The Wii (/wiː/ WEE; known unofficially as the Nintendo Wii) is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, with more than 101 million units sold; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.
The Wii introduced the Wii Remote controller, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and which detects movement in three dimensions. The console runs games supplied on Wii optical discs. It also supported the now discontinued WiiConnect24 service, which enabled Wii to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. Like other seventh-generation consoles it supported a service, called "Virtual Console", that downloaded emulated games from past Nintendo consoles, support for online video streaming such as BBC iPlayer, and other services provided by Nintendo over the Internet. Internet services were withdrawn; since 31 January 2019 only re-download of games, system software update, and transfer of data between Wii and Wii U continued to be available, to be withdrawn at an unspecified future date. Wii Points could no longer be purchased after March 2018, and could not be used and were permanently lost from 31 January 2019.
The Wii succeeded the GameCube; early models are fully backward-compatible with all GameCube games and most accessories. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the E3 2004 press conference and later unveiled it at E3 2005. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets.
Later models are no longer compatible with Nintendo GameCube. In late 2011, Nintendo released a reconfigured model, the "Wii Family Edition", which was not released in Japan. The Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the compact SNES, succeeded the standard Wii model and was released first in Canada on December 7, 2012. The Wii Mini can only play Wii optical discs, as it has neither GameCube compatibility nor any networking capabilities; this model was not released in Japan, Australia, or New Zealand. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, was released on November 18, 2012. On October 20, 2013, Nintendo confirmed it had discontinued production of the Wii in Japan and Europe.
|Also known as||Revolution (code name)|
|Type||Home video game console|
|Lifespan||2006–2011 (original model)|
2011–2013 (Wii Family Edition)
2012–2017 (Wii Mini)
|Units sold||Worldwide: 101.63 million (as of March 31, 2016) (details)|
|Operating system||Wii system software|
|CPU||729 MHz IBM PowerPC "Broadway"|
|Memory||88 MB (total), 24 MB MoSys 1T-SRAM, 324 MHz, 2.7 GB/s bandwidth|
|Storage||512 MB Internal flash memory|
|Removable storage||SD/SDHC card|
GameCube Memory Card (first model only)
|Graphics||243 MHz ATI "Hollywood"|
|Controller input||Wii Remote (Plus), Wii Balance Board, Nintendo GameCube controller (first model only), Nintendo DS|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g|
2 × USB 2.0
LAN Adapter (via USB 2.0)
|Online services||Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (closed May 20, 2014), WiiConnect24 (closed June 27, 2013), Wii Shop Channel (closed January 30, 2019)|
|Best-selling game||Wii Sports (pack-in, except in Japan and South Korea) 82.86 million (as of September 30, 2018)|
Mario Kart Wii, 37.14 million (as of September 30, 2018)
|GameCube (first model only)|
The console was conceived in 2001, as the Nintendo GameCube was first released. According to an interview with Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the concept involved focusing on a new form of player interaction. "The consensus was that power isn't everything for a console. Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction."
In 2003, game engineers and designers were brought together to develop the concept further. By 2005 the controller interface had taken form, but a public showing at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was canceled. Miyamoto stated that the company "had some troubleshooting to do. So we decided not to reveal the controller and instead we displayed just the console." Nintendo president Satoru Iwata later unveiled and demonstrated the Wii Remote at the September Tokyo Game Show.
The Nintendo DS is said to have influenced the Wii's design. Designer Ken'ichiro Ashida noted, "We had the DS on our minds as we worked on the Wii. We thought about copying the DS's touch-panel interface and even came up with a prototype." The idea was eventually rejected because of the notion that the two gaming systems would be identical. Miyamoto also stated, "[...] if the DS had flopped, we might have taken the Wii back to the drawing board." In June 2011 Nintendo unveiled the prototype of its successor to the Wii, to be known as the Wii U.
The console was known by the code name "Revolution" from May 11, 2004 when its codename was announced at Nintendo's 2004 pre-Electronics Entertainment Expo press conference in Los Angeles, California until April 27, 2006, immediately before E3. Before the Wii's codename was announced, the media referred to the console as "GCNext" or Gamecube Next and "N5" or Nintendo's fifth major home console.
Nintendo's spelling of "Wii" (with two lower-case "i" characters) is intended to resemble two people standing side-by-side (representing players gathering together) and to represent the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. One reason the company has given for this name choice since the announcement is:
Some video game developers and members of the press stated that they preferred "Revolution" over "Wii". Forbes expressed a fear "that the name would convey a continued sense of 'kidiness' to the console." The BBC reported the day after the name was announced that "a long list of puerile jokes, based on the name," had appeared on the Internet.
Nintendo of America's Vice President of Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan defended the choice of "Wii" over "Revolution" and responded to critics of the name, stating "Live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it and hopefully they'll arrive at the same place." Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime acknowledged the initial reaction and further explained the change:
The Nintendo Style Guide refers to the console as "simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii", making it the first home console Nintendo has marketed outside Japan without the company name in its trademark. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, was also marketed without Nintendo in its name, although its successor, the Nintendo Switch, brought back the Nintendo name in marketing.
On September 14, 2006 Nintendo announced release information for Japan, North and South America, Oceania, Asia and Europe including dates, prices, and projected unit-distribution figures. It was announced that the majority of the 2006 shipments would be allotted to the Americas, and 33 titles would be available at its launch. The Wii was launched in the United States on November 19, 2006 for $249.99, and was later launched in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2006 for £179. The United Kingdom experienced a widespread shortage of Wii units in many High-Street and online stores, and was unable to fulfill all pre-orders at its release. The Wii was launched in South Korea on April 26, 2008, Taiwan on July 12, 2008, and Hong Kong on December 12, 2009.
Nintendo has hoped to target a wider demographic with its console than that of others in the seventh generation. At a press conference for the then-upcoming Nintendo DS game Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies in December 2006, Satoru Iwata insisted "We're not thinking about fighting Sony, but about how many people we can get to play games. The thing we're thinking about most is not portable systems, consoles, and so forth, but that we want to get new people playing games." This is reflected in Nintendo's series of television advertisements in North America (directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan) and its Internet ads. The advertising slogans were "Wii would like to play" and "Experience a new way to play"; the ads began November 15, 2006, and had a total budget of over US$200 million for the year. The productions were Nintendo's first broad-based advertising strategy and included a two-minute video clip showing an assortment of people enjoying the Wii system: urban apartment-dwellers, ranchers, grandparents, and parents with their children. The music in the ads was from the song "Kodo (Inside the Sun Remix)" by the Yoshida Brothers. The marketing campaign was successful; pensioners as old as 103 were reported to be playing the Wii in the United Kingdom. A report by the British newspaper The People also stated that Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has used the console.
Retail copies of games are supplied on proprietary, DVD-type Wii optical discs, which are packaged in keep cases with instructions. In Europe, the boxes have a triangle at the bottom corner of the paper sleeve-insert side. The triangle is color-coded to identify the region for which the title is intended and which manual languages are included. The console supports regional lockout: software available in a region can be only played on that region's hardware.
New games in Nintendo's flagship franchises (including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid) have been released, in addition to many original titles and third-party-developed games. Nintendo has received third-party support from companies such as Ubisoft, Sega, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Capcom, with more games being developed for Wii than for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Nintendo also launched the New Play Control! line, a selection of enhanced GameCube games for the Wii featuring updated controls.
