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on 14 February 2008
I'm going to aim this review at people who have never really played video games before or who have only had a passing interest, as I think there may be quite a lot of you who are considering, or actively trying your best in, purchasing a Wii. If you are a more experienced gamer, you may find another review more helpful.

Basically you take the Wii home, get it out of the box, plug it into your TV and into the mains just like a DVD player, and then plug the 'sensor bar' into the Wii unit. You then place this same sensor either on top of or just underneath your television. The sensor bar is basically a long, slim grey piece of rectangular plastic with a cable running out to plug it into the Wii.

You then put some batteries into your 'Wii-mote' (Wii remote, included with the Wii console), and use it to turn the unit on. Of course, you're going to need a game to play. The Wii uses a disc format the same size and shape as a DVD; you just slot these into the unit. To get you started, Nintendo includes a game disc with the machine called 'Wii Sports'. This features Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf and Boxing. To actually play the games, you'll have to go through a few menus. Just use the Wii-mote by simply pointing at a particular point on your TV screen and clicking the buttons (the Wii-mote is kind of half-way between a computer mouse and a TV remote - but so much more).

It's when you actually get into the game that the fun begins. You don't just sit there pressing a series of buttons like with most video game consoles. Yes, you will probably have to push or hold one or two buttons, but the real idea here is that you move the remote around, and the sensor bar (which I told you about earlier) does the rest. The sensor bar can tell the Wii the place on the television screen where you are pointing the remote - but it also tells the machine exactly *how* you move the remote. Basically, motion sensitivity! What this means is that to play golf you hold the remote like a golf club, and take a swing; and hey presto, your on-screen character hits the golf ball with just as much power, lift and spin as you put in. There is some very well developed technology at work here!

Tennis is much the same: swing the remote like you would a tennis racquet. In bowling you hold the remote as if it were a ball and 'throw' it (you don't actually let go of it!). Each different game makes subtly different use of the remote, and there are loads available to buy: from one called Zelda where you get to sword-fight using the remote; to Wii Play which features a number of fun games; and of course, Wii Fit...but that's another review.

I can testify that this is fun for everyone, from age 3 to 63 or older. Nintendo have been sorting out supply difficulties so it's generally now much easier to get your hands on one. If you are having difficulty, I would suggest checking out the Amazon Wii 'Customer Discussions' for helpful advice, just scroll down to under the reviews on this page. Good luck!
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2007
It's rare to spend £200 and not to have a moment's regret, but the Wii has been the exception for me. From the moment I set it up, it's really earned its keep in our house. The kids love it and so do I. Here's why...

1. The included Wii Sports game is extraordinary, surely the best first person sports sim on any platform. The novel control method is utterly intuitive and I've never played a computer game requiring so much physical exertion.

2. The wireless network took seconds to configure. I wish my last laptop had been so easy.

3. With the addition of games like Wii Play, Mario Party and the like, my five-year-old can compete on equal terms with the older children and with adults.

4. I still want to play Wii Sports every day.

I recommend this console unhesitatingly.
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on 8 February 2007
OK, so it's not a "serious" gaming machine. If I want to play Call Of Duty 3, I'll play it on my Xbox 360. If I want HD graphics, and an online multiplayer experience, then ditto.

But sometimes, you know the times, when all you want to do is have some fun, there is nothing like the Wii. The greatest thing about it, is of course, the control system, which completely levels the playing field, and rightly so. I'm a semi-serious gamer, but when I first played Wii Bowling with my 4-year old daughter, she kicked my ass. I had to learn how to bowl. When it came to Tennis, I had to time my swing, apply power, spin, loft, instead of "pressing A". When it came to Baseball, I had to perfect fastballs, pitching speed, time my swing, get the angle of the bat right. And this was just from playing 3 of the 5 Wii Sports games.

It's fun! Anyone can play! Anyone can be good at it, most are bad! More importantly, it brings the room together! Everyone wants to play this thing, people see it and want to have a go. How many video games consoles can you say that about?

