The Wii is always considered a lesser console among enthusiasts. The raw power and choice of games on the Xbox and PlayStation isn’t nearly equaled by the Wii but the console has still made a significant mark on the public. Games like Wii Sports and full console versions of Nintendo’s signature titles like Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda were critical and commercial successes. Plus, the console sold 101.18 million units to date. Today marks the tenth year anniversary of its first shipment (November 19, 2006).
It’s ridiculed by many for Wii Sports and it’s silly remote but its emphasis on motion gaming gave birth to the Xbox Kinect and the PlayStation Move, both of which didn’t exist before Nintendo’s brave move to put tennis and bowling and golf in to its console. And you can’t argue with the numbers, Wii Sports sold 82.53 million copies worldwide, while its successor, Wii Sports Resort, sold 32.76 million. I don’t think those numbers are quite as high for Uncharted 4 or Gears of War.
The reason for this is clear, it was something for the whole family. While before, children of all ages and teenagers only comprehended and were interested in getting power ups and leveling up, now people of all ages were interested in sitting on the couch playing golf with their wives, sons, daughters and grand kids. It replaced playing monopoly and Risk and really brought the family together.
The Wii Remote, the standout feature of the console, differentiated it from the PlayStation and the Xbox. It was the motion controller cum joystick that let you swing a tennis racket and Zelda’s sword. Super Mario Galaxy as well as its sequel also stand out as some of the best 3D platformers ever. I recall a friend of mine simply smiling when I asked him about his experience playing the games, and he’s the sort to stay away from console gaming completely.
The sequel to the Wii, the Wii U, didn’t quite impress as much as its predecessor and that contributed to the decline of the company. Now though, Nintendo is back with its latest mobile gaming hit, Pokemon Go (yes, yes I know, it’s technically not a Nintendo game) and coming out with Super Mario Run for iOS on December 15th. But what of the console gaming experience? Well, Nintendo is working on something called the Switch. It’s supposed to be a console portable hybrid with removable and though some renders have hit the market, it’s till four months away from release.