The Virtual Console service allows Wii owners to play games originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Sega's Genesis/Mega Drive and Sega Mark III/Sega Master System, NEC's TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine, SNK's Neo Geo console, Commodore 64 and arcade games. Virtual Console games were distributed over broadband Internet via the former Wii Shop Channel, and are saved to the Wii internal flash memory or to a removable SD card. Once downloaded, Virtual Console games can be accessed from the Wii Menu (as individual channels) or from an SD card via the SD Card Menu. There is also the Wii Homebrew Channel, which can be installed by exploiting the Wii, allowing the user to run unauthorized applications built from user-generated code.
The game development suite Unity can be used to create official Wii games; however, the developer must be authorized by Nintendo to develop games for the console. Games must also be accepted by Nintendo to be sold.
920.66 million Wii games had been sold worldwide as of December 31, 2018, and 104 titles had surpassed the million-unit mark by March 2011. The most successful game (Wii Sports, which comes bundled with the console in most regions) sold 82.86 million copies worldwide by September 30, 2018, surpassing Super Mario Bros. as the best-selling video game of all time in 2009. However, as of July 2018, Tetris is the best selling video game of all time, having sold 170 million copies both physical and digital as of July 2010. The best-selling unbundled game, Mario Kart Wii, had sold 37.14 million units worldwide by September 30, 2018.
Twenty-one games were announced for launch day in North and South America, with another twelve announced for release later in 2006. Wii Sports was included with the console bundle in all regions except Japan and South Korea. In contrast to the price of $60 quoted for many seventh-generation games in the US, Wii titles cost (at most) $50 at major US retail stores.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was promoted as a launch title, but its release was eventually postponed until August 27, 2007 in North America. Satoru Iwata also initially wished for Super Smash Bros. Brawl to be released at launch.
The Wii was Nintendo's smallest home console at the time (the current smallest is hybrid home-portable console Nintendo Switch, when in portable mode); it measures 44 mm (1.73 in) wide, 157 mm (6.18 in) tall and 215.4 mm (8.48 in) deep in its vertical orientation, slightly larger than three DVD cases stacked together. The included stand measures 55.4 mm (2.18 in) wide, 44 mm (1.73 in) tall and 225.6 mm (8.88 in) deep. The system weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 lb), making it the lightest of the three major seventh-generation consoles. The Wii may stand horizontally or vertically. The prefix for the numbering scheme of the system and its parts and accessories is "RVL-" for its code name, "Revolution".
The front of the console features an illuminated slot-loading optical media drive which accepts only 12 cm Wii Optical Discs and 8 cm Nintendo GameCube Game Discs. (Units sold in South Korea and later revisions do not support GameCube discs.) The blue light in the disc slot illuminates briefly when the console is turned on, and pulses when new data is received through WiiConnect24. After the update (including System Menu 3.0), the disc-slot light activates whenever a Wii disc is inserted or ejected. When there is no WiiConnect24 information, the light stays off. The disc-slot light remains off during game play or when using other features. Two USB ports are located on the back of the console. An SD-card slot is located behind the SD-card slot cover on the front of the console, where an SD-card can be inserted.
The Wii launch package includes the console; a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically; a round, clear stabilizer for the main stand; a Wii Remote; a Nunchuk attachment; a Sensor Bar; a removable stand for the bar; an external power adapter; two AA batteries; a composite AV cable with RCA connectors; a SCART adapter in European countries (component video and other types of cables are available separately); operation documentation and (in Europe and the Americas) a copy of the game Wii Sports.
The disc reader of the Wii does not play DVD-Video, DVD-Audio or Compact Discs. A 2006 announcement stated that a new version of the Wii (capable of DVD-Video playback) would be released in 2007; however, Nintendo delayed its release to focus on meeting demand for the original console. Nintendo's initial announcement stated that it "requires more than a firmware upgrade" to implement, and the capability could not be made available as an upgrade option for the existing Wii; the delay later became a cancellation when production of the Wii was discontinued in 2013. However, despite the assertion, third parties have used Wii homebrew to add DVD playback to unmodified Wii units. The Wii also can be hacked to enable an owner to use the console for activities unintended by the manufacturer. Several brands of modchips are available for the Wii.
Although Nintendo showed the console and the Wii Remote in white, black, silver, lime-green and red before it was released, it was only available in white for its first two-and-a-half years of sales. Black consoles were available in Japan in August 2009, in Europe in November 2009 and in North America on May 9, 2010. A red Wii system bundle was available in Japan on November 11, 2010, commemorating the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The European version of the limited-edition red Wii bundle was released on October 29, 2010, which includes the original Donkey Kong game preloaded onto the console, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Sports. The bundle also features the Wii Remote Plus, with integrated Wii Motion Plus technology. The red Wii bundle was released in North America on November 7, 2010 with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Sports and the Wii Remote Plus.
On July 11, 2007, Nintendo unveiled the Wii Balance Board at E3 2007 with Wii Fit. It is a wireless balance board accessory for the Wii, with multiple pressure sensors used to measure the user's center of balance. Namco Bandai produced a mat controller (a simpler, less-sophisticated competitor to the balance board).
The Wii Remote is the primary controller for the console. It uses a combination of built-in accelerometers and infrared detection to sense its position in 3D space when pointed at the LEDs in the Sensor Bar. This design allows users to control the game with physical gestures as well as button-presses. The controller connects to the console using Bluetooth with an approximate 30 ft (9.1 m) range, and features rumble and an internal speaker. An attachable wrist strap can be used to prevent the player from unintentionally dropping (or throwing) the Wii Remote. Nintendo has since offered a stronger strap and the Wii Remote Jacket to provide extra grip and protection.
Accessories can be connected to a Wii Remote through a proprietary port at the base of the controller, such as the bundled Nunchuk — a handheld unit with an accelerometer, analog stick, and two trigger buttons.An expansion accessory known as Wii MotionPlus augments the Wii Remote's existing sensors with gyroscopes to allow for finer motion detection; the MotionPlus functionality was later incorporated into a revision of the controller known as Wii Remote Plus. At E3 2009, Nintendo also presented a "Vitality Sensor" accessory that could be used to measure a player's pulse. In a 2013 Q&A, Satoru Iwata revealed that the Vitality Sensor had been shelved, as internal testing found that the device did not work with all users, and its use cases were too narrow.
The Classic Controller is another extension for Wii Remote and is more similar to classic gamepads. Players can use it with older games from the Virtual Console in addition to games designed for the Wii.
The Wii console contains 512 megabytes of internal non-removable flash memory, and features an SD card slot for external storage. An SD card can be used for uploading photos and backing up saved game data and downloaded Virtual Console and WiiWare games. To use the SD slot for transferring game saves, an update must be installed. Installation may be initiated from the Wii options menu through an Internet connection, or by inserting a game disc containing the update. Virtual Console data cannot be restored to any system except the unit of origin. An SD card can also be used to create customized in-game music from stored MP3 files (as first shown in Excite Truck) and music for the slide-show feature of the Photo Channel. Version 1.1 of the Photo Channel removed MP3 playback in favor of AAC support.
At the Nintendo Fall Press Conference in October 2008, Satoru Iwata announced that Wii owners would have the option to download WiiWare and Virtual Console content directly onto an SD card. The option would offer an alternative to "address the console's insufficient memory storage". The announcement stated that it would be available in Japan in spring 2009; Nintendo made the update available on March 25. In addition to the previously announced feature, the update also allows users to play games directly from an SD card. The update also added support for SDHC cards with up to 32 GB of storage.
