News Article

Feature: Looking Back at Six Years of Wii

Posted by Gaz Plant

Time to say goodbye?

Despite strong first-party support, 2005 marked the beginning of the end for Nintendo’s GameCube, prompting the company to reveal its next system, the Revolution. The next year would see not only the unveiling of the revolutionary Wii Remote, but also the controversial unveiling of Wii; it was perceived by some as outrageous at the time, but has since become a household name. It wouldn’t be until E3 2006 that the concept of Wii finally took shape, and after a show that included a tuxedo wearing Shigeru Miyamoto conducting a Mii orchestra to the Zelda theme, the console finally began to make sense.

It’s now six years later and, in just under a month, Wii U will launch in the US. Despite incredible sales across the world – the highest of this generation — the past six years have arguably been difficult for Nintendo, with the concept of motion control and a perceived shift towards more family-orientated games alienating a percentage of the traditional fanbase. It would be easy then to assume that the last six years have been bad for Nintendo fans, but in reality, Wii has given us a tremendous amount of content on a system that has been technologically surpassed for half a decade.

So with that in mind, and before the humble little system is sidelined by its HD successor, we’re taking you back through the last generation; looking at some examples of where Wii went right, and where it went wrong.

While Wii wouldn’t hit stores until the end of the year, 2006 will be forever imprinted by Nintendo’s rectangular console. Thanks to a spectacular showing at E3, Nintendo built a healthy anticipation for Wii early in the year, which ultimately led to the system selling out worldwide at launch. But it wasn’t just the new system that defined 2006; alongside the console was a double header of the hugely anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the revolutionary Wii Sports, both of which made full use of Wii’s new motion capabilities.

Highlight – Wii Sports: Nothing said revolutionary on day one like Wii Sports. Packaged in with the system (outside of Japan), every Wii owner could experience the thrill of simulating sports in their own living rooms thanks its simple concept. Despite the limitations of the Wii Remote, Wii Sports proved to be an incredible success throughout the system’s lifespan, and continued to be a system seller well into its final years.

Lowlight – Red Steel: When we all saw the concept videos at E3 2006, one thing was clear – Wii would allow you to replicate motions exactly as you would in real life and play them out on screen. So when Red Steel was unveiled, it was natural to assume the same would apply. It turned out that the Wii Remote wasn’t quite that accurate, and Red Steel ultimately took a lot of criticism thanks to its lack of finesse.

The first twelve months are crucial for any system, and Nintendo clearly had a plan with Wii. Early releases for Super Paper Mario and Mario Strikers Charged kept up sales, but it wasn’t until E3 that things really picked up. The double-header of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Super Mario Galaxy pushed sales even higher into the Christmas period, while the debut of the Mario & Sonic series created an incredible amount of attention as the mascots teamed up for the first time. Third-parties continued their support into 2007 — alongside a regular Virtual Console service — so rarely a week went by when Wii owners didn’t have something new to consider buying. Carnival Games was also released this year, but like with Wii Play, we’ll just move swiftly on.

Highlight – Super Mario Galaxy: By 2007 it had been five years since Mario’s last outing, and it’s safe to say that fans wanted more. And they got it. Super Mario Galaxy received a rapturous welcome at E3, and when it was released in November it received a similar welcome in stores. With its innovative gravity-based gameplay and visual flair, Galaxy instantly became the best game on Wii, and as a testament to its brilliance it still holds that place for many today.

Lowlight – Lack of Connected Online: The release of Mario Strikers Charged saw the first appearance of Nintendo’s online service on Wii, and instantly there were problems. While the Wii had its own friend code for contacting fellow Wii owners, Strikers also shipped with its own unique friend code, creating additional codes to swap. The lack of an integrated online profile and various other features considered standard on other systems would continue to plague Wii throughout its lifecycle.

The first half of 2008 saw continued dominance from Nintendo, skilfully balancing the new casual gaming market with its existing fanbase. Wii Fit and the Balance Board’s release in the West was met with huge acclaim, selling out just as quickly as the console, while the releases of both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii proved instant hits. However, in what would be seen by many as the turning point for Wii, E3 2008 focused primarily on casual gaming. Featuring the often-criticised performance from Cammie Dunaway, Wii Speak, and of course the cringe-worthy Wii Music presentation, E3 could be painted as a PR disaster for Nintendo. To add insult to injury, the big release at Christmas was actually that same Wii Music, although the release of Animal Crossing: City Folk did alleviate the pain somewhat.

Highlight – Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Although the Smash Bros Dojo website ruined almost every secret in the game months before launch, the excitement around the release of a new Smash Bros. reached ridiculous proportions. Thanks to two generations of multiplayer mayhem, Brawl had a lot riding on it, and thankfully Sakurai and his team did not disappoint. Brawl was another fantastic fighter, and paved the way for Kid Icarus: Uprising on 3DS as a by-product. Although we could have done without the tripping...

Lowlight – E3 2008: What else needs to be said about E3 2008? Many may feel it was a mess from start to finish, with Nintendo’s show focused not on the big games coming soon for Wii, but rather on what families would be playing that Christmas. While no-one begrudged Nintendo’s casual market success, the setting for these games was wrong, and coupled with the terrible Wii Music presentation it left many fans alienated. A dark day for Nintendo fans everywhere.

