Why the Nintendo Wii never got the credit it deserved

Harry Kettle

Nintendo, in a lot of ways, can be attributed with bringing console gaming into the limelight many years ago. Whilst Sony and Microsoft have certainly come on leaps and bounds in recent years, it was Nintendo who originally led the way for this triage and they had one success in particular that stands out above the rest – the Wii.

First conceived in 2001 around the same time as the severely underrated GameCube, the Wii looked set to transform gaming as we knew it for the better: and it’s safe to say that goal was accomplished.

It was the first time in a long time that people were able to look at a console and see something that they could share not only with their pals but also with their family. The accessibility of the Wii far surpassed anything that the PlayStations or Xboxs had done up until that point, mainly because it wasn’t catered to just one demographic.

The gameplay reminded a lot of fans of the classic EyeToy game from back in the day, but this time it had been expanded upon to the point where everything felt interactive. The unique Nunchuks and remotes combined brilliantly to make the Wii feel completely different in every sense of the word, and the same couldn’t really be said of their competitors.

Plus, and this may be the most important point of them all, the Miiverse was a tremendous success. It allowed the player in question to import themselves into any given game, registering their triumphs as they went along. Sure it was a little bit cheesy to some, but they needed to find ways to appeal to all age groups and they did that wonderfully.

Even the set games that the Wii itself released were great, with Wii Sports being the third highest selling video game of all time with a monstrous 82 million sales. Why? Well, one reason is probably that it came with the initial console, but it’s also because it was just so simple.

Sometimes expanded universes and DLCs simply aren’t needed, because all people want is to have a good time without actually having to think too much. That, in essence, is what the Wii encapsulates and it was able to resurrect so many great franchises because of it.

Above all else, Mario Kart stands out as a prime example, with the wheel capabilities combined with the new gameplay making it one of Nintendo’s greatest successes in the genre yet. It may not be able to compete with original incarnations in the eyes of long time fans, but the fact of the matter is that it does what it says on the tin.

The thing that perhaps symbolises the diversity of the Wii best, though, is Wii Fit. This was a ‘game’ that let people around the world work out in their living rooms without it actually seeming like a workout. It was a catalyst for many success stories in terms of body transformations in every corner of the globe. Hell, it’s even been used for physiotherapy rehabilitation.

So as we wade through the gritty, hardcore consoles of the present day let’s remember the Nintendo Wii for what it was and always will be – a kind hearted alternative.

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