The Nintendo Wii (/ˈwiː/) is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. The Wii was a financial success for Nintendo, with about 101 million units, including the Wii Mini and Wii Family Edition models, sold.
The Wii console is region-locked, meaning that a game released in the PAL region can only be played with Wii consoles released in the PAL region. All the Wii Remotes and their accessories are region-free, meaning they can be played on any console, regardless of where it was released for.
The Wii was succeeded by the Wii U in 2012, which supports all Wii accessories, such as the Wii Remote Nunchuk and the Wii Classic Controller, and has 100% backwards compatibility with all Wii games. The Wii U's marketing campaign in 2011 and 2012 focused on the GamePad and led many consumers to think it was just an add-on to the Nintendo Wii. As a result, the Wii U commercially failed, only selling about 14 million units, though this is not due to the console itself, but rather thanks to poor marketing and a confusing name. The Wii U was succeeded by the Nintendo Switch in 2017, a portable console whose main controllers borrow ideas heavily from the Wii Remote. No Looney Tunes games for home consoles have been released for Nintendo consoles since the Nintendo Wii due to low sales and mixed to negative reception.
The Nintendo Wii's main menu features a list of channels in which players can select. The Disc Channel allows players to play whatever disc is inserted into the Wii, the Mii Channel allows players to make their own avatars and transfer them to their Wii Remotes to play on other Wii consoles, the Photo Channel allows players to upload photos from an SD card to edit them on the Wii, the WiiConnect24 channel allows players to connect to the Internet, the Forecast Channel allows players to look at the weather for the day via the Internet, the Internet Channel allows players to jump to the Internet settings directly from the Wii Menu, the News Channel allows players to read the news for free via the Internet, the Wii Shop Channel allows players to purchase and download WiiWare and Virtual Console games for the NES, SNES, Game Boy/Game Boy Color, and N64 consoles (this channel will be shut down January 30, 2019), and the Everybody Votes Channel (not political) allows players to vote on polls created by other players online. Most of these channels are unavailable for use today, as Nintendo shut them down upon the release of the Wii U. The Wii U's Wii mode only features the Disc Channel, the Wii Shop Channel (this channel will be shut down January 30, 2019, which does not affect the Wii U's Nintendo eShop channel), and the Mii Channel (which does not have access to transferring Miis to a Wii Remote or any online functions of the Mii Channel features on the original Wii console), but also features the Wii System Transfer channel, which allows players to transfer their Wii data to their Wii U (this channel will be shut down January 30, 2019), the Wii Menu manual channel, and the Wii U menu direct access channel, which allows players to go back to the Wii U menu.
Nintendo chose to make a brand-new wireless controller for its next system instead of following the traditional controller scheme that Sony and Microsoft developed for their consoles, starting development around 2001. Though the GameCube's WaveBird controller, which was released in 2002, was wireless, it required a receiver to function and also lacked motion capabilities. As such, the main feature of the Wii was the Wii Remote, a wireless vertical controller shaped like a television remote that does not require a receiver/adapter and has motion play via the gyro in the remote. The remote requires two AA batteries to function or a third-party rechargeable battery pack, although the latter is not officially licensed by Nintendo. Nintendo released a Wii MotionPlus adapter for the Wii Remotes in 2009, which added better motion sensitivity to the existing Wii Remotes and in 2010, released the Wii Remote Plus, which had the MotionPlus built into the Wii Remote by default. Wii Remotes are supported in many Wii U titles. Like most wireless controllers, the Wii Remote can be damaged if the batteries leak alkaline into the motherboard if the batteries are kept inside the remote too long. The official Wii Remotes were discontinued in 2017, with the Wii U ceasing production that same year.
In addition to the Wii Remote, a few accessories for it were released, including the Wii Nunchuk, the Wii Classic Controller, the Wii Classic Controller Pro, the Wii Wheel, the Wii Remote cover, and the Wii Zapper. All said accessories work with many Wii U titles. The former five were discontinued in 2017, with the Wii U ceasing production that same year, while the Wii Zapper was a limited time release.
Backwards compatibility with the Nintendo GameCube console
The Wii is 100% backwards compatible with all Nintendo GameCube games and their controllers. When the Wii plays GameCube games, there is no way to go back to the Wii Menu directly from the GameCube games. since the GameCube controllers lack home buttons. However, to go back to the Wii Menu, the Wii must be turned off and then turned on again or the GameCube optical disc must be ejected from the system and then the system must be reset.
Wii Mini and Wii Family Edition
The Wii had two other models, Wii Mini and Wii Family Edition, released in 2012 and 2011, respectively. These later two models did not sell well compared to the sales of the original Wii and were cheaper at retail because specific hardware was removed from them. The original Wii was discontinued in 2011. This model can still connect to the Internet. While the Wii Family Edition does have the GameCube ports and memory cards carved into the system, the hardware for it was removed and the system natively does not recognize GameCube controllers or games, though it can be homebrewed and can play them through Nintendont, which will require a GameCube controller adapter. The Wii Family Edition was discontinued in 2013.
The Wii Mini cannot connect to the Internet and does not show any signs of GameCube ports. The Wii Mini also cannot be homebrewed due to a lack of Internet access. Also, the Wii Mini's Mii Channel does not have access to transferring Miis to a Wii Remote or any online functions of the Mii Channel features on the original Wii or Wii Family Edition console, similar to how the channel is featured on a Wii U's Wii mode. The Wii Mini was discontinued in 2017, along with the Wii U.