After the dismal end to 2008, it was expected that Nintendo would kick things back into gear in 2009; this however, did not happen. 2009 instead continued the trend left by 2008, with casual family games continuing to be the primary releases. Third-parties also began to struggle, with exclusives such as Dead Space: Extraction and The Conduit failing to sell as well as hoped. Despite the lack of first-party content, the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy and a return for Punch-Out!! were well received, as was the big screen return of 2D Mario in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The announcement of Wii MotionPlus at E3 was also seen as a potential saviour from the waggle-heavy games, but was it just too late?

Highlight – New Super Mario Bros Wii: Despite having a multiplayer skew, Mario’s 2D return on home consoles was warmly received, filling the first-party Christmas slot perfectly. Building on the nostalgia factor of the DS game, NSMBWii was a critically-acclaimed experience from start to finish, and thanks to a superb multiplayer mode it became a party game of choice on Wii.

Lowlight – Wii Vitality Sensor: Was it a peripheral to combat Microsoft’s announcement of Kinect, or was it a tech demo announced too soon? We’ll probably never know, but Nintendo’s Vitality Sensor will almost certainly go down as one of Nintendo’s oddest moments. A peripheral that measured your heart rate to alter the on-screen experience, it’s difficult to even imagine what it would do, let alone how you would market it.

Two years of intermittent support would kill even the best console, but undeterred Nintendo continued with Wii into 2010, despite calls from a certain Michael Pachter – and probably others — to release a Wii HD. The first half of the year was all about Wii MotionPlus, with Red Steel 2 making good on the original’s promises and Wii Sports Resort proving to be the perfect Summer game, while Super Mario Galaxy 2, in the eyes of some, actually managed to improve upon the original. Christmas 2010 saw substantial improvements from all parties, with the release of Goldeneye 007, Sonic Colours, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and the controversial Metroid: Other M being particular highlights. There’s no denying it – 2010 was a fantastic year for Wii owners.

Highlight – Monster Hunter Tri: Alongside all these brilliant IPs came the reappearance of Monster Hunter on Western shores, and perhaps most importantly, as a Wii exclusive. Taking advantage of both Wii Speak and also making substantial use of Nintendo’s online infrastructure, Monster Hunter Tri proved a hit in both Europe and the US, boosting sales in the middle of 2010. It was enough of a success that the game will soon be coming to 3DS and Wii U in Ultimate form.

Lowlight – Other M Controversy: Nintendo’s decision to hand the beloved Metroid series over to Team Ninja was questioned by many, and despite the game being an enjoyable experience for some, its portrayal of Samus Aran as helpless and tormented by her past didn’t get a good reception. This led to weeks of discussion between fans arguing about whether Samus should have remained silent or not, a debate that will continue to rage for some time.

The sheer volume of brilliant games at the end of 2010 led to a renewed optimism going into 2011, an optimism which soon evaporated. Bombarded with ports and casual games once more, Nintendo fans began to look to the future along with Nintendo, as Wii U was unveiled at E3. Meanwhile on Wii, the conclusion of the Bit.Trip series on WiiWare was a rare highlight at the start of the year, while Xenoblade Chronicles bolstered August in Europe. With nothing else noteworthy, it was left to the Wii’s final hurrah to save the day in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, providing a quality experience for the holiday season.

Highlight – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: In what has become the norm for the Zelda series, Skyward Sword swooped in at the last moment of the Wii’s life to provide perhaps its biggest hit at the very last moment. Coinciding with the series’ 25th Anniversary, Skyward Sword proved exactly what Wii could and should have been throughout its lifespan, while also adding a huge amount to the Zelda mythos. A truly brilliant experience.

Lowlight – Abandoning Wii: 2011 was perhaps most noteworthy for the almost complete abandonment of Wii. Aside from Zelda, Nintendo’s efforts were limited to a 2D Kirby platformer and Wii Play Motion, while third-parties resorted to a handful of ports (although one of these was the superb Rayman Origins). The poorly received Conduit 2 and another Mario & Sonic Olympic game did little to help the scarcity of quality Wii releases.

With Wii U development in full swing, Nintendo’s commitment to Wii has almost vanished in 2012, with only a few select morsels to enjoy. The release of Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story in Europe filled a gaping release gap, while Project Rainfall continued to occupy American gamers. As a result of this lack of support, Wii sales finally ground to a halt, with the running total just shy of 100 million units at the end of August.

Highlight – Success of Project Rainfall: Backed with a sense of injustice, American gamers took to the internet to find out just why Nintendo was refusing to release Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower in the US, only to discover Nintendo didn’t think there was enough interest. The movement showed otherwise with a persistent campaign, and though its direct influence is debatable, Xenoblade Chronicles got its stateside release – with support from Monolith Soft — followed by The Last Story.

Lowlight – No support going forward: While all systems must die to herald in the new generation, the sudden and rapid decline of Wii support continues to be shocking. 2012 offered no real classics from either first or third-parties, and aside from Skyward Sword it is arguable that substantial Wii support stopped in 2011. As any gamer will tell you, a year is a long time to not see anything new.


