(pronounced as the English pronoun we
) 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.
Wii promotional movie 2006
The console was conceived in 2001, as the Nintendo GameCube was first
seeing release. According to an interview with Nintendo's game designer
Shigeru Miyamoto, the concept involved focusing on a new form of player
interaction. "The consensus was that power isn't everything for a
console. Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only
ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction."
Two years later, engineers and designers were brought together to
develop the concept further. By 2005, the controller interface had taken
form, but a public showing at that year's E3 was withdrawn. Miyamoto
stated that, "[W]e had some troubleshooting to do. So we decided not to
reveal the controller and instead we displayed just the console."
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata later unveiled and demonstrated the Wii
Remote at the September Tokyo Game Show.
The Nintendo DS is said to have influenced the Wii design. Designer
Ken'ichiro Ashida noted, "We had the DS on our minds as we worked on the
Wii. We thought about copying the DS's touch-panel interface and even
came up with a prototype." The idea was eventually rejected, with the
notion that the two gaming systems would be identical. Miyamoto also
expressed that, "[I]f the DS had flopped, we might have taken the Wii
back to the drawing board."
Nintendo has attributed the success of the Wii to the ideas presented
in the business strategy book Blue Ocean Strategy.
Within the context of a Blue Ocean Strategy analysis, the key factors of
the Wii reflect what is termed the "Six Path Framework" described within
the book. While Nintendo has not publicly released the factors used, it
is believed that they include "price", "movie playing", "graphics",
"physics", "fun", "game library", and "magic wand". Applying the Four
Actions Framework would eliminate movie playing, reduce graphics and
physics, raise fun and the game library, and lead to the creation of
their "magic wand": the Wii Remote.
||Video game console
||November 19, 2006
||Worldwide: 44.96 million
(as of December 31, 2008)
||12 cm Wii Optical Disc
8 cm Nintendo GameCube Game Disc
||512 MB Internal flash memory
Secure Digital card
Nintendo GameCube Memory Card
||Wii Remote, Wii Balance Board,
Nintendo GameCube controller, Nintendo DS
2 × USB 2.0
LAN Adapter (via USB)
||Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Wii Shop Channel
(pack-in, except in Japan and South
Korea) 40.5 million
(as of December 31,
Wii Play, 20.91 million
(as of December 31, 2008)
The console was known by the code name of "Revolution" until
April 27, 2006, immediately prior to E3.
According to the Nintendo Style Guide, the name "is simply Wii, not
Nintendo Wii." This means it is the first home console Nintendo has
marketed outside of Japan without the company name featured in its
trademark. While "Wiis" is a commonly used pluralization of the console,
Nintendo has stated that the official plural form is "Wii systems" or "Wii
Nintendo's spelling of "Wii" with two lower-case "i" characters is meant
to resemble two people standing side by side, representing players
gathering together, as well as to represent the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
The company has given many reasons for this choice of name since the
announcement; however, the best known is:
Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasizes that the console is for
everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the
world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need
to abbreviate. Just Wii.
Despite Nintendo's justification for the name, some video game
developers and members of the press reacted negatively towards the
change. They preferred "Revolution" over "Wii"
and expressed fear "that the name would convey a continued sense of 'kidiness'
[sic] to the console."
The BBC reported the day after the name was announced that "a long list
of puerile jokes, based on the name," had appeared on the Internet.
Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime acknowledged the
initial reaction and further explained the change:
"Revolution as a name is not ideal; it's long, and in some
cultures, it's hard to pronounce. So we wanted something that
was short, to the point, easy to pronounce, and distinctive.
That's how 'Wii,' as a console name, was created."
Nintendo of America's then-VP of Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan
defended its choice of "Wii" over "Revolution" and responded to critics
of the name by stating, "Live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move
along with it and hopefully they'll arrive at the same place."
