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The Nintendo Wii has quickly become one of the most popular video game consoles of all time. With its unique mix of revolutionary hardware, innovative software, and backwards compatibility, it’s no wonder so many people have purchased one for their home.
Not everyone has taken the plunge and purchased this great console, however. For those who may find themselves on the fence about a purchase or just wondering what all the fuss is about, we present our guide to the Nintendo Wii’s many features.
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The most obvious feature that sets the Wii apart from the competition is its unique motion controls. Players can simply wave the Wii Remote and their on-screen character will duplicate their actions. In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, for example, players swing the Wii Remote and Link will swing his in-game sword in response.
The Wii Remote can also be pointed at the TV to move an on-screen cursor. This cursor can be used to do things like navigate the Wii’s intuitive menu system or aim a sight in a shooting game like Resident Evil 4.
The recent release of the Wii Motion Plus addon has taken the system’s already-amazing motion controls to a new level of fidelity. Now, true one to one motion control is possible in games.
In a sword fighting game like Red Steel 2, for example, the on-screen sword’s angle and pitch will perfectly match that of the controller held by the player. The Motion Plus technology is still new, but it’s only a matter of time before developers are finding new and innovative ways to utilize it.
One final great hardware feature is the Wii’s full backwards compatibility with all Nintendo Gamecube games, controllers, and memory cards. There’s no reason to give up your library of Gamecube games when you can simply play them all on your Wii console.
Gamecube controllers are a great low-cost alternative for any game that utilizes the classic controller addon (Super Smash Brothers: Brawl is a good example). The Gamecube controller will perform all of the same actions, but you can pick up a used one for a fraction of the price.
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The Nintendo Wii is capable of connecting to your existing network. Connected consoles can access the Wii’s great online features like the Wii Shop channel, Wii connect 24, email between consoles, and online Mii swapping, among other things.
Setup is easy; just follow our Guide to Getting Online With Your Nintendo Wii.
Check out page two for more on the Wii's great Virtual Console feature, as well as a full rundown of all the Wii Channels.
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The Wii's Virtual Console feature is something that no other modern gaming system can offer. Players can purchase their favorite games for the Super Nintendo, NES, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafix 16, and more to play on their Nintendo Wii.
There’s no need to dig your ancient NES out of the closet when you can simply download Mario Bros. 3 and play it on your existing setup. The games aren’t free, but at five or ten dollars apiece, they are well worth the price.
The ability to download Wii Ware games is another great feature. These original titles can be purchased for around the same price as Virtual Console games. Direct download to your Wii means that there’s no need to go to a store to purchase these new games.
Recent Wii Ware highlights include: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, World of Goo, and Bust a Move Plus.
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The Wii interface is organized into “channels.” These channels offer everything from news and weather updates to Mii customization and voting. Most of these channels are completely free of charge.
- Photo Channel: Display and organize your photos, edit them with effects and even turn them into puzzle games.
- Mii Channel: Create custom Mii avatars to use in many games, including Mario Kart and Wii Sports. Trade Miis with your friends and download popular creations with the Check Mii Out Channel.
- Wii Shop Channel: Purchase Virtual Console and Wii Ware games, as well as additional channels.
- News Channel: Up to the minute news updates from around the world. Sort news items by location or category.
- Forecast Channel: Weather updates for the entire planet, check out extended forecasts and detailed weather information for most of the world’s major cities.
- Everybody Votes Channel: Take part in surveys with other Wii owners. Compare your opinions with the rest of the Wii community
- Internet Channel: Get online and browse the internet right on your Television. Use the Wii Remote to navigate web pages and play free web games. The Internet Channel is unfortunately not free, it must be purchased before it can be used.
During its development, the Nintendo Wii was codenamed “Revolution.” It’s no surprise then that the completed console has so many truly revolutionary features. No other modern console can rival the combination of hardware and software components that make the Nintendo Wii so unique