How old do you feel now?
Ten years ago today, Nintendo made headlines overnight with the motion-control phenomenon known as Nintendo Wii. Operated by a motion-based remote, gamers and non-gamers alike were entranced by how the console mimicked the player’s gestures in everything from swinging tennis rackets to mastering swordplay. A hot sales product for years on end, the console gained notoriety for its rare presence in stores — as of 2016, it shipped over 100 million units.
Responsible for placing Nintendo back in the spotlight, the likes of Wii Sports, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Wii Fit, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and New Super Mario Bros. Wii enchanted dozens of millions of Wii owners across the globe for their whimsical gameplay and bringing families together. Players could create adorable, customizable avatars known as Miis, while fans young and old could relive retro gaming through the Virtual Console, Nintendo’s first downloadable service offering classic titles.
The console was not without its critics: for example, some felt the motion controls’ appeal wore out to the point of distraction. Not only did the console’s non-HD nature made it miss out on countless Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 titles, but the flood of third-party “shovelware”–often arising from developers looking to make a quick buck–diluted Wii’s software library to the extent where hidden gems as Little King’s Story and de Blob were glanced over. While there were some genuine software droughts, this gave birth to the mistaken belief Nintendo was abandoning their fans for the casual Wii Sports audience (remember the disastrous E3 2008 conference?).
Regardless of its faults, Wii remains an incredibly vital piece of video game history. While the motion-control fad may be long gone, its immense success could only be attributed to Nintendo’s little console with the silly name.
What is your favorite Wii memory? Were you one of its fans, or one of its dissenters? Let us know in the comments below!