Looking back over the past six years it’s easy to simply pick out all the bad moments and call the Wii a failed experiment by Nintendo. But look harder and you will see a brilliant system, with enormous sales and a number of games that perhaps just weren’t for you. Rather than hammering Wii and its casual slant, we should be celebrating the experiences and thrills it has given us for six years. Yes, it was underpowered compared to its HD cousins, but Wii was the console that gave us Super Mario Galaxy, Skyward Sword, Metroid Prime 3 and all of the other brilliant titles that we’ve been unable to mention, which will stand the test of time.

One thing is clear though – the past six years have been a rollercoaster ride. We’ve had some highs, we’ve had some lows, and we’ve had a presentation where Miyamoto pretended to be playing a trumpet; but in the end, we had fun. And that’s the most important thing of all.

Let us know what you think of these Wii years, and keep an eye out for our top Wii games poll and Wii memories this week.

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User Comments (107)

daznsaz

#2

daznsaz said:

had a lot of fun,played a lot of wii games.but ready for some hd fun now.

CapnPancakes

#3

CapnPancakes said:

Great article Gaz, took me back to some of the great times i've had with my Wii. 2010 was without a doubt one of the most exciting years to be a Nintendo gamer with titles like DKCR and Kirby's Epic Yarn plus the 3DS hype and all. But tripping in Brawl is seriously not that big a deal guys.

gefflt

#4

gefflt said:

Great article! However, after reading it, I am left feeling like the Wii was more of a failure than a success...

Nevertheless, the Wii did bring us lots of great games, such as Mario Strickers Charged, Super Paper Mario, Donkey Kong Country Returns, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (and Skyward Sword), Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Xenoblade Chronicles, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Mario Kart Wii (just to name a few).

What could have saved the Wii in 2012?
... PIKMIN 3!

SCAR392

#5

SCAR392 said:

What about No More Heroes, Resident Evil 4 Wii, Pokemon Battle Revolution, and Kirby's Return to Dreamland? My brother loved those games, and he played the s*** out of them too. I played GCN games fro the first time thanks to the Wii. I guess people forgot that it played GCN games already? haha. I had ALL the good GCN games because how cheap they got at Gamestop, w/ Wavebird controllers and still playing SSBB w/ the Wavebirds too. Everyone I knew liked XBox or PS better, but whenever I showed them the new Smash Bros., Mario, or Zelda, they didn't even give a crap about any of their other games.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#7

Philip_J_Reed said:

My overall Wii highlight? The Virtual Console. It sold the system to me, and kept me going between major releases. It was the best thing about the Wii, which was unquestionably pretty great already.

Tasuki

#8

Tasuki said:

Awesome read. I have to say the Wii did one thing for me brought me back to Nintendo. Not since the SNES days was a into a Nintendo system like I was the Wii. Heck owning the Wii reminded me of why I enjoyed a Nintendo system during the 8 bit and 16 bit era and how much a fool I was for abandoning Nintendo during the N64 and GC era. For that reason there the Wii was a success in my eyes and I am looking forward to the future with the Wii U.

Suportedcofe

#9

Suportedcofe said:

The wii gave me such enjoyment with galaxy 1 and 2, the metroid trilogy and 4 friends screaming in a room while playing mario kart wii and brawl I mean nothing can beat that.

Kifa

#10

Kifa said:

Wii was my first stationary console ever, not counting Pegasus - a NES clone, popular in the early 90's in the Eastern Europe. I don't even remember why exactly I chose Nintendo back then - it just feels natural now. And I'm still not through all games worth playing on Wii, and will not be for a long time. My Gamecube collection is also lacking, and I'm sure to be expanding on both for a while longer.

My Wii highlight? Well, thatnks to this system I got to know the Metroid Prime trilogy and became the series' fan I am now. As for lowlight? Well, maybe the poor availability in my country, but that's not exactly the system's fault, is it? ;)

I will probably not get WiiU on day 0, but that's OK. Wii might be retired, but it's spending it's retirement days actively at my place, and until optical drive malfunction or flash wear take it away from me, I'll care for it duely, because that is the system that brought back the child-gamer in me.

@TheChosen - That was spot-on!

Xiao_Pai

#14

Xiao_Pai said:

ensures that you mention Monster Hunter Tri in article Good...now then. goes back to Pokemon Black 2 xD

Whopper744

#15

Whopper744 said:

Great article!
I agree with most of the highlights too, except, I would have DKCR for 2010, and I really dont' know for 2012.

ogo79

#18

ogo79 said:

virtual console is the only reason i own a wii, i liked the idea of having some of my old games on it saving me some cart space, i dont even have any wii cd games

FJOJR

#19

FJOJR said:

After the GameCube ended I began to delve into its library through my Wii as some games' prices dropped and also before some rarer games' prices rose. The Wii's back catalog dating back to the NES was the best feature of the Wii imo. I plan to do the same for the Wii once I get a Wii U.

Splat

#20

Splat said:

Monster Hunter Tri will always be what first comes to mind when people talk about the Wii. It was the most fun I have ever had playing a game online.

