December 9th, 2006, 20:06 Posted By: wraggster
The Nintendo Wii Review
Where to buy
Description (thanks play asia)
The cool look: The new console boasts high-quality materials and a smart, compact design, approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together. It will come with a silver stand that makes the system a welcome, artistic component of any multimedia setup, whether it's displayed vertically or horizontally.
Backward compatibility: The new console plays all games from the current Nintendo GameCube™ generation.
The secret weapon: The console also will have downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favorite titles originally released for Nintendo64™, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System™ (SNES™) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES™).
Easy expansion: A bay for an SD memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory.
Two disc formats, one slot: Instead of a tray, a single, innovative, self-loading media bay will play both 12-centimeter optical discs used for the new system as well as Nintendo GameCube™ discs.
The specs: The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access. A worldwide network of Nintendo™ players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment. Revolution's technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named "Broadway," and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named "Hollywood," will deliver game experiences not previously possible.
The stars: Introduction of a number of new franchise properties will add to the world's richest stable of stars, including Mario, Zelda, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong and Metroid.
Wireless freedom: A number of Wi-Fi-enabled launch titles are in development that will employ Nintendo's newly announced wireless gaming service, Nintendo™ Wi-Fi Connection. A worldwide network of Nintendo™ players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment.
Freedom of design: A dynamic development architecture equally accommodates both big-budget, high-profile game "masterpieces" as well as indie games conceived by individual developers equipped with only a big idea.
I paid a lot for my Nintendo Wii as it is a USA Version console and with shipping and customs charges, But for me a US version is better for me as games are cheaper and accessories in the long run.
What do you get
The Nintendo Wii comes in a fairly small box and when you open it has what can be explained as shelves, in the shelves comes the Nintendo Wii Console which is roughly the size of a DVD Case and 3 times the depth, theres a stand and also an extra plastic bit that fits under the stand to make it steady, theres the sensor bar and small stand that can either be fit above your TV or below it, i stuck the sensorbar to the top of the TV.
Because it was a US Wii i had to buy a Step down transformer, so if you do import a console then make sure you buy the transformer. You get one Wiimote and one Nunchuka controller.
Before i go any further, you have to throw away everything you remember as a gamer because Nintendo have rewritten the book with the Wiimote and Nunchuka Controllers, gameplaying with these controllers will change the way gaming is forever.
The first time you play Tennis (wii sports), Boxing, Baseball, Bowling and Golf you will have realised what all the fuss was about, using a controller the normal way will never give you the same feeling as using a Wiimote.
Lets just say that the controllers on the games where they are utilised perfectly and youll believe your in the game and remember theres no crappy wires to get in the way, sure youll have to change the AA batteries in the Wiimote every once in a while but if i was you i would buy some 2500MAH Rechargeable batteries, then your only paying out the once.
One thing to note is that you must use the strap, maybe for adults they wont need it but for teenagers and children you dont want a Window breaking or the TV getting smashed. A firm grip on the Wiimote should be made clear to everyone who plays with it.
The Wii is a nicely compact console thats similiar in size to a PC DVD Player, to insert Games you just push into the slot and the Wii sucks the game in (for want of a better explanation).
On the front of the Wii you have the Game Slot, Power, reset and eject buttons and also an hidden compartment with a Sync button which when you add new controllers you must press the sync on both controller and console. Theres also a SD Card Slot in the same compartment.
On the side of the console theres 2 more hidden slots and behind them are 4 Gamecube Controller ports and 2 Memory Card Ports.
So the Wii is Perfect for Gamecube Games and will have no problems with the classics you like on that console.
Also on the back of the console is Broadband ports but when you have Wifi in the console you really dont need them, get a wireless router
In time the Wii will be pushed to the extreme on the Graphical Front, but at the moment you could say these are Gamecube Style Graphics but look more polished. One look at Zelda tells you that the graphics can be excellent, Dont expect PS3 graphics but they are still very good.
On the controller front you have the Wiimote and Nunchuka but you also have the Classic Contoller which looks like a Snes controller of old, perfect for the Virtual Console Games. Already theres a racing game with a wheel that you stick the Wiimote in, Future accessories will hopefully include a Lightsabre attachment for Star Wars games but to be honest the skys the limit with the Wiimote controller.