Nintendo has released few technical details regarding the Wii system, but some key facts have leaked through the press. Although none of these reports has been officially confirmed, they generally indicate that the console is an extension (or advancement) of the Nintendo GameCube architecture. Specifically, the analyses report that the Wii is roughly 1.5 to 2 times as powerful as its predecessor. Based on specifications, the Wii has been called the least powerful of the major home consoles of its generation.
The first Wii system software update (via WiiConnect24) caused a small number of launch units to become completely unusable. This forced users to either send their units to Nintendo for repairs (if they wished to retain their saved data) or exchange them for free replacements.
With the release of dual-layer Wii Optical Discs, Nintendo of America stated that some Wii systems may have difficulty reading the high-density software (due to a contaminated laser lens). Nintendo offers retail lens-cleaning kits and free console repairs for owners who experience this issue.
The Wii Remote can lose track of the Wii system it has been set to, requiring that it be reset and resynchronized. Nintendo's support website provides instructions for this process and troubleshooting related issues.
The console has a number of internal features made available from its hardware and firmware components. The hardware allows for extendability (via expansion ports), while the firmware (and some software) can receive periodic updates via the WiiConnect24 service.
The Wii Menu interface is designed to emulate television channels. Separate channels are graphically displayed in a grid, and are navigated using the pointer capability of the Wii Remote. Except for the Disc Channel, it is possible to change the arrangement by holding down the A and B buttons to "grab" channels and move them around. There are six primary channels: the Disc Channel, Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Forecast Channel and News Channel. The latter two were initially unavailable at launch, but were later activated in updates. The Wii + Internet Video Channel was pre-installed on all Wii consoles starting in October 2008. Additional channels are available for download from the Wii Shop Channel through WiiWare, and appear with each Virtual Console title; these include the Everybody Votes Channel, Internet Channel, Check Mii Out Channel and the Nintendo Channel.
Wii consoles with the original design are backward-compatible with all Nintendo GameCube software, Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards and controllers. Software compatibility is achieved by the slot-loading drive's ability to accept Nintendo GameCube Game Discs. However, redesigned "Family Edition" Wiis and the Wii Mini are not backward-compatible.
A Wii console running a GameCube disc is restricted to GameCube functionality, and a GameCube controller is required to play GameCube titles. A Nintendo GameCube Memory Card is also necessary to save game progress and content, since the Wii internal flash memory will not save GameCube games. Also, backward compatibility is limited in some areas. For example, online and LAN-enabled features for Nintendo GameCube titles are unavailable on the Wii, since the console lacks serial ports for the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter.
The Wii system supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS without any additional accessories. This connectivity allows the player to use the Nintendo DS microphone and touchscreen as inputs for Wii games. The first game utilizing Nintendo DS-Wii connectivity is Pokémon Battle Revolution. Players with either the Pokémon Diamond or Pearl Nintendo DS games are able to play battles using the Nintendo DS as a controller. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, released on both Nintendo DS and Wii, features connectivity in which both games can advance simultaneously. Nintendo later released the Nintendo Channel, which allows Wii owners to download game demos or additional data to their Nintendo DS in a process similar to that of a DS Download Station. The console is also able to expand Nintendo DS games.
The Wii console connects to the Internet through its built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi or through a USB-to-Ethernet adapter; either method allows players to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The service has several features for the console, including Virtual Console, WiiConnect24, the Internet Channel, the Forecast Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, the News Channel and the Check Mii Out Channel. The Wii can also communicate (and connect) with other Wii systems through a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multi-playing on different television sets. Battalion Wars 2 first demonstrated this feature for non-split screen multi-playing between two (or more) televisions.
On April 9, 2008, the BBC announced that its online BBC iPlayer would be available on the Wii via the Internet Channel browser; however, some users experienced difficulty with the service. On November 18, 2009, BBC iPlayer on the Wii was launched as the BBC iPlayer Channel, a free downloadable channel from the Wii Shop Channel; however, the service was discontinued in early 2017.
Netflix was released as a downloadable channel for the Wii on October 18, 2010 in Canada and the United States. A survey conducted by Nielson revealed that 25% of Netflix subscribers used the Netflix Channel on the Wii as of July 2011.
Hulu announced in October 2011 that they would be releasing their streaming service, Hulu Plus, on the Wii and the Nintendo 3DS. Hulu Plus was released on February 16, 2012 as a downloadable channel for the Wii.
YouTube was released as a downloadable channel for the Wii on December 15, 2012 in the United States. The YouTube Channel for the Wii was discontinued on June 28, 2017 as part of YouTube's plan to phase out availability on older devices.
In 2018, Netflix announced that Nintendo would shut down support for video streaming services on the Wii on January 30, 2019, including Netflix.
The console features parental controls, which can be used to prohibit younger users from playing games with content unsuitable for their age level. When one attempts to play a Wii or Virtual Console game, it reads the content rating encoded in the game data; if this rating is greater than the system's set age level, the game will not load without a password. Parental controls may also restrict Internet access, which blocks the Internet Channel and system-update features. Since the console is restricted to Nintendo GameCube functionality when playing Nintendo GameCube Game Discs, GameCube software is unaffected by Wii parental-control settings.
European units primarily use the PEGI rating system, while North American units use the ESRB rating system. The Wii supports the rating systems of many countries, including CERO in Japan, the USK in Germany, the PEGI and BBFC in the United Kingdom, the ACB in Australia and the OFLC in New Zealand. Homebrew developers have reverse-engineered the function which Nintendo uses to recover lost parental-control passwords, creating a simple script to obtain parental-control reset codes.
The Wii has received generally positive reviews. The system was well received after its exhibition at E3 2006. At the event, Nintendo's console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. In the December 2006 issue of Popular Science, the console was named a Grand Award Winner in home entertainment. Spike TV's Video Games Award cited the Wii's breakthrough technology. GameSpot chose the console as having the best hardware in its "Best and Worst 2006" awards. The system was also chosen as one of PC World magazine's 20 Most Innovative Products of the Year. The console received a Golden Joystick for Innovation of the Year 2007 at the Golden Joystick Awards. In the category of Engineering & Technology for Creation and Implementation of Video Games and Platforms, Nintendo was awarded an Emmy Award for Game Controller Innovation by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2009, IGN named the Wii the 10th greatest console of all time (out of 25).
The Wii's success caught third-party developers by surprise, leading to apologies for the quality of their early games. In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot and Alain Corre admitted that they made a mistake in rushing out their launch titles, promising to take future projects more seriously. Take-Two Interactive, which released few games for the Nintendo GameCube, changed its stance towards Nintendo by placing a higher priority on the Wii.
At the same time, criticism of the Wii Remote and Wii hardware specifications had surfaced. Former GameSpot editor and Giantbomb.com founder Jeff Gerstmann stated that the controller's speaker produces low-quality sound, while Factor 5 President Julian Eggebrecht criticized the hardware audio as substandard for a console of its generation. UK-based developer Free Radical Design stated that the Wii hardware lacks the power necessary to run the software it scheduled for release on other seventh-generation consoles. Online connectivity of the Wii was also criticized; Matt Casamassina of IGN compared it to the "entirely unintuitive" service provided for the Nintendo DS.
Game designer and The Sims creator Will Wright shared his thoughts on the Wii in the context of the seventh console generation: "The only next gen system I've seen is the Wii – the PS3 and the Xbox 360 feel like better versions of the last, but pretty much the same game with incremental improvement. But the Wii feels like a major jump – not that the graphics are more powerful, but that it hits a completely different demographic."
