"Wii Would Like to Play."
By the end of the Game Cube
(and the beginning of the DS's
was known for four things: one, being innovative; two, for being the "kiddy" console company; third, for making their products durable
; and fourth, for being dead last in the Console Wars
(but only for home consoles, as the Game Boy Advance
was still selling strong, with the Nintendo DS
selling strong as well). Third-parties wanted nothing to do with them, and some gamers thought Nintendo would concentrate on handhelds or even go third-party like Sega
, Hudson Soft
, and SNK
. In the escalating cost of superior graphics in the Console Wars
and Microsoft, it was thought that Nintendo couldn't compete. And they didn't. Instead, they created the Wii
Nintendo focused on an innovative, motion-based control scheme involving the Wii Remote, or the Fan Nickname
"Wiimote," a controller shaped like a fusion between a NES controller and a television remote control that could sense the movement of the person holding it. This lowered the difficulty curve immensely. Usually a beginning gamer would have to not only to learn how to control his character, but also learn how to control his controller
. "'Hold RB for More Dakka
'? What's More Dakka
? What's RB? Do I have to hug him? And how do I
make him doesn't afraid of anything
?" ...Okay, maybe we're exaggerating it a little bit. But maybe we're not. Compare this to the ease of using of a remote control and you can see why the Wii Remote was such a clever step.
The Wii also focused on a low price point (approximately $199 in Japan with no game, and roughly $249.99 elsewhere with Wii Sports
), countering the escalating price tags on its competitors. They did this by cutting out many features that the other consoles took for granted, like DVD playback, that weren't that important to the gaming experience. Nintendo then marketed the console as "for the whole family," and to further this, made it look as sleek as an iPod
And it worked.
The Wii's crushing marketing victory
, Day 1 profitability, and ludicrously high sales numbers make it the most successful seventh-generation console note
. It worked so well that 4 years later all hypocrisy broke loose and both Sony and Microsoft came up with copies of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk
, namely the Kinect and Move, right after having their promoters call it a useless gimmick to lure bad gamers.
Plus it did it all without needing specs that raised the cost of the system (which they could not have afforded). The innards of the Wii are based off the GameCubenote
. While its total polygon count is much higher, the Wii's hardware is still based off 2001 technology, so while it's cheap, it doesn't have the advanced features more powerful consoles have.specifically...
Nintendo's online offerings are a far cry from the other systems, including the infamous friend codes
(although those are being emphasized less and less). Nintendo has focused on local multiplayer, which the other two consoles seem intent on abandoning. The Wii does have an online store
like its competitors, and a separate Virtual Console
store that essentially serves as legal Emulation
. Unfortunately, a true mass storage solution (like, say, an external hard drive) didn't appear until the end of March 2009, and only a limited number of demo versions of the games are available.
Third-party developers initially either ignored the system entirely or tossed in some quick-and-dirty ports of PS2
games (generally with shoed-in controls) like Ninjabread Man
, with more serious efforts coming only after the system's continued popularity established it as a friendly environment. The Wii has also received a reputation as a platform with lots of shovelware, due to its low development costs, although this is a trend that has always dogged the market leader of each generation. Making matters worse is that most Wii games aimed at a "hardcore" audience are rare, thus not enough to grab an audience that a steady stream would, plus a lot of the niche games are declared to not be niche, and thus when they don't sell well, it's blamed on the Wii audience, even though such games don't sell that well on any system. The result is that Capcom
, and Ubisoft
are the only 3rd-party companies still focusing heavily on Wii development.
However, despite cries of "inferior" graphics and processing power, the Wii continues to sell better or as good as the other systems, depending on whether there was a recent Killer App
release. Much of the early analysis of the console's inevitable failure comes across as It Will Never Catch On
mentality in light of its overall success, and the occasional April Fool's joke about the Wii being highly successful
is now Hilarious in Hindsight
Nintendo has been engaged in a constant cat-and-mouse game with hackers with the Wii firmware since launch. Frequent system updates include patches to close loopholes known to be exploited by hackers. It is also possible to play DVDs through unauthorized means, though Nintendo would have us believe it requires a hardware upgrade because movie playback wears out the system's DVD drive so quickly. They're probably not lying — technically, the Wii has very little memory and storage space for buffering, so in order to avert Loads and Loads of Loading
, it compensates by spinning the disk really, really
fast for prolonged periods of time. This has an unfortunate tendency to shorten the lifespan of the optical drive significantly.
It should never be confused with, or thought of as, a Wii-Wii.
Games for the Wii mostly fall into one of four categories:
HM The Queen
- Nintendo's first party titles. In addition to games for "classic" franchises like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong Country and Kirby, Nintendo sells a line of games directed towards casual gamers — people who have never played video games before, or only do so in social settings. Examples include Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Party. All of these games are designed around the Wii's motion controls and are responsible for Nintendo's new-found success. A handful fall into both categories, such as Mario Kart Wii.
