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Nintendo Wii

A motion sensored gaming console by Nintendo.

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Innovative... and yet we're still only talking about "Potential"

  • Mar 10, 2009
  • by
The Nintendo Wii is quite revolution in its own right. With all the things it can do, it's hard to say it won't be competition for the market this year. What it boils down to is what you like. If you want a console for some gaming fun, then the Wii is definitely for you, in more ways than one.  However, an increasing problem the Wii is suffering from more and more is the lack of quality games.  It wouldn't surprise me if many gamers let their Wii sit collecting dust just because good, worthwhile games are so few and far between.

Setting up your Wii is pretty simple stuff. The system comes with the necessary cords a Wii remote and a Nunchuck controller right off the bat. Its a little disappointing it doesn't come with a shell controller as well for the virtual download (if you plan on using it right away), but if you've got Gamecube controllers, you don't have to worry about the shell controller, really. Also to the Nintendo Wii's credit, the Wii remote actually comes with two AA batteries.

As far as what the Wii looks like and how games play, there's a small problem here. The games, do not look nearly as good as a Playstation 3 game or an X360 game. That isn't to say games don't look good, it's just to say it's not as powerful. However, it's obvious what the Wii is made for: Gameplay. This is obvious by its fantastic control granted to it by the Wii remote and the Nunchuck. I've had good experiences so far.  The graphics are a small price to pay.  Though it should be noted, that a lot of games just haven't realized the potential of the Wii Remote.  Some games, even, still require using the old Gamecube Controller.  It's one of just many potentials the Wii has, but that isn't being taken advantage of.

First off, if you're one to think that the Wii remote means you'll have to work to play your games, nothing could be further from the truth. You do not, by any means, have to actually stand up to play a game. In fact, you can continue to sit down all you want. The system comes with a motion senser and a stand for the motion sensor. The motion sensor allows you to be up to five meters away from your television. If need be, you can always adjust the sensitivity of the Wii remote to suit what works best for you. It can be a little bit to get used to at first (particularly when you have to type stuff in), but it is surprisingly fluent. The Wii remote can also be used to turn on and off the system, or to reset the game from the system menu.  It should be noted, however, that the majority of the games (nearly all of them) don't require you to stand at all.  In fact most of them don't even encourage standing.

The Nunchuck attaches to the remote and can easily be removed. In most games, the Nunchuck controls where your characters on screen go. In some games however (such as some of the games on Wii Sports), you don't really need the Nunchuck attatchment. Still, it's good to have because several games actually do depend on the Nunchuck and Wii Remote heavily. The Wii remote truly does take gaming to a whole new level, simply because it makes for more than just simple button mashing. Rather, you actually ARE in control of what goes on. It's unique, and it works. Again, you don't have to work too hard. A simple flick of the wrist is all it takes to get the Wii remote to respond.

Outside of the fun you'll have with this, it's important to note just what else the Wii has going for it. First and foremost, the internet connection, which can easily be set up if you have a Wi-Fi connection (otherwise you'll have to go out and purchase a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB plug in). It works very similar to the Nintendo DS. You don't have to pay to go online, but Nintendo does use the Friend Code system which has been used constantly with Nintendo DS games, which means it's going to be a pain to communicate with people. Also, aside from that, there is a parental control setting for any parents who want to monitor their kids. I have not tinkered with this yet, but it could be useful. Any and all settings can be changed any time you wish.

What's interesting about going online, however, is all the services it provides. Although, as of launch they're not all up and running, it's still pretty interesting to take a look at them all. The first is the Virtual Console, which can be used to purchase some of your old school games from the NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafix 16. The best part about downloading these classics is that they're cheap, and perfectly emulated. Right now there isn't much availible, but in the coming months Nintendo has stated that there will be plenty more. This means, for any old school gamer out there, that you won't have to pay ridiculous prices for old games (such as Super Mario RPG). These games can be played using the shell controller, but you can also use the Gamecube contoller, and you can also use the Wii Remote for some games (mainly NES titles). Its a pain the system doesn't come with a shell controller though, which means you'll have to pay additional money if you plan on using the virtual download.  One other thing to note, however, is that going online isn't something you'll be doing a lot.  There's some cool stuff thanks to the virtual console and Wii Ware, it's about the only thing to do.  The interface isn't so bad, though, but some of the organization could stand to be better, especially as more and more games are added to the virtual console. 

There are also a ton of channels you can explore. First, there's the Mii Channel, which allows you to create what's called a "Mii." A Mii is a virtual character that you'll create. He or she will have the ability to pop up in some of your games, or you can use this Mii to travel to other Wii consoles and communicate with other Wii users. Its pretty interesting, but mostly to see your Mii show up in games such as Wii Sports. You can create more than one Mii which is pretty cool. You could essentially create one for all your friends and family.