The Wii is seen as more physically demanding than other game consoles. Some Wii players have experienced a form of tennis elbow, known as "Wiiitis". A study published in the British Medical Journal stated that Wii players use more energy than they do playing sedentary computer games. While this energy increase may be beneficial to weight management, it was not an adequate replacement for regular exercise. A case study published in the American Physical Therapy Association's journal, Physical Therapy, focused on use of the Wii for rehabilitation in a teenager with cerebral palsy. It is believed to be the first published research demonstrating physical-therapy benefits from use of the gaming system. Researchers say the system complements traditional techniques through use of simultaneous gaming rehabilitation efforts. In May 2010 the American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed the Wii to encourage sedentary people to take the first step toward fitness. The AHA heart icon covers the console and two of its more-active games, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort.
By 2008, two years after the Wii's release, Nintendo acknowledged several limitations and challenges with the system (such as the perception that the system catered primarily to a "casual" audience and was unpopular among "core" gamers). Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that the lack of support for high definition video output on the Wii and its limited network infrastructure also contributed to the system being regarded separately from its competitors' systems, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Miyamoto originally defended Nintendo's decision to not include HD graphics in the Wii, stating that the number of HDTV's in people's homes at the time was "really not that high, yet. Of course I think five years down the road it would be pretty much a given that Nintendo would create an HD system, but right now the predominant television set in the world is a non-HD set." Miyamoto said in an interview with Japanese magazine 4Gamer in 2013 that he regretted not giving the Wii HD graphics.
An executive for Frontline Studios stated that major publishers were wary of releasing exclusive titles for the Wii, due to the perception that third-party companies were not strongly supported by consumers. In his blog, 1UP.com editor Jeremy Parish stated that Nintendo was the biggest disappointment for him in 2007. Commenting on the lack of quality third-party support, he stated that "the Wii landscape is bleak. Worse than it was on N64. Worse than on GameCube...the resulting third-party content is overwhelmingly bargain-bin trash." The Globe and Mail and Forbes noted that the Wii had few successful third-party titles compared to its rivals (due, in part, to its weaker hardware). Third-party developers often skipped the Wii instead of making games for all three consoles simultaneously ("blockbusters like the Call of Duty franchise either never arrive on Nintendo hardware or show up in neutered form"). Forbes observed that of the most successful games of 2011 (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Portal 2, L.A. Noire, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), although all were released for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, only Modern Warfare 3 received a Wii version which was also the least positively received port of the game. The lack of third-party games may be exacerbated in the future, as Nintendo faces the "dilemma of having fallen out of sync with its rivals in the console cycle"; Microsoft and Sony would design their consoles to be more powerful than the Wii U. Strong third-party titles are seen as a key sign of a gaming console's health.
The Globe and Mail, in suggesting why Nintendo posted a record loss of $926 million for the initial six months of its 2011–2012 fiscal year, blamed the Wii's design for being "short-sighted". The Wii initially enjoyed phenomenal success because it was inexpensive (due to its being less sophisticated than its competitors) and introduced a "gaming gimmick". However, this approach meant that the Wii's hardware soon became outdated and could not keep up long-term (in contrast to more-advanced rivals such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which were expected to continue doing well in 2012–2013) "as both user desires and surrounding technologies evolved" later in the generation. Furthermore, price cuts and the introduction of motion-sensor controllers for the Xbox 360 and PS3 nullified advantages once held by the Wii. The Globe suggested that there were other reasons for Nintendo's poor financial performance, including a strong yen and a tepid reception to the Nintendo 3DS handheld as mobile gaming became popular on smartphones and tablets, such as the iPad.
As of March 31, 2016, the Wii has sold 101.63 million consoles worldwide.
Since its launch, monthly sales numbers of the console were generally higher than its competitors around the globe. On November 28, 2006, Nintendo reported that it had sold over 600,000 consoles in the first eight days of launch in the Americas, making it Nintendo's largest console launch until the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Japan initially received 400,000 Wii consoles, and sold an estimated 372,000 units in two days, with Wii Sports and Wii Play being the best-selling games. Nintendo announced on December 13, 2006 that the Wii had sold 325,000 units across Europe in its first two days of availability and had sold 33,000 units in Australia in its first six days of availability, making it the fastest selling console across the entire European continent and the largest launch of a video game system in Australia. By the end of 2006, the Wii had sold 3.19 million units worldwide.
According to the NPD Group, the Wii sold more units in the United States than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined in the first half of 2007. This lead was even larger in the Japanese market, where it led in total sales (having outsold both consoles by factors of 2:1 to 6:1 nearly every week from its launch to November 2007). In Australia the Wii broke the record set by the Xbox 360 and became the fastest-selling game console in Australian history, selling 32,901 units within the first four days of the console's release. It also broke the 360's Australian record for the quickest amount of time to sell 100,000 units, reaching the milestone within six months and two weeks. The Wii became the fastest selling console in the United Kingdom at the time, selling 1 million units in just 38 weeks after launch.
On September 12, 2007, the Financial Times reported that the Wii had surpassed the Xbox 360 (released a year earlier) and had become market leader in home-console sales for the seventh generation, based on sales figures from Enterbrain, NPD Group and GfK. This was the first time a Nintendo console led its generation in sales since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
On July 11, 2007, Nintendo warned that the Wii would remain in short supply throughout that calendar year. In December, Reggie Fils-Aimé revealed that Nintendo was producing approximately 1.8 million Wii consoles each month. Some UK stores still had a shortage of consoles in March 2007, demand still outpaced supply in the United States in June 2007, and the console was "selling out almost as quickly as it hits retail shelves" in Canada in April 2008. In October 2008 Nintendo announced that between October and December the Wii would have its North American supplies increased considerably from 2007 levels, while producing 2.4 million Wii units a month worldwide (compared to 1.6 million per month in 2007).
In the United States the Wii had sold 10.9 million units by July 1, 2008, making it the leader in seventh generation home console sales according to the NPD Group (and surpassing the Xbox 360).
In Japan the Wii surpassed the number of GameCube units sold by January 2008; it sold 7,526,821 units by December 2008, according to Enterbrain. According to the NPD Group the Wii surpassed the Xbox 360 to become the best-selling "next-generation" home video-game console in Canada (with 813,000 units sold by April 1, 2008), and was the best-selling home console for 13 of the previous 17 months. According to the NPD Group the Wii had sold a total of 1,060,000 units in Canada by August 2008, making it the first seventh generation home console to surpass the million-unit mark in that country. In the United Kingdom the Wii lead in seventh generation home-console sales with 4.9 million units sold as of January 3, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track. On March 25, 2009 at the Game Developers Conference, Satoru Iwata said that worldwide shipments of Wii had reached 50 million. According to GfK Australia, the Wii had sold over 500,000 units in Australia within 84 weeks of its release, beating the PlayStation 2 and the DS as the fastest system to accumulate 500,000 sales in that country.
While Microsoft and Sony have experienced losses producing their consoles in the hopes of making a long-term profit on software sales, Nintendo reportedly has optimized production costs to obtain a significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold. On September 17, 2007 the Financial Times reported that the direct profit per Wii sold may vary, from $13 in Japan to $49 in the United States and $79 in Europe. On December 2, 2008, Forbes reported that Nintendo made a $6 operating profit per Wii unit sold.
On September 23, 2009, Nintendo announced its first price reductions for the console. Nintendo sold more than three million Wii consoles in the U.S. in December 2009 (setting a regional record for the month and ending nine months of declining sales), due to the price cut and software releases such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii. On January 31, 2010 the Wii became the best-selling home video-game console produced by Nintendo, with sales of over 67 million units (surpassing those of the original Nintendo Entertainment System).