On September 14, 2006, Nintendo announced release information for
Japan, North and South America, Australasia (Oceania), Asia and Europe,
including dates, prices, and projected unit distribution numbers. It was
announced that the majority of the 2006 shipments would be allotted to
the Americas, and that 33 titles would be available in the 2006
The United Kingdom suffered a large shortage of console units as many
high-street and online stores were unable to fulfill all pre-orders when
it was released on December 8, 2006.
The Wii was launched in South Korea on April 26, 2008, in Taiwan on July
12, 2008 and will be
released in China sometime in 2008.
(as of September 30, 2008)
||November 19, 2006
||December 2, 2006
||December 8, 2006
Since its launch, the monthly sales numbers of the console have been
higher than its competitors across the globe. According to the NPD
Group, the Wii sold more units in the United States than the Xbox 360
and PlayStation 3 combined in the first half of 2007.
This lead is even larger in the Japanese market, where it currently
leads in total sales, having outsold both consoles by factors of 2:1
nearly every week from launch until November 2007.
In Australia, the Wii exceeded the record set by the Xbox 360 to become
the fastest selling games console in Australian history.
On September 12, 2007, it was reported by the Financial Times
that the Wii had surpassed the Xbox 360, which was released one year
previously, and had become the market leader in home console sales for
the current generation, based on sales figures from Enterbrain, NPD
Group, and GfK.
This is the first time a Nintendo console has led its generation in
sales since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
On July 11, 2007, Nintendo warned that the Wii would remain in short
supply throughout 2007.
In December 2007, Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that Nintendo produces
approximately 1.8 million Wii consoles each month.
Some UK stores still had a shortage of consoles as of March 2007,
demand still outpaced supply in the United States as of June 2007,
and the console "selling out almost as quickly as it hits retail
shelves" in Canada as of April 2008.
In October 2008, Nintendo announced that between October and December
2008 the Wii will have its North American supplies increased
considerably from 2007’s levels,
while producing 2.4 million Wii units a month worldwide, compared to 1.6
million per month in 2007.
In 2007, the Wii was the second best-selling game console (behind the
Nintendo DS) in the US and Japan with 6.29 million and 3,629,361 units
sold respectively, according to the NPD Group and Enterbrain.
During the same year, the Wii had outsold the PlayStation 3 by 3:1 in
Japan, while the Xbox 360 had sold 257,841 units in that region that
year, according to Enterbrain.
In Europe, the Wii sold 0.7 million units in 2006 and 4.8 million in
2007 according to estimates by Electronic Arts.
Prior to the release of the NPD Group's video game statistics for
January 2008, the Wii has been ahead of the Xbox 360 and PS3 in US sales
in most months since the Wii and PS3 were released, according to data by
the NPD Group.
In the United States, the Wii had sold 10.9 million units by July 1,
2008, making it the leader in current-generation home console sales,
according to the NPD Group, surpassing the Xbox 360 which was released a
year prior to the Wii.
As of November 1, 2008, the Wii has sold 13.4 million units in the US,
almost two million more than Xbox 360 and over twice the number of
PlayStation 3 units sold, according to the NPD Group.
In Japan, the Wii had surpassed the number of Nintendo GameCube units
sold by January 2008;
the Wii has sold over 7 million units as of November 26, 2008, according
According to the NPD Group, the Wii surpassed the Xbox 360 to become the
best-selling "next generation" home video game console in Canada with
813,000 units sold by April 1, 2008, and was the best-selling home
console for 13 of the past 17 months;
in the first six months of 2008, the Wii had sold 318,000 units in
Canada, outselling its nearest competitor, the PlayStation 3, almost
2:1. According to the
NPD Group, the Wii has sold a total of 1,060,000 units in Canada as of
August 1, 2008, making it the first current generation home console to
surpass the million unit mark in that country; in the first seven months
of 2008, the Wii outsold the PS3 and the Xbox 360 combined with 376,000
units sold in Canada.
In the United Kingdom, the Wii leads in current generation home console
sales with 3.6 million units sold as of September 2008, according to GfK
Nintendo anticipates worldwide sales of the Wii to reach 50 million
units by March 2009.