Apart from the superb retail games (Wii Play and Warioware are highly recommended by the way), the Wii Shop channel allows you to download great games from Nintendo and Sega's past. So far I have bought Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Sonic, Altered Beast, Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart 64 and Golden Axe, all games I loved as a child. I love the Xbox Live Arcade, but it's very hit and miss. The Wii Shop Channel is hit after hit.

We have found the Weather Channel extremely useful on numerous occasions, especially for 5-day forecasts. The News Channel is particularly informative and well presented. The Internet Channel is excellent, and saves us having to boot up the laptop or PC for quick enquiries. The Photo Channel is fun, if a little shallow (but it's all about fun, remember...)

Lastly, we come to the Mii Channel, which is one of the most addictive pastimes going. Creating Mii's will soon take over the world, I am sure of it. I have created everyone I know, they are all there, meandering around my Mii plaza, bumping into each other, each one exaggerated in their own special ways, and the fact that they pop up in and around your games is a great touch. FYI, I have now taken to creating famous people, which is kind of odd... My John Lennon is particularly impressive

It's not going to set the world on fire when it comes to graphics, but if you want a superb, fun, addictive, thoroughly enjoyable experience, that EVERYONE will love, then trust me, get one of these!

(If you can of course...)
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on 28 December 2007
I bought my Nintendo Wii on launch day last year mainly due to the huge amount of hype that was surrounding the launch.

After unpacking it I began playing Wii Sports - the included game. This is huge amount of fun and is very good for people of all ages to play. I would recomend getting a second remote + nunchuck so you can play against somebody as this is were it is the most fun.
One year on and I am still playing this system (which is very good for me!) I still play Wii Sports occasionally (mainly when people come over) and many other games which have been released are also equally as fun.

I'm now going to rate the console based on some categories

1) Visuals

Despite this console not being high definition, the visuals are actually very good. We play it on both a 29" normal TV and a 32" wide screen LCD TV in both cases the graphics look clean, crisp and colourful. Navigating through the menu when you first turn on looks very good also.

2) Sound

The sound, as far as I know, is no different to any other console. It sounds great and the Wii has the added bonus of each remote having it's own mini speaker. That may sound like a gimmic but it is a useful feature when you are playing a game and hear appropriate sound effects coming out so close.

3) The games

Now as the Wii is cheaper to develop for, there have been some instances of 'shovelware' (they just shove it on) ignoring these games is a good idea so always check online reviews before buying games.

With that being said, there are many games on the wii that are every bit as good and better than the afforementioned WiiSports. There are games suitable for everybody here from nice family games such as 'Rayman's Ravin' Rabbits' to less family oriented games such as 'Resident Evil'.

The recently released Super Mario Galaxy showed the potential the Wii has graphically and has set a good example for future games to follow.

4) Set-up

Set up is very easy and most people should be able to do it in under a minute. The 3 cables you need to connect (power, tv and the sensor bar) are all colour coded so it is very straight forward.

It comes with both normal connections (phono plugs and a scart adapter) to connect to any TV set.

5) Wii Shop

The Wii shop uses the wireless internet feature to enable you to buy games for your wii. They are older games such as Sonic the Hedgehog (for the megadrive) or Mario 64 (for the Nintendo64) and cost around £5 each. They don't take long to download and you can be playing within a couple of minutes.

6) Other...

Other included features are a Photo slide show thing. This allows you to take the memory card out of your digital camera or mobile and have the photos displayed in a nice slide show on your TV set. This is a nice feature. You can also have your audio files on the card play out during the show.

Overall I am very happy with my Wii and would recomend most people get one. Almost anyone can play and even hard core gamers find that they enjoy the type of games available.
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on 19 October 2007
After playing tennis on the Wii at a computer show in January & thinking this is rubbish, i didn't think i would ever buy one. Fast forward to July & my friend has just brought one for her kids & reluctanly i give it another go, this time the bowling. After a few goes i was hooked.

