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: For families and lovers of casual games, the even more affordable Wii still represents the best console bundle value in terms of dollars spent, but it's also the system that's first on deck to be outdated. With the announcement of the Wii U, the Wii is a declining console. Still, its sizable and often unique back library of games is still worth playing.
Pros: The Nintendo Wii Hardware Bundle (with Mario Kart) has a lot going for it: clean, accessible design; a great library of family-friendly games; a still-iconic controller design that can be used for motion games or more traditional button-based games; Virtual Console library and WiiWare games that offer a unique and affordable collection of classic titles; the Wii Remote Plus controller, updated with built-in MotionPlus; and Netflix streaming.
Cons: Online connectivity is hampered by closed-garden design; graphics and video playback cap at 480p; other than Netflix, the Wii has no other video-streaming or entertainment offerings, and can't play CDs or DVDs; its graphics continue to look ever more outdated compared with rival consoles, and the unique qualities that motion gaming offered are now available in accessories from rival consoles; and, finally, the decision to replace both Wii Sports games with Mario Kart ...