In November 2006, Nintendo released a home video game console called the Wii. As a seventh generation console it was brought out to rival the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and the PlayStation 3 from Sony.
The Wii was the first to use the Wii remote controller, a pointing device held in the hand that was able to detect movement in three dimensions. There was something else unique about the first consoles and that was the fact they could receive messages and updates via the internet while in standby mode. This function is no longer available. Other features that it had in common with other seventh generation consoles was that it as a game download service. The service was called 'Virtual Console' and allowed games from past systems to be downloaded and played.
A number of different models have been released over the years. For example:
- The Wii Family Edition in late 2011
- The Wii Mini in December 2012
- The Wii U in November 2012
Why is it called a Wii?
If you're wondering why the name was chosen, let's see if we can explain. It was actually known by the code name 'Revolution' until April 2206, but the name change was done for a good reason. The Nintendo spelling of Wii is meant to resemble two people standing next to each other. In other words to present players gathering together to play. The official reason is:
"Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii is easy to remember by people around the world, regardless of the language spoken. No confusion".
What games can be played on Wii?
There's a long list of games that can be played using a Wii video game console. More than 919 million have been sold worldwide. More than 100 titles have passed the million-unit mark. For example:
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario
- Wii Fit
- Super Smash Bros
- Wii Party
- Donkey Kong
- Link's Crossbow Training
- Just Dance
- Big Brain Academy
The most successful Wii game
The most successful Wii game is Wii Sports. So far, more than 80 million copies have been sold worldwide. In most regions it actually comes bundled with the console when bought new and was published as a launch title for the console. The game provides players with five different sports simulations, that have been developed to demonstrate how good the Wii Remote is. The sports are tennis, baseball, bowling, boxing and golf. The Wii Remote is used by players to mimic actions that would be performed if playing the sport in real life. For example, it is used for the swinging action of a tennis racket. The rules of the games are very simple, so that new players can access the games easily. As well as the actual games there are also training and fitness modes so that players are able to monitor their progress as they play.
Wii has become very popular for social gatherings and competitions as all ages and skill levels are able to compete together. Wii Sports Resort was released in 2009, with Wii Sports Club being released in 2013.
How to play
The five sports, baseball, tennis, bowling, golf and boxing are accessed from the main menu. Motion sensor capabilities of the remote and nunchuk attachments are used to control the actions on screen. Players use the remote in much the same as they would in real life. It is held and swung just like a golf club, baseball bat or bowling ball. There are certain aspects that are controlled by the computer, such as player movement in tennis. In baseball the batting and pitching is done using the remote but the fielding and base running is controlled by the Wii.
Players are able to create their own customized avatar as well as other characters in the games. When players have finished a game they are awarded points or penalized skill points. The player points are charted on a graph. When a player has achieved 1000 skill points they are awarded 'pro' level. As well as playing the different sports players can also participate in a fitness test that will calculate a player's fitness age. Three randomly chosen challenges have to be performed and the test also takes into account a player's balance, speed and stamina.
The Wii successor
The Wii is the successor to the Wii and the first of Nintendo's consoles to support HD graphics. The primary controller is the Wii GamePad that features an embedded touchscreen, directional buttons, action buttons and analog sticks. The Wii I is compatible with all previous Wii software and accessories. This latest Wii console was not received very well initially and suffered a number of problems. Production ended in January 2017. The latest console from Nintendo, is the Nintendo Switch, a new home console. Time will tell whether it takes off or flops.