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Wii conspiracy theories. (They're really, really sad.)

Vladimir Cole

The disbelief runs so thick amongst some Nintendo faithful that we've been bombarded with tips suggesting all manner of conspiracy theories that attempt to explain away Nintendo's decision to dub their new console "Wii."

We'll share with you a few of the more common theories, including reasonable responses to them, after the "continue" link.

  • Wii Is a Nintendo publicity stunt! Fanboys say, "Nintendo was just doing this to draw attention to the Revolution! Haha you guys fell for it! The lack of a trademark proves that this is a fake-out!" Realists say, "This console is a very, very big deal for Nintendo and failure in this market would be devastating for the company. You just don't play around with your marquee product like this. Trademarks take time to be granted, and Nintendo has already gone on record saying that the appropriate protections have been filed."
  • Any publicity is good publicity! Fanboys say, "Nintendo is dominating the conversation right now, so that just proves that this is going how they want it to go!" Realists say, "Any publicity is NOT good publicity. Counterexamples include Enron, Michael Jackson, hanging chads, the Dean Scream, Vioxx, Firestone, Iraq, Microsoft antitrust trials, Scientology, Lewinski, Cigarettes. Bad publicity can and does sink companies, products, and people."
  • It's totally viral, dude! Fanboys say, "This is the best viral marketing campaign in history!" Realists say, "Nintendo never meant to spread a virus through its Wii. This name has given many of their best customers a burning, itching feeling in an uncomfortable spot. Viral metaphors are just awful for a product with these connotations."
  • Revolution is the real name! Fanboys say, "The Revolution name is so awesome, of course they wouldn't want to change it. Duh!" Realists say, "Revolution is an awful name. Its polysyllabic, Latinate construction mean that it's useless as a name for a worldwide launch. Japanese can't pronounce the word, and it's probably got all sorts of unfavorable connotations in other major target markets. It's also trite and overused. Most mainstream consumers will fail to see how a game console can be so presumptive as to call itself The Revolution."

Sorry, tinfoil wearers. The name's not a trick. It's just a really controversial choice that was most likely handed down from Japan. The US marketers have to do with it what they can because decisions are made by Nintendo HQ elsewhere.

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