To be honest, I’ve barely touched the games yet — I spent five minutes playing a quick game of Wii Tennis. The rest of my time with the console has been spent exploring the various menus, the Wii Shop, and setting up the Wii with our wireless router (which was thankfully very simple).
While Wii‘s design has prompted plenty of comparisons with Apple‘s hardware, everything still feels distinctly Nintendo — that is, extremely well constructed, well thought out, and functional yet simple.
The most significant feature of the Wii is the control, which is a one-handed ‘remote’ style device. Its motion- and position-sensing can be used for gesture-based control (demonstrated in the bundled Wii Sports), as well as being a pointer in the menu system and games that require some kind of aiming. It can also be augmented with a ‘nunchuck’ attachment, which adds a more traditional pseudo-analogue stick, a couple of extra buttons, and additional motion sensitivity.
Other features of the Wii include ‘channels’, which are additional bits of software functionality. This includes the ‘Mii Channel’, which allows you to create a personalised avatar to use in certain games, such as Wii Sports. There is also a Photo channel, which lets you play around with photos on a SD memory card, and the Wii Shop, which allows you to purchase and download classic games originally released for the Nintendo’s own NES, SNES and Nintendo 64, as well as the Sega Megadrive and Hudson Turbografx systems, to play on the ‘Virtual Console’. In the near future, News and Weather channels will also be added for checking up on events and outdoor conditions, and an Internet Channel, which will will use a version of the Opera browser for surfing on the TV.