Nintendo Wii Product Guide

Nintendo Wii

The Wii is the latest home gaming console from Nintendo. It's a more affordable system than its competitors, due to the fact that the design doesn't center on the fastest processors or HD quality graphics. What it does focus on is providing fun and social video games, coupled with a one-of-a-kind control system that makes playing Wii games an extremely immersive experience. If there is a system that you'll want to have when a bunch of people are over the house, this is it!

It's backwards compatible with Nintendo GameCube games, controllers and memory cards, and wireless access to the Internet allows for the downloading of older games, multiplayer gaming, and more.



Console


Size

Extremely compact. Roughly 8.5" long, 6" wide, and less than 2" thick (about the size of 3 DVD cases stacked together). A stand is included so you can further save shelf space by standing the Wii vertically.

Media

The single slot-loading drive bay takes both standard Wii games, as well as the smaller Nintendo Game Cube discs.

Network

Built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking support.

Input/Output

4 Wii Remotes can communicate wirelessly with the Wii, 4 Game Cube controller ports (yes, you can use the wireless Wavebirds!), 2 GameCube memory card slots, 1 SD (Secure Digital) memory card slot (2GB max.), and 2 USB 2.0 ports.

Memory:

512MB of internal flash memory. Expand via optional SD cards.

Video

4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio, up to 480p resolution, Composite Out, S-Video Out, Component Out, RGB SCART

Audio

Dolby Pro Logic II capable

What's In The Box

Wii Sports Game Disc, 1 Wii Remote, 1 Nunchuk, AC adapter, and Composite A/V Cables



Controls


Wii Remote (included)

This is the wireless main controller for the Wii. Shaped like a basic remote control, it fits easily into your hand, and unlike every other type of controller, it's designed for one-handed use (either right or left). It contains the typical D-Pad (up, down, left, right) and variety of buttons, but it also has a special motion-sensing ability that utilizes your movements to control what's happening on the screen.

For example, to serve in a tennis match, you flick the Wii Remote up to make your character throw the ball into the air, then you swing the Wii Remote in an overhand motion to send the ball over the net. Sword fighting, shooting a gun, and other actions also require unique movements that mimic their real life counterparts. Because of the active nature of the Wii Remote, a wrist strap is included.

The Wii Remote also features a built-in speaker and rumble feature that further increases the immersive experience of some games. The speaker adds ambient noises, like the twang of a released bowstring, and the controller will shake when a related action is taken - like hitting something with your sword, or shooting a gun.

Nunchuk (included)

This is the secondary controller for the Wii. It attaches to a port built into the Wii Remote and is a required accessory for some games. It can be used in either hand and features the same motion-sensing technology of the Wii Remote - which comes in handy when boxing. It has a thumb stick and two buttons. When required, it's mainly used to move your character, while the Wii Remote performs the character's actions.

Sensor Bar (included)

While not really a controller, the Sensor Bar does play an important part in controlling your Wii games. Without it, the motion-sensing technology of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk wouldn't work! You place this extremely thin bar either on top of your TV, or on the shelf right in front of it.

Classic Controller (optional)

Looking like something you used "back in the day", this is used to control the classic console games that you can purchase through the Wii's Shop Channel.

Wii Zapper (optional)

A special two-handed gun attachment for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. With both attached to the Wii Zapper, you can play shooting games with much more realism. Controls for both devices remain accessible when attached. So while aiming at the screen you can easily operate the thumb stick on the nunchuk to move your character, while at the same time using the wii remote's trigger to fire at your enemies. The Wii Zapper comes with a free game to get your started, Link's Crossbow Training (rated T for Teen).



Wii Menu & Channels


The Wii Menu is the first thing you'll see when you turn on the Wii. It contains what Nintendo calls "Channels", which are just icons that go to either game discs you have inserted, or to specific features Nintendo offers. Like a photo gallery, your local forecast, a shopping area, and more. Over the course of the life of the Wii, this area will be expanded. Below is what was available at the time of writing.

Wii Shop Channel

From here you can purchase additional content for your Wii. The Virtual Console is the main section of the Shop Channel. It hosts a variety of older games from classic gaming systems that you can purchase, download and play on your Wii. The optional Classic Controller is specifically designed to operate these older games, but depending on the game, a Wii Remote and/or Nintendo Gamecube controller (optional) can also be used.