- Casual games by other companies. Nintendo's casual games have delivered them gobs and gobs of money, and naturally other companies want in. This is mostly Ubisoft territory, but almost every game publisher has released at least one. Many of them include "We" in the title since they legally cannot use "Wii," like We Cheer, We Ski, and We Dare.
- Ports, Ports, and more Ports: The Wii, hardware-wise, is very similar to the GameCube (in fact, It is often described as a modded GameCube) and to an extent the PSP and PS2, so at the beginning of its lifespan, the console was host to dozens of games ported from them. These ranged from popular games like Bully to sleeper hits like Ōkami and Mercury Meltdown to games so low-quality Sony's US department refused to license them, like Ninjabread Man (this has actually reversed from 2009 onwards — the PS2 is mostly kept alive by downgraded Wii ports). Developers attempted to port PS3 and Xbox 360 games, and a few actually worked, like Call of Duty. Others... were very few actually. After a while, they resorted to a tactic usually seen on portable consoles — make an entirely new game for the Wii, from scratch, and call it a port. Sonic Unleashed, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Dead Rising, and others were given this treatment.
- Niche and budget games: It costs around 1/4th as much to make a Wii game that it does to make a game on other consoles. This means that games that would normally be considered too risky or unprofitable to get made can be developed, and the makers of games like Monster Hunter Tri, Sonic Colors, and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories have acknowledged that. In fact, there are game genres that are nearly extinct on other consoles (such as 3D platformers) that survive on the Wii for this reason.
has the only gold one. ("The Royal Wii
In 2011, Nintendo revised the Wii, releasing the Family Edition (with various colors coming with different pack-in games). While the same size and shape as the original, the GameCube ports were removed as a cost-saving measure, thus removing backward compatibility support (and the ability to use GameCube controllers for Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In 2012, Canada received the Wii Mini in red
. It's a cute little console, but to make it smaller, Nintendo cut out its network functions as well as the GameCube ports.
Nintendo ended Wi-Fi service for the Wii on May 20th, 2014.
- CPU: IBM PowerPC 750CXe-based processor codenamed Broadway. Reportedly clocked at 729 MHz. It's a updated version the GameCube's CPU and it uses Power4 tech when the GameCube's CPU uses Power3. However, the CPUs are in the same family, which explains its backwards compatibility; 64KB of L1 cache and 256KB of L2 cache.
- GPU: ATi designed GPU codenamed Hollywood reportedly clocked at 243 MHz. Based on the GPU used in the GameCube, it removes many features unused on the GameCube in favor of more polygons and more TEV units.
- There's also an I/O Controller codenamed Napa that handles communication between the GPU and the system, a DSP + 1T-SRAM chip called Vegas, and another processor called Starlet, which handles the external I/O and WiiConnect24 when the console is asleep.
- 24 MB internal 1T-SRAM integrated into graphics package
- 64 MB external GDDR3 SDRAM
- 3 MB internal EDRAM to the GPU itself for framebuffer and texture storage.
- 512 MB of internal Flash Memory.
- The front has an SD Card slot, which can support up to 32 GB. Games purchased in the Wii Shop Channel can be stored and run here.
- In addition to GameCube disks, the Wii uses a standard 12mm DVD for its games with capacities up to 8.5 GB.
- Like the GameCube, the Wii could only output standard definition resolutions. It supported all resolution modes in interlaced or progressive scan and in 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios.
- Color Palette: 32 bit (16.7 million colors)
- Polygon Count: 500 million max, 410 million in game (384 million max used in retail games like with Metroid: Other M).
- Shaders: 24 TEV units.
Add-Ons and Expansions
- A ARM11 based chip running at 121.5 MHz.
- 128 24 bit ADPCM channels, 8 speakers (4 for the Dolby Pro Logic 2 set up and 4 for each Wii Remote).
- The Wii could support up to 16 controllers.
- Has 802.11b/g wireless LAN support.
- There are four GameCube controller ports and two memory card ports for GameCube games. (Removed from the Wii Family Edition and subsequent releases.)
- There's two USB ports in the back. The only thing to use them officially is a USB to Ethernet adapter, Wii Speak, and keyboards.
- The Wii remote supports a number of add-on accessories.
- Alone in the Dark
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Animal Crossing: City Folk
- Anno 1404 (called Dawn of Discovery in the Wii version).
- Arc Rise Fantasia
- Back to the Future
- Backyard Sports series
- BIT.TRIP series (BEAT, CORE, VOID, RUNNER, FATE, FLUX, and COMPLETE.)
