In the next-generation video game consoles war, long-time veteran Nintendo has taken a drastically different tack to their competitors, Microsoft and Sony. Leaving advanced multimedia functions and high-end, super-realistic gameplay to the feuding multinationals, they have taken a family orientated, back to (gameplay) basics tack that seems to be paying off nicely. Its not just about image; at the heart of the HD/DVD/CD-bereft Wii lies an innovative, award winning control system that outstrips anything the competition has to offer. Through a clever combination of accessible multiplayer gaming and the advanced Wii Remote game controller (nicknamed Wiimote) Nintendo are managing to convert old and new gamers alike from both sexes to the Wii philosophy of gaming.


Nintendo Wii Versions

Nintendo have stated that their next-generation video game console is to be known as the Wii only and not the Nintendo Wii. Originally previewed under the codename Revolution the Wii now ships in a single basic configuration.

Wii (£185).

  • Console.
  • Stand to securely store the Wii vertically.
  • Wii Remote Game Controller.
  • Nunchuk Controller.
  • Sensor Bar.
  • Composite AV cables.
  • Wii Sports Game.

Nintendo Wii Next-Generation Capabilities

  • Wii Remote (One included and £29 additional).

The Wii remote, incomparably more advanced than any other game controller, uses a combination of internal LEDs, remote Bluetooth connectability and integrated accelerometers to detect its relative position in, and motion through, space. Thus you can swing the Wii Remote like a golf club, wield it like a sword, point it like a gun or use it as an extension of your own hand to box, bowl and brawl your way through Nintendo’s plethora of fun video game titles. The motions that you make in the real world will be replicated in the virtual, allowing you to interact and battle your way through simple sports games and next-generation versions of classic titles such as Zelda – but with a level of interactivity that we only ever dreamed of. Additionally, the Wii Remote has a built in speaker and vibration function – feel and hear the clang of warring swords or the satisfying thud of maple wood on leather as you hit another home run. The Wii Remote includes an expansion slot which allows additional controlling devices to be attached, such as the Nunchuk.

  • Nunchuk (One included and £14 additional).

Much like the Wii Remote, the nunchuk provides an accelerometer for triple axis motion-sensing and tilting but without an integrated speaker, rumble function, or a pointer capability. It has one trigger button and an analogue thumbstick – with a Wii Remote in one hand and a nunchuck in the other, the level of interaction in gameplay is greatly expanded. Strike with combinations of left and right in Wii Sports Boxing or move your character with the nunchuck while using the Wii Remote as a light-gun in Cold Steel.

  • Wii Sensor bar. Integral to the functioning of the Wii Remote, the sensor bar sits at the top of your television to allow you to control the Wii at an optimum distance of up to 5 metres.
  • Nintendo DS Connectivity. The Wii includes wireless connectivity with Nintendo’s hugely popular handheld console without any need for upgrades or additional equipment. Thus the Nintendo DS can be used as an in-game controller – for example, its touchscreen allows input in Pokemon Battle Revolution. Wii users can also utilise the Nintendo DS’s built-in microphone, expand Nintendo DS games on the Wii and play Nintendo DS game demos downloaded via the main console.
  • Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. This is Nintendo’s online gaming portal, and with Wi-Fi built in as standard you are able to connect and play multiplayer games for free both on the Wii and Nintendo’s hand-held system, the Nintendo DS. Over 5 million players have already logged on to the thousands of free Wi-Fi hotposts provided by Nintendo globally to indulge in multiplayer online versions of Mario Karts, Pokemon Battle Revolution and Mario Strikers. Via unique console-specific codes known as Friend Codes players can securely add online buddies to a safe list so that personal details can be exchanged with trusted individuals.
  • Wii Connect 24. This is Nintendo’s perpetually connected service that allows them to automatically update connected Wii’s with system updates and send free content such as game trailers and free downloads overnight. In certain games players can also interact with other Wii consoles that are switched off, leaving messages for players to collect on their return for example.
  • Wii Channels. This is the Wii’s content browsing system and allows you to view content both on and off-line. The Wii Channels utilise Connect 24 and they are divided as follows:
  1. Mii Channel. Miis are 3-D customisable avatars representing individual players that can be used as the player’s character within games and to interact with other Miis on a feature called Mii Parade.
  2. Wii Shop Channel. Here you can buy additional games from historic consoles at very reasonable prices via the Virtual Console. Additional channels may also be purchased and downloaded here (at varying cost) as they appear, while Wii Ware‘ consists of system updates and the like. Wii Points are paid for credits bought in pre-set values , either on voucher type top-up cards or via the Wii Shop Channel.
  3. Virtual Console. Talk about backwards compatibility!! This fantastic service allows Wii owners to buy and then play (via software emulation) classic titles from a range of previous video game consoles including the NES, SNES, N64, plus other historically competing consoles such as the Game Cube, Sony Mega Drive, TurboGrafx-16, the Neo Geo and the MSX. Purchased games then appear as separate channels.
  4. Everybody Votes Channel. Allows Wii owners to vote in simple, multiple choice polls and see the results nationwide. Players may also suggest topics which Nintendo may take up at their own discretion.
  5. Forecast Channel. Access real-time local and worldwide meteorological information by viewing the earth as a spinning globe. Based upon your findings you may want to stay in to play more Wii.
  6. News Channel. With content provided by the Associated Press, view local and international news via a global map layout reminiscent of an atlas. The News Channel is automatically updated by Wii Connect 24.
  7. Internet Channel. Browse the internet with full access to email and other sites across the World Wide Web.
  8. Photo Channel. By inserting an SD card with your stored data you can upload, edit or browse your photo collection on your Wii and send edited pictures to you Wii contacts via the message board.

Nintendo Wii Accessories

  • Wii Remote Shells. (£ Vary with product). Basically non-functional aesthetic embellishments designed to fit over the Wii Remote, these come in a variety of styles. Spice up your gaming experience with snazzy swords, shields, guns, boxing gloves and other sporting attachments – you will probably get more exercise that way, but watch you don’t have somebody’s eye out!!
  • Official Nintendo Classic Controller (£24.99). Playing classic games on the Virtual Console? Then you will need a classic controller to go with! Relive those double dragon moments as they were meant to be with the industry standard Nintendo controller.
  • SanDisk 2GB Card for Nintendo Wii (£22.99). If you want to get the most out of your Wii you will need expandable memory – save downloaded games, in-game information and photos too. A Memory card is a Wii must have!
  • 2000 Wii Points Card. (£14.00). Splash out on nostalgic games for your Wii, relive your childhood memories and catch up on all the titles that you couldn’t afford back then on your weekly paper round allowance!

Nintendo Wii – The Final Word

Unable to play HD movies, DVDs or CDs.. but who cares about all that anyway? The Wii is a gaming platform for video game fun – pure and simple. Nintendo seem to have got it right this time because game players who to like to have fun are opting for the Wii at sporadic rates of 3 to 1 against other next-gen consoles. If your happy batting a ball back and forward or zooming around a race track as a turtle or evil Gorilla then the Wii is the games console for you. However, if you like your video game content dark, broody and spattered with the corpses of those who dared to cheek your magnificence then your hacking at the wrong Ent. Resplendent in backwards compatibility, many people will be buying the Wii for the sweet memories alone and others to experience for the first time, the simple joy of firing a homing red shell up your friends backside as you pip him from a photo-finish in Mario Karts. As a multimedia centre it simply isn’t there, in fact its blowing raspberries from on top of a mushroom – so whether or not you opt for a Wii over an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 is purely a matter of what you expect from a next generation console. HD or no HD? Better still… get both! Find out more at the official site.