Booting Up etc
On booting the console up you get the standard Nintendo Health and Safety warning, just press A to get past that. The main screen has little windows that you press to get to each section, i had the Wii Sports game in the console so it showed Wii Sports, Mii, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Forecast Channel and News Channel.
At the bottom of the screen you have Wii Options and Wii Message Board.
When you try to go to the Wii Shop Channel it will ask for connection details, as i had a wireless router it found it quite easily, funny thing was it found 3 other networks too, must be quite a powerful wifi finder on board .
Setting up the connection was very easy for me but maybe those who use wired broadband will find it a bit harder, best to get someone round who knows what they are doing than to spend hours getting frustrated.
You are also asked to give a name for your console and confirm the area of your Wii, i had to stick to USA as my country because it had no option for the UK but that must be down to the fact its a US console.
The News and Forecast Channels arent operational at this time but i suppose they will be a great way for Nintendo to alert you to future Wii games, very clever way to advertise .
The Mii Channel is your personal 3D avatar of sorts and you can take hours and make one to fit your needs, great for kids and people who like the personal touch, it has tons of features and options so making a cartoony version of yourself shouldnt be too hard.
The Photo Channel grabs photos from your Mobile phone although i didnt try that out or indeed an SD Card, again the features were great allowing you to zoom in and out and the photos were presented in thumbnails but decent sized ones allowing you to view them at ease. The photo channel can also be used to watch movies on SD Cards if they are in the right format.
The Wii Shop Channel is where you go to purchase your Virtual Console games, this is where the Wii console is off to another winner, the weekly release of say 3 new games that can be games from the Snes, Nes, Nintendo 64, Megadrive and PC Engine make this a killer feature for retro fans, prices are from Ł5 upwards so make sure your buying a game you really want. You can also buy new channels at the Wii Shop, on entering you get options including the Virtual Console and Wii Ware, i couldnt go any further at this although clicking on Wii Ware told me that the Internet Channel is coming soon and using the Wiimote has a mouse and you should have a decent way of browsing sites.
There is a great guide to show you though how to buy new games for the Virtual Console. It shows you which controller is compatible etc.
Overall Impressions and Score Rating
Nintendo since the Super Nes for consoles have released 2 good systems but both the N64 and Gamecube failed to capture the market but i feel that Nintendo with a console that isnt the most powerful have invented a machine that has gameplay in a way that has never been done before.
The fact that you dont need to be a gamesplayer to play the Wii Sports titles is an indication of what the future holds, familys can have parties and heres where Nintendo have got it right. This is a console aimed at Gamers and non gamers and the Virtual Console lets us Oldies play Retro classics from yesteryear and not to mention the FREE worldwide play unlike Xbox Live where you pay for that service.
Having Gamecube Hardware and ports also means that Backward compatability is there too and for newcomers to the Gaming scene a chance to play some of those excellent releases on the Gamecube.
Graphically it cant match the Xbox360 or PS3 but Nintendo dont need to worry about that because they have a console with gameplay attibutes that no console can match.
I have played consoles and computer games from 1980 onwards and ive never came across anything like this if Nintendo and others can release games and accessories to really make full use if the Wiimote then you are looking at the winner of the Next Gen console war, as it is if you are a serious gamer then i suggest you buy the Wii to go along side your 360/ps3.
Without a shadow of a doubt this is the console of the year in my eyes. Nintendo finally have repeated the amazing success of the DS Lite but in a Console form, who knows what tricks Nintendo have for us with DS- Wii functionality ?
Now if i was to give the console a mark out of 100 i would give it a 92% with only the graphics not comparing to the other next gen consoles but this is an experianced not to be missed, make sure you get Wii Sports and Zelda too , a few points are also knocked off for the region lock on games, luckily for the Gamecube you have the Freeloader but the Wii doesnt have one yet, but lets hope someone makes one
Already the Wii can play Gamecube Homebrew and Emulators for the Gamecube using the SD Load/Action Replay Method but we dont know yet if that way can access the full wii capabilities. Wifi Homebrew gaming on a worldwide scale will be awesome if/when it happens
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