The Rise and Fall of Nintendo Wii

This family-oriented gaming console that changed the world … and then fell straight off the face of it.

 

The Nintendo Wii. Most everyone born after 2000 had, has, or knew someone who had this in their house. The slim white box, the sensor to be stuck on the top of your TV, the pale controllers strongly resembling a television remote are all iconic. The lobby music that constantly played in the Wii Creator window or on the home screen. The plethora of Wii games, from Wii Sports to Super Mario Galaxy.

The Wii, codenamed Revolution while in production, essentially changed the handheld gaming market. It was the next step after the GameBoy for Nintendo, and emerged while the Xbox 360 and PS3 were in their heydays. But rather than targeting more serious gamers, the Wii is perfect for anyone to very easily pick up and play. The slim, ergonomic controllers influenced the likes of the Switch JoyCons. The point-and-click method of navigating around the Wii was innovative and novel.

The games made specifically for the Wii influenced whole new lines of popular games. Many iterations of Wii classics like Wii Sports and Wii Party made huge splashes, including franchise spinoffs like Mario Party. Even installments directly in franchises like Mario set precedents for later games. Super Mario Galaxy’s play style and storyline show remarkable parallels to Super Mario Odyssey. Mario Kart Wii’s controls are nearly identical to those of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, made for the new Nintendo Switch.

Discontinuation?

But with everything going for it, why did this console fade into another number on Nintendo’s timeline? Why did the iconic white controller shift into obscurity? One reason is most likely the Wii’s graphics. Though the controls and system were creative and never-seen-before from Nintendo, the visual output is somewhat less than expected. This prevented new, exciting games such as Galaxy or Wii Party from truly shining as they should.

Another reason is its target demographic. A huge amount of Nintendo’s income comes from more serious e-sports players or classics-loving adults. These types of gamers don’t get much out of the Wii. Its setup is far removed from the likes of the Xbox or GameBoy, and its selection of games is focused on children and casual gamers.

In conclusion…

Even though the Wii nears its 15th anniversary and is farĀ discontinued, it still makes for incredible family fun. The games highlight multiplayer teamwork and physical movement. The controllers are comfortable to hold and make mechanics a breeze to learn. But even with all that, the Wii’s revenue wasn’t enough to satisfy Nintendo’s expenses, and is no longer an asset for the company.