Hokori

#21

Hokori said:

Had fun, now it's time to see what the hype about HD is... I'll give my real opinion on it after playing the WiiU for a couple months (rather then a few hours every so often with PS360 things)

Shiryu

#22

Shiryu said:

I spend 6 very, very happy years indeed. And managed to to here with no other home console of this generation! Even with the Wii U up, I wont disassemble my Wii. Too much Game Cube goodness still to play.

Haywired

#24

Haywired said:

Great article, nicely avoiding the sort of fanboyish chest-thumping that these types of articles often become. You're spot on with the words "controversial" and "rollercoaster".

I suppose generally I was never particularly fond of the Wii. Firstly because I mostly found the motion controls to be gimmicky, clunky and annoying and secondly the way it was marketed with all the bland, aspirational "lifestyle" corniness completely alienated me. They went so hard after the casual audience that they seemed completely happy to just hand the core audience on a plate to Sony and Microsoft not really thinking about the long term.

There was a time mid-way through the console's life (ie. around E3 2008) that I had come to hate the Wii so much and would write about it in such an obnoxious and melodramatic way that I am now deeply embarassed about it. The game that slapped me out of it was New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which kind of reminded me why I'm a gamer and why I'm a Nintendo fan and it made me understand the Wii for the first time. The Wii's desire to strip overly complicated and pretentious modern video games back to their bare essentials is something I'm all for. The Wii's philosophy of simplicity and accessibility is something I totally agree with.

Nintenjoe64

#25

Nintenjoe64 said:

I agree that Skyward Sword is what should've been the norm for wii.

If you look hard enough, ignore most of the reviews and decide for yourself, there were a surprising number of half decent motion games though. Godfather was good and should've been enough to get a decent GTA game on wii but alas we're still waiting on a real GTA on nintendo :(

Chinatown wars does not count :)

RadioDog

#28

RadioDog said:

It was my most anticipated console ever, way back when it was released, especially because Zelda was included in the launch line-up. Along these last years, I got to play and love Super Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword, as well as discover many old classics that became instant favourites, like the Mega Man series, Ghost n' Goblins, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Paper Mario... Seriously, when I take a look at my Virtual Console library, I can't believe how many NES and SNES games I got there! And getting to replay games that I used to play when I was a kid, like Super Mario World, brought back so many memories.

Soon, Wii will become just that: memories, and really good ones at that! Thanks Nintendo :D

hydeks

#31

hydeks said:

the wii was ok, but I actually have better memories with 360 and PS3 this generation :P

LavaTwilight

#32

LavaTwilight said:

@Philip_J_Reed
Virtual Console sold it for me too! I wish it hadn't died out as much as it has in recent months but I've still got a huge library of retro classics thanks to the VC! I hope the Wii U will introduce GCVC titles! Mario Sunshine? Yes Please!

antipop621

#33

antipop621 said:

Played my Wii more than any other console of this generation. And with Xenoblade, The Last Story and La-Mulana it will still be used for a while to come.

Xilef

#34

Xilef said:

My first stationery Nintendo console. It was the system where is was introduced to all other Nintendo franchises (besides Pokemon, whihc i was already a fan of) amd i became a Nintendo fan. It was the system where i really started to get into the gaming culture. Alot has happend in the 4-5 years i have had it...

misswliu81

#35

misswliu81 said:

i think when many fans look back on the wii, many will say the wii had great first party games courtesy of nintendo themselves but that third-party support was sorely lacking. though it didn't help the console was underpowered compared to the PS3, Xbox 360. and yet, sales prove who won this generation in terms of hardware sales. it was the wii that did so.

i'm hoping, as well as looking forward to the wii U, as well as the nintendo games, third party support will be stronger this time round than the wii's.

Rapadash6

#36

Rapadash6 said:

There were definately issues with the console's technical limitations and Nintendo's often baffling methods for presenting it to thier fans, but in the end I may have gotten more enjoyment out of the system than any other in my history of playing games. While the hardware left plenty to be desired, Nintendo as a software developer has never been better than they were these last six years as far as I'm concerned.

Hokori

#37

Hokori said:

The wii sorta got me into more Nintendo games, I remember playing SSB on N64 and Melee and knew a little about the franchises, but not that much, when I saw SSBB in 2006 that's when I was like "TIME TO STUDY NINTENDOLOGY!!!!" and that's how I bought games in each series to prep up for SSBB

Yellowgerbil

#38

Yellowgerbil said:

The Wii will always be in my heart for all those heart warming moments with my friends. While the third party support was low, there were some great exclusives for it...(looks at monster hunter tri on mantel piece) and I will always be thankful it dedicated my interests to Nintendo. I remember playing SSBB at my cousins and then begging to get it. I can honestly say the Wii was the best purchase I have ever made because I got into basically every Nintendo franchise with it (Metroid, Mario, Pikmin, The Legend of Zelda, Starfox, and the SSB series and many... many more). I will always have a place in my heart for that device...
Everyone say goodbye to the best friend gathering gaming machine ever made.
Wii will miss you...