In 2010, sales of the Wii began to decline, falling by 21 percent from the previous year. The Wii continued to decline in 2011, with Nintendo's quarterly revenue dropping by 41 percent. Despite a slowdown in sales, Nintendo reported that on Black Friday in 2011, over 500,000 Wii consoles were sold, making it the most successful Black Friday in the Wii's history. Wii sales declined even further in 2012, having decreased by half from 2011. The Wii Mini sold 35,700 units in its first two months of availability in Canada after being released on December 7, 2012.
The Wii surpassed 100 million units sold on June 30, 2013, selling 210,000 units between March and June 2013.
There were lawsuits concerning the Wii console, Wii Remote, and other accessories.
Lonestar Inventions, L.P., a Texas-based company, sued Nintendo in June 2006, claiming that the company copied one of Lonestar's patented capacitor designs and used it in the Wii console. The two companies agreed to dismiss all claims by July 20, 2009, alongside a settlement made between Lonestar and AMD, which provided Nintendo's microprocessor technology; whether the Lonestar-Nintendo dismissal included any out-of-court settlement terms was not clear.
Anascape Ltd, a Texas-based firm, filed a lawsuit in the Summer of 2006 against Nintendo for patent infringement regarding the vibrational feedback used by Nintendo's controllers. A July 2008 verdict banned Nintendo from selling the Classic Controller in the United States, in addition to the GameCube and Wavebird controllers. Following an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on April 22, 2010 the Federal Circuit Court ruled in Nintendo's favor.
Interlink Electronics Inc. filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nintendo in December 2006 over the pointing functionality of the Wii Remote, claiming "loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities" of Nintendo. The lawsuit was dismissed by Interlink in March 2007.
In August 2008 Hillcrest Laboratories Inc. filed a complaint against Nintendo with the U.S International Trade Commission, alleging that the Wii Remote infringed on three of its patents. A fourth Hillcrest patent (for graphical interfaces displayed on television screens) was also allegedly violated. Hillcrest sought a ban on Wii consoles imported to the U.S. On August 24, 2009 Nintendo and Hillcrest reached a settlement, although the terms were not publicly disclosed.
In November 2008, Motiva LLC filed a lawsuit against Nintendo in the U.S. International Trade Commission claiming that the Wii violated two of its patents for tracking body movement and position. The USITC ruled in favour of Nintendo in January 2013, claiming that "Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva’s patented technology,” and that “There is simply no reasonable likelihood that, after successful litigation against Nintendo, Motiva’s patented technology would have been licensed by partners who would have incorporated it.” The USITC also determined that Nintendo did not violate any of Motiva's patents.
In September 2011, ThinkOptics Inc. filed a lawsuit against Nintendo in United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas over their controller, the Wavit Remote, claiming that the Wii violated its patent for a "handheld vision based absolute pointing system", a "Handheld Device for Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System", and a "Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System", which make up the basis for the Wavit Remote. They also said that the Wii U infringes on their patents as well and claims that Nintendo was aware of the fact that the Wii allegedly violates ThinkOptics' patents. The lawsuit sought an injunction against violating products, royalties, attorney's fees, and damages for lost profits. The lawsuit was dismissed by ThinkOptics in August 2014.
Starting in December 2012, iLife Technologies Inc. sued several large companies over patent infringement over a set of patents they held related to "systems and methods for evaluating movement of a body relative to an environment", principally aimed at the medical field; Nintendo was sued by iLife in December 2013 for the Wii Remote's infringement on their patents, with the lawsuit seeking $144 million in damages, based on a $4 fine for the 36 million Wii and Wii U units it had sold to date. A jury trial was heard in August 2017, and the jury ruled in favor of iLife Technologies and Nintendo was forced to pay US$10.1 million in damages. While Nintendo appealed this decision, the United States Court of Appeals upheld the jury's decision in December 2017.
The wrist strap of the Wii Remote has also been an issue.
In mid-December 2006, the law firm Green Welling LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo for its "defective wrist straps". A few days later, Nintendo issued a product recall for the wrist straps and issued a new version of the strap with an improved securing mechanism for the wrist, leading to the lawsuit being dropped sometime thereafter.
A second class-action lawsuit was filed by a mother in Colorado in December 2008, claiming the updated wrist straps were still ineffective. This suit was dismissed by September 2010, finding for Nintendo that the wrist straps were not knowingly faulty under Colorado consumer protection laws.
In 2000, the term "Weemote" was trademarked by Miami based TV remote manufacturer Fobis Technologies and was later used as the name of their remote designed for young children. While spelled differently, "Weemote" is pronounced the same as "Wiimote", the unofficial term for the Wii Remote. Sales of the Weemote, which totalled less than one million as of 2008 had fallen due to confusion with the Wiimote. Fobis Technologies claims "Wiimote" to be trademark infringement, but Nintendo does not officially use this term, although many retailers do. Fobis sent up to 100 cease and desist letters to retailers, and offered to sell Nintendo the trademark; Nintendo declined, responding that it "does not use and does not plan to use the Weemote trademark".
The trademark application for the Wii was filed in 2006, but it was not registered by the US government until July 2010.
The trademark application for the Wii Remote was initially rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office after the trademark was filed in March 2008. The USPTO said that the word "remote" is commonly used, and therefore should not be trademarked. The USPTO said they would accept Nintendo's trademark filing if the company disclaimed exclusive rights to the word "remote" in the term and if the word “remote” would always follow the word “Wii” in marketing and manuals; the “Wii Remote” trademark was accepted in July 2012.
The Wii Family Edition is identical to the original model, but is designed to sit horizontally (the vertical feet are still present; however, the front labels are rotated and a stand is no longer included) and removes the GameCube controller and memory card ports, although the casing under the top cover still has the GameCube controller and memory card ports holes with no ports and no slots. For this reason, the Family Edition variant is incompatible with GameCube games and accessories. The console was announced on August 17, 2011 and was released in the United States on October 23, 2011 and Europe on November 4, 2011. The Wii Family Edition was made available in Europe, bundled with a Wii Remote Plus, Wii Party and Wii Sports. The console launched in white, but later a black Wii Family Edition bundled with New Super Mario Bros. Wii and the official soundtrack CD of Super Mario Galaxy was released on October 23, 2011 and a blue Wii Family Edition was released to coincide with Black Friday and the release of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on November 18, 2011. In late 2012, Nintendo released a version of the North America black edition, including Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort games on a single disc instead of the New Super Mario Bros. Wii game and the Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack.
The Wii Mini (stylized as Wii mini) is a smaller, redesigned Wii with a top-loading disc drive. It was announced on November 27, 2012 and released on December 7, 2012 in Canada with a MSRP of C$99.99. The system was later released in Europe on March 22, 2013, and in the United States on November 17, 2013. It was not released in Japan, Australia or New Zealand. This console lacks YPBPR (component video/D-Terminal), S-Video, RGB SCART output, GameCube compatibility, online connectivity, the SD card slot and Wi-Fi support, and has only one USB port unlike the previous models' two. The initial release omitted a pack-in game, but Mario Kart Wii was included at no extra charge beginning on September 18, 2013 in Canada, and from launch in the United States. Nintendo uses this console and the Nintendo Selects game series to promote low-cost gaming. The Wii Mini is styled in matte black with a red border, and includes a red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. A composite video/audio cable, wired sensor bar and power adapter are also included.
