Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
on 22 February 2010
Well there isn't too much more to be said about the Nintendo Wii than has already been written, but I will repeat some of the basics as I am reviewing the new, limited, black edition, bundled with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, plus a Motion Plus controller extension as you would expect for Resort. You can get a comparable bundle in the traditional white and, when I bought mine, the price for each bundle was identical.
This limited black edition is a beautiful addition to the range that fits well with a lot of other living room tv and hi-fi equipment and is simply gorgeous in a glossy, 'piano black' finish. The blue illumination around the disc slot looks wonderful against the black finish.
The black edition Wii comes with one unique item, a special soft cleaning cloth. This is because the black Wii is extremely vulnerable to scratching, which is reflected in Nintendo's instructions. Do not use a conventional duster on a black Wii or you will mark it.
The black Wiimote and Nunchuk are identical to the standard issue in all but colour, but the black remote looks awesome with its mix of gloss and matt finishes.
I've used several Wii consoles very extensively over the last two years and finally treated myself to one of my own when the limited edition came along. I knew exactly what I was getting, what the strengths and weakneses of Wii are, and that the limited edition is down to sales having peaked, and surely after three years something is coming to replace this console.
If you don't know, Wii is backwards compatible with Gamecube and has a hidden set of ports at the top for a Gamecube memory card and controllers. My top tip to you - you can still buy Gamecube controllers and they will work with top Wii titles including Smash Brothers: Brawl, and Mario Kart. Wink, wink! They will also work alongside other players using Wii remotes, Wink, wink!
I love the Wii but it is what it is and it isn't perfect.
Wii lacks power! Nintendo stayed out of the numbers arms race for good reason, but there isn't even enough power at times for some of the games they have designed themselves. My much beloved Mario Kart Wii jerks and slows down with four players. The graphics are not properly HD. You only get a composite cable with the Wii anyway, so to use RGB or component output you must buy another lead. Only one controller set is supplied, albeit in this bundle with Motion Plus included too, but nobody wants to just play alone, so you usually have to budget for a second set right from the off. Luckily, since 65 million people worldwide own a Wii, some of your guests will usually be able to bring remotes! Unlike a Playstation, say, Wii can't read music or a DVD in the drive, however you can get it online and the Internet Channel is now a free download. Although a bit clunky to use, the Opera based browser will work with a USB keyboard, and I have also seen a wireless keyboard on sale for the Wii.
Wii lacks memory! An early issue was that those downloading titles quickly ran out of memory and had to swap titles in and out of their consoles. The SD card slot was used only for backups of data and for loading images to the Wii Photo Channel. Happily, updates to the software in 2009 allow an SD card (not supplied but cheap!) to act as extension system memory, and Wii channels can now be stored on SD and run directly. In effect, this makes the storage on Wii unlimited. Yes, the SD limit on the Wii is 2GB, but this is so much more than the console memory sizem and more than most of us could afford games for, so you can consider it limitless.
Nintendo, like all companies in the console business, wants lots of your money. It gets wrung out of you left, right and centre bacause new accessories and games are 'must haves'. Genuine Wii remotes are not cheap! Top rated Nintendo games are around £35 each. But there are also some great budget releases out there and you can always download quality Wiiware games at a maximum, usually, of around 7 quid a game. Virtual Console may also be of interest, a library of titles from older gamining syetems to run on the Wii. I personally find the price of most VC titles unjustifiably high for games of that age, but the minimum price for anything at the Nintendo shop is 500 Wii points (around a fiver in money). I can't recommend enough that you look at rechargeable batteries or the custom packs that fit into your remote - I particularly like those that charge from USB. In this area, third party maufacturers do well with a huge range of decently priced, good quality parts. I would not, however, buy third party controllers.
Not one of the criticisms levelled at the Wii has stopped it being a runaway success, the best machine ever for uniting families and generations in shared gaming experiences and a uniquely charming little box that has such a universal appeal. I wouldn't be without mine.
I sometimes consider that if someone at Sony or Microsoft had sat in the bath and suddenly dreamed up a simple sports game with a motion sensing controller, then the world would be a different place! But they didn't, and so we have the Nintendo Wii, still going strong, and utterly gorgeous in black. You know you want one!