The Wii is a dedicated machine – ‘games console’ – for playing video games that connects to your television . Made by Nintendo and released in 2006, it’s currently the bestselling console on the market. By September 30, 2011, over 89 million Wii consoles had been sold worldwide. It’s often credited with having made video games more popular with a broader audience, especially women and older people.

Wii’s key benefits and features

  • The Wii was the first console to include motion sensors as standard, meaning that the console can detect how you move the controller around. Some games require an additional controller on a short cable (a ‘Wii Nunchuck’) to provide more precise control.
  • To capitalise on that motion-sensing capability, Nintendo included a Wii Sports game with every machine sold. This game includes versions of tennis, golf, bowling, baseball and boxing, and you swing the controller to represent movement. In 2009, Nintendo released the sequel: Wii Sports Resort, a collection of 12 more sports games that came with ‘Wii MotionPlus’, a box that plugs into the Wii controller to allow even more precise motion sensing.
  • In 2008, Nintendo released Wii Fit, now a very popular fitness/workout game, which came with a ‘balance board’, a low platform that can measure a player’s weight and position.
  • Many other games are available for the Wii. Nintendo has utilised its back catalogue to continue many of its famous franchises on its most recent console, including new instalments in the famous Mario series.
  • The Wii can connect to the internet through wifi to enable players to play games online, download games and connect to other services. It’s possible to browse the web through the Wii, but the online capabilities are limited compared with other consoles.
  • Unlike other consoles, the Wii cannot display a picture in high-definition (HD) format. It’s also far less powerful than its rivals, so by and large games don’t look as impressive on the Wii than on other consoles.
  • In late 2011, Nintendo released a reconfigured model known as the “Wii Family Edition”. This update removed the Nintendo GameCube compatibility.
  • As of December 2011, the Wii costs around £100, and comes bundled with games such as Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports or Mario Kart, plus Wii Remote Plus.  In some cases, bundles include accessories like the Wii Wheel.