Why Wii? Ask Nintendo
Nintendo has launched its new generation console with a name that has puzzled many in the industry: "Wii."
It's pronounced "we," and has Nintendo officials scrambling to answer questions about why the console went from the codename "Revolution" to "Wii."
"Wii sounds like 'we,' which emphasizes this console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii," said a statement released by the company on Thursday.
The name has spurred journalists to come up with some interesting headlines such as "Wii aren't too sure about this" and "Wii is twee."
Game bloggers are less amused and have heaped criticism on the name.
"I'll be damned if I am going into an electronics store and asking when they get "Wii" in stock ... it's totally insane," said Nomad Gamer in a blog post, according to a Financial Times article.
Other bloggers have compared it with urine or suggested it stands for What an Idiotic Idea.
The Wii features a wand-like controller, much like a TV remote control, and is the successor to the Gamecube console.
Steve Manning of branding company Igor International says it's a bad sign when a company has to start explaining a name.
Manning points out the company released the name ahead of next month's E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles – the biggest video game exposition of the year. That's because Nintendo wanted to give fans time to speak out.
"They knew it was going to be unfavorably received," Manning told Rocky Mountain News. "I don't know what the upside is for this name."