|Released|| November 19, 2006|
December 2, 2006
December 7, 2006
December 8, 2006
|Processor||IBM PowerPC-Based "Broadway"|
|Memory||512MB internal Flash Memory|
1T-SRAM by MoSys
|Resolution||480I/480P Progressive Scan|
|Media||12cm Wii Optical Disc|
8cm Nintendo GameCube Discs
USB Thumbdrive/Hard Drive
|Controller input||Wii Remote, Wii Balance Board, Nintendo GameCube controller|
|Online service||Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection|
|Size||20 cm (7 in) deep, 6 cm (2 in) thick, 13 cm (5 in) tall (without stand)|
|Units shipped||50.13 million|
|Best-selling game||Wii Sports (over 40 million copies sold)|
The Wii (pronounced "we") is a seventh generation (which also consists of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) video game console created by Nintendo and a successor to Nintendo's previous console, the GameCube. It is Nintendo's fifth major home console, not including the Color TV Game systems. The console was initially released on November 19, 2006 in American shores, was released shortly thereafter in other countries, and became the leading console in the U.S.A., Europe and Japan.
The console comes packaged with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk, the most prominent being the former. The Wii Remote is capable of detecing movement in three dimensions and can be held with one hand. The Nunchuk can be connected to the Wii Remote via a long cord allowing for more control. Motions made with the Nunchuk can also be registered through the Wii Remote.
Building off the basis of the Nintendo DS, Nintendo is using what they refer to as the "blue ocean" strategy. It is a move to target not only the general gaming public, but also those who have never played games, or those who play very rarely. It has been designed with simplicity and familiarity in mind, which explains the Wii Remote and the Wii Channels.
The system is actually incredibly compact, lending itself to extreme portability. It is approximately the size of three DVD (or Wii) cases stacked on top of one another. It comes with a stand as well, so it can sit upright when in the vertical position. To insert a game, there is a large slot on the front of the system surrounded by a glowing blue neon light. The slot can accept the 8cm discs used by the Nintendo GameCube, or Wii games on standard 12cm discs. The system will also come with a sensor bar that is used to detect the motions of the Wii Remote.
The Wii is the first console by Nintendo that has the ability to update its Operating System automatically, due to WiiConnect 24 which allows the console to receive updates even if on standby mode.. It is also the first console since the SNES (Super Mario World) to be bundled with a game at launch, which is Wii Sports. People in Japan, however, must purchase the game separately.
Development of the Wii began right after the GameCube was launched. When developing the Wii, the creators asked themselves what kind of an impact flashier graphics and faster speed would make.
Nintendo revealed the final name of the console right before that year's E3. Prior to this, the console was simply known as the Nintendo Revolution. Nintendo stated in the beginning that the name was simply Wii, rather than the Nintendo Wii.
The plural form of Wii is, according to Nintendo, not "Wiis" as some tend to believe, but rather should be "Wii consoles" or "systems". The two lowercased "i"'s in the name are supposed to represent two players enjoying the game together, or the Wii's unique controller.
Following the game's announcement, both developers and fans alike expressed their dislike towards the name, with both groups explaining how they felt the name displayed a sort of "kidiness" to it, and how they prefered the Revolution. Reggie Fils-Aime explained that the name Revolution was long and was hard to pronounce in some languages, while Wii would be pronounced the same in every country.
When compared to Nintendo's other consoles, the Wii is the smallest of them all (measurements: 44 mm (1.73 in) wide, 157 mm (6.18 in) tall), and certainly the smallest of the three sixth generation consoles (and lightest at 2.7 Ibs, 1.2 kg). Similar to the two other consoles, the Wii can be placed on its side or vertically. If placed vertically, then Nintendo suggests you use the gray colored stand that comes packaged with the Wii.
The typical color of a Wii console is white. The disc loading drive on the front of the console has a neon blue light surrounding it, which is turned on to indicate that WiiConnect24 is in use or when a disc is either inserted or ejected (only if you've updated your firmware to version 3.0). It was thought early on that the light would remain on at all times, though this proved to be false upon the release of the console. The drive itself will take discs made specifically for it and, through backward compatibility, GameCube discs. Next to the drive is an SD card slot which is covered. Above it are the power and reset buttons, while at the bottom (next to the Wii logo) is the eject button, which will cause the CD within (if there is a CD) to be ejected from the console. During gameplay you are requested not to eject the discs, though on the Wii Menu you are free to do so.
