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Wii facts for kids

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Wii logo
Wii with Wii Remote
Original white Wii standing upright on its stand next to a Wii Remote
Also known as
  • Revolution (pre-release)
  • RVL (codename)
Developer Nintendo IRD
Manufacturer Foxconn
Type Home video game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date
Retail availability
  • 2006–2013 (Original)
  • 2011–2014 (Family Edition)
  • 2012–2017 (Mini)
Introductory price
    • October 20, 2013 EU
Units shipped 101.63 million (as of September 30,  2019 (2019 -09-30)) (details)
  • Wii Optical Disc
  • Nintendo GameCube Game Disc
  • Digital distribution
Operating system Wii system software
CPU IBM PowerPC Broadway @ 729 MHz
Memory 24 MB 1T-SRAM @ 324 MHz (2.7 GB/s) + 64 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
Storage 512 MB NAND flash memory
Removable storage
  • SD/SDHC card
  • GameCube Memory Card
Graphics ATI Hollywood @ 243 MHz
Controller input
Online services
  • Width: 157 mm (6.2 in)
  • Height: 60 mm (2.4 in)
  • Depth: 197 mm (7.8 in)
  • 1,220 g (43 oz)
Best-selling game
Predecessor GameCube
Successor Wii U

The Wii ( wee) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. It was released on November 19, 2006, in North America and in December 2006 for most other regions of the world. It is Nintendo's fifth major home game console, following the GameCube and is a seventh-generation console alongside Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

In developing the Wii, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata directed the company to avoid competing with Microsoft and Sony on computational graphics and power and instead to target a broader demographic of players through novel gameplay. Game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda led the console's development under the codename Revolution (RVL). The primary controller for the Wii is the Wii Remote, a wireless controller with both motion sensing and traditional controls which can be used as a pointing device towards the television screen or for gesture recognition. The Wii was Nintendo's first home console to directly support Internet connectivity, supporting both online games and for digital distribution of games and media applications through the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii also supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS handheld console for selected games. Initial Wii models included full backward compatibility support for the GameCube. Later in its lifecycle, two lower-cost Wii models were produced: a revised model with the same design as the original Wii but removed the GameCube compatibility features and the Wii Mini, a compact, budget redesign of the Wii which further removed features including online connectivity and SD card storage.

Because of Nintendo's reduced focus on computational power, the Wii and its games were less expensive to produce than its competitors. The Wii was extremely popular at launch, causing the system to be in short supply in some markets. A bundled game, Wii Sports, was considered the killer app for the console; other flagship games included entries in the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, and Metroid series. Within a year of launch, the Wii became the best-selling seventh-generation console, and by 2013, had surpassed over 100 million units sold. Total lifetime sales of the Wii had reached over 101 million units, making it Nintendo's best-selling home console until it was surpassed by the Nintendo Switch in 2021. As of 2022, the Wii is the fifth-best-selling home console of all time.

The Wii took Nintendo's place as a key player in the video game console marketplace. The introduction of motion-controlled games via the Wii Remote led both Microsoft and Sony to develop their own competing products—the Kinect and PlayStation Move, respectively. Nintendo found that, while the Wii had broadened the demographics that they wanted, the core gamer audience had shunned the Wii. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, sought to recapture the core gamer market with additional features. The Wii U was released in 2012, and Nintendo continued to sell both units through the following year. The Wii was formally discontinued in October 2013, though Nintendo continued to produce and market the Wii Mini through 2017, and offered a subset of the Wii's online services through 2019.

Variants and bundles

The Wii launch bundle included the console; a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically; a plastic stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, a Nunchuk attachment for the Remote, a Sensor Bar and a removable stand for the bar to mount on a television set, an external power adapter, and two AA batteries for the Wii Remote. The bundle included a composite A/V cable with RCA connectors, and in appropriate regions such as in Europe, a SCART adapter was also included. A copy of the game Wii Sports was included in most regional bundles.


The prefix for the numbering scheme of the Wii system and its parts and accessories is "RVL-" for its codename, "Revolution". The base Wii console had a model number of RVL-001, for example.

