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The Nintendo Wii is a home video game console targeted at consumers prioritising playability over graphical quality. The Wii is designed with casual gamers in mind and Nintendo hope to widen the appeal of video gaming through its innovative control system and fun games.
The Wii allows the user to create a profile in their own likeness which will represent them in the gaming world, called Mii creation. This profile stores all the users’ data such as game saves and statistics, and is a fun and unique way to interact with the system. Friends can create their own Miis to compete against others and also to play online via the integrated WiFi wireless internet connection. This connection enables users to surf the internet, chat and share pictures, as well as view news stories, weather updates and also watch video content via the BBC iplayer. The Wii Connect 24 channel allows users to downloads updates even when the unit is on standby which takes care of the upkeep of the system with minimal effort. The Wii offers fantastic interaction with other Nintendo consoles, allowing wireless connectivity Nintendo DS and DS Lite too for multiplayer gaming, and is backwards compatible with Gamecube titles too, supporting up to 4 Gamecube controllers. The Virtual Console channel on the Wii internet allows users to download classic games from as long ago as the NES, which will appeal to fans who remember titles such as the original Mario Bros. Downloaded content is stored on the integrated 512MB memory, with an SD memory card slot allowing further memory expansion for saving game data and swapping photos, as well as transferring mp3 music files to play the user’s own choice of music in game.
The key selling point of the console is the Wii remote. Using motion sensors and an LED bar which tracks the movements of the remote, actions performed with the Wii Remote are replicated in the gaming environment, influencing the outcome of events depending on how well the movements are executed. The Wii uses Bluetooth connectivity to eliminate the need for cables and allow freedom of movement for the user. Each remote has a speaker and two operational buttons and a directional pad as well as a wrist strap so that no damage can be done by the remote being dropped or accidentally thrown. There are plenty of other Wii controls available such as a steering wheel and the Wii Fit Board for interactive exercise games.
The console itself is extremely compact and can sit flat or be stood upright depending on its location. The all white design of the console and the accessories and controls create a unique identity that people recognise instantly, and contribute to the Wii values as a non aggressive, family games console. At around £175 the Nintendo Wii promotes video gaming as a social activity for all age ranges through the emphasis on fun, competition and unique interaction. The Wii is truly a next generation console and has achieved this by going back basics and chasing a new audience who value playability and accessibility instead of pure graphics power and dour, humourless games.