The Nintendo Wii is a home video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It competes with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. It is Nintendo’s successor to the Nintendo GameCube, and was released on November 19, 2006. In December 2009, the Wii broke the single month sales record in the United States, and as of March 2013 has shipped 81.99 million units, making it the best selling game console.
Wii operates with a Wii Menu, an interface that is designed to imitate television channels. Different channels are displayed in a grid with a graphic, and players use the Wii remote’s pointer capability to navigate. It offers six primary channels: Mii Channel, the Disc Channel, Forecast Channel, Photo Channel, News Channel, and Wii Shop Channel. Wii offers backward compatibility with all Nintendo GameCube software, controllers, and memory cards. The Wii system also supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS without any additional accessories. It allows the player to use the Nintendo DS touchscreen and microphone as inputs for Wii games. The Wii console can connect to the Internet, which offers several features, including WiiConnect24, Virtual Console, Forecast Channel, Internet Channel, News Channel, and Everybody Votes Channel. The console also features parental controls. Parents can use parental controls to prevent younger users from playing games with content unsuitable for their age level, and can restrict internet access. Wii has many accessories that help enhance its gaming experience. For example, a steering wheel controller can be purchased to play racing games, and a controller shaped like a gun can be bought with hunting games. Like the Xbox 360 and PS3, Wii can be purchased in bundle packages. Amazon has a black Wii console bundle. The bundle includes Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. Amazon also has a bundle that comes with Mario Kart and a steering wheel controller for around $220.
The Nintendo Wii offers 8 GB or 32 GB of storage, with an expandable memory available via an external USB hard drive. It comes with an IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor CPU, and has 2 GB of RAM – 1 GB of which is allocated for games, the other for system functions. It has 4 USB 2.0 slots: two on the front behind the cover and two on the back, and also supports Wii LAN adapters. It is 1.8 inches tall, 10.5 inches long, 6.8 inches wide. It weighs 3.5 pounds. It supports the following resolutions: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i.
- The biggest pro of the Nintendo Wii is the motion-sensitive control system; while the PS3 and Xbox 360 have come out with their own systems, the Wii’s system is still the best on the market; sports games are terrific on the Wii, as players swing the controller like a baseball bat or tennis racket; action games are also terrific on the console, as players feel completely immersed in the game
- Additional controllers are available for purchase to enhance the gaming experience, such as a steering wheel for Mario Kart
- It is easy to learn and does not require much instruction; this is a huge benefit for casual gamers, who may find the controllers and games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 too confusing
- Completely backwards compatible with the Nintendo GameCube and can connect wirelessly to the Nintendo DS
- The internal storage does not compare to the hefty storage capacity of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3
- The graphics of the Wii are way behind their competitors, and there is no real advantage to playing Wii on a 1080p HDTV
- The gamepads have short battery life and require frequent charging
- No Netflix integration
- Walls, corners, and physical obstructions can interfere with the wireless signal, which may affect online game play