When the Nintendo Wii was unveiled competitors Microsoft (Xbox) and Sony (Playstation) dismissed the gaming console as nothing but a passing fad. More than 100 million units later and the popular console has ended its production run.
Deemed as the “first gaming console for everybody” by Oprah Winfrey, the Wii ended up in retirement homes, children’s bedroom and everywhere in between. While Nintendo never managed to create the riveting games of its competitors, its unique motion based controls made it an instant hit.
During the first year of release it was nearly impossible to purchase a Nintendo Wii without waiting hours, sometimes even days in store lines.
Nintendo of Japan announced on Monday that the aging device is not out of production. That means only currently unopened consoles and used systems will be available well into the future.
Before the Nintendo Wii the gaming market consisted almost entirely of 18-34 year-old males. Now women, children, and even grandparents enjoy gaming on the Wii, mobile devices, tablets, and various other pieces of hardware.
The only consoles to outsell the Nintendo Wii are the Sony Playstation with 102 million units sold and the PS2 with 155 million units purchased.
The Wii wasn’t only just a revolutionary gaming console, it was also responsible for much heartbreak, specifically by YouTube users who showed videos as they accidentally threw the console’s motion controller through their TV.
Eventually Nintendo started providing stronger wrist straps to prevent TV breaking antics.
Nintendo helped revolutionize the gaming industry with its NES and Super NES systems and it even attempted to control our TVs with the Power Glove. Years later the Nintendo Wii convinced Microsoft to develop the Kinect system in response to user desires for motion gaming.
My Nintendo Wii is now collecting dust but I will always remember the gaming console as the first system I enjoyed playing just for the sake of playing.