The title alone should illicit a few “blasphemy” comments from the more Nintendo die-hard, but hear me out. The Wii is a good system. It’s sales record certainly can’t be argued with, but sales figures do not equal perfection. There are a few things that I think Nintendo could learn from their competitors on how to be a better system, and a more social experience.

* Update the Miis. Here we are, 3+ years later, and the Miis have not evolved. I’m still amazed by how creative people have gotten with such limited resources. Some of the creations on the Check Mii Out Channel are indeed impressive, but the Miis can be upgraded without losing the simplistic charm. Who wouldn’t want a Mario hat or Link cap or Pikachu ears? Perhaps a “sticker” you can put on your Mii’s shirt, like a Starman or a Super Mushroom or Samus or a NES Control Pad? The new Mario and Sonic Olympic game allows characters to earn costume upgrades, with fun looks. Why not earn gaming awards like the 360 and carry them on to other games?

* Let users know when their friends are online. At this point, “Friend Codes” aren’t going anywhere, as much as they suck. But once you’ve friended up with another person, that really should be all you have to do. The game codes for each wi-fi title is still way too much. Both people have the game? Let them hop on and play. But there’s the matter of knowing if someone is online, and if they are, what game are they currently playing? This should be a mandatory feature at this point. To its credit, Mario Kart Wii actually attempted this, and it really is better than nothing. But the overall system needs work.

* Improve the classic gaming experience. NoA is back to their “One game a week” random crapshoot with the Virtual Console service. There’s no excuse for this where there are still thousands of games they can release. Nintendo still hasn’t supported the Virtual Console Arcade. Where are my “perfect” versions of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Mario Bros.? If they’re going full-on “old school” where are consoles like the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision? Microsoft is introducing the “Game Room” with over 1,000 classic gaming titles in the next 3 years. That well beats out NoA’s number, though the Japanese VC is a few hundred games up on us at this point. Microsoft is also letting gamers create their own custom game rooms for their personal, virtual space. Microsoft may be owning the arcade feel, but Nintendo should hands down own the “living room/game room” scenario. Where are the virtual toys and posters and items to put in my own shrine? Think the casual audience would love customizing their own little area for hours on end? It’s a safe bet.

* Introduce some real “social gaming” experiences. For those who have played 1 Vs. 100, it’s great fun. I crack wise with my friends, and if I don’t know someone, I don’t do more than compete against them to place first, win prestige, or even hope for a chance to win gaming points or even downloadable games. The whole concept of a game show social experience had “Nintendo idea” written all over it, and yet they didn’t think of this first? From my own experiences, whether it’s people grouped on my couch or friends playing online, the experience brings people together, and it’s a lot of fun.

* Expand the system’s functions to more of a multimedia experience. Netflix is a good idea. We were already watching movies from the Internet Channel and the Nintendo Channel, why not? It’s a nice surrogate from never expanding on that lack of DVD functionality issue (It was rumored that it was possible, but where did that talk go?) Are Facebook and Twitter necessary? Eh, not really, but a music player would make for a nice touch.

* Promote online. Nintendo still shies away from online in 2010 when there’s no excuse. The 360 has been a community past just the shopping aspect, and again, with Nintendo so focused on “social gaming”, you need to know who is on, be able to talk to them, and get people into exploring their little corner of cyberspace. It’s amazing how many people still aren’t aware that the Wii can go online.

I may expand on this later. I just wanted to get a few points out for people to mull over.

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