KeeperBvK

#39

KeeperBvK said:

"but Nintendo’s Vitality Sensor will almost certainly go down as one of Nintendo’s oddest moments. A peripheral that measured your heart rate to alter the on-screen experience, it’s difficult to even imagine what it would do"

Pretty much the exact same peripheral had already been released on the N64, measuring your heart rate at your finger tip, altering the speed of falling blocks in Tetris 64.

ueI

#41

ueI said:

"The release of Mario Strikers Charged saw the first appearance of Nintendo’s online service on Wii." It's actually the second. Pokemon Battle Revolution was first.

zipmonStaff

#42

zipmon said:

Great write-up! But man, I will always have love for Wii Music. :)

UgliestSoup

#43

UgliestSoup said:

Man from playing Twilight Princess, to Mario Kart, to the Galaxy series, to Brawl, the Wii was truly a wild ride.

Wildfire

#44

Wildfire said:

There were some times in wich I had lost faith on Nintendo during the lifespan of the Wii, but then I would play some new games like New super Mario bros. wii or Metroid other M or Donkey Kong country returns and I was all Nintendo again.
Now that I think about it, the wii actually had lots of great games to offer, one of my favourites and one of the few 3rd party games being No More Heroes(as you can see by my avatar). And there was also Tatsunoko VS Capcom, Epic Mickey, Sin and Punishment 2, Silent Hill, Monster Hunter, Muramasa and some more!
Other great atribute of the Wii was definitely the Virtual Console! Being able to replay some of the gems from the golden age of gaming was a move of genious by Nintendo. Most of the time my PS3 is cast aside covered on dust while I keep playing super Castlevania IV on Wii's VC.
One last thought to wrap up things. The Wii was the videogame system that turned my girlfriend into a gamer. Starting with wiisports, passing through Just Dance and ending up playing Kirby to buying a 3ds for herself (she's a prof.Layton maniac :D )!
At the end it was one hell of a ride and most importantly, a truly worthwhile journey.

JavierYHL

#45

JavierYHL said:

i need pandora tower and project zero 2 for wii...come on nintendo support wii like sony did for ps2...

Randomname19

#46

Randomname19 said:

Wii isn't dead.There's still upcoming wii games(Wreck-it Ralph,Epic Mickey 2) and people still want to play it. Like my cousin,i'll give my Wii to him since I'm getting Wii U

Wonder_Ideal

#47

Wonder_Ideal said:

As the old saying goes, "All good things must come to an end." I have truly enjoyed my Wii, and it will always have a special place as my first home console. Thankfully, it's legacy will still live on through the Wii U.

WildMan

#48

WildMan said:

Nice article! While many have debunked the wii on many grounds, it still holds a special place in my heart.

Fudge

#50

Fudge said:

The Wii had a decent amount of stuff in 2011. Rune Factory, Conduit 2 (which wasn't poorly received) Moto Heroz, and some other games. Wii Sports Resort was 2009, Pokemon Battle Revolution was the first online game, and Monster Hunter Tri the highlight of 2010? You're kidding right? Not to mention Rhythm Heaven Fever, PokePark 2, Project Zero 2 Wii Edition, Mario Party 9. Some of those might not be great but it's first party support nonetheless.

OracleOfTruth

#51

OracleOfTruth said:

I've truly enjoyed my Wii. Many of my favorite games are on that system. I don't plan on selling it, though, as I want to play GC games on it (plus the memories).

Varia01

#52

Varia01 said:

Other M one of the MAJOR PROBLEMS?!? Other M was awesome with incredible gameplay and amazing graphics. But at least Metroid Prime 3 was well deserved. Metroid Prime 3 should have been the highlight of 2007, it proved the Wii's controls actually worked! And I agree with what The_Other_M just said. Though I will be selling Wii to get the Wii U. Keep bringing on Mari, Zelda, and the best, METROID Nintendo! "High fives"

triforcepower73

#53

triforcepower73 said:

Wii was definitely underrated. Yes the amount of good games on 360 and ps3 outweigh wii, but if you compare the quality of the truly great games on wii to those on ps3 and 360 then wii certainly wins. Sadly, all that people think of when they think "wii" is a console with no good games, which is not true at all.

Wheels2050

#55

Wheels2050 said:

I was quite late to the party, only getting a Wii mid-2009, and it took me a while to catch up with the games I wanted to buy. As a result, I wasn't really conscious of the ups and downs until, I guess, mid-2010 due to being preoccupied with the existing catalogue of games.

However, I don't think the last couple of years have been handled that well by Nintendo. There has been a ridiculous lack of games for a very long time, and it really feels like Nintendo didn't care about the Wii (their flagship console) beginning in 2011.

A couple of high-profile releases in the space of a year are not enough to keep interest and momentum going in a console. Even small, regularly released Nintendo-developed WiiWare games would have been something.

Not to mention (although it didn't directly affect me, being in a PAL region) the disaster surrounding Xenoblade and Last Story. Nintendo could have handled that much better, and although those games eventually got a NA release I think quite a bit of damage had been done by that stage.

Despite that negativity, I've had great fun with the Wii. I've still got a large collection of games to get to, so it'll keep me going for a while yet, but what I've played so far has been great.

I hope that, in retrospect, people will forget many of the negative experiences surrounding the Wii and will focus on the things it did right. While I'm somewhat bitter now about how Nintendo handled the last couple of years, I know that in 10 years time (if I'm not still finishing off my backlog) I won't look back and remember the sparse release schedule of 2011.

