While Nintendo’s decision to invent the Wii Wheel for use with Mario Kart Wii will have fulfilled its “welcome the casual gamer with open arms” quota for the first quarter of 2008, there has been more than a little dissatisfaction amongst core gamers, adamant that they’ll ditch the steering wheel accessory in favour of the Classic or GameCube controller. However, in online match-ups at least, Nintendo explains that those who stay faithful to the Wii Wheel will gain incentives for their dedication…
In the latest in the series of “Iwata Asks” articles on its official website, the president of Nintendo speaks to Kenichiro Ashida, Hideki Konno and Shigeru Miyamoto, three employees who played important parts in the making of Mario Kart Wii. In amongst much talk about the franchise’s history and development of its latest title, talk turns to how the firm has decided to approach getting all gamers hooked on the Wii Wheel.
While playing Mario Kart Wii online, those players who use a Wii Wheel will have its icon displayed for all to see. The point of this, Konno and Miyamoto explain, is that mastering the new peripheral over the traditional controller will earn them a whole load of bragging rights:
Konno:… we came up with a way of addressing that [the issue that the presumed controller of choice for those wanting to achieve the very best lap times would not be the Wii Wheel]. We provided an incentive for using the Wii Wheel. When you battle someone you don’t know, and in the rankings as well, a Wii Wheel icon appears to the right of your nickname on the screen.
Miyamoto: When someone using the GameCube controller gets passed by someone with the Wii Wheel icon, they’re really chagrined. But just like with the Mii Contest Channel for contests, where the number of parts for faces are limited, it’s more fun when there are restraints. When you can get a great time using the wheel, you’ve got a lot of bragging rights.
What’s more, after using the Wii Wheel for an unspecified period of time, Konno explains that “you get a little treat… The wheel icon is white at first, but it changes to gold. We call it the Golden Wheel.”
Will any of the above encourage you to become a Wii Wheel master, or are you going to plump for the Classic Controller right from the off? Let us know in the comments section below.