Nintendo Wii Review

The Good
  • Included Netflix makes this a multimedia hub as well as a game console
  • Backwards compatible with GameCube games
  • Innovative controller (the “Wiimote”) sets the bar for motion-interactive gaming
The Bad
  • No HD graphics or sound, unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
  • The controller goes through batteries in a hurry
  • Wired motion sensor unit may be awkward to place near a television set
The Verdict
★★★★☆

Nintendo’s Wii console is a revolutionary one that sets the bar for gaming that is intensive and interactive, perceiving movement and motion unlike anything that has come before it.

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Nintendo Wii Review

Nintendo has long been the leader in console gaming, but it recently fell to second place behind the PlayStation series of consoles and devices. That’s largely due to the lackluster performance of the company’s GameCube console, which sold well below expectations and cost the company significant amounts of market share. With the Wii, though, Nintendo is looking to be back on top with a console that perceives movement, involves all parts of the body, and contributes to a better gaming experience overall. It succeeds in all of these goals.

Design

The Wii is probably what a game console would look like if Apple were in charge of creating its industrial design. The original model came only in white, and looked like a tiny wedge the size of a DVD disc. A later model was released in black with the same design aesthetic and was equally stunning. The paired remotes are easy to use and avoid being awkward, despite their innovative vertical design.

The minimalist aesthetic and simple materials used to create the Wii are a testament to modern design. They’re impressive, and customers will be attracted to the console on this basis alone.

Interface

Navigating the Wii with the included controller will take some time to get used to, because it requires users to “wave” the controller in front of the screen in order to move the cursor and select objects. Even so, the interface itself is well designed. That’s good news for Nintendo, which is really taking its first stab at giving users access to online media, gaming options, and console options, in a cohesive user interface. The outcome could not be more enjoyable or more intuitive.

Features

The biggest feature of the Wii console is, without a doubt, its motion sensor. The console no longer requires its players to sit on the couch some distance away from the actual console itself. Instead, it invites them to get in on the action by waving the included controller, motioning left, right, up, or down, and really getting involved. The company pairs its console with a Wii Sports package upon purchase, which allows buyers to bowl, play tennis, go golfing, and more. It’s the kind of immersive experience that blurs the line between virtual reality and physical reality.

Netflix is included with the Wii, giving buyers access to a wealth of online movies and television shows that will entertain them between bouts of Mario, Donkey Kong, Wii sporting events, and more. Console-specific user profiles, known as a Wii Mii, are also included so that individual players can track their games and achievements.

Performance

The Wii is no slacker in the performance department. Nintendo has given it a chip that allows it to quickly read games and load them on-screen, without very much waiting at all. Of course, that might be due to the

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omission of high definition graphics or output. Nonetheless, the Wii is quick in virtually every aspect and that makes it a good buy for consumers who lack patience.

Conclusion

There are few consoles that can rival the Wii, except perhaps the follow-up Wii U console and Microsoft’s Kinect add-on for Xbox 360. With innovative features, stunning design, and classic games, the Wii is in a class by itself.

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