Nintendo’s Wii video game system (pronounced “we”) brings people of all ages and video game experience together to play. This simple yet ground breaking idea is expressed not only though the system’s evocative name, which is easily pronounced in a variety of languages, and suggests two players side by side, but also through its innovative list of features and extensive list of playable titles.
A Little Box With Plenty of Power
As with every console, much of the buzz surrounds the specs. The Wii boasts 512 MB of internal flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports, and a slot for SD memory expansion. The system’s technological heart — a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named “Broadway” and a graphics chipset from ATI code-named “Hollywood” — deliver stunning performance. And instead of a tray, Wii uses a single, self-loading media bay that plays both 12-centimeter optical discs used for the new system, as well as Nintendo GameCube discs.
No bigger than a small traditional remote control, the wireless Wii Remote is a truly multi functional device. The magic of the Wii Remote’s design lies within; acellerometers inside the controller measure movement in all directions and at all speeds. In a tennis game, it serves as your racket as you swing away. In driving games it serves as a steering wheel, allowing you to swerve to avoid obstacles or pickup power-ups. In first-person shooters, it acts as a firearm that you can point directly at an on-screen enemy. The controller also has a force feedback “Rumble” feature and an expansion port for use with accessories, such as the Nunchuck, which adds an analog thumbstick and trigger buttons. The system allows for up to four controllers to be linked at a time and utilizes standard Bluetooth wireless technology. For those who prefer the feel of a traditional controller an adapter is available that fits over the Wii’s remote.
A Channel for Everyone
More than just a game machine, Wii also provides information and entertainment suitable for every member of the family. Some of the channels available include:
- Mii Channel – Miis are cute little caricatures you create to use as characters in a variety of Wii software. Store Miis on your Wii or load them onto your Wii Remote and take them over to a friend’s house to use on their Wii.
- Everybody Votes Channel * – The Everybody Votes Channel is packed with national and worldwide polls. Answer interesting questions and have your say. Up to six members of your family can vote. Just choose an answer and check in later to see the results.
- News Channel * – Wii might be great for games, but you can also use it to get updates on the latest news from across the Internet organized into easy-to-browse categories.
- Forecast Channel * – Your Wii can automatically update you on the weather from around the globe.
- Wii Shop Channel * – Download the Opera web browser and access games from classic consoles from the past. All you need is a Wii Points account.
- Virtual Console – Every Virtual Console game you download from the Wii Shop Channel appears in the Wii Menu as a separate Channel ready to select and play any time you like.
- Wii Message Board – Leave or receive messages for other family members on the calendar-based message board or use WiiConnect24 to send messages to people outside your home.
- Internet Channel * – Just download the Opera browser for 500 Wii Points and within minutes, you’ll be a professional sofa surfer, pointing-and-clicking your way around the web with your Wii Remote.
- Photo Channel – Show off all your digital photos on your TV. Just insert an SD memory card into your Wii and away you go.
- Disc Channel – The Disc Channel is backwards compatible with Nintendo GameCube, so you can play all your new Wii discs, along with all your classic Nintendo GameCube discs too!
Wii Sports. View larger.
Wii Sports is Included
This is what video games should be: fun for everyone. Wii Sports offers five distinct sports experiences, each using the Wii Remote controller to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. To play a Wii Sports game, all you need to do is pick up a controller and get ready for the pitch, serve or that right hook. If you’ve played any of these sports before, you’re ready for fun!
GameCube controller and memory ports.
The Depth of the Nintendo Game Catalog
Each Wii comes with a game compilation called “Wii Sports,” including tennis, golf, baseball and bowling games, that show off the console’s intuitive new controller, but Wii also plays games developed specifically for it as well as fan-favorite games from Nintendo’s 20-year-old library. Its drive is compatible with GameCube discs, and select Nintendo titles from the original NES of the 1980s all the way through the Nintendo 64 are available for download through the “Virtual Console” for $5 and $10 respectively. To support this backwards compatibility the Wii includes four ports for classic Nintendo GameCube controllers and two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards. As if that weren’t enough, the Virtual Console will also make available a few titles from SNES console contemporaries, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx 16.
