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Culture

Nintendo fans perplexed by new name

After Nintendo announced the official name of its next-generation game console, to be known henceforth as Wii, fan reaction was less "whee" and more "why?" Until the company's announcement Thursday, the console has been known by its code name, "Revolution".

Wii

The name--which is pronounced "we"--is meant to invoke a feeling of cooperation, and the double "i" is intended to visually conjure up the image of two people standing together. But so far, the name has mostly unified people in their distaste for the new moniker.

Many fans wish Nintendo had stuck with "Revolution," which they say is far more marketable and even appropriate, given the console's distinct controller. As the console's release nears, Nintendo will embark on Web and television campaigns to clarify confusion surrounding the pronunciation. From the looks of early blogger reactions, which range from "Wii-diculous" to theories that that name is a prank, Nintendo has got their work cut out for them.

Blog community response:

In a comment titled "Knights Who Say Wii!": "Did John Cleese pick this name out for them? I like Nintendo as much as the next gamer, but enough is enough. Ten years ago, enough calls to 1-800-255-3700 about how dumb "Ultra" 64 was made them think to change the name of that console."
--fakespam on News.com TalkBack

"Okay, so the name sucks. The general consensus is that NintendoÂ’s boffed naming their new console. The moniker is reminiscent of everything from the French word for 'yes' to the childish word for 'urine.' Not exactly the association that Nintendo was looking for, but is that why everyone is freaking out?"
--Kotaku

"The double-i trick isnÂ’t new, however; recall 'Viiv' (rhymes with 'five'), the name Intel recently stamped on its new marketing concept for media-center PCs. Not many jokes came from this one, probably because few people outside of Intel fully understand what Viiv really is. But you see the larger problem here: double 'i' pronounced two ways. Is it 'ee,' as in 'see' or 'tree,' or is it more of a long 'i,' as in 'alive' and 'strive'? Maybe the marketers also could concoct an accent or other mark to make either Wii or Viiv easier to read. Otherwise, the double 'i' just spells trouble."
--STLtoday.com Tech Blog