As of November 2006, the Wii has been on the market and selling out to no end.
It’s the newest innovation by Nintendo, and as we’ve all seen, it was instantly a hit.
And, it’s fairly obvious why that may be so.
First of all, the way the Wii controls is simply astounding and easy to use.
For navigating through the system menu, you have your Wii remote, also called the Wiimote (creative pun), which you simply point at the screen in order to move around your pointer and select what you want to do. Simple as that.
And that means that it’s pretty easy to submerge yourself in the enjoyment of throwing your cursor around seamlessly for a good five minutes before you actually do anything with the system.
Navigating the Wii is done by selecting the different Channels available. First, there’s the basic necessity of the system: the Disc Channel.
Judging by the name, it’s easy to determine that this is where you go to use your software.
You can play Wii games off of here, and even GameCube games, of which you can play via the controller and Memory Card ports at the top/side (Depends on whether you use the stand or let it stand on the rubber stubs).
So, even this basic Channel is worth a couple of sentences, not counting this one.
Then you have the Mii Channel. No matter who you are, this Channel is a lot of fun to play with. Surprisingly enough, given the list of distinct facial features, you can make a Mii of just about anyone, either famous or fictitious.
But, your main priority is probably making yourself in this little program. It seems like it’s just there for kicks, but after seeing that games like Wii Sports can have a heavy influence by the Miis, there could be more cool things on the way that make use of this cool channel. But, for now, you can have fun making Miis of people like Michael Jackson.
After that comes the Photo Channel, where you can upload photos off of your SD Card and make some minor modifications to them, like blur them and such.
It’s not particularly one of the better channels, but it’s not bad either. It’s a handy tool for slideshows and perhaps a couple of other things.
Here comes the Shop Channel, probably the most preferred channel by Wii owners. With your Internet connection, you can access an online store in which you can purchase new Wii Channels and, the cool part, older Nintendo games selected to be downloadable for what’s called the Virtual Console, where you can play these games, or at least the ones you download, for the price of some Wii Points (You can buy them in a sort of “credit card” form at an electronics store, or you can pay for the games straight off of an actual credit card). These games can be from the NES, SNES, N64, SEGA Genesis, and the TurboGrafx16. A lot of these games aren’t some of the good ones from their respective generations, but on the other hand, some of them are the very finest from their generations, so if you ever get a hold of some Wii Points, definitely give this channel a look.
Now come the Channels that use your Internet to function. First is the Forecast Channel, which is self-explanatory. You use this Channel to look at weather in your area and around the world in select populous areas. Using your Wii Remote to move the globe around, you can locate different cities and see the weather and the different forecasts for upcoming dates. So, for all of you avid news-watchers, this could definitely be one of your reasons for getting a Wii. It’s very accessible and the information is highly accurate and informative, let alone that it’s fun to spin around your globe like a maniac for a few minutes. You can only get this with a system update for your new Wii, which is only acquired through an Wi-Fi connection, so if you have access to said connection, definitely hook up your Wii. It’s free and it’s great.
In the same predicament as the Forecast Channel (as in having to get it via an update…but it’s free), the News Channel puts the Wi-Fi connection to great use. Through this Channel, you can get daily-updated news from all over the globe. Using the same global viewing function as the Forecast Channel, the News Channel allows you to browse different countries and regions for various news reports (provided by the Associated Press). Again, for news-watchers, this is a must, much more so than the Forecast Channel. Every hour of the day, you can come here and get the latest in world info, and trust me, you’ll always have something to read here.
As of now (March ’07), you have the potential of getting two other Wii Channels, available through the Shop Channel, but they’re completely free. They’re more promotional than desired additions for your Wii, but they are nice to have.
Of the two, the first is the Everybody Votes Channel. As you would expect (well, not really), this is where you can register your Mii and place your opinion on random polls suggested by people around the world. Guess who votes in them? Wii owners all over the world. Now, sometimes the polls are uninteresting, and it takes a while for the Channel to post new polls, but it is pretty satisfying to see the results of the polls and to see if you were right or not. The Channel even keeps track of your thoughts relative to the popular opinion. It’s a little pointless, but the more, the better.
The second of the two is the Internet Browser Trial Version. Now, note that it’s just a trial. It works well and all and works fine as a browser, especially for a trial version. The only fault in it I have seen is that it does not keep track of your browser history, but unless you have kids that you don’t want going to the wrong places on the internet, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a history record or not. Other than that, it can look nicer, is all I can say.
Those are pretty much the basic functions of the Wii. Getting into the software will take me ages, but some of the software that’s out right now make good use of the controls, namely Wii Sports, which uses both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk (at various times). If you’re one of the button-masher type gamers, it takes a bit to get used to the Wii and games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but once you do, playing becomes much more fluent and active than before. Also, some of the software, in having gone easy on the use of buttons, prevents determined gamers from having their buttons smashed in and having to buy replacements. Yeah, we’ve all been there. We’ve also been at the brink of having our heads explode at the ludicrous demand of button mashing in party games. Now, all it takes is your focus and your two hands to take care of the job. This is one of the things that the Wii does extremely well. The motion sensing technology is precise and quick, so you get the satisfactory result of your actions, like swinging your sword or tennis racket, or throwing the last booming punch of a swashbuckling boxing match.
So, all in all, the Wii ceases to disappoint anyone, except for maybe hermits and kids with parents more demanding than themselves, but the market doesn’t deal with those people; the market deals with us. And, this time, they’ve dealt a good hand with Nintendo’s Wii. It gives everything needed to finally put the player in the action and being the hero once and for all. And, at the core of it all, I think all Wii owners can agree that, well…Wii just want to have fun.