- Bomberman Land
- Boom Blox
- Call of Duty
- Captain America Super Soldier
- Captain Rainbow
- Castle of Shikigami III
- Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
- Cave Story
- The Conduit
- Cooking Mama: Cook Off
- Cooking Mama: World Kitchen
- Babysitting Mama
- Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party
- Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2
- Dance Dance Revolution Disney Grooves
- Dance Dance Revolution Winx Club
- Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3
- Dance Dance Revolution
- Dance Dance Revolution II
- De Blob
- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
- Dead Space: Extraction
- Deadly Creatures
- Disaster: Day of Crisis
- Disney Infinity
- Disney Princess Enchanted Journey
- Disney Princess My Fairytale Adventure
- Doctor Who: Return to Earth
- Dokapon Kingdom
- Donkey Kong Country Returns
- Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and 3
- Dragon Quest Swords
- Dragon Quest X
- Endless Ocean
- Endless Ocean: Blue World
- Epic Mickey
- Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
- Excite Truck and Excitebots
- Fatal Frame
- Fatal Frame II: Deep Crimson Butterfly
- Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
- Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
- Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
- FAST Racing League
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- Fling Smash
- Fortune Street
- Freddi Fish: Kelp Seed Mystery (a port of the computer game Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds)
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game
- GHOST Squad
- The Godfather: The Game (Blackhand Edition)
- Grand Slam Tennis
- Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
- Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
- Guilty Party
- Guitar Hero
- Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
- Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (originally a GameCube game; released as the only version in PAL countries after the Wii was released before the original system's version could be released, and as an Updated Re-release in North America, which originally got it on its original system)
- Harvest Moon: Tree Of Tranquility
- The House Of The Dead Overkill
- Ice Age
- Ikenie No Yoru
- Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings
- Ivy the Kiwi?
- Ju-on The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator
- Just Dance
- Kamen Rider Climax Heroes W, OOO, Fourze
- Kiki Trick
- Kirby's Epic Yarn
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land
- The Last Story
- The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night
- The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- LEGO Adaptation Game (every game except for the first two Lego Star Wars games)
- Little Kings Story
- Lost in Blue
- Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack
- Manhunt 2
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
- Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
- Mario Kart Wii
- Mario Party 8 and 9
- Mario Sports Mix
- Mario Strikers Charged
- Mario Super Sluggers
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance
- Max & the Magic Marker
- Mega Man 9
- Metroid Prime, both 3 and Trilogy
- Metroid: Other M
- Monster Hunter Tri
- Monster Lab
- Mortal Kombat Armageddon
- The Munchables
- Muramasa The Demon Blade
- Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars
- Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
- Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
- No More Heroes
- ObsCure: The Aftermath
- Pajama Sam: Don't Fear The Dark (a port of the computer game Pajama Sam in No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside)
- Pandora's Tower
- Phantom Brave: We Meet Again
- Pinball Hall Of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection and Pinball Hall Of Fame: The Williams Collection
- Pokémon Battle Revolution
- PokéPark Wii
- PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
- pop'n music Wii
- Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
- Punch Out
- Raving Rabbids
- Rayman Origins
- Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
- Red Steel
- Resident Evil (re-release from the GameCube version)
- Resident Evil 0 (re-release from the GameCube version)
- Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
- Rhythm Heaven
- Rock Band
- Rune Factory Frontier
- Rune Factory Oceans
- Scarface: The World is Yours
- Secret Files
- Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
- Sengoku Basara 3
- Shikigami no Shiro III
- Sid Meiers Pirates
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
- The Simpsons Game
- Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
- Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
- The Smurfs 2
- Sonic Colors
- Sonic Storybook Series (Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic and the Black Knight)
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
- Sonic Unleashed
- Spectrobes Origins
- Spore Hero
- SPY Fox: Dry Cereal (a port of the computer game SPY Fox in Dry Cereal)
- Super Mario All-Stars
- Super Mario Galaxy
- Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
- Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll
- Super Paper Mario
- Super Robot Wars NEO
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Taiko no Tatsujin Wii
- Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Dodon~! to Nidaime!
- Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Minna de Party Sandaime
- Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Kettei-Ban
- Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Chogouka-Ban
- Tales of Monkey Island
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
- Target Terror
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour
- Trauma Center: Second Opinion
- Trauma Center: New Blood
- Trauma Team
- Wario Land: Shake It!
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves
- We Cheer
- Wii Fit
- Wii Music
- Wii Party
- Wii Play
- Wii Sports
- World of Goo
- Xenoblade (called Xenoblade Chronicles in Europe and North America)
- Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
The Wii provides examples of:
- Digital Avatar: Miis. Players can make a Mii in the Mii Channel, then use it in Wii Sports and other supported games. Nintendo later brought Miis to the 3DS and the Wii U, while Microsoft and Sony played Follow the Leader with their own avatar tools.
- He Knows About Timed Hits: The cat in the Photo Channel explains how to use the B button to scroll, but has no idea where to find this B button. (It's on the back of the Wii remote.)
- Shout-Out: In the Photo Channel, the Doodle feature makes two references to the SNES game Mario Paint. First, the "Undo all" button summons a rocket to erase all the doodles. The rocket looks and sounds different, but functions exactly like the rocket eraser in Mario Paint. Second, if one holds Down on the Control Pad and hits the eraser, it does undo or redo with the sound of Undodog from Mario Paint.
- Suspend Save: Virtual Console can suspend some games. It can suspend SNES games, but not N64 games. This feature is less useful than the save states in other emulators, because it prevents Save Scumming.