While Microsoft and Sony have experienced losses producing their
consoles in the hopes of making a long-term profit on software sales,
Nintendo reportedly has optimized production costs to obtain a
significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold.
On September 17, 2007, the Financial Times reported that this
direct profit per Wii sold may vary from $13 in Japan to $49 in the
United States and $79 in Europe.
On December 2, 2008, Forbes reported that Nintendo makes a $6 operating
profit per Wii unit sold.
Nintendo hopes to target a wider demographic with its console than
that of others in the seventh generation.
At a press conference for the upcoming Nintendo DS game Dragon Quest
IX in December 2006, Satoru Iwata insisted "We're not thinking about
fighting Sony, but about how many people we can get to play games. The
thing we're thinking about most is not portable systems, consoles, and
so forth, but that we want to get new people playing games."
This is reflected in Nintendo's series of television advertisements
in North America, directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan, as
well as Internet ads. The ad slogans are "Wii would like to play"
and "Experience a new way to play." These ads ran starting
November 15, 2006 and had a total budget of over US$200 million
throughout the year.
The productions are Nintendo's first broad-based advertising strategy
and include a two-minute video clip showing a varied assortment of
people enjoying the Wii system, such as urban apartment-dwellers,
country ranchers, grandparents, and parents with their children. The
music in the ads is from the song "Kodo (Inside the Sun Remix)" by the
The marketing campaign has proved to be successful: pensioners as old as
103 have been reported to be playing the Wii in the United Kingdom.
A report by the British newspaper The People also stated that
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has played using the console.
The Wii is Nintendo's smallest home console to date; it measures
44 mm (1.73 in) wide, 157 mm (6.18 in) tall and 215.4 mm (8.48 in) deep
in its vertical orientation, the near-equivalent of three DVD cases
stacked together. The included stand measures 55.4 mm (2.18 in) wide,
44 mm (1.73 in) tall and 225.6 mm (8.88 in) deep. The system weighs
1.2 kg (2.7 lb),
which makes it the lightest of the three major seventh generation
consoles. The console can be placed either horizontally or vertically.
The prefix for the numbering scheme of the system and its parts and
accessories is "RVL-" after its project code name of "Revolution".
The console also features a recurring theme or design: the console
itself, SD cards, the power supply and all the sockets have one of their
corners chipped off in a triangular fashion.
The front of the console features an illuminated slot-loading optical
media drive that accepts both 12 cm Wii Optical Discs and Nintendo
GameCube Game Discs. The blue light in the disc slot illuminates briefly
when the console is turned on and pulsates when new data is received
through WiiConnect24. After firmware update 3.0, the disc slot light
activates whenever a Wii disc is inserted or ejected. When there is no
WiiConnect24 information, the light stays off. The disc slot light
remains off during gameplay or when using other features. Two USB ports
are located at its rear. An SD card slot hides behind the cover on the
front of the console. The SD card can be used for uploading photos as
well as backing up saved game data and downloaded Virtual Console and
WiiWare games. To use the SD slot for transferring game saves, an update
must be installed. An installation can be initiated from the Wii options
menu through an Internet connection, or by inserting a game disc
containing the updated firmware. Virtual Console data cannot be restored
to any system except the unit of origin.
An SD card can also be used to create customized in-game music from
stored MP3 files, as first shown in Excite Truck, as well as
music for the slideshow feature of the Photo Channel. Version 1.1 of the
Photo Channel removed MP3 playback in favor of AAC support.
Nintendo has shown the console and the Wii Remote in white, black,
silver, lime green, and red,
but it is currently available only in white. Shigeru Miyamoto stated
that other colors would become available after the easing of supply
The Wii launch package includes the console, a stand to allow the
console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the
main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a
removable stand for the bar, one external main power adapter, two AA
batteries, one composite AV cable with RCA connectors, a SCART adapter
in European countries (component video and other types of cables are
available separately), operation documentation, and, in all regions
except Japan and South Korea, a copy of the game Wii Sports.
The Wii can be hacked to enable an owner to use the console for
activities other than those intended by Nintendo.