Nintendo announced the successor to the Wii, Wii U, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011. The Wii U features a controller with an embedded touch screen and output 1080p high-definition graphics; it is fully backward-compatible with Wii games and peripherals for the Wii. The Wii remote, Nunchuk controller and balance board are compatible with Wii U games which include support for them. The Wii U was released on November 18, 2012 in North America, November 30, 2012 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, December 8, 2012 in Japan and November 26, 2013 in Brazil. The Wii U was discontinued worldwide on January 31, 2017.
No, the intention was to integrate the two from the very start. This is why when we use the term Wii MotionPlus, we are referring to the accessory with the Wii MotionPlus Jacket attached.
Iwata: I've been looking back at my calendar right before this interview, and I noticed that it's been just about three years since we started having meetings about this.
Iwata: The other things is, shortly after the Wii console was released, people in the gaming media and game enthusiasts started recognizing the Wii as a casual machine aimed toward families, and placed game consoles by Microsoft and Sony in a very similar light with each other, saying these are machines aimed towards those who passionately play games. [...] It was a categorization between games that were aimed towards core, and casual.
Iwata: On the other hand, I certainly do not think that Wii was able to cater to every gamer's needs, so that's also something I wanted to resolve. [...] The keyword for our presentation at this year's E3 is "Deeper and Wider". With Wii U, I would like to offer this proposal with that concept.
Miyamoto: But one of the key reasons that such things as the core and the casuals exist today is that we decided not to adopt HD on the Wii console. Of course, besides that there are things like issues with the controller and the challenges that it brings, network functionalities and many other things, but I think HD was the biggest factor that everyone was able to clearly understand the difference.
The Wii Mini console will not work with any AV cable other than the model supplied.
In the history of video games, the eighth generation of consoles is the current generation. It includes those released since 2012 by Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. For home consoles, the eighth generation began on November 18, 2012, with the release of the Wii U, and continued with the release of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) on November 15, 2013, and the Xbox One (XBO) on November 22, 2013. The Wii U was the first to be discontinued (on January 31, 2017), to make way for Nintendo's second competitor, the Switch, on March 3, 2017, which is still considered to be part of the eighth generation. These video game consoles follow their seventh generation predecessors from the same three companies: Nintendo's Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360.
For handheld game consoles, the eighth generation began in February 2011 with the Japanese release of the Nintendo 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS. Nintendo has released additional variants in the 3DS family, such as the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL. The successor to last generation's PlayStation Portable (PSP), the PlayStation Vita, was released in Japan in December 2011, and then to Western markets in February 2012. The non-handheld variant of the PlayStation Vita, the PlayStation TV, was released in Japan in November 2013, North America in October 2014, and Europe and Australia in November 2014.In 2016, refreshed versions of the PS4 and XBO—the PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft's "Project Scorpio"—were announced. The PS4 Pro launched in November and the latter became the Xbox One X when it was released the following year. Both of these consoles were aimed at providing upgraded hardware supporting 4K resolution rendering. In contrast, Nintendo began to phase out its Wii U console in favor of a completely new hardware platform, released in March 2017—the Nintendo Switch—which carries an innovative tablet-like form factor with detachable wireless controllers, and can be placed in a docking station for audiovisual use with a television. The Switch was highly successful in its first year of sales, especially in comparison to its predecessor, the Wii U. In its first year, the Switch sold 3.2 million units in Japan (breaking the yearly record set by the PlayStation 2), and it had already completely outsold the Wii U by January 2018. Based on 4.8 million units sold in the United States by the end of 2017 (1.5 million in December 2017 alone), Nintendo officially declared that the Switch had outpaced the seventh-generation Wii as the fastest-selling home video game console of all time in the United States, even though it does not support 4K like its upgraded competitors.Famitsu
Famitsu, formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. From October 28, 2011 Enterbrain began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.List of Bandai Namco video game franchises
Bandai Namco Holdings is a Japanese holdings company that specializes in video games, anime, toys, arcades and amusement parks, and is currently based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The company was formed following the merger of Bandai and Namco on September 29, 2005, with both companies' assets being merged into a single corporate entity. The video game branch of the company is Bandai Namco Entertainment, formerly called Namco Bandai Games, and continues to develop games for home consoles, arcades and mobile phones internationally. The company is best known for their video game franchises, with Pac-Man becoming their highest-grossing franchise with over US$12.8 billion as of 2016, as well as becoming the company's official mascot and flagship character, while Tekken is their best selling franchise, selling over 40 million copies across multiple platforms. As of 2017, the company is the third-largest video game company in Japan, the seventh-largest in the world, and the largest toy company by revenue.Bandai Namco owns former developer Banpresto, who operates as a toy company in Japan and was purchased in 2008, and acquired a 95% stake in D3 Publisher in 2009. Additionally, the company owns the video game rights to several anime licenses, including Dragon Ball, One Piece and Sailor Moon; in this instance, the first entry for these franchises will list the first game developed or published by Bandai Namco or a subsidiary company even if the series did not begin at that time period. Bandai Namco also owns the rights to the Baten Kaitos, Project X Zone and Xenosaga franchises, after developer Monolith Soft was sold to Nintendo in 2007. The company retains the rights to defunct developers BEC, who merged with Banpresto in 2011, and Sunrise Interactive, who closed in 2008.Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Wii is a racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It is the sixth installment in the Mario Kart series, and was released worldwide on April 27, 2008.
Like its previous installments of games, Mario Kart Wii incorporates playable characters from the Mario series, who participate in kart races on various race tracks using specialized items to hinder opponents or gain advantages. It sold 37.14 million copies, making it the 10th best selling game of all time, the best selling game of the Mario Kart series, and the 2nd best selling game on the Wii. The game features multiple single-player and multiplayer game modes including a four-person split screen. Online multiplayer via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was available at launch, but was discontinued in May 2014, along with other Wii and Nintendo DS games that supported online play.Mario Kart Wii uses the Wii Remote's motion sensing to provide intuitive and conventional steering controls; each copy of the game is bundled with the Wii Wheel accessory to augment this feature.Nintendo
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.
Founded on 23 September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels. Abandoning previous ventures in favor of toys in the 1960s, Nintendo developed into a video game company in the 1970s, ultimately becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan's third most-valuable company with a market value of over $85 billion in 2007.Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a video game console developed by Nintendo and was released on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console that can be used in both stationary and portable settings. In the home console mode, the main unit is inserted onto a docking station to connect to a television screen or monitor. Alternatively, for portable use, it can be removed from the dock and operated similarly to a tablet computer through its LCD touchscreen. It can also be placed in a standalone tabletop mode visible to several players. Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, which include standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input, motion sensing, and high-definition tactile feedback, can attach to both sides of the console to support handheld-style play. They can also connect to a Grip accessory to provide a traditional home console gamepad form, or be used individually in the hand like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, supporting local multiplayer modes. The Nintendo Switch's software supports online gaming through standard Internet connectivity, as well as local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other Switch consoles. Nintendo Switch games and software are available on both physical flash-based ROM cartridges and digital distribution via Nintendo eShop; the system does not use region locking. As an eighth-generation console, the Nintendo Switch competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.
Known in development by its codename NX, the concept of the Switch came about as Nintendo's reaction to several quarters of financial losses into 2014, attributed to poor sales of its previous console, the Wii U, and market competition from mobile gaming. Nintendo's then-president Satoru Iwata pushed the company towards mobile gaming and novel hardware. The Nintendo Switch's design is aimed at a wide demographic of video game players through the multiple modes of use. Nintendo opted to use more standard electronic components, such as a chipset based on Nvidia's Tegra line, to make development for the console easier for programmers and more compatible with existing game engines. As the Wii U had struggled to gain external support, leaving it with a weak software library, Nintendo preemptively sought the support of many third-party developers and publishers to help build out the Switch's game library alongside Nintendo's own first-party titles, including many independent video game studios. While Nintendo initially anticipated around 100 titles for its first year, over 320 titles from first-party, third-party, and independent developers were released by the end of 2017.