Instead, I'll remember the amazement I felt when coming across each new world in Super Mario Galaxy; the fun I had figuring out the puzzles in Zack and Wiki; smacking ghosts around with the Wii remote in Ghostbusters: The Video Game; trying not to cringe when the Wii Balance Board scolded me for a week-long absence from Wii Fit; the feeling of satisfaction when I finally unlocked that difficult achievement in SSBB, which netted me a new level to play on; waking up with an arm I can hardly move after a marathon session of Wii Sports Tennis with my mate.

Actually, you know what? The Wii was pretty good.

Balaclavab

#56

Balaclavab said:

I think Nintendo have the worst hardware, but the best games on Nintendo consoles are much better than the best games on other consoles.
Xenoblade Chronicles, SSBB, Monster Hunter Tri and No More Heroes compete for my favourite spot. Monster Hunter Tri's online multiplayer is better than most games online multiplayer modes.
And No More Heroes (while now out on PS3) was such an original, crazy game that could not have started life on any other console.
It may not give me the same gaming sense as I have when playing the Gamecube, but I love the Wii. And i ould argue that xbox and ps3 have just aan

WaveyChristmas

#57

WaveyChristmas said:

Meh, I'm more interested in playing my Wii at this point and catching up with some of these big titles i missed out on. It's hard to get excited for NSMB.U and Nintendo Land, when you already have unplayed amazing classics in your collection such as Skyward Sword, Galaxy 2, DKCR ect ect. :p

NorthLightSuplx

#59

NorthLightSuplx said:

I am ready for dual stick HD Nintendo. After trading in my Wii last week, I used the store credit to get a black wii motion plus and nunchuk so I can play Skyward Sword this holiday for the first time on the Wii U along with the new Wii U games I will be getting.

Rerun

#60

Rerun said:

Monster Hunter Tri was the main game for me for this generation. Before MH was released, I got by playing RE 4. It was so much better on the Wii than the GCN. I couldn't appreciate Zelda as much; the purist in me was bothered that Link was now right handed after being a southpaw for so long.

EvisceratorX

#61

EvisceratorX said:

2010 was easily the greatest year for this console. After that though, everything just died...

therealgamer

#62

therealgamer said:

The wii is not dead
Here some games coming out wwe 13,
retro city rampage
LEGO® The Lord of the Rings
TRANSFORMERS PRIME The Game
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

THENAMESNORM

#63

THENAMESNORM said:

I love the Wii, and there are some truly classic games for it. Sadly though, the time has come to say goodbye but I have no regrets from ownership of the console, and look forward to replaying my Wii titles on the Wii U!

TheKingOfTown

#65

TheKingOfTown said:

Very nice article. I definitely have some great memories of the Wii. I remember when we first got it in Christmas '06. I was mind-blown. :D

Emaan

#68

Emaan said:

This was a great read. Long live the Wii, taking hate and demanding sales since 2006. I have so many fond memories of the Wii. Wii Sports really got the rest of my family interested in video games. Super Mario Galaxy was a masterpiece, and one of my favorite games ever. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a wonderful way to end such a great journey. While the Wii wasn't perfect, it deserves great respect for its accomplishments in revolutionizing the way we play video games. Perhaps the early name "Revolution" wasn't so off after all.

WanderFan91

#69

WanderFan91 said:

No shout out for Kirby's Return to Dream Land in the 2011 segment? That game was magnificent!

ajcismo

#70

ajcismo said:

Got my Wii at launch and have more than gotten my moneys worth out of it. Hitting Wii Bowling (either Wii Sports version) with my buddies after several pints was a fun time back in the late 00s.

SPEtheridge

#72

SPEtheridge said:

It did have some great games, true you had to wait for them a lot of the time and it had probably not the best 3rd party support but i will defiantly look back on it fondly, plus i still need to get and play some games e.g Xenoblade n such.

redclow

#73

redclow said:

Monster Hunter Tri, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are definitely my Wii highlights! :D

NTELLIGENTMAN

#74

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

Nintendo has never EVER truly supported a non-handheld console after 5 years except for the NES. They will support it one year and that's it. MS didn't even support the Xbox after 4 years though. EA was the only publisher still making games for it, though only Madden.

TheRealThanos

#76

TheRealThanos said:

I had a great run with the Wii and am pleased that I decided to get it, even though I was already saving for an Xbox 360 (which I still bought a few months later).
However, I would never in a MILLION years even consider selling it for the Wii U.
I've kept all my consoles since the N64 but besides still having the original consoles I think it's cool that you can use the Wii to play GameCube games in better picture quality (I use component cables on a 42" Panasonic plasma HD) and as already confirmed the Wii U will only possibly have GameCube games as digital downloads, and I'm not about to pay twice for games that I still own.
I still have quite a few games to finish (Zelda SS & Xenoblade Chronicles to name a few) and there's also a number of games that I still need to get for the Wii (the other 'project Rainfall' games amongst others) so I will be very busy gaming on the Wii for a couple of more months before getting a Wii U when the second batch of that console will reach the stores, so I won't be getting one on launch day, but rather somewhere in March or so, which will probably also be an advantage as there will be more games and the first few launch games will probably be cheaper, so I will be able to buy the console with more games than when it will first come out.
And like I said, it gives me a few more months to enjoy the final games I will get for the Wii.
All in all it's been great with only a few major let downs as far as I am concerned.

