Nintendo has been a familiar name among the gaming nation since the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985. However, game system have come a long way over the years, which is apparent the moment you grab hold of a Nintendo Wii. The system may seem unassuming, but within the white plastic casing lies the technology that drives a unique gaming experience.

Understanding what the Nintendo Wii is, what it has to offer, and what makes it so unique can help you decide if it is a system worth purchasing. Although there are newer systems available from Nintendo, the Wii is an option that many find worthy of pursuing. Whether you are a longtime fan of Nintendo or new to their consoles, the Wii is worth checking out for a variety of reasons.

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Opening the Box

The system first entered the battlefield as a contender among consoles in late 2006. Console makers hailed the Wii as a revolutionary game change with groundbreaking technology. The system offered the ability to use motion controllers to give you something beyond the standard handheld, push button controller.

The Wii system also did more than simply encourage players to swing their arms about. In fact, many games encouraged players to get up off the couch and enjoy intuitive interactions. When purchasing a Wii, the package may seem a bit underwhelming at first. You receive the system, composite cables, an external power supply, and the SCART adapter, of course.

You also receive the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, which come pre-synchronized with the Wii. Keep in mind that although there are typically batteries included, you will want to purchase plenty of your own. The batteries in the remote tend to run down rather quickly. In fact, you may want to consider purchasing rechargeable batteries.

The package will also contain a Sensor Bar, which you will need to place either above or below your television. The Sensor Bar is what allows you to use your Wii Remote successfully. When you point the remote in the direction of the Sensor Bar, it detects the movements of the remote, thus sensing your movements, too.

Looking Under the Hood

The Wii has plenty going on under the hood, or within its casing. For instance, the system offers different video formats, including standard 480p, as well as 480i and 576i. Plug the system into your favorite audio system using the RCA stereo audio out port if you would like to hear your games on full blast.

The Nintendo Wii contains one CPU core, a GPU speed of 243 MHz, and a CPU speed of 729 MHz. All-in-all, it might not seem like much when compared to the seemingly more advanced PlayStation and Xbox systems. However, the Wii offered what most consoles did not back then in the sense that it was the most interactive system on the market.

Experiencing the Gameplay

While the interior and exterior design of the Nintendo Wii may not appear much like anything special, the gameplay is where most consumers change their mind. The Wii was the first system to offer a unique experience that you feel special. Many games required you to use a character called a Mii. A Mii is a cartoon character that is a representation of you.

You can customize your Mii to make it look as much like you as possible before playing interactive games using the Mii you created. With your newly created Mii, you could decide if you wanted to play games offline, or if you would rather connect and play online via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

To make sure you could experience the customized uniqueness of your gameplay, Nintendo enabled players to save their Mii characters to their Wii remote. In other words, you could go over to a friend’s house, bring your controller with you, and still have your Mii even while playing on somebody else’s console.

Checking Out the Games

All those specs and gameplay experiences tie in together when you select a specific game to play. The Wii is not shy about offering games that can altogether change the way you perceive video games. In fact, many Wii games differ greatly from the kind of games you would find on other popular consoles.

For instance, games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit both encouraged players to move around, lose weight, get fit, and have fun doing it. Wii Sports is a 1-4 player game that includes popular sports like tennis, baseball, golf, bowling, and boxing. Each game requires you to move nearly all of your body to interact. The more realistic your movements, the better you do  at the game.

With the tennis portion of the game, you must hold your remote and swing it like a racket. The Sensor Bar can detect whether your swing spins or slices. It can also determine if you use a forehand or backhand swing. Depending on how fast you swing, the Sensor Bar can also detect the power of your swing.

If you were to try to use the remote while sitting, you might find that your movements are awkward or the Sensor Bar does not pick them up as well. Therefore, the Wii was one of the first consoles that used games to get people off the couch. Too often people sat around with their controller in their hands not wanting to move. The Wii aimed to solve that.

Similar to Wii Sports, Wii Fit also encouraged a lot of moving around. Rather than focusing on sports, however, the game focused on specific moves that allow for you to burn fat and stay fit. Players have the option of purchasing a Wii Fit Board to go with the game, which makes the game much more intuitive.

Without the board, you must enter certain information manually so the system can determine your Body Mass Index (BMI) and Wii Fit Age. If you have the board, you can use it as a scale. The board determines your body weight and even your percentage of fat to calculate your BMI. Once registered in, you can use Wii Fit to lose weight thanks to over forty exercises and activities, including balancing challenges, yoga, strength training, and aerobics.

That is not to say that players must stand for every game they play on the Wii, although standing a moving around is always an option. There are plenty of games that allow you to sit and relax comfortably while playing your games from a chair. In fact, games like Mario Kart encourage you to sit and grab your controller like it is the steering wheel of a car. Mario Kart inspires plenty of fun and friendly competition among friends and family members.

General Overview

At first glance, the Nintendo Wii does not seem like much. Even plugging it in and turning it on seems that it doesn’t pack a punch. Picking up a game, putting it into the console, and playing it for the first time, however, is where most consumers find their interest. The Wii is a formidable contender among consoles and with good reason.

It offers gamers such as yourself the opportunity to enjoy an intuitively interactive gameplay experience that you can customize. Although the introduction of newer systems seems to have placed the Wii on the back burner, many hardcore fans still do not mind turning on their Wii and enjoying some of the experiences that they do not find anywhere else.

Before the Wii, Sony and Microsoft dominated had dominated the console wars. Fortunately, the Wii is exactly what Nintendo needed to shake things up. Rather than focus on top-notch graphics or eye-catching multimedia, Nintendo instead focused on the importance of innovative gameplay, which is noticeable the minute you power the system on and play a video game.

The small, modest system takes up little to no space, making it easy to place it near anywhere. Some consumers felt the modest appearance of the system made it appear cheap, but their mind was quickly put to rest when powering the unit on and playing it. The system also runs very silently, which was a nice change from the very audible PS3 and XBox.

Players also enjoyed the user-friendly interface, though you had to navigate through at least a couple safety screens each time you started a new game. The interface seems pretty self-explanatory and does not require any in-depth research to figure out what is going on. The motion controller allows you to scroll through different menus quickly and easily.

Surprisingly, the Wii supports backward compatibility for GameCube games, which allows gamers to dig up some classic games and play through them again. When you are not playing GameCube titles, you can enjoy one of the many Wii games available. The majority of Wii games focuses on family-friendly fun so that no one feels excluded.

In fact, it is the games that allowed the Wii to survive as long as it did. Since the graphics and specs of the system were really nothing special, the Wii had to focus more on the games and gameplay. The PS3 and XBox seemed to share many game titles, but the Wii offered unique titles not found on any other system, which gave it just the competitive edge it needed.

Overall, if you are interested in a gameplay experience that is unlike any other, the Wii is still a recommended console. You can find several used and refurbished Wii systems available online. Popular stores such as Gamestop still carry the Wii, which allows interested gamers the chance to purchase one and give it a try.

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