The Wii sensor bar, which comes included with the console, must be placed above or below the television you're playing on. If you change the placement of the sensor bar, it is required that you record where the sensor bar is placed for maximum performance. The AV cable and power adapter also come included with the console.
The controller is truly what makes the system shine. Using integrated apparatuses (such as accelerometers and gyroscopes), the Wii Remote is able to sense movement in 3-D space. Using this, the Wii can simulate things such as having a sword fight, playing almost any sports game, solving puzzles, and much more. It closely resembles a television remote, designed this way on purpose in order to make it easy to relate to the familiarity of the TV remote. Its emphasis on motion sensing capabilities also help to make games less difficult and more natural, as to appeal to all groups of people. It also has various attachments which are plugged into the expansion port at the bottom of the controller. One such attachment, referred to as the nunchuk, adds two more buttons, a joystick, and has its own built in accelerometers. The expansion port can also allow other attachments such as the classic controler
The controller was formerly referred to as the Revmote by the gaming community. As the real name of the console was revealed, nowadays the controller is known as the "Wiimote", though the correct name according to Nintendo is simply "Wii Remote".
Wii Menu and Channels
The Wii Menu is automatically launched when the player turns the Wii console on. The player will notice rectangles on the screen, each one containing a different application. The placement of the applications (channels) can be altered by pressing the a and b button at the same time while holding a cursor over one, then swapping it with another. You can not change the placement of the Disc Channel. There are various different channels that the player can download through the Shop Channel, though several are already pre-loaded including the required Disc Channel, Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Forecast Channel, and News Channel. Some channels can only be downloaded by purchasing retail games such as Wii Fit or accessories such as Wii Speak, while other channels are available exclusively to certain countries.
Through the Nintendo Channel, players can watch trailers of Nintendo and third party video games, download Nintendo DS demos, give surveys for games they've purchased, and watch developer videos for recently released titles. The videos that are available are different for each country.
On the Message Board, which isn't technically a channel, players can post messages, send messages, receive messages from others, receive messages from Nintendo or receive messages from a video game they're playing. For example, Nintendo may send you a message regarding a firmware update, or Bonsai Barber for WiiWare may send you a message, telling you that you've missed a scheduled appointment with one of the in game characters. The Message Board also records the player's playing history (unfortunately the Message Board does not record the time you've spent playing on GameCube games).
WiiWare is a service similar to the Virtual Console (see below) that allows users to download games made specifically for it, whereas the Virtual Console features previously made video games. WiiWare games, unlike Virtual Console titles, usually make use of the Wii's unique features and have more impressive graphics, though they usually take up more space. Both WiiWare and Virtual Console games can be placed on SD Cards and can be played directly from them.
A built in feature of the Wii is the Wii Virtual Console. Games are available to be downloaded (for a price) from previous systems including the TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, N64 and Neo-Geo. The Wii remote is also designed so, when turned on it's side, closely resembles an NES controller, most likely designed with the NES in mind. Virtual Console games cost between $5 to $10 USD. This includes new titles and classics. It has also been rumoured that separate add-on controllers can be purchased resembling those specific systems, and used to play the games on those systems. The Classic Controller has been shown as well, designed to cover all the Virtual Console systems.
Wii is fully backwards compatible with the GameCube, which launched in 2001. It is able to play every Gamecube game in the collection, avoiding the current backwards-compatibility issues of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Gamecube discs go into the same slot as the main Wii discs go into, even though it is smaller in size. In addition, the Wii is also able to use some of the GCN peripherals such as the Microphone and DK Bongos. The Wii also has four GCN controller ports and two memory slots, so game saves and control issues shouldn't be a problem. This is the first Nintendo console that is backward compatible with a previous Nintendo console. The only thing the Gamecube can do but the Wii can't is to use the Game Boy Player.