Aviator

#79

Aviator said:

Good to know the highlight of 2012 was whinging fanboys.

Well done Nintendo.

MrZanctom

#81

MrZanctom said:

Good bye Wii. I had a tremendous amount of fun with you over the past 6 years. Lets hope these next years with the WiiU will be just as fun.

aaronsullivan

#82

aaronsullivan said:

So true about Skyward Sword showing what the Wii should have been offering over its lifespan. I really hope the Motion Plus stuff isn't abandoned in favor of traditional controls. Motion gaming still has tremendous potential, IMO.

Loved the Wii. Even with games like Wii Music which was ultimately disappointing it gave me a new experiences over and over.

Highlights for me:
Hitting a virtual tennis ball in the air for the first time.
Punching bag aerobics.
Slicing objects in Wii Sports Resort and knocking down the hoards.
Skateboarding on the Balance board and ski jumping
Ripping off shields of space pirates, aiming effortlessly, and welding circuits under pressure
Stealing keys with a whip, steering a mechanical beetle, sweating during grueling sword fights.
Hey, honey, bubble. Crazy multiplayer Mario.

WesCash

#83

WesCash said:

The Wii was an alright system. Not the best, by far. But anyone that says it isn't worth your time is full of BS. There are a ton of absolute gems in its catalogue.

Pichuka97

#84

Pichuka97 said:

I would love to see the Wii last as long as the PS2 but that probably wont happen. Long live the Wii!!!

kobe1724

#85

kobe1724 said:

Hands down, the best two games on Wii: Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Skyward Sword. There's a lot of other great games, but nothing can top those two.

Zombie_Barioth

#86

Zombie_Barioth said:

The Wii had a slow start but over all it was a great console. Between the VC, backwards-compatibility, and the console's own games you had games from almost every Nintendo console playable on one machine and more.

There was some wasted potential with motion plus doing what the Wii should have been doing, but hardly being used. The only reason I haven't been playing mine is I had to replace the sensor bar with a wireless one that eats through batteries. I'll still keep mine even if its just for GC and non-transferable games, and there are plenty of games for me to catch up on.

Zetchzie

#87

Zetchzie said:

Wii U is basically what the Wii should have been so the Wii inst dead its just that model is not supported anymore and this is a big upgrade so from the wiis low power its not possible to work with the new

Jeremyx7

#88

Jeremyx7 said:

From my personal experience I found every year with a wii a good year with numerous hidden gems along side the AAA Titles. Trauma Team/2nd opinion, Mercury Meltdown Revolution, Epic Mickey, Rayman Origins, Sin & Punishment 2, Wario Land Shake it, Little King Story, Lost in Shadows, Wario Smooth Moves, NBA Jam, and the list goes on.

Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn was another amazing AAA title that wasn't mention here... I also found Conduit 2 much better then the first and overall a excellent game. Mainly for it's creative unique weapons, fluid spot on customizable controls of course, and for it's competitive online modes. There are a number of more great wii titles that I haven't even touched for me to count... I'll still be playing allot of wii games for a very good while into the Wii U's life span.

For many the wii was and still is at the moment, the most innovative console of the past generation in terms of quality games over quantity sequels and unique immersion gaming experience. Wii kept the gaming industry very fresh.

Void

#89

Void said:

I had a ton of fun with the Wii, more so than the fun I had with the PS2 and GameCube that came before it.
And I see myself having even more fun with Wii U.

RedYoshi999

#91

RedYoshi999 said:

Ah, Wii. We had some great times. 2012 has been shocking for you though. I haven't played you in months. You're not even plugged into the wall anymore. :( The only 2012 releases I've bought are Boom Street and Mario Party 9 (both are great though!) I wish my Wii was online in the days when VC was awesome. I miss you VC! I'm not done with you yet!
There's been some great games too. SMG2 is my favourite of all time. :) NSMBW, Zelda: TP, SSBB, MKWii and SMG1 are all highly enjoyable too. I never finished Skyward Sword however, it didn't really captivate me as a Zelda game should. I played catch up for a few years as I didn't have a job so the droughts in certain years didn't bother me. I can't forget GCN games either, got a small collection going thanks to Wii!
I'm looking forward to Wii U now, and it's great to be able to use my Wii accessories I've collected over the years (white, black, red and gold remotes/nunchuks/classic controllers!!!) Can't wait to experience HD Nintendo games on my new HDTV I just got in preparation for Wii U. :)

Mahe

#92

Mahe said:

This article is lopsided. The Wii had tons of great games, and barely any mention is made of them, focusing on irrelevant minor details like an online mode in a Mario Strikers game that nobody cared about anyway. 2012 still saw a slew of Wii games, like The Last Story, Rhythm Heaven Fever/Paradise, Mario Party 9, Xenoblade in the US, Monster World IV, and La-Mulana. And it's still getting games like Epic Mickey 2 and Just Dance 4. Even though releases are winding down as Wii U approaches, 2012 was still a very good year, and with a massive game library, there's a huge amount of games to play on the system.

