News Article

Wii Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary in Europe

Posted by James Newton

Hasn't it grown?

Five years ago today, the motion control phenomenon started in Europe.

The humble Nintendo Wii reached European stores on 8th December 2006, and set sales records in many territories: in the UK, over 105,000 Wii consoles were sold in the opening weekend, beating the previous record of 70,000 sales set by the Xbox 360.

That success was replicated all over the continent, with more than 325,000 units across Europe the first two days of sale, becoming the fastest-selling home console in European history. Heck, even The Queen plays Wii.

Since then the Wii has received some of the finest titles in Nintendo's history: Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and plenty more.

Earlier this year we talked about The Revolution of the Wii and The Best Games on Wii and GameCube in commemoration of the console's enormous contribution to the games industry.

Did you pick up your Wii console on 8th December 2006? Share your Wii stories in our comments below.

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User Comments (19)

Gavin_Rozee

#1

Gavin_Rozee said:

Yup. Midnight launch. One of my favourite ever consoles. Largest home console game library I've ever owned.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#2

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Happy b'day Wii. Best console ever for me and I've been playing en since the SNES era. Wii and DS era has been a real golden age which has re-ignited the games industry IMO. Also, I've played close to 80 games on the dang thing (don't own that many at once, u understand). Seriously, before the Wii's re-inventing the industry I was considering packing in gaming as a hobby. It became so soulles with the rise of the HD consoles.

ToneDeath

#4

ToneDeath said:

I managed to get my pre-order in on Amazon.co.uk in the minute or two they were available for. I was basically updating the page repeatedly around the time it was going to happen, and as soon as I could made the order as quick as I could (can't remember if I used '1 Click' or not). Went back to the product page straight after and it was already over!
Got it on the morning of the launch day, and though it should be embarrassing to say this I was actually trembling slightly with excitement as I opened the packaging. Getting a new Nintendo console usually puts a smile on my face, but this seemed like a bigger deal somehow...it was a revolution!
Played a bit of Wii Sports and a lot of Twilight Princess that day (a very good day indeed).

HipsterDashie

#5

HipsterDashie said:

My parents bought one for my brother for Christmas... or at least that was the plan. They missed out on the launch since everything sold out so fast. Then they casually walked into an HMV on the 23rd and bam- Wii was in stock. What were the odds?

I didn't pick up my own Wii until a year later in Nov 07. Even then, trying to find a Wii was a marathon struggle as they were still selling out. Luckily Zavvi got some in stock with Super Mario Galaxy, which I was planning to buy to play on my brother's Wii in the meantime. Score.

FonistofCruxis

#7

FonistofCruxis said:

I got it Christmas that year and it has become my favourite console with so many great games on it.

SimonB79

#9

SimonB79 said:

i love nintendo but the wii is the worst console ive ever had ... the motion controller was a gimmick that didn't add anything 2 my enjoyment of videogames (this is MY OPINION ... fanboys need not apply) ... long live the joypad :)

Ai64

#10

Ai64 said:

I remember receiving the wii on one of my birthdays. Good times.
Happy anniversary wii! :)

James

#11

James said:

I remember getting mine a few days before launch (the joy of games retail!) and being absolutely amazed: I'd gone from PS2 to Wii and while the graphics weren't much better, being able to use motion was mind-blowing. I can remember checking every few hours for the Weather and News Channels to go live and messing about sending photos and messages to email address and phone numbers.

I've honestly had some of the happiest times of my gaming career on Wii. I know it's got its knockers but I really think it's a superb machine with phenomenal games. I gladly rank the Wii in my top 5 home consoles ever. It's just a lovely machine.

Thanks, Nintendo!

Teh-Ray

#12

Teh-Ray said:

Missed out on the launch, and for a couple of weeks, went Wii-less. Months later, my parents randomly came home with a Wii, and that's the story of why me and my brother never finished Tales of Symphonia. :D

Nowadays, my Wii's on its last legs from all the games of Super Smash Brothers Brawl me and my family plays. Such a great system.

misswliu81

#13

misswliu81 said:

it's such a shame the wii has been slated and knocked about hundreds of times by PS3, x box owners, as well as news and games journalists.

if one can look past all the shovelware, the wii has lots of great gems lurking such as the zelda games, metroid prime 3, super mario galaxy 2, xenoblade, donkey kong country returns, smash bros brawl to name but many. and most of those are from nintendo.

my favourite thing about the wii has to be the virtual console- playing classic games from the N.E.S, SNES, sega megadrive, SNK neo geo to name was just a terrific idea.

it is still one of my fav consoles. happy b.day wii! :-)

JGMR

#15

JGMR said:

"Did you pick up your Wii console on 8th December 2006?"

Actually, a few days earlier than the 'official' streetdate. Bought the pre-ordered Twilight Princess along with it. Wii Sports came packaged in a DVD-case, unlike now...

apa-sl

#18

apa-sl said:

In my country the Wii was just... laying on the shops' shelves after the premiere. So what I have done was to go to the biggest shop in my city, buy all available Wiis, get them on ebay and help the fellows in UK that strugled with Wii shortages ;-) Of course one piece gone to my home and I had a blast with my friends playing tennis & box.

eviLaTtenDant

#19

eviLaTtenDant said:

Got one of the last preorders at my local all-purpose-store 'bout five months before launch. Other stores did open an hour later so on launch day i bought some games, points cards and a Classic Controller at Toys 'R' Us before i even had the console. The controls were just such an amazing prospect. As you might guess it was nearly a fight for the few Zelda copies they had. I had that one reserved at another store the day before but i couldn't resist grabbing it there. Then came all the excitement while the pre-order-shop employee went to get the console for me and a really fun time creating Mii's and playing Wii Sports.
Fast forward five years and along with Metroid Prime 3, Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, ... and more Cubey 3D games you've got a lot of great 2D platformers and the best all-around platform yet (2D, 3D, old, small and casual games combined). :)

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