? Kyle Orland, of Ars Technica, decided to find out.

Orland talked to Kalanick’s business partners to learn the history of the anecdote, and studied the scoring algorithm in Wii Sports to determine if its even possible to be the “second-best” Wii Sports tennis player:

I’ve spent an admittedly ridiculous amount of time looking into this one sentence over the past few days. As it turns out, getting to the bottom of Kalanick’s Wii Sports skill requires delving into the vagaries of human memory, reverse engineered asymptotic leveling systems, and the semantic meaning of video game achievement itself.

Cannily quoting The Simpsons, Orland decrees that Kalanick’s claim is true (“Short answer: ‘Yes, with an if…’ “), but only if you filter out all the gibberish and then completely misidentify the scoring system used in Wii Sports (” Long answer: ‘No, with a but…’ “). But Orland turns it all into a compelling narrative, and it’s a great way to spend part of your Saturday.

You can read the full explanation at Ars Technica.

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World Video Game Hall of Fame announces 12 finalists for the Class of 2017

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior fought against Mortal Kombat for the hearts (and quarters) of arcade players in the early 90s. Next month, they’ll square off again as two (of the 12) finalists the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

Announced this morning by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, this year’s finalists also include Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy VII, Halo: Combat Evolved, Myst, Pokemon Red and Blue, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Wii Sports, and Windows Solitaire.

“These 12 World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists span decades, gaming platforms, and countries of origin… but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on the world of gaming and popular culture,” said Jon-Paul C. Dyson, the Director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “Whether it’s a pop culture icon like Donkey Kong, an innovator and true original like Portal, or a game like Wii Sports that transformed millions of living rooms into interactive zones for all ages, they’re among the most influential games of all time.”

An international advisory committee made up of journalists and scholars familiar with the history of video games will advise the Hall of Fame’s selection of this year’s inductees, which will be announced on Thursday, May 4, at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time).

You can learn more about all of this year’s finalists after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo drops Wii price to $130

Just in time for the holidays (and the impending release of the Wii U), Nintendo has announced a price drop for the Wii along with a brand new bundle.

The Wii system will now be priced at $129.99 and it’ll come bundled with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. This new bundle will be available on October 28 and will replace last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii bundle.

“Nearly six years after it launched, people are still attracted to the pure, inclusive fun of the Wii console,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “A new suggested retail price and the inclusion of two great games make it an easy choice for families looking for a great value this holiday season.”

And then he muttered under his breath, “Because they sure as hell aren’t going to find a Wii U.” (That’s a joke.)

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Wii drops to $150; budget Nintendo Selects lineup revealed

As expected, Nintendo officially dropped the price of the Wii to $149.99 today. With the new price comes a new bundle. The $149.99 package will include the console (available in black or white), a matching Wii Remote Plus/Nunchuk, a copy of Mario Kart Wii and a Wii Wheel. The bundle will go on sale in two weeks, on May 15th.

With Wii Sports pulled out of the Wii system box for the first time since the console’s launch, the groundbreaking game will lead the new Nintendo Selects line. Retailing for $19.99, the first wave of Nintendo Selects will also include Animal Crossing: City Folk, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Mario Super Sluggers.

“From the day it launched, Wii has let players of all ages and experience levels have fun with one another,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “The new suggested retail pricing for both the hardware and select games will help create more of these magical moments for even greater numbers of people.”

In other words, the Wii still prints money.

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