I have been trying to get my five year old son to play videogames for about a year. The problem was always the controller being to big for his hands. So as an early birthday present i took the plunge and spent £200 on the Wii. It was an instant hit not just for my son but for friends & even my mum who hasn't played a videogame since i had an Atari in the early eighties.

Hey, Wii sports may be quite a basic game, graphically not great, but it is great fun to play on your own or with up to four players.

My only criticism is that there is only a few decent games for Wii at the moment. Hopefully more are due out in the next year as it will be a shame if the Wii goes the same way as the N64 & Gamecube.

The £200 i spent on the Wii, was money well spent.
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on 14 June 2008
The graphics may not be pretty by this generations standard but both the console & the Wii sports pack it's bundled with are the most fun any of us have had with games in years ( not only us but our 4 year old daughter & even her grandparents as well as various friends of ours & their kids ) .

The games are all fun & perfect for showing off what makes the Wii so different - when you swing a bat , club , raquet or bowl at the 10 pins for that matter , you really do the movements you would do in real life ( well very nearly :) ) Just make sure you're loved ones are stood well clear when you play . Boxing is great ( our favourite ) you really do have to go for it , controller holding fists swinging ( not pressing buttons actually swinging & jabbing your hands & moving your body ) . If you want to burn calories whilst playing a game this is great . Only real downside is is occasionally doesnt register the odd punch but this is isnt a frequent problem .

Oh and if you lay out for an extra Wiimote - controller ( and a second nunchuk contoller if you want to box your friends it's the only one of these games that uses it ) 2 player is an amazing blast of fun both swinging your arms like dervishes hoping your doing it slightly better than your friend is ( you can have the boxers & other sportsmen/women actually lokk like you ( sort of if you have imagination :) ) via the WiiMii system also fun & easy to do ) .

Edit - Would recommend buying some rechargable AA batteries + charger ( takes 2 at a time the nunchuk plugs into it & shares it's batteries ) for the Wiimote if you dont already have any ( we've found each pair lasts a few days of heavyish use .
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on 14 December 2007
The Wii is very small and compact, extremely quiet in use, and light on electricity. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk take a little getting used to, but once you've made the adjustment, it really adds a new dimension to gaming.

There are some great games available for the Wii right now, but the console is also plagued with a ton of shovelware and ports. I can see this situation changing though, as the popularity of the Wii has sent its sales racing past the Xbox 360 after being on the market for only a year. That said, there are still enough good games available to keep you entertained!

Some people will compare the Wii to the PS3 or Xbox 360 and say that it's inferior. Graphically, it certainly is, but then it was never designed to compete in that area so I think that criticism is unfounded. A bowling game could look almost photo realistic on the Xbox 360 for example, but it's the control scheme that makes the big difference on the Wii. When the Wii Remote controls are implemented well by game developers, it really adds something to the gameplay that graphical power alone can't achieve. Clearly that works both ways - for example, Assassin's Creed almost certainly wouldn't work as well on the Wii due to the lack of graphical oomph - but the point still stands that the Wii offers a unique gaming experience. In some respects it's a bit like the PSP and Nintendo DS. The DS is graphically inferior, yet it has unique features that enable developers to try out new things.

I've had my Wii since launch day last year, and I also own an Xbox 360. I love them both. If I didn't own a Wii I'd be missing out on great exclusive titles like the fantastic Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and the forthcoming Mario Kart Wii which will no doubt be excellent. It's also a great party machine, and lots of fun when you've got a few friends over. It's not for everyone - if you want HD graphics or a media extender, look elsewhere - but I have to give the Wii 5 out of 5 simply based on the fun I've had with it over the last year.

BTW, it's good to see Amazon selling these at the RRP, rather than selling only expensive bundles, or marking the price way up as some other stores are doing.
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on 23 April 2009
It is easy and tempting to review a product quickly after purchase. However, when you buy a games console you are actually making quite an important choice these days, after all they have never been cheap and have now become a social medium for friends and family.