Nintendo adds new games for purchase on a regular basis, and so far they have games from the following systems: NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), SNES (Super Nintendo), N64 (Nintendo 64), Sega Genesis, NEC Turbografx 16, and the Neo-Geo. Once a game is purchased, you can easily back it up to an optional SD memory card for safe keeping. Each purchased game will appear on the main Wii menu as its own channel.

You purchase these items with Wii Points, which can be obtained in one of two ways. First, you can purchase them directly from Nintendo through the Wii with a credit card. Second, you can purchase a Wii Points Card from a retailer, enter the code in your Wii and have the points added to your account.

Through the Wii Shop Channel, Wii Points can be purchased in the following block denominations:

  • $10 = 1,000 Wii Points
  • $20 = 2,000 Wii Points
  • $30 = 3,000 Wii Points
  • $50 = 5,000 Wii Points

The cost of each title depends on the console it was designed for. Here's a price list of what's available so far:

  • NES Games = 500 Wii Points
  • Turbografx 16 Games = 600 Wii Points
  • SNES Games = 800 Wii Points
  • Genesis Games = 800 Wii Points
  • Neo-Geo = 900 Wii Points
  • N64 Games = 1,000 Wii Points

So far the only non-game item you can purchase is the Opera web browser, which is required when using the Internet Channel.

Internet Channel

After purchasing the Opera web browser via the Shop Channel using Wii Points, this channel will allow you to surf the Internet from the comfort of your couch. The perfect feature for those inevitable "Hey, wasn't that guy in (insert movie or TV show here)?" questions. Pause the show and hop onto the web to find out!

Mii Channel

This channel centers on the creation of your Mii, your identity on the Wii. It is similar to the symbols used in IM (instant message) programs and other communication sites on the Internet. They are those little graphics that are a visual representation of yourself to others. The Mii is similar, but it's a 3D, animated figure that can look like yourself, or anyone else you think might represent your personality better. Getting an accurate representation is easy with the built-in customization utility. Like a Mr. Potato Head, but with a ton more parts, you take a base template and build from there.

When you're done, you can store your Mii inside the Wii Remote. This gives everyone in the family the ability to have their own personalized controller. With personalized controllers, you can take your Mii with you wherever you go.

By now you're probably wondering what you can actually do with your Mii. Well, for starters, you can import your Mii directly into certain Wii games. For example, in Wii Sport's Boxing, the boxer you control can be your Mii, giving you the opportunity to knock the daylights out of someone else's! You can also use your Mii on Nintendo's Wii Message Board. Nintendo and 3rd party game developers are continually working to create even more interesting and fun ways you can utilize your Mii.

Wii Message Board

A free messaging service that lets you leave virtual sticky notes on a calendar-based message board for family members, or send messages to people outside your home. You can even use this area to trade photo and text messages with cell phone users, and receive incoming game-related information. Some games will be constantly updated to extend their replay value.

Everybody Votes

If you've ever taken an online poll, you'll feel right at home in this channel. This channel offers national and worldwide polls that you can vote on. Each question has only 2 possible answers to choose from. When the voting period ends, you can go back to see which answer was the most popular and which side of the fence your prediction fell. You can even submit questions of your own to Nintendo. Votes are attached to specific Mii characters and results are tracked for each one. So the whole family can pick their own Mii and following their individual stats.

Check Mii Out

This channel is like a virtual community for everyone's Mii creations. It's divided into two sections, the Posting Plaza and Contests. In the Posting Plaza you can browse and download other peoples Miis, or submit your own. You can search for Miis in a variety of ways. These include by Mii name (e.g., all "Marios" or "Johns"), creator name, current favorites or all-time favorites. Downloading a Mii is super easy. Just tag it as a favorite and the Mii will be cloned and transported to your personal Mii collection immediately. The Contest section allows you to pit your Mii skills against everyone elses. Contests feature challenges based on specific people (e.g., best Brad Pitt), characters (e.g., Santa Claus), or themes (e.g., Nerd). Whether you decide to enter a contest or not, you can always participate by casting your vote. Contests are usually 2 weeks long. First week to enter, the second to vote.

Photo Channel

Insert an optional SD memory card full of JPGs and in this channel you can view them, and manipulate them in a variety of fun and creative ways. Create mosaics, puzzles or slideshows. You can even add an MP3 to your slideshows.

News Channel

Access the latest headlines from around the world, organized into a variety of topical categories. This is a free channel that is automatically updated.