Several brands of modchips are available for the Wii.
Nintendo plans to release a version of the console with DVD-Video
playback capabilities. This new model will use the CinePlayer CE DVD
Navigator software engine by Sonic Solutions.
After announcing the DVD version for 2007, Nintendo delayed its release
to focus on producing the original console to meet demand.
Although software will be used to enable DVD-Video functionality,
Nintendo has stated that it "requires more than a firmware upgrade" to
implement and that the functionality would be unavailable as an upgrade
option for the existing Wii model.
Despite Nintendo's assertion that a firmware update would be unable to
provide DVD playback to existing Wii consoles, a homebrew DVD player was
released for the original Wii.
At the Nintendo Fall Press Conference in October 2008, Satoru Iwata
announced that Wii owners would have the option to download WiiWare and
Virtual Console content directly onto an SD card. The option would offer
an alternative to "address the console's insufficient memory storage".
The feature will become available in Japan in the spring of 2009.
The Wii Remote is the primary controller for the console. It uses a
combination of built-in accelerometers and infrared detection to sense
its position in 3D space when pointed at the LEDs within the Sensor Bar.
This design allows users to control the game using physical gestures as
well as traditional button presses. The controller connects to the
console using Bluetooth and features rumble as well as an internal
speaker. The Wii Remote can connect to expansion devices through a
proprietary port at the base of the controller. The device bundled with
the Wii retail package is the Nunchuk unit, which features an
accelerometer and a traditional analog stick with two trigger buttons.
In addition, an attachable wrist strap can be used to prevent the player
from unintentionally dropping or throwing the Wii Remote. In response to
incidents of strap failure, Nintendo is offering a free, stronger
replacement for all straps.
Nintendo has also since offered the Wii Remote Jacket to provide extra
grip and protection.
Nintendo has released few technical details regarding the Wii system,
but some key facts have leaked through the press. Though none of these
reports has been officially confirmed, they generally point to the
console as being an extension or advancement of the Nintendo GameCube
architecture. More specifically, the reported analyses state that the
Wii is roughly 1.5 to 2 times as powerful as its predecessor.
Based on the leaked specifications, the Wii is the least powerful of the
major home consoles in its generation. The Wii uses a storage system
similar to the GameCube, which uses "block" units rather than bytes. The
conversion from blocks to bytes is roughly 8.12 blocks to one megabyte.
- CPU: PowerPC-based "Broadway"
processor, made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process,
reportedly† clocked at 729 MHz
- GPU: ATI "Hollywood" GPU made with a
90 nm CMOS process,
reportedly† clocked at 243 MHz
- 88 MB main memory (24 MB "internal"
1T-SRAM integrated into graphics package, 64 MB
"external" GDDR3 SDRAM)
- 3 MB embedded GPU texture memory and
Ports and peripheral capabilities:
- Up to four Wii Remote controllers
(connected wirelessly via Bluetooth)
- Nintendo GameCube controller ports
- Nintendo GameCube Memory Card slots
- SD memory card slot
- USB 2.0 ports (2)
- Sensor Bar power port
- Accessory port on bottom of Wii
- Optional USB keyboard input in
message board, Wii Shop Channel, and the Internet
Channel (as of 3.0 and 3.1 firmware update)
- Mitsumi DWM-W004 WiFi 802.11b/g
- Compatible with optional USB 2.0 to
Ethernet LAN adaptor
- MultiAV output port for component,
composite and S-Video
Built-in content ratings systems:
- BBFC, CERO, ESRB, OFLC, OFLC (NZ),
- 512 MB built-in NAND flash memory
- Expanded storage via SD card memory
(up to 2 GB)
- Nintendo GameCube Memory Card
(required for GameCube game saves)
ATI's Wii "Hollywood" GPU
- Slot-loading disc drive compatible
with 8 cm Nintendo GameCube Game Disc and 12 cm Wii
- Mask ROM by Macronix
- 480p (PAL/NTSC), 480i (NTSC) or 576i
(PAL/SECAM), standard 4:3 and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen
- MultiAV multi-output port for
component, composite, S-video,
- Main: Stereo – Dolby Pro Logic
- Controller: Built-in speaker
- 18 watts when switched on
- 9.6 watts in standby with
WiiConnect24 standby connection
- 1.3 watts in standby
†None of the clock rates have been confirmed by
Nintendo, IBM, or ATI.