Then there's the News Channel, which, of course, gives you the news.  More over it gives you headlines and stories from the AP Press.  It's not going to be better than the Newspapers or the internet, but it's there.  There are also more channels to download as well, though most of them are actually kind of stupid and gimmicky that you won't really care for them.  Especially when getting your news or weather forecast is just so much easier when you do it away from your Wii.  The main Wii Menu can feel cluttered should you decide to download a lot.  In terms of a menu, Nintendo would do well to take some tips from its competition.

Then there's the photo channel. You can use an SD card and upload photos to your Wii and tweak with them. This is a lot of fun to work with, and you can even send photos off to friends who have a Wii console.

There's also a message board up and running as well as a history in the calendar. The Wii will actually tell you what games you've been playing last and for how long you played them. It's really nothing special, but it's nice to see.

The Wii comes built in with a flash memory of about 512 MB. This isn't a whole lot.  In fact this is extremely small.  And while you can use an SD card for more space... it's actually really sad that you can't load games off the card directly.  Most games don't take up that much space, but for those who might find themselves playing a lot, this isn't enough space.  This is even worse if you're one who will download a lot of classic games.  And as the virtual console presses on, there is a lot more that's worth downloading if your old systems are out of comission or if you missed out on classic games.

The Wii is a great system, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. While the system isn't as expensive as the PS3, keep in mind that you'll have to buy a memory card at some point, which can be expensive. Also, Wii Remotes and the Nunchuck attachment are sold separately. So if you need to buy other Wii Remotes, you'll have to buy another Nunchuck attachment as well. Its strange that the two aren't sold together. So in the beginning, much like a lot of new gaming systems, it'll burn a whole in your pocket. Also, you'll need a game. Luckily, the first shipment comes packaged with Wii Sports, but you'll need another game besides that. So again, as with buying other systems, it does burn a whole in your financial pocket to get the most of your experience.  This is essentially a problem that every video game console suffers from.  The Wii suffers a little less by being less expensive, but that doesn't mean you won't be spending money to get more out of it.  This differs from one gamer to another, but most might at least want to invest in a second controller.

There are a couple of other things that keep the system from being the all out fantastic experience. The Wii Remote, for starters, takes AA Batteries. A recharagble Wii Remote probably would've been much better. The system also doesn't play CDs or DVDs, but to be honest, this is hardly a problem in this day and age.

I don't like to talk too much about games in my review of video gaming systems.  Games should be reviewed separately.  But I will talk about the Wii's biggest problem concerning it's games.  There are far too many mediocre games on the Wii.  The chart to the left reflects this (it's dated in April 2008, and it hasn't changed much).  In fact, it's sad to admit, but the best games on the Wii are the games which are made by Nintendo.  Certainly Nintendo can design great games for their system, but third parties don't, and they're almost stealing from gamers who aren't that into gaming with an excess of mini-game compilations that are usually broken or not much fun to play.  In short, the biggest issue with the Wii is that you'll have one, but you might not be spending much time playing it.  It seems as though Nintendo are the only guys who can make a good game for their system.  It's actually quite annoying.  There's no reason third parties can't step it up, but I somehow don't think they will.  It's ridiculous that the last good quality game for the Wii came out a year ago.  Certainly some mini-game compilations are fun, but they're just as few and far between as good games.  And there are some games that suit the Wii well, such as Resident Evil 4 and Okami... but the problem is that these are not new games and most people who wanted to play them... already have.

In short, those stories about people letting their Wii collect dust because of a lack of good games?  They're true stories.  The system overall is not a bad system, but it's 2009... the system was released in 2006... and we're sitting here still talking about the "potential" of what it can do.  We've come to recognize the potential of the 360 and PS3, and they're still trying new things with those two systems... but for whatever reason there's no want to experiment with what they've got on their hands with the Wii.  It's actually ridiculously sad.  It's even sadder because it's a good system that is capable of playing great games in a new way.  But where are those great games?  I happen to enjoy my Wii, but the only time I ever turn it on now is when I get together with friends for a round of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  That isn't to say the other games aren't fun, it's to say that every video game console needs a variety of games to keep the gamer playing it.  The Wii doesn't really do this.  There are so few good games that it's quite possible you've played all the good ones already.

The Wii is a good system overall, but it's a system we're still talking about potential with.  It dropped down with it's Wii Remote and Nunchuck and new way to play, but without a good library of games you won't get nearly as much fun out of it... because Nintendo and Third Parties aren't providng you with that much fun.

