Summary: If you don't mind the dearth of HD graphics, the Nintendo Wii's combination of motion-sensitive controllers, included Wii Sports titles, and emphasis on fun gameplay make the ultra-affordable console hard to resist.
Pros: Revolutionary controller design offers unique motion-sensitive gameplay options; built-in Wi-Fi delivers free online services and gameplay; Virtual Console has major nostalgia appeal; compatible with all GameCube games and controllers; built-in SD slot for storage and photo viewing; latest bundle includes Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort games, plus MotionPlus attachment; compatible with Netflix video streaming.
Cons: Controller eats batteries and takes some time to get used to; online gaming and community features hobbled by horrible "friends code" system; lacks the advanced HD graphics and surround sound found on the Xbox 360 and the PS3; requires a wired receiver unit placed near the TV to interface with wireless controllers; can't play CDs or DVDs; lacks a steady stream of compelling game releases compared to rival consoles.
Excerpt: Nintendo's follow-up to their popular GameCube—number three in the Big Three consoles of the previous generation—is the Wii (pronounced "we"), which represents a very different approach from SCEA's and Microsoft's next-gen gaming offerings. The humble Wii de-emphasizes the absolute latest and greatest in graphics and game audio, supporting a maximum video resolution of only 480p, in EDTV mode. Instead, it offers innovation in game design and control.
Excerpt: We've been evaluating the Nintendo Wii game console since its release in November, and we are still very impressed with its offerings. Truly a family affair, the Wii is fun out of the box. The package comes with Wii Sports, a game that my children expected (before its release) to be like other sports titles for consoles--none of them are big fans of sports games. They were wrong, happily--Wii Sports gets the whole family involved.
Conclusion: The Wii is a interesting little console. It has the potential to be something big, but it also has the potential to fail in the long term. What happens with that remains to be seen. The Wii console itself however does what it was intended to do. It's small, pretty, cheap, fun and easy to use. It has a couple of nifty features besides the obvious Wiimote, which will extend it's life.
Summary: The Wii provides a fun gaming platform for everyone. While the PS3 and the Xbox 360 are devices that are loved by many avid gamers, the Wii will be loved by the whole family. The scope of the games goes well beyond the shoot'em up games and extends to games that can be enjoyed by everyone. We have seen a four year old having just as much fun on the Wii as her 86 year old great-grandmother.
Excerpt: What is the point about the Wii, a console out 3 years ago? I think this is the question that many of you will arise and to which you must answer before proceeding. The first reason is that it continues to be advertised, therefore continues to be presented to an audience whose only reference point to rave reviews in 2006, ie those prepared on the basis of a few days of testing.
Summary: The Wii is the coming together of years of research (initially conceived after the GameCube release), innovation and good solid well thought out design. Not only does it do everything it's supposed to, it has the possibility to grow in the future. While the ability to play DVD's would have been great, it was never designed to do this - so I can't hold that against it. The Wii's a gaming machine but also much more than that.
Pros: Fashionable white styling, offset by cool grey stand. The packaging it came in was well thought out and instructions simple and easy to follow. The Wii Sports game will train you to the ways of Wii effortlessly and continues to be a fun package long after you've discovered other games. The bluetooth controllers are worthy of the hype and provide an innovative approach. Supports older GameCube games. Channels and WiFi is icing on the cake.
Cons: The controllers take a bit of getting used to and for those of us with big hands would benefit from wider spacing between buttons as unintentional presses at key moments can be more than a little annoying. While the Wii doesn't play DVD's, something which would cement it into the living room experience, the expandability through Wii Channels and possible future accessories counteract these shortcomings.