The Wii (pronounced as the pronoun wee) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. The console is the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, but it competes with both as part of the seventh generation of gaming systems.A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. Another is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.
The Wii console is Nintendo’s smallest home unit to date; it measures 44 mm (1.73″) wide, 157 mm (6.18″) tall, and 215.4 mm (8.48″) deep in its vertical orientation, the near-equivalent of three DVD cases stacked together. The included stand measures 55.4 mm (2.18″) wide, 44 mm (1.73″) tall, and 225.6 mm (8.88″) 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 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. When there is no WiiConnect24 information, the light is off. The disc slot light remains off during game play or when using other features. Two USB ports are located at its rear, and 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 games. As a presently impenetrable system of digital rights management, Virtual Console data cannot be restored to any system except the unit of origin. To use the SD slot for game save transferring, a software update must be downloaded, so a system that has not been connected to the Internet cannot utilize this feature. The SD card can also be used to create customized in-game music from stored MP3 files, as shown in Excite Truck.
Nintendo has shown the console and the Wii Remote in white, black, silver, lime green, and red, but has initially been available only in white. At E3 2006, the Wii Remote was shown in light blue. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that other colors would be available after the easing of supply limitations, which were stated to continue until (northern) spring. Numerous minor changes were made to the design between its original unveiling and launch, including the Nintendo branding used and button placements.
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 (component video and other types of cables are available separately), operation documentation, and (in all regions excluding Japan) a copy of Wii Sports.
The Wii Remote is a one-handed controller that uses a combination of accelerometers and infrared detection (from an array of LEDs inside the Sensor Bar) to sense its position in 3D space. 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, and an internal speaker. The Wii Remote can connect to other 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 incidences of strap failures, Nintendo is offering a free stronger replacement for all straps.
Nintendo has released few technical details regarding the Wii system, but some key facts have leaked from the press. Though none of these reports has been officially confirmed, they point to the console as being an extension or advancement of the previous Nintendo GameCube architecture. More specifically, the reported analyses state that the Wii is roughly 1.5 to two times as powerful as its predecessor. Here is the exhaustive list of the technical specifications.
Nintendo Wii Vs. Microsoft Xbox 360 Vs. Sony Playstation
The review of the three seventh generation gaming consoles can be found out on many websites, including www.reviews.cnet.com, www.roughlydrafted.com, Matt Pace, theschwartz, www.engadget.com, etc. If these are not enough, we always have Google search.
As the motto of this article is not the comparative study of gaming consoles, but the market performance of Wii, I shall carry on with it. As per The Financial Express, Wii was positioned on the first spot with 259000 consoles sold in March, Xbox 360 took second position with 199000 units sold and PlayStation 3 was struggling with just 130000 consoles sold. With 6.60+ millions units sold worldwide, Nintendo Wii stands clear ahead of Sony Playstation with 3.25 million+ units but still a long distance lagging from current leader of the board, Microsoft Xbox 360 with an estimated selling of 12 million by June, 2007.
As per The BrandIntel report, titled Top Gaming Consoles Report, that people sentiments were with Nintendo Wii mainly because of its low price and uniquely comfortable wireless controller. A report-analysis can be seen here [.pdf].
Nintendo blew the lid off financial expectations, with earnings up 77 percent for the fiscal year. Group net profits clocked in $1.47 billion, rising dramatically over last year’s $829 million, and sales soared 90 percent to $8.13 billion, up from $4.3 billion the year prior. This also increased their Q4 profits eight times the last fiscal year according to Reuters.
What to do Next
With rubber-green going Wii side, they need to tackle some with problems. The first one being the expected shortage of console units by 2009. I assume that Nintendo analysts did not expect the bumper reaction for their gaming console from the gaming community and hence did not plan accordingly. The second being the caution of tackling the problems related to Wii Elbow, an elbow inflammation that occurs due to playing long hours on Wii without warming up. I seriously have no idea what Nintendo officials will do if Sony or Microsoft start publicizing this fact.
Some good things are also happening in Wii’s favor. The Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Mr. Ken Kutaragi, better known as “The father of the PlayStation” is retiring from his post on June 19th, 2007. Mr. Kutaragi has been the instrumental force for the success Sony gaming consoles. With him out of the way, Wii and Xbox 360 can perform the killing move on the ailing PlayStation 3 to have the competition and the market share among them alone. A though job; still I agree, but at least easier than with him having in the way.
About the author:
Mohit has recently completed his bachelors degree from Vellore Institute of Technology,Vellore.He is passionate about blogging and is widely known as a freelancer. Recently an admission in an high iq society www.highiqsociety.org has got him interested in becoming a mensa
Good to see Nintendo adding again the word “fun” to gaming consoles.
I’ve played with the Wii before and have recently bought a DS and I can tell you I am having loads of fun, in a way I never had before, with games like Brain Age, Project Rub, Magnetica, etc.
Like the Wii, the DS introduces a totally different way of playing… and I’m loving it.
…and the price for both consoles is just right! Well done Nintendo! They seem to be on the good track
Edited 2007-05-02 11:17