Wii Paint?

What else can the Wii do? That is one question that the brains behind Operation: Nintendo Wii seem to constantly be asking one another.

We’ve already seen things like the Wii Wheel to mimic real-world driving, gun-shaped peripherals and realistic shooting mechanics for first-person shooters, tennis racquets, golf clubs, and baseball bats to snap our Wii remotes into, and all manner of other interesting play mechanics and peripherals. With the advent of the Wii Balance board and Wii Fit, however, the software for the Wii seems to be drifting from the company’s gaming roots into the realm of non-gaming user applications.

Last week, I was speaking to our superhero creative director Jesse about graphics editing, and at the same time applauding the recent re-release of the paintbrush-wielding adventure, Okami, when I thought of the possibility of a Photoshop-like application for the Wii (or maybe more along the lines of an enhanced MSPaint). The way I see it, video game consoles are little more than mini-computers that specialize in a particular type of software, so why not add a typically PC-performed function in order to customize an aspect of the games?

Distribution of such an application could be as simple as a new WiiWare download, made available to users for a sack o’ Wii Points. The newly downloaded “Wii Paint” would fit nicely next to the Wii Photo Channel, and the two could even be used in conjunction.

Later on, the Wii Paint application could even be tied into game releases, allowing players to add custom logos, icons, maps, etc. to their games, or even tweak and/or replace certain in-game textures. Knowing the passion with which gamers approach anything videogame-related, even a low-quality graphics editing tools could lead to incredible artwork. The following video clip comes to mind:


I assume that this Wii Paint idea would have to be of a somewhat lesser quality than something like Photoshop because of the hardware limitations of the Wii console. Obviously, we are not going to get a powerhouse program on the Wii, simply because of the less-than-impressive hardware specs of the console. With only 88 MB of RAM available, the Photoshop experience would be incredibly slow and frustrating. Additionally, the program would need to be of a reasonable size in order to fit in the Wii’s 512 MB of internal storage space, so many of the more advance features of today’s graphics editing software would have to be cut. So we’re not really talking Photoshop, but I would hope that we’re not talking about an MSPaint equivalent either.

In any case, something like this could be a very viable, elementary alternative for those individuals who may rock out on the Wii, but never get into the PC end of image manipulation. Graphics editing software can be pretty expensive, and not everyone knows how or where to find the el cheapo versions.

And remember that retirement home that was in the news way back when? I’ll go out on a limb and say that they probably aren’t designing websites on their MacBooks between knitting and naps…


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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