Wii Will Rock You
The Wii arrived this morning and the household was filled with joy. Nina immediately jumped in the box that it came in.
Nintendo sent me a bunch of stuff, including an extra controller set, Zelda, and Excite Truck. Here's the package laid out on the unfinished wood floor of my apartment.
First, the facts. The Wii will be available November 19, 2006 at an MSRP of $249. I've heard a lot about people being forced to buy bundles and that's just the stores forcing you to buy extra crap. It comes with on Wii Remote controller, one Nunchuk controller, Wii Sports (some cool games that will get you into the "swing" of things), sensor bar, power cord and standard composite cable. If you want component or S-video you'll have to buy that separately.
The box itself is a sleek little thing with a shiny plastic finish. It's about 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and less than two inches thick. It weighs less than 3 lbs.
There's an external power supply that isn't too big. It can be installed either horizontally or vertically.
A self-loading media bay (it sucks the disc out of your hand) plays single or double layered 12 cm optical discs for Wii and 8 cm Nintendo GameCube discs. There's a bay for SD memory which is probably there so you can show photos on your TV or to expand the 512 MB of internal flash memory.
There are also four ports for Nintendo GameCube controllers and two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards.
It's a nice piece of hardware. It's got built in Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports and a PowerPC CPU made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed by Nintendo and IBM.
The key to the whole thing is the sensor bar, which can be placed above or below the TV screen. It's unobtrusive when installed, and then a long cord runs down to the Wii console.
The controller is pretty special. The Wii Remote looks like a TV remote control so there's nothing really special in its looks. Up to 4 Wii Remotes can be connected at once using Bluetooth. The wireless signal can be detected within 10 meters of the console. Both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk have motion sensors. The Wii Remote has a speaker in it, which is pretty cool because then you can hear when you hit the ball with it for example.
So now we get to the good part. I played some Wii Sports and had a great time. It takes a little while to get the hang of how to swing the controller for the best effect. I suggest using your wrist and elbow more than your shoulder. It's really fun to swing at a tennis ball or a baseball. The buttons are usually modifiers, like a curveball or a screwball, and the throwing motion with the controller throws the ball. It forces you to be just a little active. I wonder if this may be a turnoff to hardcore gamers who literally want to sit there and just push buttons. I don't know though, I'm a hardcore gamer and I got a real kick out of swinging the controller. I can't wait to play Zelda and Excite Truck.
I nicknamed my Wii The Lil Boy. Here you can see why.
I'm sure I'll be writing more about Lil Boy in the coming days and weeks as more games come rolling in. So far this is tremendous fun. I think that this could revolutionize gaming. While others focus on better graphics and audio, Nintendo focuses on the core aspect of gaming, doing something fun. Wii is fun and it gets you to move a little bit so it'll keep you from melting into the couch. I think that this is the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.