Also, Wii utilizes Nintendo’s newly-announced wireless feature, WiiConnect24. This worldwide feature allows players to receive content such as Wii Message Board messages sent from other Wii consoles, Miis, e-mails, updated channel and game content, and notification of software updates even while the console is on standby, keeping the fun going even when you are not online.
What’s in the Box:
- Nintendo Wii Game Console
- one (1) Wii Remote controller with Wii Remote Jacket
- one (1) Nunchuk controller
- Wii Sports
- sensor bar
- power cord
- standard composite cable
Wii Remote Controller
To make gaming as accessible to people of all ages and all abilities, Nintendo wanted to create a controller that was as inviting as it was sophisticated- the result is the Wii Remote. Nintendo fused the global familiarity of a remote control with the sophistication of motion-sensing technology to come up with an input device that differentiates the Wii from any other console that has come before it.
Sporting the dimensions of a small traditional remote control, the wireless Wii Remote is a multifunctional device that is limited only by the game designer’s imagination. The magic of the Wii Remote’s design lies within; acellerometers inside the controller body measure movement in all directions and at all speeds. In a tennis game, it serves as your racket as you swing your arm for a long forehand or a quick and hard backhand. In a 4×4 driving game it serves as a steering wheel, allowing you to swerve to avoid obstacles or pickup power-ups. In first-person shooters, the Wii Remote acts as a firearm that you can point directly at an on-screen enemy. The list of potential uses is enormous, and the light weight of the Wii Remote allows gamers to play for hours without feeling fatigued.
The Wii Remote boasts impressive technology for such a compact package.
All Wii Remote buttons are accessible and responsive. View larger.
Control many games from up to 30 feet away. View larger.
The motion sensing technology is neatly tucked away within the Wii Remote body.View larger.
The remote feels comfortable in both right and left hands. View larger.
As comfortable as it is functional
The Wii Remote is equally comfortable in right and left hands and houses just the right number of buttons for gaming- not so many that new players will get confused, but enough so that Wii games don’t feel constrained. On the face of the remote are the D (or “plus”) pad, a large “A” button which is used for major on-screen actions, and two small options buttons. Between the game buttons are a plus and minus buttons (which often act as “forwards” and “back”), as well as a “Home” button to engage the Wii home screen to change settings or check remote battery levels. On the back side of the controller is a trigger-like “B” button, perfect for timing releases of a bowling roll in Wii Sports.
Thankfully, battery life is excellent with the two included AA batteries, just as with the previous generation of Nintendo wireless controllers.
Along the bottom of the Wii Remote, four blue LED lights indicate which player position the remote is currently set to. The controller automatically connects to the Wii console via Bluetooth wireless technology. Below the LEDs, an expansion port lets you connect a number of devices including the Nunchuck and Classic controllers for Virtual Console gaming (Virtual Console games and controller accessories sold separately). Other features of the Wii Remote include adjustable rumble force-feedback and a reinforced wrist strap to ensure safe use. A speaker inside the remote gives the player feedback about the strength of swings or the accuracy of their moves- such as realistic tennis noises as the “racket” connects with the ball in Wii Sports. Overall, the physical design of the remote is extremely sturdy and of very high quality, ensuring countless hours of Wii gaming fun!
The Wii Remote Controller makes gaming as accessible to people of all ages and all abilities. Nintendo fused the familiarity of a remote control with the sophistication of motion-sensing technology — creating a multifunctional device limited only by the imagination. In a tennis game, it serves as your racket you swing with your arm. In a driving game, it serves as your steering wheel. For first-person shooters, the remote acts as your weapon that you point at an enemy. The list of potential uses goes on and on.