The Nintendo Switch was unveiled in October 2016 and was released in most areas worldwide on March 3, 2017. The console shipped nearly three million in the first month of its launch, exceeding Nintendo's initial projection of two million, and within a year of release achieved over 14 million units sold worldwide, outselling total lifetime sales of the Wii U. By the start of 2018, the Switch became the fastest-selling home console in both Japan and the United States. As of December 2018, Nintendo Switch has sold more than 32 million units worldwide. Switch sales have been strongly tied to sales of Nintendo's first-party titles, with five games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Pokémon: Let's Go having sold over ten million units each.Nintendo eShop
The Nintendo eShop is a digital distribution service powered by the Nintendo Network for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch and by a dedicated online infrastructure for the Nintendo Switch. Launched in June 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was enabled by the release of a system update that added the functionality to the Nintendo 3DS's HOME Menu. It is the successor to both the Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop. Unlike on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was made available on the launch date of the Wii U, although a system update is required in order to access it. It is also a multitasking application, which means it is easily accessible even when a game is already running in the background through the system software, though this feature is exclusive to the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop features downloadable games, demos, applications, streaming videos, consumer rating feedback, and other information on upcoming game releases.Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. The sixth major installment in the Resident Evil series, it was originally released for the GameCube in 2005. Players control U.S. government special agent Leon S. Kennedy, who is sent on a mission to rescue the U.S. president's daughter Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a cult. In a rural part of Europe, Leon fights hordes of villagers infected by a mind-controlling parasite, and reunites with the spy Ada Wong.
Development began for PlayStation 2 as early as 1999. Resident Evil 4 underwent a long development during which four proposed versions were discarded; the first attempt was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami. The game was announced as a GameCube exclusive as part of the Capcom Five, but a PlayStation 2 version was announced before it was released. Resident Evil 4 was ported to Windows, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch and in downsized versions for iOS, Zeebo, and Android.
Resident Evil 4 garnered critical acclaim, with praise for its narrative, gameplay, voice acting, and characters. It received multiple Game of the Year awards for 2005 and was seen as a successful cross-platform hit that influenced the evolution of the survival horror and third-person shooter genres. It pioneered the "over the shoulder" third-person view perspective in video games. It is widely considered to be one of the best video games of all time. A sequel, Resident Evil 5, was released in 2009.Seventh generation of video game consoles
In the history of video games, the seventh generation of home consoles began in late 2005 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360, and continued with the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo's Wii the following year. Each new console introduced a new type of breakthrough in technology: the Xbox 360 could play games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions; the PlayStation 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player; while the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks. Some Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions through movement during gameplay (e.g., in the Wii sports tennis game, the user swings the controller to hit the on-screen image of a tennis ball). The seventh generation of handheld consoles began in November 2004 with the North American introduction of the Nintendo DS (NDS) as a "third pillar", alongside Nintendo's existing Game Boy Advance and GameCube consoles. Another handheld console, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), came out in December. By this generation, video game consoles had become an important part of the global IT infrastructure; it is estimated that video game consoles represented 25% of the world's general-purpose computational power in 2007.Joining Nintendo in the motion market, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation Move in September 2010. The PlayStation Move features motion-sensing gaming, similar to that of the Wii. Microsoft joined the motion-sensing scene in November 2010 with its Kinect (previously announced under the working title "Project Natal" in June 2009). Unlike the other two motion systems (for PlayStation 3 and Wii), Kinect does not use controllers of any sort, and instead makes the players act as the "controllers". Having sold eight million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". While the Xbox 360 offers wired as well as wireless controllers as a standalone product, all PlayStation 3 controllers can be used in wired and wireless configurations.
As for handheld systems, the Nintendo DS (NDS), launched on November 21, 2004, features a touch screen and built-in microphone, and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards. Additionally, the revised version of the NDS, the Nintendo DSi, features two built-in cameras, the ability to download games from the DSi store, and a web browser. The PlayStation Portable (PSP), released later that year on December 12, 2004, followed a different pattern. It became the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage media. Sony also gave the PSP robust multimedia capability; connectivity with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, other PSPs; as well as Internet connectivity. The NDS likewise had connectivity to the internet through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and Nintendo DS Browser, as well as wireless connectivity to other DS systems and Wii consoles. Despite high sales numbers for both consoles, PSP sales have consistently lagged behind those of the NDS; thus, the PSP can claim the distinction of being the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld gaming system.A crowdfunded console, the Ouya, received $8.5 million in preorders before launching in 2013. Post-launch sales were poor, and the device was a commercial failure. The business was wound down due to financial problems and sold to Razer Inc., which discontinued the Ouya in July 2015. Additionally, microconsoles like Nvidia Shield Console, Amazon Fire TV, MOJO, Razer Switchblade, GamePop, GameStick, Ouya, and even more powerful PC-based Steam Machine consoles have attempted to compete in the video game console market; however, even though some of these machines are theoretically powerful on paper, they are seldom classified as "seventh generation", "eighth generation", or any generation consoles.The seventh generation slowly began to wind down when Nintendo began cutting back on Wii production in the early 2010s by discontinuing the original Wii model in the Western world in 2011, then discontinuing the system altogether in Japan in October 2013. Nintendo ceased production of its Family Edition around the same time, leaving the Wii Mini as its only surviving variant as of 2014. Shortly afterwards, Sony announced they were discontinuing the production of the PSP worldwide that year, following an earlier announcement from Nintendo that it had discontinued its original line of NDS family devices to move onto the Nintendo 3DS line, while continuing to support the Nintendo DSi. Microsoft then announced, in 2016, that they would discontinue, but continue to support, the Xbox 360 at the end of April, making it the first seventh-generation console to cease production altogether. The following year, Sony announced that it would soon discontinue its PS3 line in Japan, and, within a matter of months, in the rest of the world. Around that time, 2017, the Wii Mini and the Nintendo DSi were also discontinued, marking the complete and final end to the Wii consoles and DS line. In late 2018, the last game for the Wii, Just Dance 2019, was released, effectively ending the seventh generation. The eighth generation had already began in early 2011, with the release of the Nintendo 3DS.Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. is a series of crossover fighting video games published by Nintendo, and primarily features characters from various franchises of theirs. The series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, who has directed every game in the series. The gameplay objective differs from that of traditional fighters in that the aim is to knock opponents off the stage instead of depleting life bars.
The original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, had a small budget and was originally a Japan-only release, but its domestic success led to a worldwide release. The series achieved even greater success with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was released in 2001 for the GameCube and became the bestselling game on that system. A third installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was released in 2008 for the Wii. Although HAL Laboratory had been the developer of the first two games, the third game was developed through the collaboration of several companies. The fourth installment, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, were released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, respectively. The 3DS installment was the first for a handheld platform. A fifth installment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, was released in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.