Redesigned model

RVL-101 layout with its labels aligned horizontally, just as the console was designed to be placed, unlike the original version

The console was first released in North America on October 23, 2011, in a black finish, bundled with a black Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, along with New Super Mario Bros. Wii and a limited-edition soundtrack for Super Mario Galaxy. It was released in Europe on November 4, 2011, in a white finish, bundled with a white Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, along with Wii Party and Wii Sports. A special bundle featuring a blue version of the revised Wii model and Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk with the inclusion of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was released in Europe on November 18, 2011, in collaboration with Sega. Nintendo later revised the North American bundle by replacing the prior pack-in game and soundtrack with the original Wii Sports duology; the new bundle was released on October 28, 2012.

Wii Mini

The Wii Mini (model RVL-201) is a smaller, redesigned Wii with a top-loading disc drive. It was first released on December 7, 2012, exclusively in Canada with a MSRP of CA$99.99. It was later released in Europe on March 22, 2013, and in the United States on November 17, 2013. The Canadian and European releases did not include a game, while Mario Kart Wii had been included in all launch bundles in the United States. Nintendo added several best-selling and critically acclaimed Wii games to its Nintendo Selects label and marketed those alongside the Wii Mini's release.


The Wii introduced the use of player-customized avatars called Miis, which have been continued to be used by Nintendo in the Wii U, the Nintendo 3DS family, and, to a lesser extent, the Nintendo Switch. Each player on a Wii console was encouraged to create their own Mii via the Mii Channel to be used in games like Wii Sports and some of the system software like the Mii Channel. For example, players would select their Mii in Wii Sports, creating their in-game avatar for the game. Miis could be shared with other players through the Mii Channel.

Nintendo DS connectivity

The Wii system supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS without any additional accessories. This connectivity allows the player to use the Nintendo DS microphone and touchscreen as inputs for Wii games. The first game utilizing Nintendo DS-Wii connectivity is Pokémon Battle Revolution. Players with either the Pokémon Diamond or Pearl Nintendo DS games are able to play battles using the Nintendo DS as a controller. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, released on both Nintendo DS and Wii, features connectivity in which both games can advance simultaneously. Nintendo later released the Nintendo Channel, which allows Wii owners to download game demos of popular games such as Mario Kart DS, or additional data to their Nintendo DS in a process similar to that of a DS Download Station. The console is also able to expand Nintendo DS games.

Online connectivity

The Wii console connects to the Internet through its built-in Wi-Fi or through a USB-to-Ethernet adapter; either method allows players to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The service has several features for the console, including Virtual Console, WiiConnect24, the Internet Channel, the Forecast Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, the News Channel and the Check Mii Out Channel. The Wii can also communicate (and connect) with other Wii systems through a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multi-playing on different television sets. Battalion Wars 2 first demonstrated this feature for non-split screen multi-playing between two (or more) televisions.


Wii optical disc in case

Twenty-one games were announced for launch day in North and South America, with another twelve announced for release later in 2006. Among the system's launch titles in all regions included Wii Sports, which was bundled in all Wii packages except in Japan and South Korea, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Sega's Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and Ubisoft's Red Steel. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption had been slated as a Wii launch title, but was pushed into 2007 a few months before the Wii's launch. Nintendo had also planned to release Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a launch title, but its director Masahiro Sakurai stated there were difficulties in adapting the format to the Wii's motion controls to require more time for the game's development.

New Wii games included those from Nintendo's flagship franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid. Nintendo has received third-party support from companies such as Ubisoft, Sega, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Capcom, with more games being developed for Wii than for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Nintendo also launched the New Play Control! line, a selection of enhanced ports of first-party GameCube games that have been updated to capitalize on the Wii's motion controls.

Health effects

The Wii was marketed to promote a healthy lifestyle via physical activity. It has been used in physical rehabilitation, and its health effects have been studied for several conditions. The most studied uses of Wii for rehabilitation therapy are for stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, and for balance training. The potential for adverse effects from video game rehabilitation therapy (for example, from falls) has not been well studied as of 2016.

A study published in the British Medical Journal stated that Wii players use more energy than they do playing sedentary computer games, but Wii playing was not an adequate replacement for regular exercise. Some Wii players have experienced musculoskeletal injuries known as Wiiitis, Wii knee, Wii elbow (similar to tennis elbow) or nintendinitis from repetitive play; a small number of serious injuries have occurred, but injuries are infrequent and most are mild.

In May 2010, Nintendo gave the American Heart Association (AHA) a $1.5 million gift; the AHA endorsed the Wii with its Healthy Check icon, covering the console and two of its more active games, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Wii para niños

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