But hold on...I think I'm being too general. Lets face it the Wii, unlike its rivals, is immensely popular because it can be enjoyed by various age groups or different ability gamers, who now can use a very innovative control system that is different to any other commercial console out there. When I play with friends...or family (of which some did previously believe such a device to be for youngsters or geeks), it is generally because a "Wii night" has been arranged. Who would have thought a games console now has a dedicated time slot in our lives. But importantly we all have a great time laughing at each others inadequate swing or hoola hooping (thank you Wii fit) and feel that little bit better about ourselves, despite the occasional embarrassment.

So, I think it is safe to assume that I enjoy playing the Wii and believe I have made an excellent choice for a games console. However like many other gamers who have been playing for many years, I still crave the use of a controller that lets me just exercise my fingers. Luckily I have previous systems, and whilst they do not have "high resolution/definition graphics, still provide some outstanding game-play. Also, many football games, fighting games and driving games (obviously referring to the addictive Mario-Kart here), include the use of the traditional GameCube controller which also "scratches the itch."

There is no disputing that hardcore gamers want traditional methods of play sometimes, but for a console that can actually provide so much there is nothing more satisfying than the Wii. For this reason and probably more without wishing to bore the reader, I have and surely will be playing with the same enthusiasm in a few years to come.
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on 20 June 2008
When the Wii first came out i wasn't remotely intrested. then at chritsmas everyone i knew was going mental because they really wanted one and couldnt find them anywhere and i was thinking "what's the big deal?" then a couple of months ago the Wii Fit came out and my mum decided she wanted one, so she went out and bought a Nintendo Wii with the Sports game but the Wii Fit was out of stock. I still wasnt intrested, then she set it up and startd bowling, and she asked me if i wanted a go, so intrigue got the better of me, i stood in position (feeling like an idiot) and threw my ball without much effort, and missed all my pins. so i realised i needed to put effort into it, and when i started going, i couldnt stop! the determination to get more strikes than my mother was so strong! and i no longer felt like an idiot haha.

then she introduced me to tennis, and i really love tennis, and it was so much fun! and actually quite good excercise, especially for the arms! along with the boxing. and then i decided it would be better if we had two wiimote's so i ordered another, and now playing tennis against my mum, or bowling or baseball is great! i even have the hang of golf (and i hate golf) whereas my mum cant do it so good! i also bought the Endless Ocean game which my mum isnt intrested in, but i really enjoy it! We still havent got the Wii Fit (we have one reserved for next week though!) but i know it will be so much fun when we do get it.

So i definately recommend the Wii, we have never been a family that have ever sat down and played games together (apart from the odd game of scrabble) but even my dad had a go at the bowling and he NEVER plays on any console! it definately brings friend's and family's together i feel, even though there is a lot of rivalry where tennis and bowling are concerned! and i have had to eat my words over my initial thoughts on the Wii but who cares it's all in the name of fun! xx
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on 17 May 2008
The Wii is aimed at everyone, everybody, everything, as it's supposed to take the traditional amount of button pressing and joypad expertise away from gaming and it make it something much more accessible. Which is a good thing. Now the whole family can join in and play the bundled Wii Sports or attempt to get fit with Wii Fit or play party games etc

Now the question on gamers' lips is 'it is just a fad'? Personally, I have struggled to see much depth to a lot of the Wii games so far (Mario Galaxy and Zelda are exceptions) but I do think that the motion sensitivity will only get more accurate and more innovative allowing for better games, and when I say better I mean games that deliver a lot more substance.

I also think it was a bad mistake on Nintendo's part to create something that is so behind the times on graphics that it takes graphics out of the equation. People are generally more likely to get blown away by graphics than anything else and as the other next-gen consoles only get better there's not much the Wii can do about it.

On the other hand, no other console has brought gaming to such a relaxed level of fun, with friends and family especially. And surely this is what gaming was supposed to be about. It wasn't supposed to be about dedicated gamers who play all night for high scores to boast about but people who can have a bit of fun playing something that doesn't pretend to be something more than it actually is - a game.
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