The series features many characters from Nintendo's most popular franchises, including Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, Kirby, Yoshi and Pokémon. The original Super Smash Bros. had only 12 playable characters, with the roster count rising for each successive game and later including third-party characters, with Ultimate containing every character playable in the previous games. Some characters are able to transform into different forms that have different styles of play and sets of moves. Every game in the series has been well received by critics, with much praise given to their multiplayer features, spawning a large competitive community that has been featured in several gaming tournaments.Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a crossover fighting video game developed by Sora Ltd., HAL Laboratory and Game Arts and published by Nintendo for the Wii. The third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, it was announced at a 2005 pre-E3 press conference by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Masahiro Sakurai, director of the previous two games in the series, assumed the role of director at Iwata's request. Game development began in October 2005 with a creative team that included members from several Nintendo and third-party development teams. After delays due to development problems, the game was released worldwide in 2008.
The number of playable characters in Brawl has grown from that in Super Smash Bros. Melee, although some characters from Melee were cut in Brawl. Brawl is the first game in the series to have playable third-party characters. Like that of its predecessors, the objective of Brawl is to knock opponents off the screen. It is a departure from traditional fighting games, notably in its simplified move commands and emphasis on ring outs over knockouts. It includes a more extensive single-player mode than its predecessors, known as the Subspace Emissary. This mode is a plot-driven, side-scrolling beat 'em up featuring computer-generated cut scenes. Brawl supports multiplayer battles with up to four combatants, and is the first game of its franchise to feature online battles via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game is unique in that it can be played with four different controllers, including the Wii Remote, Wii Remote with Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and Classic Controller, simultaneously.Super Smash Bros. Brawl received critically positive reviews, with praise centered on its entertainment value despite issues relating to its content loading times. Its musical score, composed through a collaboration of 38 renowned video game composers, was lauded for its representation of different generations in gaming history. Brawl received an aggregate review score of 93% on Metacritic and was named the "Fighting Game of the Year" by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. As of 2008, it is the eighth best-selling Wii game of all time, with over thirteen million copies sold worldwide. It was followed by Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2014.Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (also unofficially known collectively as Super Smash Bros. 4) are crossover fighting video games developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game consoles. The 3DS version was released in Japan in September 2014, and in North America, Europe, and Australia the following month. The Wii U version was released in North America, Europe, and Australia in November 2014, and in Japan the following month.
Like the rest of the Super Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are non-traditional fighting games where players use different attacks to weaken their opponents and knock them out of an arena. The games are crossover titles that feature characters, items, music, and stages from various Nintendo franchises, as well as from several third-party franchises. The games began development in 2012 and were officially announced at E3 2013. The gameplay was tuned to be between that of the faster, more competition-oriented Super Smash Bros. Melee and the slower, more casual-friendly Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
New features include having up to eight players fighting at a time on the Wii U version, support for Nintendo's line of Amiibo, using custom Miis as playable fighters, post-release downloadable content including additional fighters and stages, and customizable special moves. Some features from previous games in the series were removed, such as the story mode from Brawl. Critics applauded the fine-tuning of existing Super Smash Bros. gameplay elements, but criticized some issues with online play. Both versions sold well, with the 3DS version selling over nine million copies worldwide by December 2017, and the Wii U version selling over five million during the same period. It was followed by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch in 2018.Virtual Console
Virtual Console (バーチャルコンソール, Bācharu Konsōru), also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games (mostly unaltered) for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home gaming consoles and the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console.
The Virtual Console lineup consists of titles originally released on past home and handheld consoles. These titles are run in their original forms through software emulation (excluding GBA titles on 3DS), and can be purchased from the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo eShop for between 500 and 1200 Wii Points (Wii), US$2.99 and US$6.99 (3DS) and US$4.99 and US$9.99 (Wii U) depending on system, rarity, and/or demand. Virtual Console's library of past games currently consists of titles originating from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS, as well as Sega's Master System and Genesis/Mega Drive, NEC's TurboGrafx-16, and SNK's Neo Geo AES. The service for the Wii also included games for platforms that were known only in select regions, such as the Commodore 64 (Europe and North America) and MSX (Japan), as well as Virtual Console Arcade, which allowed players to download video arcade games. Virtual Console titles have been downloaded over ten million times. The sale of past games through the Virtual Console is one of Nintendo's reasons for opposing software piracy of old console games.Wii Remote
The Wii Remote, also known colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary controller for Nintendo's Wii console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its motion sensing capability, which allows the user to interact with and manipulate items on screen via gesture recognition and pointing, using accelerometer and optical sensor technology. It is expandable by adding attachments. The attachment bundled with the Wii console is the Nunchuk, which complements the Wii Remote by providing functions similar to those in gamepad controllers. Some other attachments include the Classic Controller, Wii Zapper, and the Wii Wheel, originally used for the Mario Kart Wii racing video game.
The controller was revealed at both E3 2005 and E3 2006 and the Tokyo Game Show on September 14, 2005, with the name "Wii Remote" announced April 27, 2006. It received much attention due to its unique features, not supported by other gaming controllers.
The Wii's successor console, the Wii U, supports the Wii Remote and its peripherals in games where use of the features of the Wii U GamePad is not mandated. The Wii Remote was eventually succeeded by the more advanced Joy-Con controllers of the Nintendo Switch.Wii Sports
Wii Sports is a 2006 sports video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game was released in North America along with the Wii on November 19, 2006, and was released in Japan, Australia, and Europe the following month. It was included as a pack-in game with the console in all territories except Japan and South Korea, making it the first sports game included with the launch of a Nintendo system since Mario's Tennis for the Virtual Boy in 1995. Wii Sports is available on its own as part of the Nintendo Selects collection of games.
The game is a collection of five sports simulations, designed to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote. The five sports included are tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. Players use the Wii Remote to mimic actions performed in real-life sports, such as swinging a tennis racket. The rules for each game are simplified to make them more accessible to new players. The game also features training and fitness modes that monitor players' progress in the sports.Wii Sports was well received by critics and received a number of awards. Selling over 82 million copies by the end of 2017, it is the bestselling single-platform game of all time, and fourth best overall. Wii Sports has been featured on television in Wii commercials, news reports, and other programming. The game has become a popular means for social gatherings and competitions among players of varying ages. A sequel, Wii Sports Resort, was released in 2009, while a high-definition remake, Wii Sports Club, was released in 2013 for the Wii U.Wii U
The Wii U ( WEE YOO) is a home video game console developed by Nintendo, and the successor to the Wii. The console was released in November 2012 and was the first eighth-generation video game console, as it competed with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.
The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics. The system's primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen, and combines directional buttons, analog sticks, and action buttons. The screen can be used either as a supplement to the main display (either providing an alternate, asymmetric gameplay experience, or a means of local multiplayer without resorting to a split screen), or in supported games, to play the game directly on the GamePad independently of the television. The Wii U is backward compatible with all Wii software and accessories – games can support any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Balance Board, or Nintendo's more traditionally designed Classic Controller or Wii U Pro Controller for input. Online functionality centers around the Nintendo Network platform and Miiverse, an integrated social networking service which allows users to share content in game-specific communities.
The Wii U was met with a generally positive reception, including praise for its GamePad controller, improvements to online functionality over the Wii, backwards compatibility with existing Wii software and controllers, affordability in comparison to other eighth-generation consoles, and non-reliance on a subscription for online functionality. However, the Wii U received criticism in several areas, including the GamePad's battery life and issues with the console's user interface and functionality, along with a weak lineup of launch titles and a lack of clear vision. The Wii U was met with slow consumer adoption, with low sales primarily credited to a weak lineup of launch titles, limited third-party support, and poor marketing. Wii U production officially ended in January 2017. On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released a new console, the Nintendo Switch, although the Wii U was noted for pioneering several concepts that were refined in the Switch.