Nintendo Wii

Honestly I thought the Wii was pretty cool. Little King‘s Story, Wario Ware Smooth Moves, and Dokapon Kingdom are both on there and I still love those, not to mention that it played Gamecube games. It was kinda the king of local multiplayer gaming. Plus the Wii had one of the all-time greatest homebrew scenes in history. Great emulators, Project M, Nintendon’t…

The motion controls suck to use though. Super imprecise. On the other hand the pointer is good enough that I'm surprised it wasn't ripped off more. You'd think that with all the media-center type stuff that gets baked into modern consoles (except the Switch) somebody would wholesale ripoff the sensor bar.

I got kinda a lot of usage out of mine and considering the alright library and awesome hacks for it it's hard to say you shouldn't pick one up if you run into one for a couple bucks. I mean heck, it's worth that for the Gamecube support.

Mayflash actually did make a peripheral called the DolphinBar that's straight up just a bluetooth adapter built into a sensor bar. No modern wiimotes though I'm afraid.

I'll tell you what I liked most about the Wii: it was the first time that I was able to play with a controller-type interface that let me just chill with my hands wherever I wanted them.

With typical controllers, or even handheld consoles, you've got to have your hands positioned on either side of the object at all times, pretty much. That's, what six to eight inches apart? Motion controls were bad, in my opinion, but I liked the idea that the Wii-mote and the "Nunchuk" (lol) could be held pretty far apart. That led to some comfortable sitting positions, and it's something I'm glad the Switch lets you do, too.

Imagine a PS4 controller that you could split into two chunks, one for each hand! That would be so great.

kind of echoing what some people have said before: the motion controls are really rough, but it feels like the use of the pointer is a feature that got underutilized for a lot of games. i was in high school during that console generation, and in the years after the Wii‘s release, the conversation on games got so much more focused on online multiplayer shooters (at least in my social sphere), mainly Halo 3 and Modern Warfare. it feels like the market went all in on these types of shooters and trying to port that experience to the wii, when the wii wasn’t really meant for it.

in contrast to these types of shooters, games that involve shooting/aiming that were less focused on twitch precision shooting like Metroid Prime 3 came out, and i vividly remember playing that game for the first time and thinking that i didn't want to play a shooter with analog sticks ever again. in hindsight, i don't 100% agree, but i still much prefer playing Metroid Primes 1 and 2 on the wii as compared to the gamecube versions. there's even some neat games like Rodea the Sky Soldier which take advantage of the pointer that i think is not as fun on the Wii U or 3DSr. i understand that the wii was a nightmare to develop for, so it feels like the use of the pointer got lost and seen as inferior in the time period it was surrounded in. oh well!

One thing that sometimes flies under the radar with the Wii is the frankly ridiculous longevity the console has had and how many of them were and still are used in people‘s homes - especially considering the console itself was under-powered for its time (it came out 4 days before the PS3 did) and never had a major hardware revision to increase its longevity (what I’m trying to say is the Wii never had an HDMI port).

Up until 2019, the console remained in the top devices used for streaming Netflix and likely would have remained there if they hadn't pulled the plug.

Just Dance 2020 released on the Wii about 10 months ago, however Ubisoft has said that it will be the last game they make for the Wii, and as such will likely be the final release ever on the platform.

So with the first release being on November 19, 2006 to the release of Just Dance 2020 on November 5, 2019, the span of time at which games were actively being officially released for the Wii was 4374 4734 days.

For perspective, official release spans on other platforms:
PS2 - 4947 days (03/04/2000 - 09/19/2013 (PES 2014))
Wii - 4734 days (11/19/2006 - 11/05/2019 (Just Dance 2020))
X360 - 4688 days (11/22/2005 - 09/23/2018 (Just Dance 2019))
~~Wii - 4374 days (11/19/2006 - 11/05/2019 (Just Dance 2020))~~
PS3 - 4340 days (11/11/2006 - 09/28/2018 (Fifa 19))
NES - 3873 days (07/15/1983 - 02/19/1994 (Wario's Woods))

Edit -- I did math bad, fixin numbers.

@badatgaems#3713 and still going!