The Good

+Backwords compatible with all Gamecube Games, controllers and memory cards
+Virtual download allows for even more backwords compatibility and nostalgia for several gamers
+You can create a "Mii" and meet other Wii owners
+Built in memory with games that don't take up too much space
+Photos, news, weather... the Wii Channels have it all
+Its affordable
+Gamecube Controler can be used to play games on the Virtual Download Station
+You can't deny the power of its motion sensor controller, it really makes playing several games a lot more fun

The Bad

-The system is no where near as powerful as the PS3 or X360
-The Wii remote takes AA batteries, you'll probably run through them quickly, a rechargable battery could've been better
-While the console itself is affordable, it'll still cost you a pretty penny to get the maximum use out of it
-Wii Remotes and Nunchucks are sold separately
-Can't play CDs or DVDs... but is this really a problem in this day and age?
-The lack of games is a serious shot in the foot
-Several of the "channels" offered are filler space
-Severe lack of memory to save games; very bad if you're going to download a lot of virtual console games
-Three years later and we're still talking about "potential"

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More Nintendo Wii reviews
review by . July 15, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
  First of all, I'd like to say that before I review why I'm not fond of the Wii, keep in mind that this is entirely subjective, and if you personally enjoy it, then more power to you.   I remember the Wii coming out back in November of 2006 and like the PS3, I thought to myself “Like I'm gonna buy that thing, that thing is a joke.” However, unlike the PS3, to this day, I still see no desire to buy one. The Wii has beaten the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in sales, mainly …
review by . March 04, 2010
A New World of Physical Video Gaming
The Nintendo Wii is one of a kind. Developed in an industry that is normally dominated by intense graphics and violent game play, the Wii Fit is a bit of an anomaly.  The Wii brings family fun and physical interactivity to the gaming world. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the classic style of game-play too – I've been playing games like Halo and Final Fantasy for years – but there's just something astounding about how simple yet effective the core components of Nintendo's new system …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
Nintendo's new golden child system has that ease and comfort we've come to expect from Nintendo as well as a large and exclusive library of games.
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
Decent console, but overrated. Great games are few and far between and those that are actually great are completely ignored by the general public, inviting developers to give up on trying to make stuff of absolute substance and concentrate on crap. Online multiplayer and friend system is terrible in order to "protect the children." Still, when I DO find good games for the Wii (Zack and Wiki, No More Heroes, etc), I do get a lot of enjoyment out of them.
Quick Tip by . June 08, 2010
I only gave it a 3 because I don't approve of kids gaming too much, my family only got a WII when I was 18 (because my 12 yr old sister won it somewhere) and I enjoy it now and we play with it in moderation.
review by . February 12, 2010
The Nintendo Wii is a fantastic game system for kids especially but I think most adults will love it just as much. The Wii doesn't have nearly as good of graphics as the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 but the game selection is so much better for young kids. Many of the games on these other systems have a lot of foul language and so far I am not seeing that at all with Wii games. In addition there is a huge selection of games that kids will love. Most of the games fully utilize the motion sensing technology …
review by . January 21, 2010
I'm not much of a game fan - don't have an Xbox nor do I game using a PC. But this is fun! I use it mainly with the Wii Fit balance board attachment for exercise, and it provides a nice variation from the usual cardio machines or strength routines.    Easy to set up and use. The graphics are not what you'd call top-notch, but are usable. All in all, I'm very pleased with it - never would have thought I'd own a game deck, but the Wii changed that!
review by . October 26, 2009
Wii is awesome. I love the interactive aspect. The sports games are great, allowing you to actually take swings with the Wii controller to play the games. This is leap years above the competition.
review by . December 14, 2008
  I don't get what's so popular about this damn Wii. I went out of my way to get one with all the hype out there about how great and fun it is. After playing it for a few days, I got bored of it already. That motion sensor remote/nunchuck is "interesting" at best. But I don't find any of the games any fun. All the games seem to be made for 10 year olds or simpletons that are easily amused. I mean how fun can flipping your wrist to throw a bowling ball and watching it knock down 10 pins be? …
review by . April 15, 2009
Nintendo did well with this console.    Not only did the revolutionize the way we think about controllers, but they also approached gaming in a completely different way.  With the introduction of Mii's and the new controller, gaming is MORE interactive and no longer a niche past time among the younger crowd.    I've had plenty of fights with my Uncle on who gets to play Wii Tennis.    Also, the Wii encourages multiple real world players, …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game console


The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of both. The Financial Times reported that as of September 12, 2007, the Wii is the sales leader of its generation, based on sales figures from Enterbrain, NPD Group, and GfK.

A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and detect movement in three dimensions. Another distinctive feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.

The Wii is Nintendo's fifth home console, the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube, and able to play all official GameCube games. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled the system at the 2005 E3. Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in four key markets.
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Brand: Nintendo
Category: Video Game Consoles
Developer: Nintendo
Console Type: Console

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