It was six years ago when Nintendo revolutionized the video game console with the Wii, the first video game system to allow control by body movement versus the traditional limitation of the handheld controller.
I first saw one at a buddy’s house and I have to admit it was pretty slick. At the time, it was the only system to incorporate the full body motion, so it had an edge, even though it was lacking in other areas such as resolution, HD compatibility, and overall game play (the graphics were still geared more toward ‘Mario’ and not your hi-resolution games).
Because Nintendo had a hold on this segment of the market, they controlled it and it showed, with the product constantly being back ordered for years. Yes, multiple holiday seasons came and went with Nintendo Wii nowhere to be found.
I refused to give into any of the hype, waiting until it finally became available, which I think was in 2009!
Since then, the other video game manufacturers have stepped into the realm, most notably the Xbox 360 Kinect, which made it so you didn’t even have to hold a controller (a requirement of the Wii) to detect motion, instead relying on UV sensors.
Nintendo took six years but is finally releasing the followup console, the Wii U. This will, as expected, take their gaming to HD compatibility. They also upped the ante by including a screen on the controller itself, allowing for even more flexibility in game play.
As expected, the hype is huge. I just wonder if the Wii U is going to be as popular and will be as scarce as its predecessor.
The original Wii was a great boon for eBay, as units were constantly bought up and re-sold at a higher price than the sticker value. Nintendo refused to increase production, preferring instead to limit the output based on their capabilities, not wanting excess capacity once sales leveled off. It was an interesting strategy, but they likely lost the interest of a lot of customers, or at least delayed the interest as many (like me) simply waited.
We likely would have used our Wii had it been more available and had we been able to get one prior to 2009. As it was, by that time we had started our family, and the time to play games simply wasn’t there as it might have been in 2006 or 2007. As it stands today, there is even less time (with the addition of a second child), so even if the Wii U were made available without delays (unlikely from what I’ve been seeing), we wouldn’t be in the market.
Are you planning on getting a Wii U? If you have an original Wii, share your experience on how you got it and when.