Gamers love to rag on the Wii for its large complement of “shovelware” titles, but the truth is that its games are getting better – as the average review score for the Wii took a large swing upward in 2009.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Wii is in the lead this console generation by a pretty wide margin. And as with the PS2 before it, the large number of games developed for the system results in a comparatively large number of crappy games. In 2008, the average Wii game score was 60%, compared with 68% for the PS3 and 66% for the Xbox 360. So is it any wonder that core gamers love to rag on the console with the inferior games?

It might be harder to keep doing that, though. EEDAR’s Divnich Debrief took a look at the average scores for the three consoles, and found that in 2009, the Wii’s average had jumped to 66%, while the 360’s moved up to 67% and the PS3 fell a fraction of a percent. A 6% leap might not sound like such a big deal, but in the middle of a console cycle a jump of that magnitude is unprecedented, says Jesse Divnich: “Nevertheless, no console over the last 10 years has ever produced this much of a shift in their aggregated quality score in the middle of a cycle.”

So what’s the explanation, here? Are reviewers grading Wii games on a curve, now? “Oh, it’s good – for a Wii game.” Is the Motion-Plus making that big of a difference? Or, as Divnich posits, “it could be possible that developers finally ‘get’ the Wii.” Mandatory waggle segments may be less clunky and more seamlessly integrated as developers get accustomed to the technology.

Whatever the cause, the Wii is finally performing at the rate of its brethren in this iteration of the console wars, though it seems unlikely that core gamers will stop bashing it anytime soon.

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