Forecast Channel

This free channel provides you with the local forecast, and is updated automatically.



WiiConnect24


WiiConnect24 is a free service on the Wii that automatically accesses the Internet for information, even when the Wii's power is turned off. So while you're away, the Wii is receiving new messages, news, forecasts, game updates, and other surprises. Like all of the Wii's wireless features, you'll need a wireless 802.11b/g network at home for it to work.



Multiplayer Gaming


Some games will allow you to play with other people over the Internet. This is done with the Friend Code. Each console has a unique Friend Code, and in order to connect with someone you have to trade codes. Not as robust as Live on the Xbox 360, and, at this time, we're unsure of what filtering measures exist, so be careful with handing out your Wii Friend Code!



Parental Controls


Video games can be tons of fun and a great learning tool for children, but some parents feel that little Johnny and Sally need to be protected from certain types of games. If you fall into that category, you'll be happy to know that Nintendo has given you the tools to protect your children on the Wii.

As a parent, you can control exactly which games (both retail purchases and downloads from the Shop Channel) they can access. It's done via the ESRB rating system, which currently rates games as either Early Childhood, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, and Adults Only. Keep in mind that Nintendo never sells or licenses games that are rated Adults Only!!

You also have additional parental controls if you connect your Wii to the Internet. This is very important, because a properly rated game for your child might still contain multiplayer capabilities, opening up the possibility of your child interacting with strangers. Provided they have your Wii's Friend Code.

When you want access to games, a simple PIN code and security question will unlock the system.



Accessories


As with all popular videogame products, you can expect a variety of power, control, storage, and performance accessories to become available. Many help boost your fun with Wii. Look for them.

Aside from the "points" card and basic controllers we already covered, the Wii has a wide collection of useful and decorative accessories. Accessories are continually being dreamed up, by either Nintendo or 3rd party vendors, so this is by no means a complete list, but so far, here's what you can pick up to enhance your Wii experience:

Cases

From simple game disc cases, to travel packs that can hold the console, controllers and games, cases make transporting your Wii stuff easy and convenient.

Skins & Gloves

Skins let you change the white exterior of your console and controllers, adding cool graphics and themes. Unlike ye olde stickers of the 1980's A.D., skins today can be removed and reused over and over without harming your hardware.

Gloves on the other hand aren't simply cosmetic changes. Pretty much only for controllers, they provide increased protection - and in the case of the Wii Remote, provides more grip for those frantic gaming sessions.

Controller Attachments

The Wii Remote mimics real-life motions, but with controller attachments, you can also mimic the real-life devices that the Wii Remote is standing in for. For example, you can buy a plastic steering wheel attachment, so rather than tilting the rectangular Wii Remote to drive, snap it into the middle of the wheel and get the feel of a real racecar. There's going to be a host of these types of attachments, including a tennis racket and shotgun.

Component Cables

These aren't included, but if you are lucky enough to have a hi-end widescreen TV, they'll make your Wii games look their best!



Wii Fit


Wii Fit is a recent addition to the Nintendo Wii system that lets you get even more physical with your games.

There has been research and evidence citing that game play can stimulate areas of the brain for cognition and visual coordination. The Nintendo Wii video game system is taking this even further with the Wii Fit accessory for the Wii. In addition to the Wii-Fit games, the core controller is a balance board. It's ready to improve physical coordination among young and old alike. The Wii Fit offers lots of fun along with potential health benefits. You can't be a couch potato with this game accessory.

Your center of balance, the point between your left and right sides when you are standing upright, has a lot to do with your health. Those without an even center of balance will be unnaturally compensating for this imbalance, which causes their posture to become misaligned, increasing the possibility of putting unnecessary strain on their body. Wii Fit can help you learn more about your balance, and give you tips on how to improve it. There are studies already in progress using Wii Fit and the Wii Balance Board toward helping improve balance for adults.

The Wii Balance Board accessory was created from the ground up to work with Wii Fit. It's an innovative peripheral for Wii that's simple, fun, and it's a great way to get you off of the couch and into the action. It can read your real-life movements, interpret them electronically and bring them to life on screen, just like the Wii Remote controller. You can snowboard down a mountain or walk a tight rope-it's just one more way to get into the game. Playing Wii Fit a little every day, you, your friends, and your family can work towards personal goals of better health and fitness and have lots of fun indoors.

Wii Fit Boutique




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