Wii Console

The Wii is a highly successful video games console launched by the Nintendo corporation. It's the fifth in a line of consoles developed by Nintendo, and globally competes against both Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360. It's possible the first games console to be marketed to a broad demographic. Unlike the usual pitch towards teenage and young adult men.

What distinguishes the console from it's competitors and predecessors is it's wireless controller. Imbedded with motion-sensors, it's sensitive enough to detect 3D movement. The first for a mainstream games console. Therefore, it's not surprising that Nintendo code named the machine the 'Revolution' to begin with. The official title of the console is simple the 'Wii', but it's often referred to as the ''Nintendo Wii'. Probably because all prior Nintendo games consoles were officially called the 'Nintendo N64' or 'Nintendo Gamecube'. But, nevertheless, it's still the first console released by Nintendo that's without the company name in it's official title.

Many people have asked, what does the name 'Wii' mean. Nintendo have offered quite a few explanations. But most commonly it's a combination of two reasons. Firstly the the two 'ii' represent two players, indicating this machine is designed for a gathering of friends, and is a 'social' games console. This is further supported by the TV advertising in the UK, which always has a family or a group of friends playing together. Secondly the word 'Wii' is pronounced the same as 'We', emphasizing the all encompassing nature of the console, which can be played by all ages in all cultures and countries.

The first Wii was sold on the American continent on November 19, 2006. Followed up by a UK launch date of December 8, 2006. Nintendo appear to have seriously underestimated the interest the console would generate in the UK. Pre-orders vastly exceeded supply, and parents via'd against one another to snap up a console. A large market in second hand Wii's began on Ebay, with the console selling for over 50% of it's original retail value. Only by 2008 had supply met the demand, making the Wii the highest selling console month by month globally (in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PS3).

Whilst the Wii does not come close to matching the raw processing power of either the Xbox 360 or PS3, it does have the advantage of being cheap to manufacture. Both Microsoft and Sony make a loss on every console they sell. On the other hand, Nintendo make a profit on every console they sell, with the largest profit margin being in Europe., and the lowest in Japan.

The Wii is the smallest home console that Nintendo have ever made. Shaped like a box, it can be placed either vertically or horizontally. It has an SD card slot, and two USB ports at the rear, alongside the usual power supply socket etc. The media drive can play either GameCube or Wii games, but cannot currently play DVD's (DVD-Video playback capabilities are planned). The Wii can also connect to the Internet, via WiiConnect24, for updates of games etc. Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, is a free service run by Nintendo, which allows for multiplayer gaming online.

Nintendo are very cagey about releasing details of the Wii's hardware specification. Though none of the data below is officially confirmed, it's been gained through the process of leaks. It indicates that the Wii is around twice as powerful as the GameCube, and built upon it's architecture.

  • Processor - PowerPC 'Broadway' processor, clocked at 729 MHz.
  • Graphics - ATI 'Hollywood' GPU, locked at 243 MHz.
  • Memory - 88 MB, split for both graphics and system resources.
  • Storage - 512 MB flash memory.
  • Video output - 480p, 480i or 576i at d 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen.
  • Audio output - Dolby Pro Logic II.
  • Power consumed - 18 watts full, 1.3 watts standby, 9.6 watts WiiConnect24.

The contents of a standard Wii console + Wii Sports box is as follows;

  • Wii console
  • Power supply
  • AV Cable
  • Console stand
  • Stand plate
  • Nunchuk
  • Remote
  • Remote wrist stand
  • Three adhesion tapes for sensor bar
  • Sensor bar
  • Sensor bar stand
  • 2AA batteries

 

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  News
  -Sales of the Wii hit a new low
  -Pricing of the Wii

  Resources
  -(Gaming sources - Xbox, PS3, DS)

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