@badatgaems I don‘t want to do the math myself, but I reckon you’ve got the days wrong on PS3, since you‘ve got it 34 days under the wii? or maybe it’s the wii‘s days? either way something’s gone spooky there.

I've been wanting to interview someone from the Just Dance team for ages but Ubisoft keeps denying me. Maybe I should try through like polygon or something. I'm really curious to hear what the considerations are with making a Wii game in 2020, though I guess some of that got covered by the recent interviews with Brian for shakedown hawaii etc.

And also, I don't want to give the impression I think there aren't good games or experiences on the Wii. There's loads of unique stuff on there! A lot of it would've been better served by removing motion controls, but the games are still solid. I've got... maybe 50 wii games myself? It was the last gasp of the budget PS2 era in a way, with tons of titles that feel like simple series (or even lesser than that) kinds of simple/single experiences that just couldn't have been made on any other platform at that time. maaaybe XBLA, but the vibe wasn't quite right for that. Muscle March, Domino Rally, even Escape from Bug Island, where else were imperfect but interesting games like that going to come out?

Just wish I didn't have to do the god darned motion controls!!

Haha, yeah, I wasn‘t a fan of the motion controls either. It’s got real shades of ‘now use the REAR touch pad on the PS Vita to do this thing’.

On the subject of budget games in the latter half of the Wii's life, I think that it bit into what I've always thought of as a typically handheld market: super low budget shovelware. That tends to make me think that the Wii was a more accessible means of development for super small publishing houses to just churn out a ton of stuff. It also makes me wonder how many of those games have even been catalogued!

@exodus#3745 Oh I did do my math wrong, I was off by a year-ish on the Wii numbers. It should be 4734 (which puts it above the 360 actually for release spans)

And like @hellomrkearns said, it seems in regions other than North America Nintendo is still licencing the release of Wii games (Nintendo officially ceased Wii game distribution in NA after JD 2020), so the PS2 record is still technically beatable!

@exodus#3745 On the budget line stuff / stuff that wouldn't get a chance elsewhere I would also throw in The Munchables, the Milestone Shooting Collection, and Lost in Shadow.

I didn't know the munchables existed at all!

But all this talk also reminds me of a conversation I was having with some folks about just how many unique (and a few non-unique) horror games there are on this console. For all its "kid and grandma" orientation there's a huge amount of this stuff.

off the top of my head theres:

  • - the calling
  • - the grudge / Ju-on (BTW if anyone owns the US version of this and doesn't want it, lemme know)
  • - cursed mountain
  • - Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
  • - bug island (kinda)
  • then of course silent hill shattered memories, the various resident evils, obscure: the aftermath, the house of the deads, dead space... it's surprising how many they got on there!

    @exodus#3767 I have Ju-on I'll DM you on Twitter.

    Your also forgetting the Fatal Frame 2 remake which did have a PAL release and is very good.

    Riiiight - my friend was gonna send me that and I keep forgetting to try and get it! I reckon he probably already auctioned it off somewhere.

    @exodus You can play Reginleiv with a controller btw :wink:

    It's not as much fun though. The motion controls are great at letting you slice off different bits. And miming drawing a bow is fun for me.


    I love the Wii. I really like different ways of controlling games. I own four balance boards.

    I miss having fun things to do with Miis :(

    The only thing I don't like about the Wii is having to plug controllers into the Wiimote

    @Blrb#3792 I like that part! It feels… gadgety.

    @Blrb#3792 that and the sensor bar. Makes it more of a pain to change TVs.


    @billy#3804 I like that part! It feels… gadgety.

    I *do* like the actual nunchuk/etc. plug.

    @hellomrkearns#3812 Our cat ate the sensor bar wire so this is your reminder that the sensor bar doesn’t sense at all. I replaced it with a Nyko one that is basically several AAs powering some IR LEDs.

    You can also use a pair of candles in a pinch which my kids thought was the coolest thing ever.

    It's really hard to say if it was worth it, but I will say that Star Soldier R got a lot of my focus back in the day.

    Hmm, I never picked that up, but I really should have. I guess now it's up to pirates to provide.

    I think as far as wiiware-exclusives, Castlevania Adventure Rebirth is real good, and it's a shame it's stuck on there. The animation and sound is tops!! really gives you a feeling of weight, like something's happening.