The first Wii System Software update via WiiConnect24 caused a very
small portion of launch units to become completely unusable. This forced
users to either send their units to Nintendo for repairs (if they wished
to retain their saved data) or exchange it for a free replacement.
With the release of dual-layer Wii Optical Discs, Nintendo of America
has stated that some Wii systems may have difficulty reading the
high-density software due to a contaminated laser lens. Nintendo is
offering a free repair for owners who experience this issue.
The Wii Remote can lose track of the Wii system that it has been set
to, requiring that it be reset and resynchronized. Nintendo's support
website provides instructions for this process, and to troubleshoot
Interlink Electronics filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against
Nintendo over the pointing functionalities of the Wii Remote, claiming
"loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a
result of the infringing activities" of Nintendo.
Law firm Green Welling LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo
for its "defective wrist straps".
A Texas-based company called Lonestar Inventions has also sued Nintendo,
claiming that the company copied one of Lonestar's patented capacitor
designs and used it in the Wii console.
Anascape Ltd, a Texas-based firm, also filed a lawsuit against
Nintendo for patent infringements regarding Nintendo's controllers.
A July 2008 verdict found that a ban would be issued preventing Nintendo
from selling the Classic Controller in the United States. Nintendo is
free to continue selling the Classic Controller pending an appeal to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
On August 19, 2008 Hillcrest Laboratories Inc. filed a complaint
against Nintendo with the U.S International Trade Commission. The
complaint alleges that the Wii Remote infringes on three of its patents.
A fourth Hillcrest patent for graphical interfaces displayed on
television screens is also alleged to have been violated. Hillcrest
seeks a ban on Wii consoles imported to the U.S.
The trademark application for "Wii Remote" was given an initial
rejection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO
claimed that the word remote is commonly used and therefore
should not be trademarked. The USPTO will accept Nintendo's trademark
filing if the company disclaims exclusive rights to the word remote
in the term.
The console contains a number of internal features made available
from its hardware and firmware components. The hardware allows for
extendibility through expansion ports while the firmware can receive
periodic updates via the WiiConnect24 service.
The Wii Menu operating system interface is designed around the
concept of television channels. Separate channels are graphically
displayed in a grid and are navigated using the pointer capability of
the Wii Remote. It is possible to change the arrangement of the channels
by holding down the A and B buttons. There are six primary channels: the
Disc Channel, Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Forecast
Channel, and News Channel. The latter two were initially unavailable at
launch, but activated through firmware updates. Additional channels are
available for download from the Wii Shop Channel through WiiWare and
also appear with each Virtual Console title. These include the Everybody
Votes Channel, Internet Channel, Check Mii Out Channel, and the Nintendo
The Wii console is backward compatible with all official Nintendo
GameCube software, as well as Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards and
controllers. Compatibility with software is achieved with the
slot-loading drive's ability to accept Nintendo GameCube Game Discs. The
console supports progressive-scan output in 480p-enabled GameCube
titles. Peripherals can be connected via a set of four GameCube
controller ports and two Memory Card slots concealed by removable
The console therefore retains connectivity with the Game Boy Advance and
e-Reader through the Game Boy Advance Cable, which is used in the same
manner as it was used with the GameCube. This feature can only be
accessed on those select GameCube titles that previously utilized it.
Gamercize accessories also utilize the backward compatibility in order
to support the Wii console. The Wii for release in South Korea lacks
GameCube backward compatibility.
A Wii console running a GameCube disc is restricted to GameCube
functionality. As such, a GameCube controller is required to play
GameCube titles, as neither the Wii Remote nor the Classic Controller
functions in this capacity. A Nintendo GameCube Memory Card is also
necessary to save game progress and content, as the Wii internal flash
memory will not save GameCube games.