This was a rather poor "looking back at Wii" article from Nintendolife.

Kirk

#93

Kirk said:

The most disappointing thing about the Wii was not really the hardware but Nintendo's failure to fully realize it's potential imo. Not really in terms of pushing the system to it's limits in their games but mainly in terms of really pushing the features and services as far as they could have went.

The online was just below par.
They never ever got round to adding the ability to play CDs/DVDs via that little "dongle" or ever a simple system update.
The Channels mostly turned into rubbish aimed at casuals.
The motion controls didn't even get close to realizing their potential until MotionPlus came out and even then there were only a couple of games that really did it justice.
I had to suffer circle shadows in so many games, even though this was supposed to be a current-gen system.
The Nintendo Shop experience was just way below par, from the limited way you could view/preview games to the slow trickle of WiiWare and VC games, with some obvious titles that still haven't come out.
The lack of demos, until very late in the game and even then it was still half-assed, was doubly frustrating.
The amount and quality of third party support was also very disappointing imo.

Basically, the Wii was actually potentially a much better system than Nintendo ever let it be imo. That's what makes it most difficult to accept just how disappointing it was for me personally, for the most part.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#94

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Had wonderful times on my own and with the family with a large amount of qualiyu and all time greats on the Wii. My favourite console ever and I've been gaming since SNES era. Also, seperated the traditional gamers were open minded and genuinely wanted to have fun from the ones who were "depressed" and played games like a drug addiction (with littlr true joy)....:)

Araknie

#95

Araknie said:

I don't like this kinda things, they are generic and mass blinking.
I don't get the lowlight for Wii Vitality Sensor...i does not exists.

Samholy

#96

Samholy said:

nintendo should do like sega, make games.
stop crappy consoles,just focus on games, thats what they are fantastic for. When i buy a nintendo, i buy it for mario,zelda and the other nintendo-only franchises. thats it.

but if i want other games, sony delivers them with power. Sony now has a solid first-party exclusives too, which in my taste, makes me wanna get the next playstation over the next nintendo.

sorry mario, but you just cant compete with Kratos. Sorry link, but your adventures arent as CRAZYWHATTHELLWOOOWAMAAZING as uncharted games.
sorry metroid, but you just cant beat Ratchet and clank in term of missiles and guns. and fun.
on top of that, Cole of infamous just rip you appart.

but i really wanna play mario and zelda too...
so for your own good sake, just stop making consoles, and make games.

Banker-Style

#97

Banker-Style said:

2010 was a phenomenal year for the Wii,with so many fantastic games being released.

2011 was a mess,bar Skylanders,Rayman Origins,Zelda,and Xenoblade.

Ristar42

#98

Ristar42 said:

The VC should have been a highlight, but the 50Hz standard of most games available in PAL regions was disapointing. Most retro gamers were probably aware of the differences in 60Hz display, so seeing the Megadrive and Neo Geo running with slow gameplay, music, and boarders on the PAL Wii was hardly an incentive to download games for me.
I'm interested to see what happens with the transferal to Wii U, and if Nintendo and their partners intend to properly implement a 60Hz option with the VC, so these games can be played at the correct speed.

Marioman64

#101

Marioman64 said:

two things: Wii music is a FANTASTIC game and everyone should at least try it if you like music at all (which should be everyone
and Metroid Other M is based on the Metroid Manga, and the reason why Samus gets so upset when Ridley reappears is because she thought she killed him and seeing him again brought back those memories of Ridley crushing her parents heads with his claws and the blood raining down on her as a child.
http://metroid.retropixel.net/comics/metroidmanga/
specific moment:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=6
and http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=7

Spooky

#103

Spooky said:

@ueI
It depends on which region you are from, in Europe (where this site is based) strikers charged came out before Pokemon battle revolution

TheAmazingRaccoon

#104

TheAmazingRaccoon said:

I have spent more on games for the wii than possibly all my other systems of the past combined. I have bought more retail games for the wii that any other system (It is possible however that I have more games for my N64; I am talking about for the actual console not VC on the wii. I am not going to count them up for the purposes of this post though) and when you add VC and wiiware purchase the total is mind boggling. The wii also gave me the chance to play SNES games. The SNES is the only nintendo generation I missed; my parents got me a NES but failed to buy me a SNES when the next generation came out. Shame on them. Then the 64 was the first home console I purchased with my own money (the first console I bought was the GB) so I completely missed the SNES. So for that alone I love the wii.

BulbasaurusRex

#105

BulbasaurusRex said:

I thought Pokémon Battle Revolution was the first online Wii game.

EDIT: Oh, never mind. Spooky already explained it.

TehGamerXeo

#106

TehGamerXeo said:

Good article... quite thorough. The Wii definitely had a bumpy trail. I just wish they would use their efforts to produce more quality games. And depend less on third-party companies.

TailsSonicDX

#107

TailsSonicDX said:

When i first saw that the wii could play game cube games i fliped! I had some awesome game cube games including: super smash bros. melee, metorid prime, sonic adventure 2: battle and sonic mega colection. I still love playing my game cube games on my game cube.

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