Backward compatibility is limited in some areas. Online and
LAN-enabled features for Nintendo GameCube titles are unavailable on the
Wii, as the console lacks serial ports for the Broadband Adapter and
Modem Adapter. The console uses a proprietary port for video output and
is therefore incompatible with all Nintendo GameCube audio/video cables
(composite video, S-Video, component video and RGB SCART). The console
also lacks the GameCube footprint and high-speed port needed for Game
Boy Player support. The Wii was initially compatible with the GameCube
Action Replay, which would work with GameCube titles. The firmware
update to 3.0 has caused restrictions to this device along with various
unlicensed freeloaders, however.
Nintendo DS connectivity
The Wii system supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS
without any additional accessories. This connectivity allows the player
to use the Nintendo DS microphone and touchscreen as inputs for Wii
games. The first example Nintendo has given of a game using Nintendo DS-Wii
connectivity is that of Pokémon Battle Revolution. Players with
either the Pokémon Diamond or Pearl Nintendo DS games are
able to play battles using their Nintendo DS as a controller.
Nintendo later released the Nintendo Channel, which allows Wii owners to
download game demos or additional data to their Nintendo DS in a process
similar to that of a DS Download Station.
The console is also able to expand Nintendo DS games.
The Wii console is able to connect to the Internet through its
built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi or through a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, with both
methods allowing players to access the established Nintendo Wi-Fi
Wireless encryption by WEP, WPA (TKIP/RC4) and WPA2 (CCMP/AES) are
support was discreetly added in firmware update 3.0.
Just as for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo does not charge fees for playing
via the service
and the 12 digit Friend Code system controls how players connect to one
another. Each Wii also has its own unique 16 digit Wii Code for use with
Wii's non-game features.
This system also implements console-based software including the Wii
Message Board. One can also connect to the internet with third-party
The service has several features for the console including the
Virtual Console, WiiConnect24, Internet Channel, Forecast Channel,
Everybody Votes Channel, News Channel and the Check Mii Out Channel. The
console can also communicate and connect with other Wii systems through
a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multiplayer on
different television sets. Battalion Wars 2 first demonstrated
this feature for non-split screen multiplayer between two or more
On April 9, 2008, the BBC announced that its online BBC iPlayer would
be available on the Wii via the Internet Channel.
This is only available to people in the UK.
On December 26, 2008, Nintendo announced that it will launch a new
video channel for the Wii.
The console features parental controls, which can be used to prohibit
younger users from playing games with content that would be considered
unsuitable for their age level. When one attempts to play a Wii or
Virtual Console game, it reads the content rating encoded in the game
data; if this rating is greater than the system's set age level the game
will not load without a correct override password. The parental controls
can also restrict Internet access, which blocks the Internet Channel and
system update features. Since the console is restricted to Nintendo
GameCube functionality when playing Nintendo GameCube Game Discs,
GameCube software is unaffected by Wii parental control settings.
European units mainly use the PEGI rating system,
whereas North American units use the ESRB rating system.
The Wii unit supports the native rating systems of many countries,
including CERO in Japan, the USK in Germany, both the PEGI and BBFC in
the United Kingdom and the OFLC in Australia and New Zealand.
Retail copies of games are supplied on proprietary, DVD-like Wii
Optical Discs packaged in a keep case along with instruction
information. On European releases, these retail boxes have a triangle
printed at the bottom corner of the paper insert sleeve side. The hue of
the triangle can be used to identify which region the particular title
is intended for and which manual languages are included. The console
supports regional lockout.
New games representing Nintendo's flagship franchises, including
The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Pokémon, and
Metroid, have been released, or are in development for Wii, in
addition to many original titles and third party developed games.
Nintendo has received strong third party support from prominent
companies like Ubisoft, Sega, Square Enix, Activision-Blizzard, EA
Games, and Capcom, with more games being developed exclusively for Wii
than for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
 Beginning in 2009,
Nintendo plans to launch the New Play Control! line, a selection of
enhanced GameCube games such as Metroid Prime and Pikmin featuring
The Virtual Console service allows Wii owners to play games
originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super
Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo 64, as well as Sega's Mega
Drive/Genesis and SG-1000 Mark III/Sega Master System,
NEC's TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine, and the SNK Neo Geo console.
Virtual Console games are distributed over broadband Internet via the
Wii Shop Channel, and are saved to the Wii internal flash memory or to a
removable SD card. Once downloaded, Virtual Console games can be
accessed from the Wii Menu as individual channels. There is also a Wii
homebrew community dedicated to creating and playing content that does
not receive Nintendo endorsement.
The game development suite Unity for Mac OS X can be used to create
official Wii games.
The developer must however be authorized by Nintendo to develop games
for the console. Games must also be submitted to and accepted by
Nintendo in order to be sold.
The system was well received after its exhibition at E3 2006. At the
event, Nintendo's console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show
and Best Hardware.
In the December 2006 issue of Popular Science, the console was
awarded with the Grand Award Winner in Home Entertainment.
Spike TV's Video Games Award also granted the console the award in
GameSpot chose the console as the Best Hardware on their Best and Worst
2006 awards show.
The system was also chosen as one of PC World magazine's 20 Most
Innovative Products of the Year.
The console received a Golden Joystick for Innovation of the Year 2007
at the Golden Joystick Awards.
In the category of Engineering & Technology for Creation and
Implementation of Video Games and Platforms, Nintendo was awarded an
Emmy for Game Controller Innovation by The National Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences.
The worldwide success of the Wii has caught third party developers by
surprise, leading to some apologizing for the quality of their early
games. In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel,
Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot and Alain Corre admitted that they had made a
mistake in rushing out their launch titles, promising to take future
projects more seriously.
Take-Two Interactive, who released few games for the Nintendo GameCube,
changed its stance on Nintendo by placing a higher priority on the Wii.
At the same time, criticism of the Wii Remote and the Wii hardware
specifications has surfaced. Former GameSpot editor and Giantbomb.com
founder Jeff Gerstmann stated that the controller's speaker produces
while Factor 5 President Julian Eggebrecht criticized the hardware audio
as being substandard for a console of its generation.
U.K.-based developer Free Radical Design stated that the Wii hardware
lacks the power necessary to run the software it had scheduled for
release on other seventh generation consoles.
The online connectivity of the Wii was subject to criticism, as Matt
Casamassina of IGN compared it to the "entirely unintuitive" service
provided for the Nintendo DS.
An executive for Frontline Studios expressed that major publishers
are wary of releasing exclusive titles for the console due to the
perception that third-party companies are not strongly supported by
In his blog, 1UP.com editor Jeremy Parish stated that Nintendo was the
biggest disappointment for him in 2007. Commenting on the lack of
quality third-party support, he stated that "the Wii landscape is bleak.
Worse than it was on N64. Worse than on GameCube...the resulting
third-party content is overwhelmingly bargain-bin trash."
Game designer and The Sims creator Will Wright shared his
thoughts on the Wii within the context of the current console
generation: "The only next gen system I've seen is the Wii – the PS3 and
the Xbox 360 feel like better versions of the last, but pretty much the
same game with incremental improvement. But the Wii feels like a major
jump – not that the graphics are more powerful, but that it hits a
completely different demographic."
Using the Wii is often seen as being more physically demanding than
other game consoles.
Some Wii players have occasionally experienced a form of tennis elbow
referred to as "Wiiitis".
A study published in the British Medical Journal states that Wii
players use more energy than playing sedentary computer games. It is
however indicated that while this energy increase may be beneficial to
weight management, it is not an adequate replacement for regular
exercise. A case
study published in the American Physical Therapy Association’s journal
Physical Therapy focused on use of the Wii for rehabilitation of
a teen with cerebral palsy. It is believed to be the first published
research showing the physical therapy benefits resulting from use of the
gaming system. Researchers say the gaming system complements traditional